City Council 9.26.22
The Mountain Home City Council meeting on the 26th opened with a short deliberation on whether or not an action item that was accidentally left off the meeting agenda could be added last minute. Legal counsel for the council recommended that the item be tabled until the next meeting in order to prevent any legal fallout by violating Idaho’s laws on open meetings.
Following this, department heads took turns updating the council and public. A representative from the police department thanked officers for their involvement in this year’s AFAD and homecoming parades. He also noted that the “adopt-a-cop” program was entering its fourth week of being implemented at Hacker Middle School; the program is intended to help educate young member’s of our community about crime prevention.
Fire Chief Moore followed up the police department report by updating the council and public on the very successful pump testing recently completed by the fire department. Chief Moore also announced the Fire Department Open House which will be taking place on October 13th.
Brock Cherry, the city’s development director was one of the last to speak, and announced that in their tribe vote, the Shoshone-Bannock tribe reached a majority “yes” vote to move forward with an “economic development project” in Mountain Home.
Following department head reports, Councilman Brennan took a few moments to address his concerns regarding the current way Railroad park is used for the Saturday Farmers Market. He noted that he had been made aware of a recurring police presence requested in the park on Saturdays for consecutive weeks. The Council, Mayor, and City employees all spoke on the matter, clarifying that when someone rents a park space (in the case of the Farmers Market, all of Railroad Park) they have the sole right to allow or disallow any person they choose to be in that space.
Afterwards, the Council moved on to the consent agenda. One small change was made to action item “K” which pertained to the approval of the Military Liaison position agreement between the City of Mountain Home and Marty Anderson.
Councilman Brennan requested that action item “S” be removed from the consent agenda. Action item “S” reads, “Approve service agreement with Elmore County Domestic Violence Council, Inc. and authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to sign”. Councilman Brennan took time to express his thoughts on why he felt it was in the city’s best interest to deny a service agreement with the Elmore County Domestic Violence Council (ECDVC); citing a statement recently made by the President of the Council. According to Councilman Brennan, the president stated that the shelter would protect, “women, children, and those who identify as women”. However, a quick visit to the organization’s website will lead you to a statement that reads, “The ECDVC strives to serve everyone with no relation to education, sexual orientation, marital status, gender, national origin, race, age, relation or color...”. This direct quote explains that the ECDVC is not a service exclusive to women, children, or those who identify as women, but aims to aid any person who is a victim of domestic violence.
Brennan sought to withhold funding from the shelter because of the statement he claims was made by the ECDVC President, though legal counsel for the city informed him that to do so would be “outwardly discriminating”. Brennan lacked support in his initial motion to remove the action item, a motion to table the action item, and also in a motion to indefinitely table the action item. Ultimately Councilman Stokes made a motion to approve the service agreement which was met with the support of all council members save Councilman Brennan.