Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Justin Dick

| October 20, 2021 1:00 AM

Office sought: Sandpoint City Council

Family: Married, two children

Occupation: Small business owner — Trinity at City Beach, co-owner Jalapenos Mexican Restaurant, and a new concept to open at 113 Main St. in January 2022 (with a little luck) 

  1. I participated in the community engagement of the 2009 Comprehensive Plan and the Parks & Rec. Master Plan as a resident and a small business owner and enjoyed the experience of having a voice that shapes the future of our city. Over a decade has passed since and I want to serve the community that has given so much to my family, my employees and businesses over the years.

  2. As an owner of two small businesses in Sandpoint, I have employed many community members and have had an opportunity to interact with hundreds of residents and visitors from all walks, many of which share their opinions, comments, questions and concerns of our community. I am the President of the Bonner General Health Foundation Board, a member of the Visit Sandpoint Tourism Council, a Sandpoint Rotarian and a former Board member on the Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce.

  3. Community Affordability/lack of workforce, updating the Comprehensive Plan, and growth

  4. Affordability — Lack of work force albeit housing, rent, cost at the grocery store, etc…always comes at a tradeoff. Solutions to this are not perfect, nor are they timely. Affordability comes at a the cost of a living wage. For employers to pay a living wage, they must raise prices on goods & services sold and/or cut costs-both come at a cost to someone in this community.

Updating the Comprehensive Plan — it is time to re-engage the community to help develop our path for the future. With so many new residents, and those that have worked tirelessly to call this home for many years; the dynamic of this community has changed immensely sense 2009. As with the changing dynamics of this community, technology for engagement has changed drastically and affords us a better opportunity to hear from a much boarder, diverse and inclusive spectrum of the community.

Growth — Growth is inevitable. Many have recently found the same paradise that we fell in love with and decided to call home. Our pace of life, the preservation of our natural beauty and resources, and our inclusivity and diversity make Sandpoint home to all of us. We must continue to find areas for development of housing, while also preserving parks and green spaces that offer affordable activities for those that live here. Our connectivity needs to be preserved via multimodal transportation pathways and way finding.

  1. I would introduce myself to every member of the city’s staff and engage the public that I don’t know. I always think of myself as quite accessible to everyone in the community, as most know where to find me on any given day; at Trinity. There are sectors of this community I don’t know and don’t know their struggles or haven’t heard their input. I will do my best to find those citizens and make myself accessible.

  2. Transportation - With all of the talk about affordability, one thing that is often left out of the discussion is transportation and access to transportation as Sandpointians have needed to move further away from the city to find affordable housing. As housing sprawls to areas around Sandpoint, the need for transportation becomes evident every Winter. Affordable often comes at the cost of fuel inefficient four wheel drive vehicles or vehicles that can’t drive well on snowy roads.

  3. Be an active part of this community. Go vote, get involved with something you’re passionate about, volunteer your time, and be stewards of this community. When my wife and I volunteered in Denver, we were one of thousands only distinguishable by a name tag. When you get involved in the community of Sandpoint, you’re a small group of devoted, likeminded individuals that can affect huge positive impact for our community.

  4. Given the record amount of people and development the past 20+ months, in the wake of a global pandemic, the shortness of staff that the city is experiencing-I’d say they’re doing quite well under the circumstances. No one could have imagined the toll covid-19 has taken and continues to take on the makeup of a small community like ours. The city’s services continue to operate at the best of their abilities and should be commended for doing so.

  5. What is your greatest regret since moving to Sandpoint? My greatest regret is the time I have missed being a father to my children and supportive spouse to my wife. My family is everything. I haven’t been able to find the work-life balance so many have found in this great community of ours. I chose a profession that hasn’t given me great wealth, nor time, but gives me a great sense of accomplishment, community, and responsibility.

  6. Employers need to focus on attracting employees who are passionate for all that our community has to offer and also recognize the need to achieve work life balance. As an employer, I want employees who find Sandpoint as amazing as I do and understand that the cost-benefit analysis of raising a family here far out ways the costs. Your ability to live in such an amazing place and show your children how to do the same is priceless.

  7. Work force housing comes at a price to those that need the workforce, the employers. As a small business owner who has employees who need housing, I have helped employees find rentals, condos, hotels, ADUs, paid first-last-security deposits, co-signed loans, personal guarantees, down payments , etc… Workforce housing was an issue prior to 2009 and will continue to be if it's devoid of the private sector. The city can work directly with employers to help with rezoning, incentives, exemptions, allocation, bonuses and waivers, etc…

  8. I have a unique opportunity to use my businesses to help further the city’s avenues of public engagement. I will use my network of local customers, email database, social media, and brick & mortar locations to engage public involvement in the decision-making process.