October 4, 2007 in Idaho

Wilhelm for growth, but not sprawl

By The Spokesman-Review
The Spokesman-Review photo

Linda Wilhelm
(Full-size photo)

At a glance

Name: Linda Wilhelm

Age: 51

Occupation: Realtor at Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Real Estate

Experience: Member of Post Falls Planning and Zoning Commission for about 8 years, helped re-write city’s 2004 comprehensive plan, co-chair of city beautification committee, involved with Habitat for Humanity

Growing up in Post Falls in the 1960s, Linda Wilhelm remembers it as a hard-scrabble place with limited employment and no sidewalks or street lights.

“There were an awful lot of people who struggled financially,” said Wilhelm, one of three residents running for the new, two-year seat on the Post Falls City Council.

As a real estate broker and lifelong resident, Wilhelm said she’s “pro-growth” so long as it doesn’t manifest itself as urban sprawl.

“I’ve been interested in the growth here not only because of my job, but because it brings jobs and opportunities to young people that we didn’t have as kids growing up here,” she said.

She’s been active in helping create the city’s proposed Smart Code, a guide for development. It will encourage creation of diverse neighborhoods that include a variety of uses, like shops, parks and homes.

“I think that’s a progressive area to move in. And I feel we should have city street standards to help fire departments (move) in and out,” adding that she’s against the city’s endorsement of more private streets in town.

Wilhelm said she knows every street and sidewalk in the community. And in her role as a planning and zoning commissioner, she said, “Unless something sticks out and just is not going to fit, I don’t have a lot of opposition to it.”

She’s sensitive to the travails of single women and women raising children alone and strives to help them find affordable housing in the area.

For the most part, the mayor and City Council are doing a fine job running Post Falls, Wilhelm said, adding she “doesn’t have any big flag-waving causes” that would color her civic decisions.

“I feel more like I could help rather than change” the council’s vision for the community, she said.

Wilhelm also agrees with the city’s approach to spending. “I believe (city administrator) Eric Keck is correct in looking down the road, compared to right now. We’re going to really need to watch (the budget). As we grow out, we need for (tax revenue) and growth to stay in sync.”

A self-proclaimed “forward thinker,” she said her credentials include an established network of decision makers and their trust in her.

“I have the heart to do a good job,” Wilhelm said.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email