(Pocatello for Accountable Government Entities, March 8, 2023)

To date, the Council has not approved/allocated any funding toward the Ross Park slide/tower replacement project, although they have now accepted a wonderful, generous $140K gift for this project.

At this week’s Work Session, the Council will consider the slide replacement project as one of the many potential projects to fund. Approximately $7,805,096 (78%) of the original $10,700,496 in ARPA money remains to be spent. Twenty-four projects are listed on the potential project list which total over $19.8M. That’s more than double the funds available with limited funding available from other sources.
The slide project is important to the public as a valued asset to the community and a revenue generator. It is a strong candidate for funding either from ARPA or other sources.
Our question is how is the Mayor so confident to prematurely announce the City will get a new slide when ARPA hasn’t been discussed on an agenda since November, and that ARPA project list has grown? He discontinues public comment for fear of violating public open meeting law, yet he confidently announces a project that has not been voted upon in a noticed meeting? He cannot know this outcome with any degree of certainty without having conferred with council members outside of a noticed meeting.

If this is not an indication of a possible open meetings violation, it definitely creates the perception of one.

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