Saturday, April 20, 2024
41.0°F

Steve Geiger

| October 21, 2023 1:00 AM

Background

Profession: Owner, In & Out Painting

Years as Bonner County resident: 31 years

Marital status: Married

Family: 2 children

Questions

  1. My answers will not exactly correspond with the questions as I’ve been mayor for the past eight years and I am running unopposed. 

The major issues we are dealing with is the pressure of all of the rapid growth that we’ve been experiencing over the past several years. What I would like to see in the first hundred days or so is that all of our local community leaders come together to discuss the issues that we are experiencing regarding the lack of infrastructure to handle all of this growth and what plans are we going to come up with to deal with it. 

From what I’ve been hearing we have a round 2500 new units coming online countywide that have been permitted and are under construction or are in the works to be constructed. Once these units are completed, we will have many more residents which will bring on more traffic and pressure of our local system and services.

2 and 3. What I can tell you about our city council board is that we all get along listen to each other and respect one another. we deal with issues and find solutions without being disrespectful or rude to each other. As elected officials it is mandatory that we behave in a professional manner. We listen to people’s issues and hear all sides and try to find solutions.

  1. I feel the City Of Ponderay does a good job at connecting with our community and listening to our residents issues. Most of the time we find solutions occasionally there are times when things don’t go exactly in a persons favor. This isn’t the easiest job all the time. Sometimes we’re faced with really tough decisions that impact someone and that is the tough part of this job because you do truly feel for someone in their situation that Has to end up dealing with the decisions we make.
  2. I do feel that we are going in the right direction. We have done some amazing things in our city that will put us in a good place in the future.

Just recently our city purchased a 4 acre parcel of land next to the Bonner county EMS on Kootenai Cutoff Road. This will one day be the future site of a new police department. Hopefully fire safety services and possibly a new City Hall after I’m dead. I believe where our City Hall currently is, will last us many many more years. 

A couple years ago, our city also purchased 8 acres of land which encompasses the shoreline of our entire city. This purchase protected that property from being commercially developed into hotels restaurants and marinas. this space along the Ponderay Bay Trail, will remain natural for the future generations to enjoy. 

We have began working on our field of dreams site which will include 11 acres of soccer fields, lacrosse fields areas for parking and a bathroom facility. we should see the completion of this first phase by mid summer next year. 

These projects would not have been possible if it were not for the local option tax dollars that we receive from all of the folks that shop and spend money in our community. They are all apart of why we have been able to accomplish these projects.

6 and 7. The critical issues of our community would be what is our plan to deal with all of the growth regarding population increase in our community. The pressure on local safety services, Road infrastructure,Schools, Etc. we are all unfortunately going to have to deal with major changes going forward. I hear the frustrations of folks that have lived here for their entire life

On what’s happening to our community and what I hear is too much growth,too fast of growth, uncontrolled growth. These are major issues, and the best thing to do is communicate to your elected officials about your thoughts regarding all of these issues.

  1. There has been a lot of tensions in the county. I have lived here 31 years and this has been the most fractious board I think any of us have ever seen. I can only hope they figure out a way to work together and find some kind of unity. 

I would like to think our city has a strong sense of community between our residents. We do several things throughout the year to be involved with our community. We do an annual city cleanup day in the spring,we do our annual Ponderay Neighbor days in the fall, and we do our Santa sack project in the winter. we are that small growing city that wants to instill values of a community that is connected and that can listen to each other and work with one another. 

  1. Being honored with this job for the past eight years what I love about this community is how generous and helpful so many people are within our area. Every year we receive thousands of dollars in donations towards our Santa sack program and our Ponderay neighbors day event. The generosity that I have seen is overwhelming.

One of the greatest things I’ve been able to do because of this community is being Santa for our Santa sack project. It is the most amazing day of the year that we have, and I’ve been honored to do it for the last seven years.

I love the fact that living in the City Of Ponderay, you literally have all your needs right here given that we have a lot of businesses and services that our community has to offer and we have lots of parking lots and mostly no on street parking, I really like that. 

  1. Most people that know me understand my favorite thing to do is work. I like to be involved and doing things in our community. and I do like to vacation during the winter to see family in Florida and friends in Mexico.
  2. I would think at one point or another we have all at times have changed our views on issues after thinking about them or receiving new information. This is just a part of life and you have to go with it. And as far as decisions regarding issues with our city, I cannot think of any decisions that I have made that I wished that I would’ve done differently, however, after thinking about this for a few days I’m sure I’ll come up with a few.
  3. Growing up I spent a lot of time with my grandfather, and he taught me a lot of life’s lessons, and how to think and deal with different issues, and how to speak up when you have something on your mind. I learned many good values from my parents and uncles and feel lucky to have had in my younger days A tight knit family.
  4. Well I think there’s a lot of important characteristics for someone that holds public office. I think you need to have an open mind and not shut people down because you’ve already made your mind up without hearing them out. there needs to be some level of respect and common courtesy when you hold public office.

You have to have a lot of patience in listening to all sides so that people understand you do care about their issues or concerns.

You’ve got to be one that puts yourself out in the community and handle things directly. People would always rather hear from a person that would go out of their way to knock on their door and have a normal conversation versus sending some kind of a letter of enforcement or something from an attorney. You should always start by trying to talk things out Like humans.

  1. Why are you doing this. Are you doing it for yourself or the community. Are you going to be out there and be involved in your community. 

My answer is that I like to give back and help people or situations and this job has allowed me to do that. It’s great being involved in this community.

I got to say, I never in my life figured I would end up where I am at, in being mayor of this city. I moved into this city almost 25 years ago and went to a few council meetings back then and was asked several times to be on city counsel, and on the third time, I excepted a position to be appointed to the city Council. and the rest is history.

  1. Being mayor for the city of Ponderay has been the greatest honor of my life. I couldn’t do this job without our amazing staff at the City Hall and our police department, they are all true professionals, and have our cities best interest at hand.