Growing up in rural Kansas, Kristy Reed Johnson watched her hometown’s residents split over whether the town, located in tornado alley, should pull up stakes and move.
Now, she said, she’s seeing a similar “destructive” debate swirling around Post Falls. This time, people are taking sides over whether to save Old City Hall from the wrecking ball, she said.
“It’s the hot-button issue over here,” she said.
One of three candidates running for a new four-year seat on the City Council, Reed Johnson said she’s glad the issue will be put to a vote in November.
“I personally believe the building should be torn down,” she said, “but I also collected signatures to help (hotel founder) Bob Templin get it on the ballot because of the animosity it’s causing in the community.” It’s important to let the people vote on the issue, she added.
The second-biggest issue in Post Falls is growth, she said. If elected, Reed Johnson said she’d help publicize and explain the city’s upcoming “smart code,” which will guide future development within Post Falls.
A longtime activist in the campaign to protect the Rathdrum Prairie, she believes it’s imperative that development be encouraged on vacant parcels in town to prevent sprawl from taking over land atop the region’s aquifer.
The third plank of her platform relates to economic prosperity.
“Many of the people who’ve stayed in Idaho have done so at great economic deprivation,” she said.
Reed Johnson said she wants to help bring more good-paying jobs to the region to ensure “families can flourish here, earn enough money for kids to go to school and enough to enjoy all the outdoor pleasures of the beautiful country.”
Reed Johnson, who has lived in Post Falls for more than a decade, said she’d throw herself into the council job.
“All the different committees and things I’ve done (here) were as an unpaid volunteer. I didn’t do them for a resume. I did them because I care.
“Not everyone is in the same position that I am. I can devote all my time and energy to this. I would like to use my life experience to try to work for everybody.”