COTTONWOOD Finding creative ways to maintain city infrastructure, and creating an atmosphere conducive to business growth are issues for candidates seeking open Cottonwood council positions.
Two four-year-term council seats are open, sought by Lynn Guyer, and incumbents Ron Grant and Pat Holthaus.
Candidates will be running in the Nov. 7 election. The Free Press solicited candidates for information on their campaigns, and the following are their edited responses.
“I’ve held this position for 10 years. During that time, many good things have happened in our community,” said Ron Grant, naming major improvements to the community hall, streets, sidewalks, sewer plant, police, water system and fire department. “Both the council and the city employees deserve credit for these strides forward.”
According to Grant, the council must continue to find creative ways to meet the city’s needs within current levels of revenue.
“The present members of the council have done an admirable job of doing this in the past,” he said. “They are dedicated, hardworking, and coordinate very well together to do what needs to be done.”
Grant said several issues the city faces are finding and funding a long-term solution for the management of storm water, as well as major maintenance and improvement projects at the airport and sewer treatment plant.
“If we are given the opportunity, I believe that the current members of the council will find ways to meet these needs,” he said.
Grant has lived his entire life (67 years) in Idaho; of that, 33 years in Cottonwood. He retired from the Bureau of Land Management 10 years ago and was a member of the Cottonwood Volunteer Fire Department for more than 23 years. He is currently the city fire commissioner and the sewer commissioner.
“I feel that I can continue to make a worthwhile contribution to our city government and continue to help meet the needs of my fellow citizens,” he said.
I have always been civic-minded in giving back to our community. I believe that new views and ideas are always good thing,” said Lynn Guyer.
One of Guyer’s goals is to attract new businesses to occupy vacant buildings, both downtown and also the former Prairie Elementary School.
“We have so many opportunities for these facilities, and we just need to recruit businesses to come in by giving some type of incentive,” he said. “I am not talking about creating a bigger town, but I truly believe there is an enormous opportunity to bring new industry into Cottonwood.”
Guyer was born and raised in Weiser, and graduated from Lewis Clark State College with a bachelor of science in criminal justice and minors in psychology and sociology. He worked for the Idaho Department of Correction for 30 years, during that time as a correctional officer, employment development coordinator, probation/parole officer, district manager of probation/parole in Twin Falls, and lastly as warden at North Idaho Correctional Institution for 13 years retiring in May 2016. He served on the Cottonwood School District School board from December 2009 to March of 2015.
He and his wife, Susan (Sonnen), will have been married 28 years in November. The couple moved to Cottonwood in June 2003, and they have three children and two grandchildren.
Infrastructure is a big issue for Pat Holthaus, specifically, essential city services.
“Our roads, water and sewer systems are aging and these have to be maintained or replaced,” he said. “The size of the city has, for the years I have been in office, remained the same so the tax base is not growing. Keeping costs in line without adding additional tax is the big issue here in Cottonwood. We have had small issues that come up along the way but these services are the main issue we have to deal with. Short of applying for grant money we have no good way to fix any major issues that come up.”
Serving on the council, his goal would be to keep the city running with the quality people it currently has, naming maintenance supervisor Roy Uhlenkott and his staff, Police Chief Terry Cochran and staff, and city clerk Carol Altman.
“All these people do a great job and deserve thanks for keeping the city running smooth and efficiently,” he said.
Running for re-election, Holthaus was originally appointed to the council, approached to serve by then-mayor Denis Duman.
“My personal position is that in a small town such as Cottonwood,” he said, “we all need to do our part in helping our community grow and move forward, so I accepted the position.” Commenting on the turnout for this year’s elections – five people running for three council seats – he said, “It is good to have a choice instead of only one person to choose from, and, win or lose, I am happy to see others willing to become council members.”
Holthaus was born and raised in Cottonwood, and graduated from Prairie High School and Boise State University. For the last 23-plus years, he has worked for Pacific Cabinets in Ferdinand, currently as a senior project manager. He and his wife of 38 years, Cheri, have one daughter and two grandchildren.
His past community involvement includes Prairie Youth Sports, Prairie Booster Club, coached junior high football and high school basketball and baseball, and is a retired member of the Cottonwood Fire Department.