The following Press Release was sent to me. Note: Press Release are sent out by organizations, elected officials, or companies and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Idaho Dispatch.
"Will Coeur d’Alene be a city of high-rise apartment and condominiums, and neighborhoods of crowded, zero lot-line houses? Not if two challengers are successful in their City Council campaigns.
Roger Garlock, an education and employment counselor, is running for Seat 2 on the Coeur d’Alene City council and Elaine Price, a small business owner, is challenging for Seat 6.
For the last 18 years, Roger Garlock has worked with those most affected by the rising costs in the area. “My work at St. Vincent de Paul, Project Safe Place, Juvenile Probation, with disabled young adults, and Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic have been in support of the At-Risk, the most vulnerable among us.”
Garlock seeks to manage the city’s growth to have the least impact on the infrastructure, schools, and environment. The candidate says, “Right now there are quasi-private organizations setting policies and listening to builders and city employees. We must decide if we will continue to let the developers and their agencies set the course for our city or if we, you and me, will have a voice in our future.”
He gives the local urban renewal agency a “D” because of its impact on taxes and believes it interferes with organic growth. Garlock says Midtown, East Sherman and north Coeur d’Alene are examples of the organic growth that produce better results.
The candidate for the Council’s seat 2, says growth is the most pressing issue in the city, impacting housing costs, traffic systems, schools and public safety. Garlock notes that the number of 911 calls grow with the population and are at record levels. “We don’t need to cram 30,000 more people into our city. I want to engage the public beyond the select few as we develop plans for the city’s future. Right now, we have the bureaucrats, the public officials and the development insiders promoting schemes that have failed to produce affordable housing but have significantly increased density elsewhere.” He says high density housing does not mean affordable housing.
Garlock says he is not willing to surrender the city’s character or sacrifice its neighborhoods when working for solutions to the demands being made on the city. “Why do we need to look like every other city?”
Elaine Price has a background in the private sector, having worked for large companies before starting a small business of her own on Sherman Avenue. That, she says, makes her aware of the need for workers in the area. She is concerned about workforce housing and does not want existing homeowners to be burdened with the cost of new developments. She says tax breaks for “affordable” housing are not a solution. According to her, taxes have shifted from commercial to residential in this economy.
Candidate Price notes that Coeur d’Alene and the area is a tourist and recreational destination. Those businesses require workers but are hampered if their potential workers cannot afford to live here. However, Price wants solutions to grow out of the community and come from the voters, not the insiders, the bureaucrats and the career politicians that always populate such organizations as the Regional Housing and Growth Issues Partnership. She says that these commissions and study groups typically come up with the same “solutions” that have failed elsewhere. Backyard dwelling units, trading building height or density for donations to subsidized housing, up-zoning, and other schemes have not slowed the rise in housing costs in any city where they have been applied. However, she says, they have significantly impacted density, traffic, and the capacity of the infrastructure in those cities.
Price supports the development of a plan to improve the city’s infrastructure to handle the increase in population taking place here. She mentions such things as “smart” traffic girds that can anticipate vehicle flow, adjust signals and reduce the impact of more cars on our streets over a large area.
A comprehensive plan for the city, she says, should be clear on the type of city we want and where the density should be. Price believes the process must consider the property rights of those impacted by such planning.
Both Roger Garlock and Elaine Price express concerns about the ability of the city’s police department to keep up with the growing number of 911 calls. The police, they note, must not only respond to the regular calls but have been under pressure to handle the late-night crowds coming there because Washington venues are closed. They call for budget reviews and sufficiently funding the police department so it can meet the community’s needs.
Price became involved in local politics when the city tried to up-zone her neighborhood to allow an apartment complex. She and the neighbors successfully fought that project, the experience taught her that City Hall was not listening to the citizens. She is determined to listen, and respond to. the citizens who contact her should she be representing them on the City Council.
Garlock is of the same mind, saying as a City Council member, he would invite the public to come and talk with him, tell him what they think about the city and what should be done.
Both Roger Garlock and Elaine Price believe they will bring a fresh perspective to City Hall, giving the average citizen a stronger voice in the city’s future."
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