Ken Hayes is one of three candidates in Rathdrum’s mayoral race. If elected, he wants to involve residents more in the city’s decision-making, he said.
Hayes said he’d encourage public participation in government by establishing regular town hall meetings at which residents could voice their opinions and ideas.
Saying he’s “pretty conservative on spending,” Hayes has taken the city to task in the past for spending too much on employee salaries and benefits.
In his nearly two years on the council, Hayes also has drawn the ire of staff in the public works department, who have accused him of stalking them while they’re on the clock and criticizing how they spend their time. Although police investigated the complaints, officers found insufficient evidence to pursue them further.
Hayes said the matter has been blown out of proportion, while acknowledging that news reports were “not very complimentary.”
He added, “All I want is accountability. If I’m elected mayor, I want to sit down one on one and resolve all these issues.”
Hayes said he’d also work to lure companies that pay livable-wage salaries. “We definitely need more jobs, a little better-paying jobs,” Hayes said.
“And hopefully, the companies would be environmentally safe, clean types of businesses. We’d pursue that really vigorously – rather than the smokestack stuff.”
Hayes believes Rathdrum’s population is destined to grow. But he’s concerned about the impact more residents would have on the city’s infrastructure, he said.
“We need to do a lot of work along with the growth,” Hayes said about maintaining and expanding streets and the water system.
Hayes said he’s “straightforward and honest. And I don’t hold anything back.
“I’ve shown spirit and I’ve shown I will stand up for what’s right. I’m easy to talk to and I’m available all the time.”