McCall is moving forward, making improvements

Thought you might want to hear something from Jackie Aymon, McCall City Councilperson

Star News 12-22-11

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Mr. Jim Tracy’s letter posted in the Dec. 15, 2011 edition of The Star-News (“McCall elections will ensure more incompetence, waste”).

First, let me start by saying thank you Mr. Tracy for being an active participant in local government. It is refreshing when someone has an opinion and the courage to put it in writing.

Secondly, I agree wholeheartedly with the assertion that Nic Swanson is an excellent city council member. He is truly a local treasure and I am honored to work with Nic on the council. With that said, there are a few debatable points listed in Mr. Tracy’s letter.

It is clear Mr. Tracy missed the public work session on the city snowplow plan. Had he attended, read The Star-News, or checked the city Web site, he would have learned that the city adopted a snow plow plan as well as, purchased a snow gate to be trialed this winter. I am hoping it will snow so we can test our new plan and equipment. Keep in mind, plans often need tweaking and look for improvements as we gain experience.

Then there is the sundial in beautiful Legacy Park. It is thanks to the McCall Urban Renewal District that Legacy Park was built. Urban renewal districts are taxing districts, the same as hospital taxing districts, and the city did not fund this project. Fortunately the city gets to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

City buildings, like many buildings built in the 1980s, are in need of up update and repair. Recent improvements include an energy- efficient retrofit and improvements to our campus internet capabilities. Plans for a new city campus are part of the Comprehensive Plan, McCall’s guiding document. Big projects take discussion, planning and years to bring online. A new city campus is a hope for the future.

The sewer system has a rough and murky history. There have been many suits and countersuits throughout. This year the current council settled the last piece of the J-Ditch litigation, as well as a long-standing suit with the sewer district.

An advisory committee composed of experts from the city, sewer district, and an independent advisor was tasked with providing us with the best and most cost effective way forward in treating and discharging our future waste water. This process is ongoing and there will be public meetings and hearings in the future to guide our decision.

Finally, our city staffs, including the city manager and police officers, are hard-working, enthusiastic people who serve the city well. We also have a host of advisory committees and boards that are run by capable and talented volunteers. In difficult economic times, the city of McCall is moving forward and making modest improvements we can afford.

Competence is often viewed through the eyes of the beholder and voters get to decide that. I have three college degrees, none in city government. What that means is college was cheaper in the “olden days” and I know how to study. I cannot speak for my fellow council members, but I can tell you they are smart, engaged, and committed to doing their very best for McCall and the people we serve. Again, thank you Mr. Tracy for voicing your opinion.

Jackie J. Aymon, McCall City Council

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