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My Idaho: Caldwell Mayor's lasting legacy

Posted at 1:11 PM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 15:11:23-05

CALDWELL, Idaho — Patience and persistence are two words that can describe Garret Nancolas. The long-time Caldwell Mayor has decided to leave office after 24 years at the helm, and we sat down with the Mayor for his final thoughts.

"Keep your eye on what that goal is, the goal is to change things."

Nancolas figured out a long time ago that you need hard work, cooperation and maybe a prayer to two to reach those goals.

"I can tell you there were so many obstacles when I didn't know how we were going to get around that," said Nancolas. "It was very intense, prayer heavy, heavenly father help me with this, help me understand, guide me, open a window. Without fail, we were able to find a way."

You don't have to look further to see goals accomplished than the transformation of Indian Creek.

"Indian Creek was used for raw sewage, there were businesses that threw waste into the Creek. It was not a pleasant amenity like it is now."

For those who may not remember, Indian Creek was entombed and literally covered by buildings. Nancolas said they wanted to uncover the creek and bring it back to life as part of revitalizing downtown Caldwell.

There were vocal opponents to the project, but when one of the loudest critics actually called Nancolas to admit he and others were wrong, it touched the Mayor deeply.

"It was just one of those rewarding moments I guess, to hear something like that. It was wonderful. He didn't have to do that, it made my day, week, decade."

Nancolas is also proud of the Mayor's Youth Advisory Council and gets emotional talking about one young man who showed up and sat in the back row. The Mayor went out of his way to introduce himself to the young man and learned he came from a troubled home.

After feeling more comfortable at the meetings, he was invited on a council trip and was so moved he wrote a letter to Nancolas and the City Council.

"It's the most heart-wrenching, moving letter that I had ever seen in my life. This young man said thank you for taking me on this, I found out people can be kind and that adults do care."

Nancolas was honored to present this young man's high school diploma and he later returned to Caldwell as a U.S. Marine.

"One of the most important things we can do as leaders, as fathers, as husbands, community members, is remember that every person counts."

Caldwell voters selected Jarom Wagoner as their next Mayor after a run-off election in November. Wagoner beat out his opponent, John McGee, with more than 80 percent of the vote according to unofficial results.