City Council Meeting - 1.23
In its second meeting of the year, the Mountain Home City Council and its new President, Councilwoman Garvey, began the meeting by amending the agenda to include an executive session. Councilman Brennan was the only councilperson not in attendance. Following the amendment, Police Chief Thompson addressed the council and all those present to award officer James Hollis as Mountain Home’s 2022 officer of the year. Award in hand, Officer Hollis thanked his wife Heather, and his coworkers at the Mountain Home Police Department.
Following Officer Hollis’ recognition, Gordon Jones—President of the College of Western Idaho (CWI)—addressed the council and audience to highlight some of the services that CWI is providing to Mountain Home and the greater western Elmore County area. The end of his presentation welcomed discussion surrounding a petition that was created that, if passed by voters, would create a community college taxing district that would tax residents of Elmore County for services that would be provided by the College of Southern Idaho (CSI). Currently both CSI and CWI serve different portions of Elmore County and provide their services at no cost to the taxpayers. The petition created and signed did not include language that explained to signees that their signatures would be supporting a community college tax district, instead it read “to create a community college district”. Mayor Sykes, who signed the petition, explained to President Jones that at the time he signed it, he was unaware that his signature would be supporting new taxation on Elmore County residents. He explained that it was his impression that the signatures were simply to gather support for a community college within Mountain Home. Mr. Sykes continued, saying, “Never once did they call it a taxing district” and, “I think it was kind of shady”. Mr. Sykes’ concerns come on the heels of similar concerns voiced by Elmore County elected officials and Mountain Home School District board members regarding the clarity of the initial petition’s transparency and clarity.
After these remarks came to a close, the council proceeded to unanimously approve the consent agenda after some brief, clarifying discussion. Next, in a non-action item, the council heard from Darcy Braithwaite on a proposed agreement for the use of city facilities for sports and recreation activities. Up to now, there has been no formal agreement between the city and independent sports organizations that use city venues to play; Ms. Braithwaite explained that through due process, and subject to council approval following a public hearing, there will be an official agreement between the city and groups who wish to play and compete on city property.
Lastly, before going into executive session and then adjourning, the council approved a conditional use permit to allow for a small event center to occupy 275 East 4th North Street.