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Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper seeks one last term as the city’s leader

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IDAHO FALLS — Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper announced Thursday morning that she is seeking her final term as mayor.

Using the campaign slogan “Leading America’s Best Small City,” Casper announced her run for re-election to the media and members of the public at the Idaho Falls Hilton Garden Inn. Casper is currently in her second term after winning the 2017 election.

“The wheels of government turn much more slowly than we expect and I just feel like we are hitting our stride with the budget process the city has,” Casper told EastIdahoNews.com. “Each year we have gotten more transparent and I just want to be able to have a year where everything flows smoothly.”

Casper highlighted the city’s accomplishments since she took office, including the Idaho Falls Fiber project, growth at the Idaho Falls Regional Airport and continued job creation by the Idaho National Laboratory. She also gave credit to the City Council and the public for helping make Idaho Falls the city it is today.

Many of these economic accomplishments were recognized by the Milken Institute. Earlier this year, the organization named Idaho Falls the best performing small city in the United States. Casper used this title when coming up with the “Leading America’s Best Small City” slogan.

During her announcement, Casper spoke about growth and the challenges it brings. She cited census data showing Idaho Falls went from 57,833 people in 2010 to an estimated 62,888 people in 2020. That has brought an increase in traffic and a surge in home and rental prices.

“We’ve been working with housing in particular through a committee (called) Idahome,” Casper said. “They have been identifying things in the city – planning and zoning ordinances – that need to change in order to allow for more creative development to happen.”

Casper said as of Thursday, the city has around 1,000 properties currently going through financing, construction or other phases to bring more housing to Idaho Falls. Learning from out-of-state developers who have innovative housing solutions play a role in solving local concerns over housing.

The mayor earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from UC Berkeley. She worked as a research associate at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. and currently serves as the Director for the Association of Idaho Cities.

Candidates for city offices can file to run beginning Aug. 23. The deadline to enter races is 5 p.m. on Sept. 3, when all candidates must have filed paperwork with their respective city clerks.

Thus far, no other candidates have announced their intention to run against Casper.

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