Idaho Press Tribune is endorsing council candidates who have specific professional experience in things like public works. But their position is fundamentally flawed. Elected officials are supposed to offer a counter-balance to the engineers, architects, and other highly specialized professionals who work in city government.
If the specialized skills of residents are the primary reason for their involvement in the city, such people can simply apply for a position; submit a proposal; and/or serve as consultants in city hall.
Here is another way to see this. As a writer and editor, engineering firms often send me manuscripts (and I have no technical background) because they need someone from outside of their discipline to review them. This method is a tried and true way to see if certain plans would make sense to the general public, who will ultimately be affected by various projects. When a bunch of technical types simply talk to each other, they lose that ever-valuable view that comes from an outside vision. Thus, people who pigenhole themselves to one mindset often make mistakes. And if only those in a certain field are drafting ideas, they often end up with proposals that are poorly communicated to average citizens due to excessive jargon.
Thus, the IPT missed a golden opportunity to endorse Victor Rodriguez! The paper said:
"We like retired Nampa detective Victor Rodriguez, but we like Paul Raymond better.
Rodriquez cares about the city and will work hard. There’s no doubt." The editorial board said that he was not endorsed because he doesn't have a public works or private sector background. But isn't Nampa City Hall already packed with such people? Adding a different perspective is the only logical course of action here.
Finally, what does the IPT's position say about the how they feel regarding the competence of our city managers, if they supposedly need council members to help them perform their jobs?
The roles of council members include: creating laws and ordinances, representing the city, and dealing with specific needs, concerns and complaints of residents. They also keep a watchful eye on, and approve, the city budget. Who could be better at such tasks than a veteran police officer?
Since January, I have studied and researched all aspects of the issues regarding our city. I interviewed everyone I could think of to learn how the city functions. Keep in mind I have been a public servant for 40 yrs in law enforcement. Last year I was appointed as a commissioner on the Nampa Planning and Zoning Commission. Read the IPT survery and the Idaho Statesman candidate survey and then decide for yourself if I know what I'm talking about. I believe IPT should not endorse any candidate and let the voters decide who they want. This year the Idaho Statesman did not endorse council candidates. Here is my question; Is there an underline message from IPT or are they trying to sway the voters by their endorsements. My opinion is this, I give the Nampa voters/residents more credit than that, to think just because the IPT endorses candidates, everyone should change their votes is without credibility. Our voters will decide by themselves who is the best candidate. Please remember my name Victor Rodriguez when you vote for Seat #1 of the Nampa City Council.