(City of Chubbuck Press Release, October 8, 2020)
To the citizens of the City of Chubbuck,
As the duly elected Mayor and members of the City Council we felt it our explicit duty to make a united statement about the advisory question that will appear on the ballot in Bannock County this November 3rd.
As elected officials we were never approached to find out our thoughts on the matter. As we understand it 2 individuals representing a small group of people (15 or less) approached the Bannock County Commissioners to ask them to place an advisory question on the ballot. Mayor England was invited to a meeting with the Commission to discuss this. At that meeting Mayor England let the commission know that in his opinion this was not a county issue but a city issue. There is Statutory Authority in our state code for commissioners to put an advisory question on the ballot for any issue before the citizens of that county. Mayor England expressed to them that Idaho Statute Title 50 Chapter 21 outlines in detail the process for consolidation of cities, and it does not include placing an advisory question on the ballot. This is an issue before 2 cities, not the entire county. The county commissioners, after deliberations, then tweaked the question and included it on the ballot.
With the question being placed on an election ballot we have felt that it was our duty to inform the Citizens of Chubbuck as to what consolidating cities would mean for them.
If 2 cities consolidate the larger city absorbs the smaller city. This means the smaller city’s name, ordinances, policies, everything about it would all go away. The larger city’s name, ordinances, policies, and all else would replace it. The only thing that remains with the smaller city is any debt that they have incurred. After consolidation, the larger city would geographically cut out the footprint of the smaller former city and the citizens of the smaller city would be billed for any and all debt of their former city. A great example of this would be the Northwest Sewer Interceptor. That facility would belong to the larger city but the smaller city would continue to pay that bill, separate from any other bill that they would pay for being citizens of the new larger city.
We have collectively heard from many citizens of Chubbuck, and without exception we have been asked by all to not allow this to happen. We say to each of you that we agree, but it is now up to you to make sure and vote no on the advisory question. The City of Chubbuck has a very bright future and to change course now, in our opinion, would be a mistake. Please remember, we are who we are because you are who you are. We are grateful for each of you. All our best to you and yours.
Sincerely and with warm regards,
Mayor Kevin England
Councilmembers: Ryan Lewis, Melanie Evans, Roger Hernandez, and Daniel Heiner