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Four candidates running for St. Anthony City Council

East Idaho Elects

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ST. ANTHONY — Three city council seats are open in St. Anthony and there are four candidates running. Three candidates are seeking reelection: Rod Nichols, Chad Quayle and Rod Willmore. Candidate John L. Sanders has filed to run against the incumbents.

To learn more about the candidate’s platform, sent the same eight questions to each one. Their responses are listed below, were required to be 250 words or less, and were only edited for minor punctuation, grammar and length. spoke with Quayle, Willmore and Sanders. Nichols declined to fill out the questionnaire.

Elections are on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Tell us about yourself — include information about your family, career, education, volunteer work and any prior experience in public office.

Quayle: I was born and raised in St. Anthony. I left shortly after high school to attend Boise State University. Not long after moving to Boise, I began working for Hewlett Packard, eventually working as a Project Manager and Operation Support Engineer at sites all over the world. In 2010, while working in New Mexico, I decided to return to Eastern Idaho and settle back in my hometown. I held various technology-related jobs before taking an opportunity to work in the Information Technology Department at Fremont County in 2014 and have been there since. I have also been serving on the City Council for nearly four years. All of my siblings, as well as my mother, still live in eastern Idaho. I am not married and have no children. I am a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and enjoy helping in the community with various events and fundraisers.

Willmore: I’m married to Cammy and we have 5 married children who have blessed us with 23 grandchildren. I have lived in St. Anthony just about my entire life. Cammy and I have been married for 41 years and raised our children here and just love our community. I am a local business owner along with my dad and brothers and have a vested interest in our community. I have served on the City Council for the last 14 years and would like to serve one more term to follow through on the things that I’ve been working on.

Sanders: My name is John Sanders, and I am married and live inside the city limits here in town. I currently work for a company in Chicago, and I work from home. I am a regional manager for them, and I cover 18 western states and the Western Pacific. I am also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and through this, I have given many hours of service to others in this and other communities I have lived in. I have never held public office before but feel I have a wealth of personal experience that would make me a great candidate for the St Anthony City Council.

What are your proudest accomplishments in your personal life or career?

Quayle: Personally, I’m most proud of helping others in the community with everything from personal issues to fundraising. Professionally, I am proudest of the employees and new call centers we opened in my time at Hewlett Packard, many of those I worked with and trained are still good friends today.

Willmore: My proudest accomplishments are my family and rebuilding and running a successful business.

Sanders: My proudest moments in my personal life is being the father to 4 wonderful daughters and raising them to be responsible citizens of this community. The second would be the opportunity I had to serve my country by enlisting in the United States Navy. I spent a career in the Navy and left as a Chief Petty Officer back in 2002.

What are the greatest challenges facing your community?

Quayle: Learning how to maintain our community’s identity and traditions while accepting and dealing with the changes affecting our area. These changes include growth, shifts in political climate and legislation, rising costs of infrastructure, and depleted resources.

Willmore: Right now it is the challenge of a growing population that will need to be addressed with infrastructure and annexation. Also, a priority of mine is to keep our taxes low and reasonable and still provide all the services.

Sanders: In my opinion one of the greatest challenges in this community is ensuring that we are spending our tax dollars wisely. St Anthony is a wonderful little town, but we don’t have the luxury of having an endless amount of money that comes to us through tax revenue. Because of that, we need to make sure we approve and spend our dollars wisely in ways that would improve the lives and livability of every citizen who either lives or passes through this town on their way to other places.

How is your experience better suited to dealing with these unique challenges than your competitor(s)?

Quayle: The skills I learned as a project manager have been useful as I’ve served the city during my first term. Seeking out subject matter experts, finding consenting and dissenting opinions, determining how your current goals may influence future goals, maintaining a budget, all these principles I learned in that job are critical now when facing decisions for our city. My travels and exposure to other cultures have made me more open-minded than I was prior to leaving. And most importantly, my involvement with the community keeps me in touch with and accountable to the people I serve.

Willmore: I don’t believe I’m better suited than the others and feel there’s always something I can learn from them and their different point of view. I like to think that I try to use common sense and try to represent everyone regardless of their beliefs or lifestyle.

Sanders: Currently our city council members don’t seem to be overly concerned with how they are spending the city’s annual budget. I have seen several projects get approved without much discussion other than amongst themselves. They don’t reach out to the community enough in my opinion to gather public input and if elected, that is what I would do. We need more public engagement on things that are not capital expenses that will improve the city and lives of those that live here. It is our tax dollars, and every citizen should have a say. Most of the time I don’t think the public is notified or advised on what money is being spent on.

How will you best represent the views of your constituents – even those with differing political views?

Quayle: Engaging people, particularly face-to-face, is the most effective way I’ve found. The more time I spend listening to people, and ensuring that I keep an approachable attitude, the better I can represent them. I ask questions, look for all the facts, listen to anyone willing to come speak to the council, as well as the other elected officials, and when the time comes, we make the call. Understanding differing political views is the only way to be sure of your own.

Willmore: I will try to listen to all or do my best to represent everyone and stay within the bounds of our city ordinances. I will use common sense.

Sanders: City council members must be willing to look at what’s best for the community. You can’t say, what’s better for my neighbor or my best friend. You must look at what’s best for the community and not your own agenda. Having an open mind about any issue and listening to our constituents is a must. I would be respectful, polite, and deferential towards all regardless of their political views.

What are your views regarding the role of the media in covering your city? How can you best work with local reporters to ensure coverage of the issues?

Quayle: The Upper Valley Standard Journal is our newspaper of record, so most of the official city information that is covered by the media flows through that source. They attend or review our meetings and will usually follow up with questions within a few days of the meetings.

For other things, outside of the official business of the city, we have a good blend of newspapers, online news outlets, and radio coverage. The reporters and personalities we’ve worked with have all been professional and polite, and I do my best to do the same in return. I’ve found all the media in our area to be approachable and engaging. It’s an important resource for involving our constituents.

Willmore: I really don’t have any problem with the local media as long as they report the news and don’t make news. I’m available any time to the media.

Sanders: As far as I’m concerned, the media is more than welcome to cover issues the city is dealing with and I have no issues with that at all if they only represent the facts and don’t distort the truth. Local reporters can and should always be independent and unbiased.

What measures, if any, do you believe your city should implement amid continued COVID-19 concerns?

Quayle: Idaho law, including recent amendments, does specify a municipal corporations’ powers regarding public health and contagious diseases. Ultimately, those powers should only be used if it is the will of the citizens you serve. Each community must make that decision for themselves. So far, St. Anthony has left these measures to be decided by the citizens for themselves, and I believe that is still the appropriate decision.

Willmore: I feel every one should take covid 19 seriously but don't get fanatical about it. Again common sense needs to be used. I believe it should be a personal choice about wearing masks and respecting others and not judging others for their views. I’m not in favor of the city government or any government mandating masks.

Sanders: I believe that the public can and should be able to make decisions for themselves whether they want to wear a mask or not, get a covid vaccine or not. This is a personal decision, and I don’t agree with local leaders implementing restrictions on what the public can and can’t do. Let people educate themselves and make decisions on what is best for them.

If you received a multimillion-dollar grant to use for the city in any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?

Quayle: I believe the primary function of a city is to provide infrastructure. Water, sewer, garbage services, roads, fire hydrants, police protection, streetlights, etc. If we received a multimillion-dollar grant, and if the city’s infrastructure needed the funding, my goal would be applying it to that end. It’s important to balance value and cost. Just because a grant comes from a broader tax base or another source, doesn’t always mean the money truly needs to be spent.

Willmore: Interestingly enough, the city just received a grant for 1.7 million to improve our airport and runway and I was a part of getting it. That’s one of the projects I want to see through. Any other grants that we would possibly get, I would use it to improve our streets and infrastructure.

Sanders: First, I would upgrade the water system here in town. The water pressure in town is insufficient. I also would invest some of the money into revitalizing the bridge street businesses. Bridge street is the “Face” of St Anthony and while it looks nice now, there is always room for improvement. I would also try to use some of it to possibly provide tax incentives to businesses to make it attractive for them to come into this community and build a business here. Smaller things… Add more street lighting, repave the roads (not tar and gravel) and revitalize all the parks and common areas here in town. We have lots of parks that have been neglected for many years and it shows.