The first thing that we need to do is evaluate the current Comprehensive Plan, paying close attention to the zoning designations around town. There should be appropriate transition from agriculture and low density areas, to medium and higher density as you move closer to Main Street. As mayor, I would focus on lower density zoning, putting the responsibility of increasing the density on the developers that are requesting to build. These proposals should meet the needs of our community, in areas that can handle increased traffic and population, without disrupting the transitions I mentioned before. We need to be selective in the building projects that are approved. We cannot stop growth, but we should aim to control it and ensure that our community grows in a way that is sustainable and preserves the charm of Kuna.
The next step would be to assess where our current capacity for sewer and water stands with current homes and with new developments that have already been approved to start building. This information would allow a strong argument for P&Z to consider denials for new developments that would create further stress on the systems, and for changes to be made to assist in slowing our growth.
Currently, our infrastructure and schools are experiencing issues with capacity, this is something that needs to be addressed right away, a moratorium on new developments is a possibility should it be determined that there is enough reason to be declared as an emergency ordinance per Idaho Statutes.
I believe that we should reinstate many of the committees that we have had in the past, such as the Economic Development Committee, and add others to help with this. Currently, the main way for the community to be heard regarding decisions, is to attend public hearings and meetings where they can speak in front of the boards and committees that make the decisions. We need to address the Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Plan, including the community in the evaluation of these documents, to ensure that any adjustments that are made, are guided by the community’s needs and desires for the future growth of Kuna. The community needs to have a voice that creates the plans that these boards and committees follow, if we only allow feedback during the approval hearings, it is too late for people to feel like their needs are being met, only they are fighting to prevent further issues from having a greater impact on their lives.
We need to continue regular communication between the City and the Public through social media, and regular City Update meetings to allow the community to stay up to date on any issues that the City is handling and to allow concerns to be raised in a public forum.
The need that I have heard from many people is that we need structured and organized recreation for our children. The best solution for this issue would be a recreation center. A recreation center would not only benefit the children in town, but families and adults of all ages as well. Allowing the community to determine what resources this building would provide would allow a space that can be used by everyone in the community, meeting the needs of as many people as possible.
What I envision for this center is having multipurpose hard courts that can be used for sports, both youth and adult, allowing transition from basketball, volleyball, and pickleball seamlessly, to name a few. In addition to the hard courts, I believe that a public gym, indoor pool, indoor playground, and multi-use rooms would be of great benefit. This center could offer these rooms for rent by the community, utilize them for educational courses, youth programs and more, giving Kuna a space that is available for whatever needs that they may see fit. The sport courts would meet local organization’s needs for more practice space and time, also allowing opportunities for tournaments, which would bring in additional revenue to Kuna, and would reduce the travel burden on families that participate in these sports.
A recreation center would be an asset that the whole community could use. Funding can be obtained through various manners without impacting local taxes. These funding ideas include grants, corporate donations, city funds, and partnerships with private organizations such as the YMCA. If it turns out that a city owned recreation center is not the best option, bringing in an outside organization to lead the project would be one option, while having a similar group build and own the center allowing the city to have input about the facilities and operate once completed could be another option. Regardless of how a recreation center gets to Kuna, this is something that I am passionate about and I will work tirelessly to make it reality.
The culture of Kuna is something that is deeply important to myself. I love the small town feel, the agriculture ties, and the closeness that you can have in smaller towns. We cannot lose this with the growth that we have seen.
One important step to maintaining the culture that we have is that the City needs to strengthen partnerships with outside organizations, clubs, and groups that serve Kuna. These include non-profits, professional organizations, children’s sports clubs, and the school district to name a few. Collaboration between these organizations will ensure that the City is a strong partner with these groups and can help better meet the needs of those being served.
In addition to focusing on strong partnerships with community organizations, I am passionate about community events. Events help to promote businesses and organizations that are local, and they allow people to be active in the community encouraging new relationships and connections with neighbors. I will bring farmers markets downtown, hopefully on a monthly or bi-weekly basis during warmer months, and would love to see alternating events dedicated to local artists. Regular events downtown would benefit those vendors attending, local businesses on Main Street, and the people that are shopping and spending money locally, rather than traveling to other towns in the Treasure Valley to find the same goods and recreation.
I would also focus on the City partnering with other organizations like the Kuna Chamber of Commerce to bring regular events during the summer. Events like concerts in the park and food and drink festivals, or regular concerts and street dances on Main Street, would further increase the participation in the community allowing for a closer connection by community members in Kuna.
Agriculture is a large part of Kuna’s culture and history. Creating events, and partnering with local farmers, ranchers, and rodeo groups, to educate and entertain would be a great asset to the community. Providing education to Kuna about how agriculture impacts our lives, and how these jobs get done, will help to build trust and understanding about an industry that many newcomers to Kuna may not have had exposure to in the past.
My focus and passion has been leadership. Through my experience in various management roles, and as a local business owner, I have found that empowering people to better themselves and to take on roles that have greater impacts than they are used to in the past, they are far more motivated to go above and beyond and achieve more satisfaction from their work.
The mayor, in my eyes, is the CEO of the city and the city’s customers are the people that work and live here in Kuna. The products that the city provides are the resources, infrastructure, plans for growth and businesses, schools, etc. that we see each and every day. When the city creates a quality product, the people will be happy. My priority is customer service to Kuna and to providing a high quality of life that is achieved through placing the right people in the appropriate jobs, and creating strong collaborative relationships across organizations, so there will be no reason that City cannot begin greatly improving the issues that we have seen as residents.
- Promoting sustainable growth that preserves the unique character of Kuna.
- Prioritizing investments in infrastructure, such as roads and utilities, to support the expanding community.
- Ensuring that growth aligns with community needs and desires, including efficient land use planning, business development, recreation, and schools.
- Fostering an environment that empowers local businesses to thrive and create jobs.
- Implementing initiatives to attract new businesses that preserve Kuna’s culture, preferably locally owned, while supporting the growth of existing ones.
- Collaborating with local business associations to address the specific needs of Kuna's business community.
- Encouraging active participation of residents in shaping the future of Kuna.
- Establishing programs that engage citizens in decision-making processes and community projects.
- Strengthening partnerships between local government, nonprofits.