PUBLIC OPINIONS ON PROPOSED PARK
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COMMENTS 1-4-17 LMS

Public Comments during the January 4 meeting of the Salmon City Council began with former Councilman Fred Waidely taking issue with persistent demands that Councilman Russ Chinske recuse himself from any discussions or votes on the Salmon Whitewater Park Association’s (SWPA) desire to establish a whitewater feature in the Salmon River.

Waidely said that as a citizen Chinske represents him and he, Waidely, supports SWPA’s goal. He said it is ‘completely out-of-line” to make the recuse demand and that Chinske, as a representative of constituents has a right to vote and participate in any discussions concerning the proposed park.

Dave Gusky disagreed with Waidely saying Chinske is the former head of the Whitewater Association and that from his performance at council meetings Chinske has demonstrated he is obviously biased. Gusky asked that Chinske recuse himself from any discussions or votes on the topic of the Whitewater Park.

Later in the meeting during the council’s Roundtable Discussion Chinske responded to the recuse demand by stating that because there is no financial gain involved there is no reason to recuse himself. He said, “I don’t have any legal obligation to step down from votes, nor will I.” He said in case anyone is still curious, he does support SWPA. He added, “If anyone voted for me, through the democratic process, to put me up here and didn’t know that…you weren’t listening.”

Bob Blackadar spoke during the last Public Comment opportunity of the evening. His first topic concerned the city’s new bridge to Island Park which he called ‘beautiful.’ He said if anyone is having problems with the election or relationships they ought to just walk over that bridge, “…and get over it. It’s a brand new year.”

Blackadar then mentioned he is the beneficiary of the Department of Energy rebate program for woodstove change-overs. He said although the program is from the current administration his letter arrived on a City of Salmon letterhead. He said the transaction was done very professionally by City Clerk Mary Benton and he thanked all involved very much.

Blackadar acknowledged the accolades being given city crews for snow removal and added some of his own. He said as he was leaving church on a Sunday in early December he saw a City of Salmon road grader plowing snow on VanDreff Street near the hospital, opening the street for emergency access. At six o’clock on Christmas Eve he witnessed a City of Salmon dump truck clearing a path on South St. Charles Street. Blackadar praised the Christmas Eve work as being, “…duly diligent at snow removal. That’s huge!”


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