Nampa Mayor highlights downtown revitalization in State of the City Address
“Our People, Our Progress, Our Path Forward” was the title of Nampa Mayor Tom Dale’s State of the City Address, delivered at the city’s Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at the Nampa Civic Center Wednesday afternoon.
Here is his address in its entirety, as provided by the City of Nampa.
“Thank you for that kind introduction, Dan. And thank you,
Debbie, and your hard-working staff at the Nampa Chamber
of Commerce, and the Civic Center team for hosting this
event every year.
I want to recognize Nampa City Council members who are
with us today: Council President Martin Thorne, Stephen
Kren, Pam White, and Bob Henry. Please stand.
We are honored to have several elected officials from other
jurisdictions here, who all part of the team working to make
Treasure Valley a great place to live. Please stand.
Northwest Nazarene University President, Dr. David
Alexander, and College of Western Idaho President, Dr. Bert
Glandon, Dr. Tom Michaelson are with us today. We are
honored by your presence. Thank you for your commitment
This is the 12th year I’ve had the opportunity to stand before
you and talk about the state of our city. It is a great honor
to serve as your mayor, and I am humbled by your trust,
your confidence, and your support. But the credit for the
successes we have seen really belongs to the team. Local
government is truly a Team Sport, and I am immensely
proud to be leading the BEST TEAM – Community, Business,
and Government – any mayor could hope for.
2012 was a remarkable year; one of the most challenging
for our team in many years. 2013 will see similar challenges.
Reduction in revenues, increased demand for services,
uncertainty at the national level; all work to create tension
and unrest. That being said, I am confident the state of the
city is strong, and we have good reason to remain optimistic
about the future.
This address is titled “Our People, Our Progress, Our
The state of the city is strong because of the strength of
OUR People. We are blessed with incredibly talented staff
in all departments. You won’t find a more dedicated,
committed, caring group of professionals anywhere. There
are a number of city employees here today. Please stand…
I’d like to thank Dr. David Peterman and his team at
Primary Health for sponsoring their lunch today. Would
you all please stand and allow us to say “Thank You” for all
We are equally blessed with phenomenal community
partners: NNU, CWI, our public and private schools, our
many churches, the Boys & Girls Club, the Chamber,
Centennial Job Corps, and the hundreds of folks who give of
their time volunteering. The strength of Nampa is our
People, and it’s a strength like no other.
Last year, more than 27,000 volunteer hours were
documented, and this doesn’t take into account the hours
spent by people who volunteer to serve on the various
boards and commissions within the city. Would everyone
who serves on a board or commission in Nampa please
stand. And anyone who has volunteered in any capacity in
the past year please join them. And anyone who WISHES
they’d volunteered last year please stand……..
We can all be optimistic about our future because great work
is being done every day toward sustaining Nampa as a full
service city, the community of choice now and into the
future. We have a strategic plan to move Nampa forward,
and it is working.
I’m reminded of a book by Markus Buckingham, titled “One
Thing You Need to Know.” The purpose of the book is to
help the reader identify the essence of what they do in their
business. What is the main thing – the ONE thing – they
must always keep in mind? After 17 years of working in City
Government, I can say without a doubt People are the main
thing. At the end of the day, everything we do, large and
small, from meeting one on one to addressing a large group
like today, from filling a pothole to building a new library, is
for the purpose of serving the people of Nampa.
Let me tell you about some of our people.
Doris Hayward works in the City Clerk’s office.
In December, a 90 year old gentleman came to the office
with an issue regarding his medical insurance. Obviously the
City Clerk does not have anything to do with his medical
insurance provider, but Doris took time out of her day to
listen to him. His wife had been in the hospital, and was now
in a care unit, and he was worried because his insurance
payment was late. Since he can’t hear very well, it is hard
for him to talk on the phone, and he is not computer savvy.
Doris called the insurance company, who assured the man
that everything was in order and they were covered. Doris
says: “When it was all over, he thanked me profusely, and I,
being a non-hugger, actually gave him a hug. He told me;
‘That’s all I needed was a hug.’ Good payment for a good
job! Doris please stand.
The Nampa Mayor’s Teen Council participated in many
community service projects last year and produced 2 Public
Service Announcements on Crosswalk Safety. I’d like to
thank those who every year step forward to help sponsor.
There are a number of them here today – PLEASE STAND.
Daniel Garcia came to the Nampa Mayor’s Teen Council as
a quiet, rather shy young man, extremely nervous to talk in
front of group of people. He had a hard time imagining
himself as a college student, but had dreams of attending
some day. In his two years on the council, Daniel grew into
a confident leader. Elected to the Executive Team last year,
Daniel gained the courage and confidence to speak before
his peers, and led the committee that wrote two PSA’s on
crosswalk safety. Daniel also developed a presentation
about his experience with Teen Council and shared it in
many classrooms in Nampa High, encouraging others to join.
His leadership opportunities and participation allowed him to
receive a number of scholarships. This young man, who
once thought college was only for “other students”, is the
first member of his family to attend college. He has
successfully completed his first semester at the University of
Idaho, surrounded by other Nampa Teen Council members
up there, and together they are making great choices and
continue to make a difference.
Four years ago, Kent Lovelace, one of our Code
Enforcement Officers, while working on a Brush Up Nampa
home, noticed the roof of the house was in sad shape. He
asked the homeowner about it, and he said he knew it
needed to be replaced, but since he had just gotten laid off
from work, there was no way he could afford to do it now.
We worked with him through our Critical Needs Repair Loan
Program and were able to get his roof replaced. Since then,
we have done 3 additional repairs to his 1920’s home.
Because of his income level, he qualified for a 20 year
deferred, 0% interest loan! Without this program, the
repairs would not have been done. He has been very
thankful for the help. Kent – please stand.
From the Public Works Department:
To keep sewer lines clear they are routinely cleaned with a
high pressure water hose. This process requires a crew from
the Wastewater Division to take a hydro-cleaning truck to
various locations around the City.
On August 13, Ken Johnson and Keith Slack were driving
the truck to a sewer line on Taffy Drive when they noticed
smoke coming from a nearby home. Two young girls
(Cheyenne 13, and McKenzie 9) were frantically trying to put
out a fire on the side of their garage with only pots and pans
filled with water. Keith and Ken immediately decided to use
the hydro-cleaning truck to help. The fire was quickly
extinguished, and they stayed with the girls until the Fire
Department arrived. Later that day the homeowner, Tom
Smith, called to ask them to head back to the house
because he wanted to thank them both in person.
Ken and Keith – please stand.
Finally a couple stories from our Police Department:
Officer Aaron Coleman recently came upon a family who
was “pan-handling”. Rather than just shoo them away, he
spoke to them. He was so moved by their story that he
purchased them all hot cocoa, and later he and his wife
bought Christmas presents for the three children.
Officer BJ Koho came upon a stalled vehicle on the
Interstate last August. The man was from out of state and
was unable to get a new tire for his car until the next day
due to the late hour. The man was going to spend the night
in his car. BJ paid for a hotel room for this man.
Aaron and BJ – stand.
I could go on for hours with similar stories, but you would
leave. The point is, in every department, this is what our
people do everyday: put people first.
Proverbs 15:22 has this bit of wisdom:
Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many counselors bring
This is the reason we continually involve a multitude of
people when formulating plans.
Progress without a plan is just motion. If you don’t have a
destination in mind, any path will work.
The story is told of an airliner flying at night over the Pacific
Ocean that was struck by a tremendous bolt of lightning
several years ago, before modern navigational aids were
available. This knocked out all of their electronic systems;
radios, radar, lights, and somehow fried their compass as
well. The pilot, in an attempt to reassure his passengers,
stepped into the cabin and said, “Folks, that bolt of lightning
knocked out all our electrical systems, and currently we
don’t know where we are or where we’re going. But the
good news is we’re making great time.”
We have a plan, and our progress is measured against the
plan. It is known as the Nampa Comprehensive Plan 2035.
The plan was developed with the input of more than 100
Citizens, who over the course of several months analyzed,
projected, and envisioned what Nampa should look like in
the years ahead. Economic Development is identified as one
of the most important activities to ensure the stability and
quality of life into the future.
A good indicator of economic health is how much new
construction is occurring, and how many jobs are being
Last year we saw an increase in residential construction of
over 140%. 2012 was a recovery year for all construction,
with over $93 million permitted, an increase of nearly 40%
over 2011. Among the many projects, St. Luke’s and
Saltzer moved into their new facility, St. Al’s project is
moving forward, Texas Roadhouse has been busy since their
opening, US Bank just cut the ribbon on their new building,
and CWI moved into the most modern Community College
facility in the nation. There many other businesses that have
opened up this year – most ribbon cuttings in recent years.
All of these projects brought new jobs to Nampa. Overall we
saw good job growth last year, with employment levels
exceeding that of 2008. The unemployment rate for Nampa
in November was 7.6% - the lowest it’s been since 2007.
We’re moving in the right direction.
Two key points in the Economic Development chapter
identified as critical to creating a business friendly
Workforce development. We are extremely grateful for
the institutions of higher learning accomplishing this goal;
NNU, CWI, BSU, Stephens Henagar College…These great
schools work along with our 10 Nampa area high schools to
provide numerous educational choices for students to go on.
This in turn supplies prospective industrial and business
investors with a trained and ready workforce.
The other point I want to focus on is the goal to Revitalize
Downtown Nampa. To accomplish this, we once again
asked for the help of Nampa’s citizens, who, along with help
from staff and expert consultants, developed the 24 year
plan we are currently following. The plan outlined several
projects, and called for creation of an Urban Renewal District
to provide funding for needed investment. We are in the 7th
year of the 24 year plan they developed and City Council
adopted, and are making steady progress toward the stated
goals. The first major project of the plan was completed this
past year, with the opening of the Hugh Nichols Public
Safety Building. The next major project in the plan is
building a new Public Library.
This project is on track for construction to begin this
summer. We are in the final stages of design. Thank You
for the dedicated work of the Library Board, City staff, the
Design Review Committee, Planning and Zoning
Commission, and our partners in this project, the Gardner
Company. Thanks to the many people from all areas of
expertise who have provided input into this process.
Because so many have been involved every step of the way,
I am confident we will have a library we can be proud of,
and will serve the people for many years to come.
Dr. Richard Florida, in his book titled The Rise of the
Creative Class, argues that economic development isn't just
about trying to get companies to relocate from one town to
the next. It is about building the kind of communities where
people want to live. Quality of place matters, especially
when you are trying to attract innovative companies and the
creative people who make them successful.
So an important question we should be asking ourselves is
this: Is Nampa a place where people want to live?
The answer is a resounding YES!
People often approach me in D & B Supply, at Les Schwab
Tire, in the grocery store in church, in a restaurant, or just
walking down the street, to share a story of why they enjoy
living in Nampa. Last month a lady shared her opinion that
Nampa was one of the safest and easiest cities she’s been in
to drive around. She was referring to some of the changes
in traffic routing that have been made recently. These
changes are the result of innovative thinking on the part of
our traffic division folks, and good suggestions received from
people who drive the roads every day.
For example, in October, Dave Edmark asked me to meet
him out at Edmark Chevrolet to take a look at a traffic
problem. He asked why we couldn’t make the left turn from
East Gate Blvd. on to Idaho Center Blvd. a double left to
improve flow. It seemed like good idea, so I asked our
Traffic Division folks to take a look at it. The change was
made, and it’s working well.
That’s the way it’s supposed to work; we move forward
together. Building a livable city is an intentional, ongoing
Here are some more progress reports.
12 years ago the direction of our downtown was towards
deterioration and decline. That was unacceptable. Through
intentional effort, Community Development Block Grant
investment, and hard work by downtown business owners,
that direction has been reversed. We’re not to the goal line
yet, but we’re making steady progress in the right direction.
The construction of the new Library downtown will accelerate
12 years ago we looked down the dark tunnel of increasing
illegal gang activity and violence in our community. Do you
remember those days? Drive-by shootings were common.
That direction was unacceptable. Through intentional
investment in police officers, partnering with other Treasure
Valley cities, local and federal law enforcement agencies,
and the U.S. Attorney’s office, that direction has been
reversed. Crime statistics over the past several years show
consistent decreases, and that direction continued last year
with a 6% decrease in overall crime. This is a commitment
to the people of Nampa from which we must not back down.
10 years ago we took a hard look at the issue of domestic
violence in our midst, and the difficulty victims were having
receiving help. That was unacceptable. Through the
intentional efforts of Rebecca Lovelace, Angela Weekes, and
many partners, the Nampa Family Justice Center was
created. The number of people they are able to help grows
every year, with a 24% increase in 2012 to over 3400
8 years ago, we looked at the sad condition of Amity
Avenue, from NNU to the newly constructed overpass. Not
acceptable. Because Nampa’s voters had taken on paying for
the overpass out of their own pockets, we were able to apply
for and receive nearly $8 million of Federal funding to
rebuild that section of roadway. Thanks to Clair Bowman
and his team’s excellent work, the purchase of right of way
for the project is on track, with 31 of the 47 properties
needed now under contract, and the remainder soon to
follow. Look for construction to begin this fall.
Your elected representatives and city employees work as a
team for you, and we strive to be responsive to your
thoughts. While we do come up with many good ideas on
how to achieve desired results on our own, often, the best,
most creative ideas come from you. Collectively, the brain
power in the businesses and neighborhoods of Nampa far
exceeds that of City Hall. This statement in no way discounts
the knowledge and expertise of city staff, but acknowledges
the principle of synergy. Working together we can always
generate better ideas than working separately.
Last year, a local banker contacted us and said he thought
he could save the city some money on two city bonds. Vikki
Chandler, working with Cameron Ariel of Zion’s Bank, was
able to take advantage of the historic low interest rates and
refinance those bonds. Were we able to realize savings?
You bet - $2-1/2 million over the life of the bonds!
That’s the way it’s supposed to work.
A strong, cohesive team wins the game, not a lone player.
So keep those ideas coming!
Last year I announced the creation of the Mayor’s e-news.
Thanks to the good work of Sharla Arledge, this has been
going out to nearly 1,000 folks weekly, with stories on how
the city is using the ideas and tax dollars you provide,
information on events, and other items of interest to the
community. If you are not receiving this newsletter, I’d
encourage you to sign up using the sheets on each table.
The first week of February we will be launching the new City
Website. It will provide increased Transparency in
Government, Citizen and business engagement, and better
Social Media integration. It will have a Streamlined, easy-to navigate design using any device, and include Enhanced e-
Services, such as the ability to Pay bills quickly and securely
on line. The address stays the same: cityofnampa.us Check
OUR PATH FORWARD
In developing the Path Forward, we need to honor the
legacy of our past: our history. In line with that, this last
summer, with the help of top officials from the Union Pacific
Railroad, we rededicated Old Engine 616. This grand old
lady worked hard for many years throughout Idaho, and is
now in retirement in Lakeview Park.
A story you’ll be hearing more about in the coming weeks is
the Old Mercy Hospital project. Community Development,
Inc., of Caldwell, has purchased this historic, but derelict
building, and has developed a plan to breathe new life into
the grand old structure. With the help of Historic
Preservation and Low Income Housing tax credits, they will
transform the building into low income Senior Housing.
These programs require a match from the city. The plan to
generate the local match is to create a single block Urban
Renewal District. There will be only one property owner,
one tax payer in the district. A portion of the new taxes
generated by their $7 million investment will be reimbursed
to help cover the cost of sewer, water, and sidewalk
upgrades needed on the block.
An important piece of the path forward is financial stability.
City employees are encouraged to constantly be alert for
ways to save money in their areas, and they are doing a
good job with this. Here are some notable examples.
The Department of Building Safety and Facilities is
responsible for 1.2 million square feet of building space.
Over the past 3 years, they have been engaged in a
strategic effort to implement energy efficiency upgrades in
the city’s buildings, and have completed those upgrades in
60% of the city’s buildings. In large part, these upgrades
have been funded with grants from another great
community partner, Idaho Power. The annual energy
savings to date are over $93,000. $93,000! Every year….
Think about it – in 10 years, that’s a savings of nearly $1
Earlier this year, I asked Michael Fuss to work with the
Vehicle Maintenance Division to identify vehicles in the fleet
that were either under-utilized or not used at all. They
found at least a dozen fitting that description. Most have
been liquidated, freeing the city from paying for
maintenance and insurance on equipment not being used.
They are currently working on a total fleet management
system that will ensure the city gets the highest and best
use from the fleet.
As you know, the City of Nampa is in the process of planning
for federally mandated upgrades to the Waste Water plant.
In formulating the path forward, we called upon citizens
once again to be involved, and you have responded by
helping create a solid plan.
In late October, we learned of an opportunity to take
advantage of the DEQ revolving loan fund to help pay for the
$28 million first phase. The challenge – the application
needed to be in DEQ’s hands before the end of the year,
complete with either an election or judicial confirmation
authorizing the city to apply for the loan. It was too late to
hold an election, so the only alternative was to seek judicial
confirmation. With the short time line, some thought the
task was impossible. Our legal team, led by Terry White,
and our Public Works team, led by Michael Fuss,
accomplished the “impossible.”
On December 20 the Judge agreed the project was Ordinary and Necessary and approved our request. One week later the application wash and-delivered to DEQ. Potential savings to the rate payers in Nampa -- $7½ million! That’s a total of $11 million that will remain with Nampa families and businesses.
Our people are using their talents and abilities to move the
city in the right direction.
I discovered a book last year titled “The Third Alternative,”
by Stephen Covey. Department leaders are studying this
book, which has been called “A most compelling approach
for addressing the most challenging issues of the day.” If I
could, I’d make this required reading for every legislator in
the state, and every congressman in Wash. DC. It deals with
the principle of “Synergy.” Synergy is when the whole is
greater than the sum of the parts. When applied to finding
new solutions to the challenges we face in building a
community, this requires an inclusive process that seeks
input and ideas from many people. In doing so, we can
generate new and better ways of doing business.
With this in mind, in the next few weeks I am going to ask
our City Council members to consider a change in the
Council structure. Idaho state law allows municipal
government to have 4 or 6 council members. When Nampa
was incorporated in 1886 with just about a hundred people,
they chose to have 4 people elected to represent the
residents, and for the past 127 years this form has served
the city well. We are now approaching 84,000 in population,
the second largest city in the state. Perhaps it’s time to
move to a 6 member Council.
There are three steps to this process:
The Council must first vote to authorize the issue to be put
to an election of the city. There would then be a special
election held to determine whether or not to make the
change. If the vote is “Yes,” then at the next City election,
an additional 2 seats would be available for candidates.
Have you ever thought about what really gets your motor
running? What really excites you – what fills you with the
energy to get up every day and get going?
I find cars exciting – actually, anything with a motor….
This is my 1955 Studebaker President. I like to tell folks I
rebuilt it last year. But really, it was a team effort involving
many local businesses. Brad from Les Schwab helped me
take the engine and transmission out and put it back in; Bob
at Nampa Auto rebuilt the engine; Clark’s went through the
transmission; Bart at Durobilt rebuilt the starter and
generator; Ken Nicodemus’ shop cleaned the radiator and
balanced and timed the drive shaft; Dave Moody installed a
new Edelbrock carburetor and got the motor running; and
Ruben’s Body Shop fixed a rust spot and polished her up. I
didn’t have to leave town for any of this! Good stuff!
But what really excites me is working with a great city team
that knows how to treat people right and get things done. I
will be running for reelection in November, because I believe
the best is yet to come. My administration has assembled a
great team, made up of some of the hardest working,
humble, service minded people in Idaho. We have provided
for the safety of our city; our Economic Development efforts
are showing success; we have instituted compassionate and
financially responsible solutions that support sustainable
infrastructure. I desire to keep working for you, to make
sure Nampa continues to grow healthy, strong, and
prosperous; a great place to live for years to come, where
people come first.
In closing let me share one more people story.
Christina Delgado’s life had spiraled out of control, and she
eventually ended up in prison. Upon release, a single mom
with 4 kids to take care of, and homeless, she found help at
the Nampa Community Family Shelter, and then transitioned
to the CATCH program. While in the shelter, Christina
completed her GED through the College of Western Idaho.
Listen to these words from Christina’s CATCH Case
manager: Christy Thomas.
Christina’s transformation from living in prison, to a
homeless shelter with her 4 children and then to having her
own home was beautiful. Christina has one of the most
comfortable, family friendly homes I have ever visited. She
worked very hard during her time in CATCH, relentlessly job
searching. Today she continues to demonstrate this
amazing work ethic. Christina has grown in her confidence
and abilities, showing that making positive, tough choices
really does pay off. Thank you to the City of Nampa for
supporting the Community Family Shelter and CATCH, Inc.
Your support allows us to help remarkable families like
In Christina’s own words:
At this writing I am a new person; confident in my abilities,
strong & self reliant, clean & sober for 5 years and looking
forward to the New Year. I can never repay all those who
provided support and education on my journey. Thank you is
inadequate….but thank you, so much.
It takes courage to change one’s life, and Christina; we
celebrate with you and congratulate you on this tremendous
Christina and her family are here, and I’d like you to meet
them. Would you all please stand. Franchesca, Louis,
It takes courage to do the right thing, to formulate a plan
and stick to it, to make adjustments as needed, and never
lose faith that God is directing the affairs of our lives and our
I’ve heard it said:
The highest test of courage is to dare to move forward in the
face of adversity.
Choosing right over wrong,
Ethics over convenience,
And Truth over popularity.
These are the choices that measure your life.
Travel the path of integrity without looking back,
For there is never a wrong time to do the right thing.
2013 will be a challenging year of great progress and
growth. I say that with full assurance because of who I am,
and who you are. We are people with a commitment to do
the right thing. We face adversity with courage and resolve.
We move forward despite the temptation to hesitate or let
someone else shoulder the burden. We will continue to lead
to make this city...our city...safe, beautiful and prosperous.
Thank you. God bless you, your families, homes, businesses,
and may God bless Nampa.”