November 2018 Treasure Valley Voters Guide

Welcome to our Voter Guide for the November general election, presented by the Idaho Statesman and the League of Women Voters of Idaho. Compare candidates' views on the issues side by side and create your own ballot, which you can then print or email.

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Canyon Commissioner District 3

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  • Candidate picture

    Pam White

Biographical Information

What education and experience do you have to prepare you to be a county commissioner?

What would you like to accomplish as a county commissioner?

What challenges does the Treasure Valley's current growth pose to your office? How will you solve those?

Both the federal and state governments have passed tax cuts in recent months. Amid the valley's growth, are you considering any sort of property tax relief for residents of your county?

Lawmakers this year passed new limitations on local building codes. What does this mean to your county going forward?

What is the most effective way to bolster public defense services in your county?

What is the best solution for addressing crowding at the Canyon County Jail? How will you accomplish it?

If elected, will you support investing county resources in Housing First or similar initiatives to prevent homelessness? Why or why not?

Education Spokane Falls CC, AA; Oral Roberts University, English/Journalism; Barclay College, Paralegal Certification; Real Estate License (inactive); Insurance License (inactive); Insurance License (expired); Financial Planning/Investments License (expired);
Prior political experience - Current Canyon County Commissioner; - 9 1/2 years as Nampa City Councilwoman
Civic involvement Board of Directors Ex-Officio, Caldwell Chamber of Commerce; Board of Directors, Nampa Chamber of Commerce, Chairman 07-08; Board of Directors St. Alphonsus Hospital Nampa, Chairman '15-'16; St. Alphonsus Nampa Community Hospital Board Quality Committee; School of Public Service Advisory Council, BSU;
Years living in Idaho This is year 24
Family Married 45 years, husband Steve; Daughter, Son-in-law, and two grandchildren;
- Spokane Falls CC, AA; Oral Roberts University, English/Journalism; Barclay College, Paralegal Certification; Prior Insurance licensing; Real Estate License, inactive; Past Financial Planning/Investment licensing;

- 3 1/2 years on City of Nampa Planning & Zoning Commission

- Home Federal Bank, management

- Marketing and Public Relations for Development Corporation

- Maintain needed services for Canyon County citizens while ever protecting their tax dollars. - Establish and maintain relationships with all 8 Canyon County City Governments. - Always remember I work for the people and be accessible to talk with them and listen when they talk; - Retain employees by working to make Canyon County an employer of choice in the workforce. -Build a new jail that is affordable, safe, energy efficient, affordable, meets national standards, provide multiple decades of service capacity, escape proof, did I say affordable, and work to ensure a sustainable fund source to maintain the peoples investment in public safety. --Be a good steward of the County assets i.e. employees, buildings, parks, vehicles, landfill, public services and properties by maintaining, with oversight, a balanced budget that will protect and insure the dollars the citizens have invested in our County.
Affordable housing shortages and/or availability of housing/rentals can easily increase the homeless numbers. I can envision this issue directly affecting our indigent services budget, which is now about $4,000,000 dollars and climbing. The natural connection to indigent budget increases is Public Defender budget increase . That budget is currently $4,700,000 dollars. Third leg in the health, welfare and indigency total is the Southwest District Health budget, currently $936,000. These three budgets are 12% of the County operating budget. Public safety is a strain because of our current jail situation. This has to be solved this year. It is a huge liability because it is to the point of dangerous. The Mayor of Nampa stated in her State of the City address that crime is up in Nampa. I believe the Nampa Police are in front of this, but regarding our County economic growth, losing business and industry opportunities will be enormously expensive. Canyon County citizens deserve the assurance of safety Our Ag land could be jeopardized by land sales due to retirement needs of farmers and ranchers. We must balance personal property rights with smart land use decisions.
Canyon County has left 61 million dollars on the table over the last 9-10 years. That is property tax revenue we could have taken but didn't because. our County leaders believe budget requests should reflect only monies needed to operate the County, rather than just taking additional revenue because the law allows ( 3%) for it (3%) Counties are mandated by law to provide a significant number of services that our citizens expect. Those services sometimes need capital improvements. Good stewardship of our assets can easily equate to property tax cuts.
Our Development Services Department went with the recommendation of the Idaho Building Code Board and adopted 2015 code rather than use International Energy Code. We anticipate adopting the 2018 Code. Canyon County participates with our local jurisdictions to adhere to State Building Code Board recommendations. We have to be diligent and work together to keep up on code updates as codes get revised so as not to get behind on changes.
The County's position that the issue of Public Defense is something that needs a legislative fix. In the 1963 landmark Gideon v. Wainwright case , the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution requires the states to provide defense attorneys to criminal defendants charged with serious offenses who cannot afford lawyers themselves. This is an unfunded mandate that has been passed down to Counties in Idaho. The State had a $5,000,000 pot of money it divided 44 ways when Counties received the mandate. Our present 2018 Public Defense budget is $ 4,800,000 Canyon County's Chief Public Defender has shown that efficient use of staff, maintaining manageable caseloads, maintaining organized department structure to guard against being top heavy, making staff retention a priority, and recognizing the complexity of many cases can make defense expensive. Good budget oversight and experience in the Chief Public Defender position, will lead to cost reductions.. The use of available grant monies has been a very helpful resource..
A new facility. I believe this has to start this year. A proposed local option sales tax of 1% is the most equitable funding source to debt service the construction loan. Everybody pays Not just property owners. This is a temporary payment method that will go away when construction is completed. The citizens of Canyon County would be asked for their vote of approval to allow the 1% temporary local option sales tax. We need the legislature to allow us the opportunity to take this proposal to our voters. We lobbied our local legislators this year and even provided a draft legislation that would provide for the use of a local option sales tax for the purpose of jail construction. It went nowhere this session but we will continue to ask them to take up this Bill. I recently created a petition and have been to sign at This local option tax could feasibly retire the construction loan in 5-7 years and has the potential to save the taxpayers millions of dollars in interest over a 30 year bond paid by property tax revenue. Everyone pays with local option. This choice is not property tax revenue, giving property owners relief. All citizens want to be safe.
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