Idaho Falls mayoral candidates discuss economic development

POSTED: 06:09 PM MDT Oct 31, 2013 
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

The four candidates for mayor of Idaho Falls all say the city has a lot of potential for economic growth.

"Where the growth really needs to happen we need to bring in high tech and manufacturing jobs, we need jobs that really pay livable wages," said mayoral candidate Brian LePray

"The economic growth in Idaho Falls needs to reflect what the needs are, and that's high tech and manufacturing jobs aiming high not aiming low," said mayoral candidate Sharon Parry.

"We need to step up our game. There's more that Idaho Falls can be doing to be more competitive," said mayoral candidate Rebecca Casper.

To be more competitive, the candidates said they need to sell the city of Idaho Falls and capitalize on what sets it apart from nearby communities.

"Streamlining the permitting processes, speeding that up and that's what a lot of businesses apparently look at," said mayoral candidate Timothy Downs.

"Idaho Falls needs to put a marketing plan together, we need to sell ourselves. We have some of the lowest utility rates in the country, our power is very inexpensive here in comparison to other states. We have great sewer rates and great water rates, we have a great community to live in we've got a great community to live in," said LePray.

"To convey the message of strong economic growth in Idaho Falls means to work with the agencies that are in place and it's what I call focus, aim shoot. Unabashedly go after those big Fortune-500 companies and know what your weaknesses are, know what your strengths are and go and sell Idaho Falls. It's an easy sell, we just need an aggressive mayor to do it," said Parry.

"It's a matter of linking arms with these business development entities that are out there and have the city be available when site selector comes to take them around to meet with them and not just wait for them to come to our door to be annexed," said Casper.

The candidates also all said the popular issue about creating a spray park in Idaho Falls is something they would all consider, however placing it at Memorial Drive near the greenbelt is a place they would discourage.

Each candidate suggested Tautphaus Park as a place to consider for the spray park, they say it would also help revitalize the zoo and fun center.