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The AIC Blog connects the association staff to our membership, provides informative updates on state and federal policy issues, and spotlights upcoming AIC training, conferences and events.

 

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Top tags: City Officials' Day at the Capitol 

AIC August Update

Posted By Justin Ruen, Thursday, August 15, 2019

As cities are in the midst of the budget process and candidates will start filing for election soon, AIC has been actively engaged in providing technical assistance on both topics.  You can find a post on Frequently Asked Questions About the 2019 City Elections on the AIC Blog by accessing this link.

Registration for the 2019 Idaho City Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officers Association (ICCTFOA) Institute at the Nampa Civic Center September 18-20 is open.  You can access the brochure with draft agenda by clicking this link.  The Institute provides valuable training for city clerks, treasurers and finance officers on accounting and financial reporting, budgeting, open meetings, public records, investing, utility rates and other important topics.  Sending city staff to the Institute is an investment in providing the training they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively.

AIC is here to help city officials with any technical assistance questions on budgeting, planning and zoning, elections, roles and responsibilities, open meetings, public records, etc.  You can reach the AIC office at (208) 344-8594.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the 2019 City Elections

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, August 13, 2019

This blog post will cover frequently asked questions about the 2019 general city elections, including candidate filing, who can vote in city elections, and other questions.

Are term limits in effect for the 2019 general city elections?

No.  Idaho’s term limits statute was repealed by the 2002 Idaho Legislature.  There are no restrictions on the number of terms city mayors and councilmembers may serve.

What is required to change the compensation for elected officials?

This must be done by ordinance and the ordinance to change the compensation for elected officials must be passed by the council and published at least 75 days prior to any general city election (Thursday, August 22, 2019).  The salary change takes effect January 1 following the election—Idaho Code 50-203.

How does a candidate get their name on the ballot? 

To get their name on the ballot, a candidate must submit a Declaration of Candidacy specifying the office for which they are running and affirming they meet the following legal qualifications to run as of the date their Declaration of Candidacy is submitted to the city clerk:

  • At least 18 years of age,
  • A U.S. citizen,
  • The candidate’s primary residence must be within the city,
  • The address of the candidate’s voter registration must match the residence address provided on the candidate’s declaration, and
  • The candidate must have resided in the city for at least 30 days prior to submitting their declaration.

The Declaration of Candidacy must be accompanied by one of the following:

  • A Petition of Candidacy signed by at least five qualified city electors.  The petition must have an attached certification from the county clerk indicating the number of signatures that are of qualified city electors,

OR

  • A nonrefundable filing fee of $40—Idaho Code 50-406. 

What is the period for candidate filing?

For the 2019 general city election, candidates are required to submit their Declarations of Candidacy (with the requisite fee/petition) between Monday, August 26 at 8:00 a.m. and Friday, September 6 at 5:00 p.m.—Idaho Code 50-410.

Is there a deadline for candidates to withdraw from the election? 

Nominated candidates (those who would be listed on the ballot) have until Friday, September 20 to withdraw from the election by filing a notarized statement of withdrawal with the city clerk—Idaho Code 34-1405A. 

Declared write-in candidates may withdraw at any time up to the election by filing a notarized statement of withdrawal with the city clerk.

If a person gets married and moves outside of city limits, but still has rental property in the city, can that person vote in city elections?

No.  If a qualified elector moves outside the city with the intention of making the new residence their permanent home, then they are no longer a city resident and cannot vote in city elections—Idaho Code 50-402(d)(4).

Does a person have to be a United States citizen to vote in city elections?

Yes.  Every elector who registers is required to swear under oath or affirmation that he/she is a citizen of the United States—Idaho Code 34-411(1)(d).

Can a candidate sign his or her own Petition of Candidacy?

Yes.  There is nothing in the law that prohibits a candidate from signing their own Petition of Candidacy.

May a registered city voter sign petitions for two candidates running for mayor?

Yes.  The law no longer requires a person to sign only one candidate’s petition for each office up for election.  Now, a registered city voter is free to sign as many petitions as they want.

Must the city clerk notarize a candidate’s declaration and/or petition, or can the candidate have it notarized elsewhere?

Any notary duly authorized by the State of Idaho can notarize a candidate’s declaration and petition. 

If a candidate misses the deadline for filing a Declaration of Candidacy, can he/she run as a write-in candidate?

Yes.  The candidate must file a Declaration of Intent with the city clerk at least 28 days before the election (Tuesday, October 8, 2019)—Idaho Code 50-410 & 34-702A. 

Are residents of the area of city impact allowed to vote in city elections?

No.  To be a qualified elector and vote in a city election, the person’s primary residence must be in the city—Idaho Code 50-402(c).

Is the city clerk required to check the signatures on a Petition of Candidacy against the signatures on the voter registration cards?

No.  Petition signatures must be verified by the county clerk before the petition is submitted to the city clerk.  The county clerk will attach a certificate to the petition indicating the number of signatures that are of qualified city electors—Idaho Code 50-410. 

What happens in the case of a tie vote?

The city clerk gives notice to the candidates, who must appear before the council at a meeting within six days after the notice is provided.  The tie is resolved by the city clerk flipping a coin—Idaho Code 50-413.

Can candidates campaign on Election Day?

Candidates can campaign on Election Day—however, candidates should be aware that campaigning within or near a polling place on Election Day (known as “electioneering”) is a criminal offense.  On Election Day, campaigning or distributing candidate materials within the polling place or in any building in which an election is being held are prohibited.  Campaigning or distributing candidate materials are also prohibited within 100 feet of a polling place, whether on public or private property—Idaho Code 18-2318.  It is also important to remember that the prohibition on electioneering applies while voting is occurring at the in-person absentee polling place or early voting facility.

 

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Water Now: Tap into Resilience Toolkit (Water Re-Use/One Water Resources)

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Friday, August 2, 2019

Tapping into Resilience Toolkit (TiR Toolkit)

Onsite, localized water infrastructure has tremendous potential to address our communities' water needs – from drinking water to wastewater to stormwater management. But scaling up investment in and implementation of these solutions and strategies can be challenging.

The Tap into Resilience Toolkit is an interactive resource for utility decision makers, management, and staff. The Tap into Resilience Toolkit provides answers to local government financing, tax, accounting, and legal questions that arise when scaling investment in decentralized solutions. The Toolkit includes interactive financing and implementing modules, videos, a resource library, a portal to receive pro-bono support, and much much more.

The Toolkit resources have been designed to help Idaho cities explore, plan for, finance and adopt localized infrastructure solutions like water use efficiency programs, green infrastructure, and onsite reuse.

Click HERE to access the Toolkit; and click HERE to access an informative webinar, aired on July 23, 2019!

Share your water infrastructure story!

Is your community already deploying localized infrastructure? Have experience implementing or expanding a program that’d be helpful for others to hear? Fill out the Water Now TiR Toolkit form and share your story to be part of the water transformation!

About the WaterNow Alliance

WaterNow Alliance is a FREE (for now) forum for local leaders to connect, learn, engage and act to advance sustainable water strategies, solutions and opportunities. As a member, you’ll gain access to:

  • A robust network of peers from across the nation who share a passion for sustainable water solutions
  • New connections to experts, resources and innovation
  • Opportunities to engage on key policy issues that matter to your community
  • Creative financing solutions for jumpstarting sustainable strategies
  • Access to WaterNow’s Members-only web portal, providing exclusive resources, forums and advocacy opportunities
  • Technical assistance including project development opportunities
  • Complementary, priority registration for the two-day WaterNow Alliance Annual Summit including travel/lodging reimbursement
  • Discounted or free registration for regional workshops and partner/co-hosted events

Additionally, WaterNow Alliance members are eligible to be nominated for our annual WaterNow Impact Award, recognizing leadership in the adoption of sustainable, innovative water solutions in their community.

Membership Qualifications

  • Alliance membership is open to Water Leaders as defined above.
  • Associate memberships are available for other water agency staff (conditions apply.)
  • No membership fees are required at this time.
WaterNow defines water leaders as utility governing board members – the decision makers who vote on all things water from policy to programs to rates and who are ultimately accountable to the public. This includes elected and appointed governing members of:
  • Special Water Districts, Wastewater Districts, Stormwater Districts, Conservancy Districts
  • Mayors
  • City Councilmembers
  • County Supervisors
  • Public Utility Commissions
  • Water Commission Members, etc.

Recognizing the equally important decision making role of utility staff, WaterNow Alliance is also open to executive management  including but not necessarily limited to:

  • General Managers
  • City Managers
  • Public Utility Directors

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Open for Public Comment: EPA 2018 Aluminum Aquatic Life Criteria Implementation

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Friday, August 2, 2019

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released their Draft Technical Support Document: Implementing the 2018 Recommended Aquatic Life Water Quality Criteria for Aluminum, for public comment. This document supports state and tribal adoption and implementation of the recently published EPA national recommended Final Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Aluminum. Consistent with the latest scientific information, the national recommended acute and chronic aquatic life criteria for aluminum in freshwater are intended to be derived on a site-specific basis, using a calculator or look-up tables, and data inputs for pH, total hardness and dissolved organic carbon (DOC).

The draft technical support document provides answers to implementation questions previously identified by states, authorized tribes and other stakeholders. It includes information related to criteria adoption, assessment and impaired waters listing, and NPDES permitting processes related to the new aluminum criteria. This is among the first calculator-based aquatic life criteria that the EPA has published, and the Agency anticipates that this technical support document will be beneficial to states and authorized tribes.

Public comments are due Friday, September 13, 2019 and can be emailed to:

wqs-implementation@epa.gov

Please contact Johanna Bell (jbell@idahocities.org) if you have any comments on this Draft Technical Support Document on how to implement the aquatic water quality criteria (AWQC), or reach out directly to Emily Remmel at eremmel@nacwa.org

Background

Aluminum naturally occurs in surface waters, but under certain environmental conditions, it can be converted to toxic forms that can be toxic to aquatic life. Anthropogenic sources, such as alum (potassium aluminum sulfate) used in clarification processes in drinking water or wastewater processes to remove phosphorus, can contribute to levels of aluminum in surface waters. Lastly, certain activities, such as wastewater discharges, stormwater runoff, mining, or agriculture can influence a waterbody's pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), or total hardness and, therefore, the toxicity of aluminum in that waterbody.

Entities such as industrial facilities, stormwater management districts, or publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) that discharge pollutants to fresh waters of the United States under the State of Idaho's jurisdiction could be indirectly affected by the 2018 aluminum criteria and draft guidance.  Final, EPA-adopted water quality standards for Idaho, are the minimum standards required under the Clean Water Act for use in regulatory programs, such as Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) permitting and identifying impaired waters under CWA section 303(d).

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Register Today for ICCTFOA Institute in Nampa

Posted By Justin Ruen, Friday, August 2, 2019
Updated: Thursday, August 15, 2019

The 2019 Idaho City Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officers Association (ICCTFOA) Institute will be held in Nampa at the Nampa Civic Center on September 18-20.  Information about registration, the conference brochure with draft agenda, room blocks and other information is available at the 2019 Institute webpage.

When making a room reservation, be sure to ask for the Association of Idaho Cities group room block for the rate of $129 per night or $140 per night double occupancy.

The Institute provides valuable training for city clerks, treasurers and finance officers on accounting and financial reporting, budgeting, open meetings, public records, investing, utility rates and other important topics.  Sending city staff to the Institute is an investment in providing the training they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively.

Scholarships are available to cover up to $500 of travel, lodging and other expenses for attending the Institute.  Scholarship applications are due to Renata McLeod, City Clerk of Coeur d’Alene  (renata@cdaid.org) by August 9.  The scholarship application and other information can be found at the Institute website.

We hope to see you at the 2019 ICCTFOA Institute!

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Parks & Recreation City Achievement Award Winners from AIC Annual Conference

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, July 9, 2019

AIC recognized three cities with City Achievement Awards in the Parks & Recreation Category at the AIC Annual Conference.  Congratulations to the winners!

City of Garden City – Heron Park, Phase I: A cooperative effort between the City of Garden City and the Garden City Urban Renewal Agency, the park is located adjacent to the Boise River along the greenbelt corridor and will include a takeout for rafters and tubers, parking, and reconstruction of the greenbelt pathway.

City of Rathdrum – Rathdrum Mountain Opening: The City of Rathdrum’s project will provide access to over 500 acres of city-owned forest land on Rathdrum Mountain, with picnic areas, restrooms, facilities for an on-site host, trails, and a Children’s Story Walk Trail funded with a donation by the Coeur d’Alene Realtor’s Association.

City of Stanley – Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve: The City of Stanley worked collaboratively with Ketchum, Sun Valley, the Forest Service and Blaine County to establish the first Dark Sky Reserve in the United States, which protects views of the night sky on over 900,000 acres. 

 

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Economic & Community Development Projects Recognized with City Achievement Awards

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Three cities were recognized at the AIC Annual Conference with City Achievement Awards in the Economic & Community Development category.  Congratulations to the winners!

City of Pocatello – Glass Recycling: Partnering with Momentum Recycling, the city has launched a glass recycling project with drop-off locations around the city.  This project has diverted 152 tons of glass from the landfill saving $4,500 in landfill fees and preserving valuable landfill space.

City of Meridian – Land Use and Development Application Mapping: Meridian has developed three online maps to make zoning, land use and development related application information more accessible to the public.  The Hearing Application Map allows people to easily find applications, staff reports, comments and other project-related information for any project in the city.

City of Boise – James Castle House: The City of Boise purchased the home of internationally-known, self-taught American artist James Castle and turned it into a venue to share Castle’s story with a broader audience and provide a neighborhood gathering place.

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Public Works & Transportation City Achievement Award Winners from AIC Annual Conference

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, July 9, 2019

AIC recognized three cities with City Achievement Awards in the Public Works & Transportation category at the Annual Conference.  Congratulations to the winning cities for these outstanding projects!

City of Pocatello – Phosphorus Removal Project: The City of Pocatello completed a five-year, $23 million project focused on updating the Water Pollution Control Plant to improve water quality through biological nutrient removal to comply with the city’s new NPDES discharge permit.  

City of Moscow – Chemical Weed Control Alternative: The City of Moscow Public Works Department purchased a saturated steam unit to provide chemical free weed control on city sidewalks, stormwater detention ponds and streets.

City of Idaho Falls – Public Works Interactive Construction Map: The City of Idaho Falls launched an online Interactive Construction Map that provides the community with a user friendly, one-stop location to find information on planned construction projects, including road closures.

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Cities Recognized with City Achievement Awards for Community Engagement Projects

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, July 9, 2019

AIC recognized three cities with City Achievement Awards at the AIC Annual Conference in the Community Engagement category.  Congratulations to the winners!

City of Caldwell – Mobile Makerspace:  The Caldwell Public Library, in an effort to connect youth and underserved populations to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education and training developed and built a tiny house with a 3D printer, two virtual reality headsets, books on technology and laptops.  

City of McCall – Doing Democracy: McCall’s Public Library holds facilitated discussions on topics of local interest to promote respectful and informed dialogue about issues the community faces and nurture civic engagement.

City of Twin Falls – Empowering Citizens App: The City of Twin Falls has adopted the SeeClickFix App to provide citizens with a way to report quality of life issues outside of calling 911, and developed a phone tree to divert nonemergency calls to the appropriate city department, both of which will result in decreased call volume to the emergency communications center.

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Twin Falls Youth Council Receives City Achievement Award for Suicide Awareness Color Run & Rally

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Congratulations to the Twin Falls City Youth Council for receiving a City Achievement Award for their recent color run and rally “Life IS Worth Living.”  The event drew nearly 275 participants to raise awareness about suicide prevention.

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