As of Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Recapping the mayoral forum [Oct. 17] putting forth my observations and opinions. Regarding the exorbitant sewer and water buy-in fees. The city council voted on and passed those costs. That may have been the appropriate decision to make at that time, but adjustments are due. The buy-in fees are a deterrent that has stunted growth in this community. Candidates stated that you’re not going to build $250,000 homes here just to have them just sit for a year. Contrary to that opinion, there is a demand by professionals attempting to move here and would love becoming residents of Grangeville. Unknown to some candidates, Syringa Hospital would like to hire and expand by adding a few more doctors along with complimentary personnel as noted in my conversations with Earl Musick. The big stumbling block is appropriate housing for these professionals. Protectionism is counterproductive.
Agreeing hiring engineers for consultation should be utilized when appropriate. Concerns came up within the audience on the costs for services rendered by the outsourced engineer and the necessity for having that said engineer on retainer. I got the feeling that this resident was wondering why we have an engineer on retainer instead of consulting on a as-needed basis.
Will we see another 20 years of stagnation with the nonstop onslaught of higher property taxes, utility taxes and fees? Better yet, let’s have an option tax of 1 percent to raise revenues as expressed by a former city council member as one solution. Raising taxes is not the answer, but frugally working within their means is.
Experience, and knowing the mechanics within city government doesn’t necessarily qualify a candidate. The present and previous mayors and councilmen all started at some point too with their first days in office stumbling through the motions of day-to-day business. They had their opportunity to shine. We need only to take a long hard look at the track records of achievements for the past 20 years in lieu of our preconceived notions that experience outweighs good old common sense.
After deliberating on my position running for mayor, I have decided to withdraw from this race and endorse Lance McColloch for mayor of Grangeville. I believe that Lance will earnestly serve in the best interests of Grangeville as I would have. For those of you who have already voted for me, I give you my thanks and I’ll see you again on the next election cycle. “God Bless America”.
John M. Viknius