Linda Pall

(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 was not fully satisfied with the decisions made concerning the gym.
When the initial, scientific survey was taken concerning citizen preferences, the most favored idea for the use of some of the Hamilton funds was development of a retractable bubble for the pool to extend its year into the fall, winter and spring so that the $4.5 million facility would have more than a two and a half to three month run each year. Try as I might, I could not get traction to come up with four votes to move in this direction.

Dream Team I succeeded in involving a variety of people in a variety of settings, from preschoolers through high school and among the rest of the population. Dream Team II closed in on itself too early and could have done more to reach out to the community.

In the development of the gym during Dream Team II, the suggestion was made to link the gym to the pool to allow joint access and shared staffing, etc. Again, there just wasn’t enough additional support to even get this idea on the table for public discussion.

In the future, we need to have more and varied community conversations about our needs and desires for community development… in parks and recreation as well as other services and programs. A community-wide strategic plan for Moscow, using the StudyCircles model would be a great idea to pursue and see if it could fill the bill here in Moscow. See for more information and some successful experiences across the country, including in towns and cities similar to Moscow!

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.
First problem is that we don’t have, in our code, a ‘zoning variance.’ I am going to assume the writer of the question meant ‘zone change.’ I am also assuming that the zone change is inside the city limits, so that it is fully within the purview of the City. A zone change requires a certain series of application procedures and public hearings before the Planning and Zoning Commission, recommendations to the City Council and another set of hearings before the City Council and an eventual decision to grant or deny the zone change request.

We have taken a lot of time and trouble to come up with the zoning we have on land in and around Moscow. Presumably, the developer of this business has found a piece of land that she wants to use for this new business that is uniquely suited (probably in price and site) for this use from her viewpoint.

The questions P&Z and the Council have to ask are whether the zone change meets the legal criteria, whether it is in conformance with the comprehensive plan and if there is an argument that the comprehensive plan is in error, what the basis of that argument is.

Many of the questions one wants to ask now about a potential development are very important but are not part of the legal criteria to grant or deny a zone change! Some of the factors that would be highly relevant for such a business include but are not limited to these:
  • Does the business appear compatible with the community and this site within the community?
  • Does the business propose to use excessive amounts of limited resources (water, waste generation, energy, etc.)?
  • Are there indirect costs that the community will have to bear as a result of the location and development of this business? Who will pay those costs and when?
  • What about various impacts that the development may have on the community: transportation, land use, preservation of open space, views and vistas, water quality and use, cultural and/or social impacts of the business, etc.?
  • Are there site mitigations that could address any of the problems associated with the proposal?
  • Is the rest of the community prepared for the impact of the development (schools, housing, etc.)?
  • Does the development propose living wage jobs where people can be compensated well for their work?
  • Does this business have a good track record in other developments, including being a good citizen in design and land use as well as in human relations?

    Many of these issues discussed above are not part of the formal process of reviewing plans and issuing or denying zone changes. I believe these issues and more are relevant to determining the future growth of our community. We can attract and build complementary new businesses in and around Moscow if we encourage an atmosphere:
  • open to flexible arrangements for living and working
  • where we preserve the intrinsic character of Moscow
  • where cooperation in education and among businesses is encouraged
  • where business, government and citizens value and support one another.

    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?
    Yes. We need to continue to encourage water conservation at every level of city government and among our citizens: building smart, water-wise homes; remodeling to take advantage of those same conservation and design elements that retain, re-use and conserve water; xeriscaping where possible and sponsoring, in partnership with others, demonstration plots and design competitions; continuing work with regional groups to keep information flowing as well as cooperative, complementary water policies for use, rates and conservation.

    Perhaps the most necessary and effective means the City can use is a progressive water rate structure that follows the basic idea that those who use more should pay more and that high water users will find real incentives to conserve based on the rate structure.

    4. Should Moscow encourage, and begin planning now for, the creation of a new route for Highway 95 that bypasses the city?
    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

    We in the City have been encouraging this when we have been able to get the ear of highway planners. However, the Moscow Couplet (begun in 1974, supposedly in a three to four year $1.5-2 million project, whose south leg was only recently completed and whose northern portion still needs work…) has sucked up all the dollars and attention for almost thirty years as bypass right of way opportunities have been foreclosed and land prices have sky rocketed. Now, I really believe the Couplet was an important part of the mix for highway improvement and downtown rationalization. BUT I believe that all of us involved in highway planning and urban street planning have been unable to get our collective attention focused on the future.

    We needed a west side bypass in 1974 when we were debating how long the couplet should be. We need it now and we now must work with the State of Washington to make this happen. We do not need to pursue the eastern location because it is an inherently limited choice that will have high negative effects on the eastern edge of development in Moscow and Latah County. It will not address the Troy/Pullman traffic issues. While ITD is studying an eastern link, I believe it is the least likely to provide any overall beneficial use of limited financial and land resources. Go west, young man, woman and whoever else you have coming along!

    And while you’re going west, be sure to protect important views, vistas, land uses and landscapes by clustering any development along the new western bypass and making part of the development package a requirement for bikes and pedestrian paths adjacent to the development.

    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?
    I have already used Vision2020 with my occasional column, "The City This Week," to call attention to important meetings, remind people of possible input they could make and generally sound off a little about city issues, some of which get lost in the shuffle. I’d like to see Vision 2020 return to that kind of discussion that was part of its earlier incarnation.

    In this campaign, you can check me out at There are a number of past columns of mine that I wrote for the Daily News that can give you a very good sense of who I am and what matters to me.

    Our city website is pretty good: check it out…

    Can it be improved? Sure. I personally would like to see more current information on our home page, including easy links to ALL city boards and commissions, plus some options for contribution to the city’s page from the schools and the University…

    I have a few other ideas I’d like to share as well (using technological communications mechanisms or not):

    The city needs greater effort in diversity and civility. Two years ago I proposed a diversity task force for Moscow to welcome everyone to our community. I proposed small groups to discuss local problems and increase citizen dialogue. Unfortunately, we don’t have the task force yet but we need that focus. We need study circles to facilitate this process… even more so because they are face to face dialogues between citizens about the future of our community, about how we want our town to be, now and in the future, and because they give us opportunities to find common ground and make new, deeper attachments to our neighbors who can become our dear and valued friends.

    Because of my lung disease, I have an even greater interest than usual in making sure our city is open to people with disabilities. We can do much more to make our community accessible, including sidewalk improvement, curb cut assistance, and provision of benches around our town.

    I want to see the City of Moscow take the lead in establishing a task force, ‘Best Friends of the U of I,’ to coordinate support for the city’s prime employer and greatest asset. The City is the perfect agent to coordinate the many friends the University has here on the Palouse, including business, townspeople and even across the border to WSU and the City of Pullman who are benefited by a strong, fiscally healthy University of Idaho. We cannot sit idly by and let the university’s fortunes drift. One of the best ways we can encourage economic development is to support our major employer and its missio

    6. Please include biographical information about yourself and any other message or contact information you want to share with Moscow voters.
    PO Box 8656, Moscow, ID 83843 (208) 882-7255 (PALL); FAX: (208) 882-9115.

    Born in Virginia in 1945, raised in a small town in Eastern Oregon, Linda Pall graduated from high school in The Dalles as their only valedictorian and from Reed College in Portland, Oregon as a philosophy major. She was a graduate student at the University of London (London School of Economics and Bedford College) and returned to the U.S. in 1969 to teach at Portland State University. In 1972, she moved to Idaho to follow her husband who taught at WSU in Pullman.

    In 1974, Linda’s son, Zachary, was born. Linda stayed home with him as a preschooler and helped to found Moscow Day School, a preschool/kindergarten. She is proud to characterize Zach as a great kid who is now a magna cum laude MA from Yale and honors BA from Pitzer College of the Claremont colleges in California. Zach was working in mediation and doing a project in New Haven, CT, ‘Dialogues on Race,’ creating real, positive, progressive social change. Zach is now a program director for the Council for the Parliament of World Religions, headquartered in Chicago, where he is working on programming on elimination of world hunger, international debt reduction for the poorest countries and peaceful dispute resolution for presentation at the 2004 Parliament to be held in Barcelona, Spain. Linda is proud to call Zach "one of the best parts of my resume."

    During the 1970s, Linda became involved in Idaho State Democratic Party politics, worked on all the major Democratic campaigns and served as county chair. Linda became politically active as a candidate herself and served as a city council member from 1977 to 1983 in Moscow, working for community and progressive causes, including sound land use policies, local arts programs, downtown revitalization, a farmer's market, library development and historic preservation of buildings like Moscow’s Old Post Office and Carnegie Library, among others. Linda served several terms on the Board of the Jewish Community of the Palouse and was its president for two years.

    Over more than thirty years Linda has been actively working for community and civic pride in Moscow and the North Idaho/Eastern Washington area. She was an essayist for Northwest Public Radio in the 1970s and 1980s, hosted a call-in program on public affairs for two years and has written a regular column on politics and people published in the Moscow Pullman Daily News.

    Linda finished a Master’s degree (1979) and a Ph.D. (1986) in political science at Washington State University. She attended law school at the University of Idaho graduating in 1985 and passed the bar the same year. She set about building a law practice as an associate of William Vern McCann, Jr., in Lewiston while raising her son as a single parent. There was a divorce, amicable, in 1983 and Linda and her former husband are still friends and proud parents of Zach. Zach (BA Pitzer Hons.; M.A.R., Yale, magna cum laude) is now a program director for the Council for the Parliament of World Religions, headquartered in Chicago, where he is working on programming on elimination of world hunger, international debt reduction for the poorest countries and peaceful dispute resolution for presentation at the 2004 Parliament to be held in Barcelona, Spain.

    In 1993, ten years after her first stint on Moscow’s City Council, she could not resist her love of local government and again ran for City Council. She served from 1993 to 2001. She placed as a priority park and recreation development for all ages in Moscow and the provision of a community center in the 1912 Moscow High School. With others in the community, she has secured more than two million dollars for this project, which stands as a private sector gift to the city for a multiple use community facility highlighting the arts, community space for developmentally disable adults, senior citizen services and city facilities for the Arts Commission and the Parks and Recreation Department.

    As a city council member, Linda served on the Board of the Association of Idaho Cities, was the originator of their Community Building Task Force, and served on AIC’s legislative committee. As a city council member, she was able to work with all kinds of people on all kinds of issues and to forge coalitions with people of diverse opinions. Linda is a long time member of the Latah County Human Rights Taskforce. Linda worked with the National League of Cities as a national steering committee member on the Information, Technology and Communications Committee, as 2001 chair of the University Communities Caucus and as a board member representing the Pacific Northwest Region for the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO).

    In 2000, Linda ran for the Democratic nomination for the First Congressional District and went on to face Lt. Governor Butch Otter in the fall. Otter went to Congress and Linda went back to her law practice and the town she loves. Linda has had a solo practice in Moscow since November, 1996. Her concentrations are in employment law, civil rights and family law, in addition to a general civil practice.

    As a lawyer Linda has been extremely active in bar activities. She is a leader in family law, serving as chair of the Family Law Section for three terms and as a recipient of the Idaho State Bar Service Award and the Family Law Award of Distinction. She has been a member of several Idaho State Supreme Court Committees, including her present assignment as a member of the Supreme Court Committee on Children and Families in the Courts, working for peaceful resolutions for children and families. At the national level, she has chaired the marital property committee of the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association, chaired the affordable housing/community relations committee of the Real Property Section of the ABA and currently chairs the Real Property Section’s Legislative Committee. She has twice been the national chair of the Family Law Council of Community Property States and coordinated Idaho symposia on community property topics.

    Linda teaches as an adjunct professor at Washington State University (business law, business organizations [partnerships, corporations, etc.], and real estate law). She also teaches "Lawyering Process," a practical course on civil procedure, from time to time at the University of Idaho College of Law.

    When Linda is not going full tilt for her family, the City of Moscow, her clients or her students, she finds time to take photographs and has had public exhibitions in Moscow and Kansas City, Mo. She has been a calligrapher since college. She is an avid flutist, singer and pianist and lists jazz as her musical passion. She admits that she is batty about kids and dogs, including her pair of English Setter hunting dogs, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald, named in honor of two of her favorite jazz artists.

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