Kellogg Mayor Mac Pooler Receives Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cities
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Posted by: Gay Dawn Oyler
Mayor Mac Pooler of Kellogg was honored with the Harold Hurst Award for his outstanding contributions to the Association of Idaho Cities (AIC) at the 69th AIC Annual Conference in Boise, June 22-24.
The Harold Hurst Award is given annually to a city official who demonstrates exemplary performance in city government and who has contributed to the accomplishments of the Association of Idaho Cities. The award is named for Harold Hurst, the mayor of Heyburn for 24 years and a Past President of AIC.
Mac Pooler was born to Edward and Margaret Pooler on July 1, 1942, in Kellogg, Idaho. After graduating from Kellogg High School, Pooler attended Boise Junior College for two years. He served two years in active duty with the U.S. Army and was in the reserves for four years.
Pooler started work for Idaho Water Company in Kellogg in 1966. In 1974 he was hired as manager of the newly established Central Shoshone County Water District, a job that he had for 38 years.
Pooler served on the Kellogg City Council from 1992 to 1995 and as Mayor from 1996 to 1999. He was elected Mayor again in 2001 and has been re-elected in 2005, 2009 and 2013.
Pooler’s leadership has been instrumental in Kellogg’s dramatic transformation from a small mining town to a destination resort community. Kellogg had two major turning points in that process. The first one was Kellogg citizens voting to tax themselves during the depths of the 1980s mining bust to finance the world’s longest gondola, which would run three miles and up 3,200 vertical feet to a mountain top ski lodge. The other turning point came during Pooler’s first year as mayor when the city sold the gondola and ski hill to a resort developer. Now, Silver Mountain has $80 million worth of investment, including 300 condo units, an indoor water park and a golf course.
There are a few particularly impressive examples of Pooler’s leadership over his career of public service.
- In May 1997, a culvert on Milo Creek became plugged with rocks and debris from spring runoff, causing the creek to burst the 70-year old pipe system that carried it underground through Kellogg. Milo Creek, contaminated by mine waste, ran through city streets for five blocks before flowing into the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. Homes were flooded, streets were damaged and the flood left dangerous sinkholes in its wake. Pooler was instrumental in bringing the $12 million Milo Creek flood control project to a successful conclusion.
- In 2015, Kellogg voters approved a local option lodging tax that was dedicated to funding street maintenance.
- Kellogg voters approved an $8 million sewer bond in November 2014 with 76 percent approval. Pooler led the effort to convince voters to finance the project and the city saved $1.5 million by coordinating the project with road work being done by the EPA.
Pooler has served on the Governor’s Drinking Water Advisory Committee, the Idaho Water Certification Board, the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council, the Idaho Rural Water Association Legislative Committee, and is a Trustee for Kellogg Elks Club. Pooler has been very engaged with AIC, serving as President and on the Legislative and Environment Committees.
Mac has been married to Mary Francis Pooler for more than 50 years. They have a son, Shannon; a daughter, Carri Dickenson, and four grandchildren. Mac coached high school football and is beloved by his former players, which include former AIC Deputy Director Leon Duce.
“I was told by my father that if you’re going to live in an area, be involved,” Pooler said in a profile in the AIC newsletter. “I grew up in Kellogg and have made it my home. A lot of people before me worked hard to make this town a great place to live. Now, it’s my time to carry on the tradition.”
We congratulate Mayor Mac Pooler for his outstanding legacy of public service.