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Incumbent Kevin England, councilman Dan Heiner competing for Chubbuck mayor

East Idaho Elects

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CHUBBUCK — Kevin England earned his first term as mayor of Chubbuck in 2013. Now, while seeking his third term, England faces city councilman Dan Heiner for the city’s top post. sent both candidates the same eight questions. To learn more about the candidates, read their unedited responses below. Candidates were asked to keep their answers to 250 words or fewer for each question.

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

ENGLAND: I was a contractor for 35 plus years and love working with my clientele. I married my high school sweetheart, the former Melody Terry, 43 and 1/2 years ago. We have 3 sons and 3 daughters and 26 grandchildren. I have also been licensed to sell insurance and have been a licensed Realtor. I have attended classes at Idaho State University and taken other professional training classes. I have served in many capacities in my church and at the Boy Scouts and other service organizations. I served for 4 years on the Chubbuck City Council, the last 2 as council president. I am just completing my 8th year as Mayor of Chubbuck.

HEINER: I was born and raised in Burley, Id and have lived in south-east Idaho nearly all my life. I married Laura Garrard over 43 years ago, and we have 4 children and 9 grandchildren.

I graduated from Idaho State University with a B.S. in Corporate Training and Graduated from the Pacific Coast Banking School-Graduate School of Banking with a master’s equivalent.

I spent 44 years as a commercial banker in south-east Idaho. I retired this April after 20 years as the Chief Credit Officer of Citizens Community Bank.

Throughout my career I have dedicated myself to community service. I have been a member of the Rotary Club for 40 years and am a past club president. I have served on the boards of Eastern Idaho Development Corp. and Bannock Development Corp. I am a past president of Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce. I served as board member for ten years and am past chair of the Idaho Community Bankers Association. In addition, I served on the board for 6 years of the Idaho Bankers Association, serving as chair of that board, as well. I have served on the Board of Commissioners of Chubbuck Development Authority for 10 years, 6 years as chairman. I have been serving as a Chubbuck City Councilman since January 2020.

I enjoy the outdoors and all the recreational opportunities that living in Chubbuck and the Portneuf Valley of south-east Idaho provides.

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

ENGLAND: It is very satisfying to know that I provided a way for many individuals to make a living. I had a very dedicated clientele with return work and being recommended to their families and friends. In 35 years of business I only had to advertise for work one time. It was gratifying to have customers that were happy with the results of my work. My proudest accomplishment in my life was getting Melody to marry me and bring into my life our wonderful family.

HEINER: When I started working for Citizens Community Bank, the bank had been in existence for just over four years. The bank had total assets of $69 Million when I started. During the balance of my banking career I was instrumental in growing the bank to over $800 Million in assets. We were able to accomplish that growth because I was blessed to work with the best people in the world.

On the personal side of things, my wonderful family that all love and respect each other, and love spending time together, makes me proud. Also, my wife and I have been privileged to do some traveling over the years. We have been to 22 countries around the world, and we have visited 38 of the United States.

What are the greatest challenges facing your community?

ENGLAND: Growth. Taxes. Fees. We need to grow right, which I believe that we are doing now and taxes and fees need to be reasonable and affordable.

HEINER: The high and increasing property tax burden is one of the biggest challenges for this community. Chubbuck, like many communities throughout the region is facing very rapid growth. Keeping up with growth and the needed infrastructure and services required by the residents is another challenge. Trying to balance the needs of new development and existing residents’ needs with current infrastructure. The big challenge is figuring ways for new development to pay for itself without putting undue burden for the costs of the growth on the backs of the existing residents is something that will take a lot of discussion and work between all involved.

How is your experience better suited to dealing with these unique challenges than you competitor?

ENGLAND: Best stated, I have been involved in elected office for 12 years, 8 as the mayor. My other experiences in life have helped tremendously, but having a tract record of getting things done as a serving mayor is experience that is hard to top. I know how to set and meet a budget and how to meet pay role. I know how to manage and work with people effectively. I interact well with the citizens of the wonderful community. I have created many lasting friendships over the years. I believe that I am a people person.

HEINER: Throughout my career in banking I spent a lot of time and effort working with business owners and developers to develop budgets and plans to help them and all stakeholders involved to succeed as much as possible. I feel that my many years of experience in community development from several different angles will be valuable for the City of Chubbuck and its residents.

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

ENGLAND: It is a vital thing to seek public input on issues that will have an affect all of us and I believe that I have encouraged this to be done at a high level. I value the feedback of those that don’t agree with me all the time and have learned some valuable lessons seeing things thru others eyes that have substantially different experiences than myself. When you are elected you need to represent all of the people, not just those that vote for you. Sadly, the majority of our citizens do not vote, and representing them becomes a challenge as they don’t interact with government hardly at all.

HEINER: I am commitment to listening to understand the issues and the feelings behind the issues so that I can really understand all sides, much as possible. It does nobody any good to prescribe a solution to a problem without understanding the real nature of the problem being addressed.

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?

ENGLAND: Freedom of the press is a Constitutional process. We need to see that the press has accurate information and the press has the obligation to society to report things accurately and fairly. I always have an open door policy for the press. They play a vital role in our free society.

HEINER: Over the last few years I think that the media has treated Chubbuck fairly well. Personally, I have not had a lot of interaction with the media until recently. If I am successful in this election, I expect that to change somewhat. The interaction, I mean.

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

ENGLAND: We need to see that our citizens have true and current information. And after we have done the education part then give council and advice as to the best practices as we see it. I do not believe that, in general, it is the cities place to “Mandate” things. It would have to rise to a very serious level for that to ever happen. My experience tells me that when they are given the correct information, the majority of people govern themselves very well.

HEINER: Chubbuck residents have faired pretty well during the COVID-19 pandemic, for which I am grateful. I do not see a need to implement any more specific measures, except that we do encourage all to wear masks, especially if they are higher risk individuals.

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?

ENGLAND: First of all I would faint as my experience, sadly, has been that grants are for cities of less than 10,000 or more than 25,000 people. It has been very frustrating. But, if I received a grant for one million dollars I would invest it in our aging infrastructure. And sadly one million would not go that far with said need. I would do that because it is our greatest unmet need at present.

HEINER: If Chubbuck received a multimillion dollar grant I would use it to construct another fire station that will be needed in the near future, due to the growth that we are experiencing now and in the foreseeable near future. I would also use it to build up infrastructure such as water and sewer systems and improve roadways. Of course, these make up a BIG wish list.