Turnabout Bob Blakey:
Public service requires more than simply saying no
Thank you for calling me courageous. It is quite the compliment.
I was elected by the citizens of Lewiston to represent their best interests.
That is my primary duty in my present position. When I am elected to the House, I will resign my city council position so that my accountabilities are clear.
When in the city council, serve the city.
When in the Legislature, serve District 6.
Trying to do both has been shown not to be effective.
Sadly, several recent councils, including those in which my opponent was a member, decided it was more important to “just say no” than invest in the necessary infrastructure for Lewiston’s future. That type of regressive thinking has left our current city council with a backlog of needs and the requirement to figure out how to make up for lost ground.
Safe routes to school is just one. Hundreds of our children in Lewiston currently must find a way to school that does not involve sidewalks. That isn’t fair, safe or thoughtful.
Using franchise money, which is right of way rental, is one of the ways to raise money to improve the safety of our kids.
Yes, several council members asked staff to investigate what an increase in franchise fees would mean, and what process was required to make it happen. I was one of them.
We thought it was worth evaluating because the franchise fee is distributed more broadly than property taxes, the other way to get the resources to meet the needs of our constituents.
My process is to investigate, not “just say no.”
In my 30 years as a financial advisor, I have been very diligent about investigating all options for my clients and that is exactly the approach I take in city government. The same curiosity and imagination is needed in the Legislature as well.
One of my other operating principles is collaboration to get the best result. Without my fight to resolve the Urban Renewal Agency lawsuit, the city and county would have spent thousands of dollars and years of time caught up in a bureaucratic legal logjam at the expense of constituents. In that case, mediation brought resolution. Doing due diligence and investigating available options led to the better result. Finding and examining the options is part of the way I work.
My job now is to work for city of Lewiston residents. Yes, a school levy for a new high school is an important decision. But remember: Adequate investments for schools and rebalancing the school funding process was something my opponent could not bring herself to do, even when she was a member of the budget committee.
Only now, in the two years since my opponent was replaced, has school investing returned to the level of 10 years ago.
Just saying no does not help. If we as a city and a state are to maintain businesses, small to large, we must invest in the infrastructure they need – I will.
The citizens deserve a city that works for them. They deserve a fair opportunity to decide on investing in a new high school. They deserve a legislator who will fight to fix requirements to pass a bond levy. They deserve a legislator who will fight to invest in our future.
When I get to the Legislature, I will work to help fulfill our constitutional and moral responsibility to our kids.
This is one of the many differences between me and my opponent.
Until I am elected to the Legislature and resign my city council position, I will continue to work my hardest for those I represent.
After I join the Legislature as one of the District 6 representatives, I will try to perform diligently for them as well. I have already begun door knocking and listening to the district residents.
I hope to hear from more from them through the campaign, and will let them drive my decisions while in Boise. I will not just say no, like my opponent.
I will fight for the constituents of Lewis and Nez Perce counties. I will not be a representative of either GOP leadership or of special interests – I will be a representative of my constituents.
Blakey serves on the Lewiston City Council and is a Democratic candidate for the Idaho House of Representatives.