November 7, 2007 in Idaho

Post Falls voters reject saving City Hall building

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Post Falls voters defeated a plan to save the old City Hall building Tuesday, and appeared to favor longevity and civic involvement in electing three City Council members.

Keeping the old building after a new City Hall opens next spring would have cost taxpayers $1.2 million. The measure failed by a 3-to-1 margin.

Even fewer voters supported the one-time tax levy that would have raised money for needed repairs to the 1970s-era building.

In council races, Kerri Thoreson, Skip Hissong and Linda Wilhelm beat out five other candidates to capture three City Council seats.

“The one thing we have in common is time in the trenches,” said Thoreson, the former executive director of the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce, who now manages Kagey Publishing Co. “We’ve all been active participants in the community.”

Managing growth is a hot-button issue for the city of Post Falls, whose population could reach 100,000 over the next two decades. “It’s a very pivotal time for Post Falls,” according to Thoreson, who said she thinks voters picked candidates who would be “good stewards.”

Thoreson captured 50 percent of the votes for Seat 1, beating Kristy Reed Johnson and Jack Evans.

Hissong, a 34-year Post Falls resident, also credited longevity and a record of community service for his win over Angela Alexander for Seat 5. Hissong captured 62 percent of the vote. He previously served four years on the City Council, and he cited urban sprawl as the most pressing issue facing Post Falls.

Wilhelm, a real estate broker, also has an extensive civic resume, including time on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission. She defeated Anthony Skarisky and Keith Hutcheson for Seat 6.

Council President Scott Grant was unopposed for another term in Seat 3.

Thoreson said she’s glad voters came out decisively against a proposal to save the old City Hall, saying it was “too late in the game.”

Bob Templin, founder of Red Lion Templin’s Resort, led the charge to save the concrete-block structure, saying the building should be kept for public use.

City leaders said the plan didn’t make sense. “It’s wrong to ask the taxpayers to keep an energy-inefficient building … that has no historical value and major deficiencies,” Mayor Clay Larkin said in an earlier interview.

The city plans to tear down the building next year.


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