October 6, 2007 in Idaho

Hissong vows to be financial watchdog

By The Spokesman-Review
 
The Spokesman-Review photo

Hissong
(Full-size photo)

At a glance

Name: Skip Hissong

Age: 60

Occupation: Co-owner/co-operator of Summit Equipment

Experience: Previously served four years on City Council, 14 years as urban renewal district commissioner, Chamber of Commerce board member, member and co-founder of Community Volunteers, member of American Legion

As co-owner of a Post Falls-based business, Skip Hissong said he knows how hard it can be scraping together money to meet a Friday payroll.

One of two candidates seeking election to a new two-year term on the Post Falls City Council, Hissong said if elected, he’d bring his frugality along.

It would manifest itself, he said, in two ways.

“One of the goals that I think is really, really important is the urban renewal commission. I’d like to see it reined in a little bit,” but not disbanded, said Hissong, who helped get the group going and sat on its board for more than a decade.

But because developments built under the commission’s umbrella often receive substantial tax breaks, he said, the city is collecting far less revenue from corporations than it otherwise could.

The ramifications for the average Post Falls resident are substantial, he said.

“I really believe somebody needs to worry about the little old lady who lives on 14th Street, on a pension. How’s she going to pay her taxes? I think they need that voice back on the council,” Hissong said.

“There’s always ways (the city) could spend less” to help alleviate citizens’ tax burdens,” he said.

He’d like to see enticements offered to builders to “fill in” empty parcels of land around town, he said.

“Maybe some liberalized zoning laws to try to get them to build projects in the city,” he said.

While he generally believes the city is running smoothly, “there’s always room for improvement,” he said.

And he thinks the city “underestimated how the public felt” about Old City Hall, which was scheduled for demolition until a petition drive ensured it a place on the November ballot.

“They made a real mistake not bringing the community in more” during the decision process, Hissong said.

He believes his history of civic experience and volunteerism gives him a solid background for serving on the council.

“I’ve had the luxury of being there. My learning curve will be very short,” he said.

And voters, he said, can depend on him to be a watchdog over city spending.


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