Jerry L. Schutz
(candidate for 2003 Moscow City Council (4 year seat))
1. Do you believe the bequest from the Hamilton estate was spent wisely in
the construction and maintenance of the new gym? If not, why not—and how
would you avoid a similar problem in the future?
I am not going to run a “rear-view mirror” campaign. What is done
That being said, I will say that I feel that any public building projects
over one million dollars, excluding infrastructure, could be voted on by the
Citizens of Moscow. Of course we need to be careful with this type of
approach, projects involving public safety or required by federal or state
code may have to proceed by law.
If the Council wanted to hear from the citizens a resolution for a
particular project could be placed before the voters to determine citizen
support and preference. If the answer was “Yes” then the project could go
forward. If the answer was “No”, then if the project was important enough
it could be returned to the design phase until an agreeable plan was
2. As a Council member, what would be your questions, concerns, and
requirements if you were asked to vote for a zoning variance that would allow a large business (employing 100 workers) to be built on the outskirts of Moscow? Use that example to define your vision of economic growth for Moscow.
My first question would be what is the variance? Is the variance
something as simple as a setback or parking reduction, or as complicated as
a re-zone, which is not a variance issue?
I believe every person is entitled to fair and unbiased access to the
Planning and Zoning process. My vision is for planned and sustainable
growth. If we close the door on all economic development we are saying to
our children “Your future is not here in Moscow.”
There is a difference between Schweitzer Engineering and a 24-hour rock
crushing operation. Each proposal MUST be weighed on it’s own merits. The
City of Moscow has a Comprehensive Plan, which sets standards for buffers
between uses and asks what kinds of amenities are to be used to be in
accordance with the Comp Plan.
When it comes to Planning and Zoning there is never a “one-size-fits-all”
solution. It is important to enter the process with an open mind. There
have been a number of cases in my term on the Planning & Zoning Commission
where the Public Testimony given in the Hearing Process has changed my
opinion of a given project.
3. Are you concerned with the continuing depletion of the Grande Ronde
aquifer, and if you are, what specific steps would you want the city to take
to conserve that water source?
The management of our groundwater must be done on a regional basis,
and be done in conjunction with the City of Pullman, Latah and Whitman
Counties. We share the Grand Ronde and proper management can only be
accomplished when all entities develop a realistic management plan, this
includes credit for Moscow’s use of the Wanapam Aquifer.
The Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee should move from an advisory/research
mode to a more pro-active leadership role.
I do not believe we know even a 10th of what we need in order to make
informed decisions about future growth; I also feel that draconian measures
are premature at this point in time. But we should start researching and
planning to implement conservation measures and investigation of such
initiatives as the use of grey water for irrigation. I am not convinced that
a tiered rate structure, which will impact our fixed income residents, is
the best possible solution. When we ask Senior Citizens to choose between
watering their gardens and buying food we are starting down the proverbial
slippery slope. When the media portrays Moscow as a hysterical, reactionary
community we under-cut any efforts the Latah Economic Development Council
and the Chamber do in attracting new business to our community. In turn we
end up stagnating our economy and again are telling our children: “You have
no future here in Moscow.”
The only thing we really know is that the Grand Ronde is a finite resource;
as such we must protect it for the health and viability of the Palouse in
the future, and we must work regionally, as stewards of our resources, to
insure that the resource remains available for future generations.
4. Should Moscow encourage, and begin planning now for, the creation of a new route for Highway 95 that bypasses the city?
Absolutely not. This is really an Idaho Transportation Department
issue. We need the science to tell us IF we have the traffic to justify a
bypass. We need the science to decide whether and East or West route is the
best alternative. This is not the time to plan, we do not have enough
information to plan for a bypass. What we need to do is encourage adequate
study and identification of what our options are. Planning infers that a
decision has been made, which is not the case. The City of Moscow plays an
important role in the decision process once a study is completed. The Idaho
Transportation Department will look to the community to provide direction
following the presentation of the study results and potential options that
ITD may present. That is the time when we need to engage citizens and work
towards a result that is in the best interest of the people of the City of
In the long-term vision we should, as a community, engage in visioning for
corridor preservation as information becomes available, and in the event a
bypass becomes necessary.
5. As a Council member, how would you use email, websites, or any other
communication tools to inform Moscow residents about city programs or to gather input from those residents?
It is not a problem to receive information from citizens. Moscow
is not such a large community that a citizen can’t pick up a phone or write
an email to a Council member. The problem is the use of that information.
I have always been a very accessible person, it is not at all difficult to
contact me, and that won’t change if I’m elected. I have always had a broad
base of community contacts.
The City of Moscow’s website should be used more effectively to disseminate
information. Channel 13 should be used to the fullest extent possible as
well to inform citizens of meetings and decisions. Council and Commission
packets should be available for review on the website, as well as minutes
from all Council and Commission meetings.
The City of Moscow has about 12 volunteer citizens committees and
commissions, which advise, on a number of important issues regarding City
Policy and Vision. However, the information from these meetings are
generally summarized to the Council by the Council Liaison, which may or may
not truly be representative of the discussions and recommendations from the
The City could also purchase a list-serve mail program like the Mailman
program used by First Step to maintain Vision 2020.
Lastly, Community Retreats like the one held a number of years ago should be
convened every 2-3 years to reestablish the community’s vision and
direction. This would allow for re-prioritizing those issues that Citizens
feel most strongly about.
Governing is compromise and cooperation. The players are elected officials
and citizens. If one of the players does not hold up their end of the stick
the process becomes unbalanced. Elected officials must share the
information they gather and explain their decisions. Citizens must share
their observations and exercise their rights to vote and to be heard for the
process to work properly. If anyone doesn't do his or her part then the
system breaks down.
6. Please include biographical information about yourself and any other
message or contact information you want to share with Moscow voters.
From toddler to adult, Jerry Schutz has always been involved in
Moscow Community life. As an elementary student at McDonald School, he
participated in Scouts, an interest that kept him concerned with the
community and persisted throughout his school years as he progressed from
Cub Scout, to Boy Scout to Eagle Scout.
At Moscow High, Jerry was active in band, clubs and sports. Outside school,
he worked at the Moscow Bakery and at Rosauers. Jerry received appointments
to the U.S.Air Force Academy, The U.S. Military Academy at West Point and
the U.S. Coast Guard Academy as an alternate. Jerry accepted an ROTC
scholarship and attended Arizona State University. His university career
was followed by six years in the Idaho Army National Guard as a Parts and
Records Specialist in the maintenance section.
In 1991, Jerry and his family bought Campus Link and started Link
Transportation, which he operated until 2000 when the business was sold.
Jerry served on the Regional Public Transportation Advisory committee,
advanced to chair, and was appointed by Governor Phil Batt to the state
Public Transportation Advisory Council that he chaired from 1997 to 1999.
During his term, the council was able to lobby the Transportation Board to
create an Idaho Funding Source for Public Transportation.
“That was a challenging time to be advocating for Public Transportation in
Idaho. The program was in its infancy, and I learned a tremendous amount
about working with Federal Funding sources, building coalitions and
accomplishing goals. I’m most proud of that,” said Jerry.
Involvement in the Moscow business community led to Jerry’s appointment to
the Moscow Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in 1989. He served on
several committees including the Palouse Marketing Committee, which grew out
of a commissioned study on regional tourism. Jerry and Melanie Zimmer
co-chaired the committee which involved the Moscow and Pullman Chambers
working together to use dollars more effectively to market the region as a
tourist destination.. The Palouse Visitors guide, still published by the
chambers, was the committee’s first completed project and was applauded as a
milestone in cross community/cross state cooperation
At 32, Jerry, the youngest Chamber President in Moscow history, presided
over a member-driver organization with 75% of its funding from member dues.
Jerry also served four terms on the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Steering
Committee, the Shared Facilities Task Force, the Alternative Forms of County
Government Commission, the University of Idaho Blue Ribbon Task Force on
Public Transportation, the UI Arboretum Advisory Board and the Boy Scout
Camp Grizzly Steering Committee.
Former Moscow Mayor Paul Agidius asked Jerry to assist in creating a
Transportation Commission for the City, which came to fruition under Mayor
Marshall Comstock. Comstock appointed Jerry to the Planning and Zoning
Commission, which he currently serves as Vice-Chair.
Presently, Jerry serves as Downtown Coordinator for the newly re-established
Moscow Downtown Association, Artistic Director for the Kenworthy Performing
Arts Centre, and is employed by Comcast Advertising in Moscow.
When asked why he decided to run for City Council he replied, “It's time and
I have the ability and desire to contribute. I've gained an incredible
amount of experience over the years, in business, government, and human
relations. I feel that I am at a point when I am qualified to offer my
services as an elected public servant. Through out my career I have built
coalitions and brought diverse voices to consensus to achieve common goals.
I feel Moscow is at a point where my coalition building skills can help our
community grow in a positive manner. I am qualified to offer my services as
an elected public servant.”
For more information on Jerry Schutz as a candidate for City Council, please
visit his website at: www.votejerry.com