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Top tags: City Officials' Day at the Capitol 

Register Today for AIC Regional Academies in December!

Posted By Justin Ruen, Monday, October 28, 2019

The 2019 AIC Academies will be held in December at six locations throughout the state.  You can register for the Academies on the AIC website.

These daylong workshops will provide excellent training for new and veteran city elected officials and staff on:

  • Roles & Responsibilities
  • Basics of Open Meetings
  • Personnel Management Fundamentals
  • Ethical Leadership
  • Liability Protection
  • Legislative Hot Topics, and much more!

The Academies are a great way for newly elected mayors and councilors to get up to speed on the most important issues that city officials face, helping them to understand where they fit in the puzzle of city government, and how to avoid potentially serious pitfalls.

AIC will not be having a stand alone Fall/Winter Legislative Committee meeting this year (as we normally have in Boise), so the legislative issues discussion will be incorporated as part of the Academies agenda.  

The Academies will run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and will be held at the following locations.  We hope you can join us! 

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AIC Testifies Before State Property Tax Working Group

Posted By Justin Ruen, Monday, October 28, 2019

The first meeting of a state Property Tax Working Group was held Monday, October 21 and the cities’ perspective was represented by Garden City Mayor and AIC Legislative Chair John Evans.  The panel also heard from Seth Grigg of the Idaho Association of Counties, Kathlynn Ireland of the Idaho Tax Commission, Dr. Allan Walburger of BYU-Idaho, and Keith Bybee of the Legislative Services Office.

The meeting revealed a clear divergence between legislators like Rep. Mike Moyle, R-Star, who want to cut local government property taxing authority through restricting the new construction roll, and legislators like Rep. Mat Erpelding, D-Boise and Sen. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, who want to return the indexing of the homeowner’s exemption, which the Legislature capped at $100,000 in 2016 and increase relief for low income elderly and disabled homeowners under the circuit breaker.

You can find the Working Group presentations hereYou can watch a video of the meeting here, by clicking the link to “Download Audio/Video.”

Kathlynn Ireland of the Idaho Tax Commission provided a primer on the fundamentals of Idaho’s property tax system.  The presentation confirmed that Idaho’s property taxes compare favorably relative to other states.  Ireland noted that Idaho’s property taxes rank 38th highest in the nation on the basis of personal income and that our property taxes are lower than all but one of our neighboring states (Nevada) on the basis of personal income.

Rep. Moyle challenged the characterization of Idaho’s property taxes as low, saying “…some parts of the state don’t have a problem right now, and others do.”  He said that it was a disservice to reduce these things to statewide averages. 

Ireland said that schools levy the most property taxes in Idaho at 30.5%, with counties coming in second at 26.7% and cities coming in third at 26.5%, with the remainder made up of various special districts like community colleges, fire districts, highway districts, etc.  She noted that voter approved supplemental levies for school districts have skyrocketed since 2007, and now about 90 school districts have supplemental levies.

Seth Grigg reported that counties face a number of budget pressures that are funded with property taxes, including overcrowded jails, meeting new public defense standards, mental health commitments, indigent medical care, aging infrastructure, and loss of SRS funding for roads.

Mayor Evans noted that of Idaho’s 200 incorporated cities, 167 have populations of 5,000 or less.  “The message I want to send is that there’s the law of unintended consequences.  Our request is that you don’t focus more acutely on seven or eight cities in Idaho at the expense of the other 190 or so that are basically small towns.”

In response to a question about the new construction roll from Rep. Moyle, Evans said “Many times the service load associated with new construction is immediate.  But the property tax revenue for new construction is delayed a year.  So, we incur the service loading before the corresponding property tax revenue comes in to support that, particularly on the residential side.”

Evans said that if the Legislature were to cut local government revenues, the result will be “The cities will reduce services.  If we can’t keep up with the cost of doing business, then we do less business.”

The Working Group also heard a presentation from Dr. Allan Walburger, a BYU-Idaho Economics Professor hired by the Idaho Farm Bureau, correlating the cost of community services to residential, commercial and agricultural properties; as well as a presentation on state and local government funding by Keith Bybee of the Legislative Services Office.

Working Group Co-Chair Sen. Kelly Anthon, R-Burley, said that “I think what today demonstrates is the complexity of the issues that we face.  I think what we’ve done is at least set the table to take the next step in understanding what’s best for Idaho.”

The Working Group’s next meeting will be Monday, November 18.

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Ammon City Treasurer Jennifer Belfield Takes the Reins as ICCTFOA President

Posted By Payton Grover, Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Ammon City Treasurer Jennifer Belfield was sworn in as the incoming President of the Idaho City Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officers Association (ICCTFOA) at the September ICCTFOA Institute in Nampa.


The ICCTFOA Board of Directors for 2019-20 is listed below.


Executive Officers

President                      Jennifer Belfield, Treasurer, Ammon

1st Vice President         Tami Testa, Clerk/Treasurer, Council

2nd Vice President       Laurie Hopkins, Clerk, Moscow

Immediate Past Pres.     Tonya Kennedy, Clerk-Treasurer, Grangeville

Secretary                      Marianna Gonzalez, Deputy Clerk, Rexburg


District Directors

District 1          Abbi Sanchez, Clerk, Hayden (1)

                        Jenna Arthun, Deputy Clerk, Osburn (2)


District 2          Donna Wilson, Treasurer, Orofino (1)

                        Rhonda Case, Clerk/Treasurer, Troy (2)


District 3          Holly Csencsits, Admin Clerk II, Eagle (1)

                        Joy Hall, Clerks Specialist, Nampa (2)


District 4          Roxanne (Roxie) Bymun, Clerk/Treasurer, Kimberly (1)

                        Hollye Lierman, Clerk, Gooding  (2)


District 5          Shelley Reeves, Clerk/Treasurer, Grace (1)

                        Debbie Swensen, Clerk/Treasurer, Bancroft (2)


District 6          Josh Roos, Treasurer, Idaho Falls (1)

                        Keri West, Clerk, Iona (2)



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Grangeville City Administrator Tonya Kennedy Recognized with ICCTFOA Weatherby Award

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Idaho City Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officers Association (ICCTFOA) honored Tonya Kennedy, Grangeville City Administrator, with the 2019 Dr. James B. Weatherby Award at the association’s annual Institute in Nampa on September 19.

The Dr. James B. Weatherby Award is given annually by the ICCTFOA to individuals who have served the city clerks, treasurers and finance officers in their pursuit of excellence, effectiveness and efficiency in municipal government.  The award is named after Dr. James B. Weatherby, former Director of the Public Policy Center at Boise State University and a past executive director of the Association of Idaho Cities.

Tonya grew up on the camas prairie before leaving the area to attend college at Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC) where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.  She worked for the LCSC and University of Idaho financial aid offices before moving back to the camas prairie. 

Tonya now works for the City of Grangeville as the City Clerk where she began in 2002. As of January 2019, Tonya was appointed Grangeville’s City Administrator, a position she holds along with being the city clerk.

Tonya has been very involved with ICCTFOA for a number of years, including serving as a committee chair for the Policy and Resolutions Committee and the Awards Committee. She has also served on the board as 1st and 2nd vice president and served as President this past year.  She has also earned her Master Municipal Clerk certification and continues her education through attending the various ICCTFOA workshops and events. 

Tonya and husband Mike have three children – 2 in college and 1 college graduate.  Tonya enjoys reading, horseback riding, attending the kids' activities and spending time with family and friends.  

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Save the Date for the 4th Annual AIC Water Summit - January 22, 2020

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Monday, September 16, 2019

Idaho's commitment to a better future is critically linked to our response to the challenges in our environment.  We all benefit from an equitable water future that protects the health, safety, and welfare of our residents.  

Please mark your calendars and plan to join your fellow AIC members at the day-long Water Summit scheduled for January 22, 2020 in Boise, Idaho.

This year's Water Summit will focus on critical topics such as raising awareness of current and emerging water quality issues, how Idaho is building resilience into water supplies, and the critical regional challenges and solutions working for Idaho cities. 

For each of these topics the Summit will seek to examine critical challenges, describe promising efforts that are currently underway, and highlight priority actions that AIC members and stakeholders can take to advance effective water management.

Steps AIC is taking to prepare for this year's Summit include:

  • utilizing Idaho-based, nationally recognized experts for agenda planning and presentations
  • hosting regional pre-Summit webinars to orient members to AIC environment training and advocacy efforts, and to discuss each region's critical and emerging issues
  • developing regional reports to be shared at the Summit that showcase successful Idaho-based solutions

For questions or feedback please contact Johanna Bell at, or (208) 344-8594.


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Process for Submitting AIC Member Initiated Legislative Proposals

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, August 27, 2019

AIC has a process for members to submit legislative proposals for consideration as AIC priority legislation. Members can submit proposals to AIC staff at any time; however, in order to prepare for the upcoming session, the Bylaws do contain a deadline of Monday, September 30, 2019. This post is to serve as a resource for those interested in submitting legislative proposals to AIC for possible inclusion in the AIC priority legislative package. Please feel free to contact Justin Ruen ( with any questions.

The process for submitting member initiated legislative proposals, as well as basic FAQs are outlined below. 

Who can propose AIC sponsored priority legislation?

Proposals for AIC sponsored priority legislation may be brought forward by any of the following association members and groups:

·       AIC Board of Directors,

·       AIC Legislative Committee,

·       AIC Committees, or

·       Elected Officials from One or More Member City.

The Bylaws also allow AIC staff to bring legislative proposals to the Board of Directors at any time. 

When is the deadline to submit a proposal for AIC sponsored priority legislation for consideration?

All policy proposals must be submitted to AIC staff by the close of business on Monday, September 30, 2019, in order to be considered as part of the AIC Priority Legislative Package. Please submit all legislative proposals via email to Justin Ruen (  

What information must be included with member submitted proposals for AIC sponsored priority legislation?

Legislative proposals submitted to AIC for consideration by an approved sponsor must include the following information:

·       The sponsor (either the name, title, and city of the sponsor or the name of the AIC committee)

·       A brief summary of the proposed legislation in sufficient detail to evaluate the proposal

·       A simple statement of the fiscal impact of the proposed legislation on the state and local governments

·       Draft legislative language

Will AIC staff review membership submitted proposals for AIC sponsored priority legislation?

The Bylaws require association staff to prepare a staff report to assist the Board of Directors in reviewing priority legislation. The staff report will include the following items:

·       A list of Idaho statutes affected by the proposed legislation,

·       A list of city departments and city officials affected by the proposed legislation,

·       A list of legislative stakeholders both likely to support and likely to oppose the proposed legislation,

·       A statement of the reasons to support the proposed legislation,

·       A statement of the reasons not to support the legislation, including unintended consequences,

·       A brief fiscal analysis of the proposed legislation, and

·       An analysis of the political feasibility of the proposed legislation (likelihood of passage).

Who will review membership submitted proposals for AIC sponsored priority legislation?

The Board of Directors is authorized by the Bylaws to review and evaluate all legislative proposals submitted by the membership for consideration.

When will the Board of Directors meet to review membership submitted proposals for AIC sponsored priority legislation?

The Board of Directors will meet no later than November to consider member submitted legislative proposals.

How will the Board of Directors review membership submitted proposals for AIC sponsored priority legislation?

The Bylaws require the Board of Directors to take the following information into consideration when reviewing legislative proposals:

·       The proposed legislation should affect more than one member city,

·       The proposed legislation should benefit more than one member city,

·       The proposed legislation should be within the general realm and scope of city government, and

·       The proposed legislation should be politically feasible.

What is the voting threshold for the Board of Directors to adopt membership submitted proposals for AIC sponsored priority legislation?

The Bylaws require an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Board of Directors in order to support member initiated legislative proposals.

Why is the approval threshold so high?

Having a two-thirds threshold ensures that only near consensus legislation is advanced, thus preventing major divisions within the membership.

For how long is legislation adopted by the Board of Directors the policy position of the association?

Member initiated priority legislation adopted by the Board of Directors will remain the policy position of the association for one year; however, nothing will preclude unsuccessful legislation from being reconsidered in subsequent years.

When will the membership have the opportunity to review AIC sponsored priority legislation adopted by the Board of Directors?

Association membership will have an opportunity to review and comment on AIC sponsored priority legislation at the fall Legislative Committee meeting. Members will also have the opportunity to review AIC sponsored priority legislation during the AIC Legislative Committee meeting held in conjunction with the AIC City Officials Day at the Capitol in late January.


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Asset Management for Water Systems: Optimizing Asset Life for Sustained Operations

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, August 27, 2019

No-Cost Workshop:
Asset Management for Water Systems: Optimizing Asset Life for Sustained Operations

September 12, 2019 | Boise, ID | 9:00AM-4:30PM
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, 1410 N Hilton Street, Boise, Idaho 83706

Approved for 0.6 CEUs by the Idaho Board of Drinking Water and Wastewater Professionals



In this workshop, you will learn about how asset management can benefit your system. Not sure where to begin? We will provide you with the tools you need to get started and will walk you through the process.

With limited revenues, aging infrastructure, and regulatory obligations to meet, a comprehensive approach to managing your system is vital. You may have problems related to unknown meter, valve, or hydrant locations. You may not be sure of which asset(s) to replace given limited funds. Asset Management can help you solve these problems, and more.

You will learn how to:

– Identify the 5 core components of asset management

– Develop an inventory of utility components

– Identify critical assets for sustained operations

– Make decisions about how to operate, maintain, repair, and replace those assets

– Set goals for level of service at a sustainable cost

Trainer:Heather Himmelberger,Director- Southwest Environmental Finance Center
Contact:Heather Stephens Jones,

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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,


  • 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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