As of Tuesday, October 17, 2017
WHITE BIRD Candidates will be running for open White Bird city council positions in the Nov. 7 election.
One two-year-term council seat is open, sought by Barbara A. Lowe and Paul Sand. Two four-year-term council seats are open, sought by Rick L. Alley, John Collins, Jeff Mager, Michelle McNamee and Darlene Wadsworth.
The Free Press solicited candidates for information on their campaigns, and the following are their edited responses.
“For the past few years I have been in the elected position as a city council person and have seen the change in administrations; a newly elected mayor who had to resign due to sickness and the process of “catch-up” of out of compliance municipalities from the past administration,” said Barbara Lowe. “The present mayor and administration are working very hard to bring the city into much needed compliance with collaborating government agencies.”
Recent city achievements, according to Lowe, have been funding approval for phase I of the new sewer project “with a minimal amount of expense to the residents;” a functioning fire department with 15 volunteers and auxiliary; the EMT unit is back up with newly trained volunteers; the city building has been painted with the help of the American Legion Post 152; and budgeted plans for improvement of a facility. In the coming months, she said, the present mayor and council have plans to have regular town meetings to gain citizen opinion and input into decisions that affect the city.
“My vision is to see the City of White Bird go forward in providing much needed, up-to-date municipal services for our rural community,” Lowe said, “to have pride in our community of White Bird, in how we think about our town and the stories we tell, what is told about us. I would like to see folks get involved in the community, by coming to our city meetings, volunteer, or offer your opinion. It is time to make White Bird fly to new heights forward through accomplishment of a strong city government.”
“I would like to see all our citizens feel that they have a voice through me,” she said.
The candidate declined to provide information for this story.
Rick L. Alley
“We must get the wastewater plant project up and going, as it has been in the works for years now,” Rick Alley said. “We need to keep working together to maintain our small-town values.”
Alley has been an Idaho resident for 58 years. He was involved in White Bird city government, as mayor and councilman, for 12 years.
“I had no desire to run for anything, but I was approached by a few residents who indicated there was not enough interest being shown in city government,” said Jeff Mager. “I would simply like to help my community.”
According to Mager, the city’s most immediate concerns are the water and sewer systems; both are in need of upgrades.
“I would like to help pursue the possibilities of grant money and see if these are a viable option,” he said. “At the same time, I’d like to see the residents’ utility bills stay affordable.”
“White Bird is a very unique place and I think most people would like to see it stay pretty much as it is,” he said. “However, I would like to see it become more of a tourism destination to help our local businesses and their employees.”
Mager was born and raised in Grangeville and has lived in White Bird for 10 years. He works in Alaska three weeks on and three weeks off, and prior to this he did heavy construction and was a logger for 20 years.
John Collins, Michelle McNamee and Darlene Wadsworth did not reply to Free Press requests for candidate information.