Jun 21 2017

The Mayor’s Corner 06/21/2017

Welcome to our Fiddling friends and visitors. We hope you have a great week in Weiser. It looks like the weather is going to be great. Stay hydrated and use sunscreen and insect repellent If being outside.

Fiddle week is busy already. City crews are working with the organizers to provide a good week for all our residents and visitors. Please drive carefully with the increased traffic and watch for bike riders and pedestrians. Visitors- remember we have couple of one-way streets in town so be cautious as you turn on Main and Idaho Streets.

The City wants to thank the folks at Western Timber for their donation of sawdust for our playgrounds. We continue to look for the safest materials at reasonable cost for our playgrounds. We have had small chunks of rubber for years but unfortunately, they get very hot in our warmest months. There are requirements for the depth of the material under the equipment and some materials makes the cost prohibitive so this donation is very much appreciated.

The 4th of July is just two weeks away. Plans are moving forward for the 4th of July Veterans’ Parade. The Parade will take place as usual 4th of July morning with times to follow next week. Jim Grunke has long organized this parade and Jim has retired this year so Herb Haun and Alex Chavarria are leading the charge this year. We encourage all veterans and current military personnel to be available. I will be issuing a formal request next week so start planning to be part of the parade. There will be float available for veterans who wish to ride rather than march. In addition, we love to have kids and adults join by decorating bikes and wearing patriotic costumes as part of the parade. There Will Not be a barbecue but the fireworks will happen at dark on the night of the 4th. Following the parade, there will be a ceremony at Veterans’ Park.

Our Weiser Fire Department provides an outstanding job of presenting fireworks to celebrate our country’s birthday. Bill Taylor and crew have another great display planned thanks to the many contributions from the community.

Thank you to Jim for his many years of service to our country and community. He has led our veterans’ activities in Weiser for many years by organizing events and providing transportation for our veterans in his military equipment. Thank you, Jim for your dedication.

Congratulations to Evelyn Upton and the family of Eugene Hirata for the recognition and honor given during this year’s Fiddle Parade. Remember this parade will happen this Saturday beginning at noon. Find a comfortable spot along the parade route. Bring your chair, water and some shade to enjoy the floats and participating groups. The parade route is on page 13 of the Signal Fiddle edition. The Bikers’ Rodeo follows the parade at 2 p.m. and is being held this year at the Rodeo grounds. Check out the paper for the schedule for the many events going on all week.

Thank you to all the volunteers and organizers that make this such a fun week in Weiser. Enjoy the week and be safe.

Jun 14 2017

The Mayor’s Corner 06/14/2017

Preparation for Fiddle Festival has begun in earnest with the placement of the banner across State Street. Crews from the Electric Department and Water Department will be placing the wood Fiddles up later in the week. Power boards will be placed in the parks and water hook-ups checked and meters read to begin usage for the vendors. The Street crew is finishing the crosswalks and will be placing barricades around various locations for parking, closing streets and preparing for the parade on Saturday. The Street crew will also be building the City float which is used to transport the host Fiddlers in the parade each year. This year it is also scheduled to be used in the 4th of July Parade to transport some of our veterans. The Parks crew is working to get the parks ready for all the visitors and make sure sprinkler heads are marked so vendors don’t run over them. Lots of little details have to be taken care of before the activities begin.

Flags will be put up this week to celebrate Flag Day on Wednesday, June 14 and will stay up until after the 4th of July. They always look so nice waving in the wind next to the flower baskets. Hopefully, the waving in the wind will be a gentle waving. We have definitely been getting our share of blustery, rainy days and nights the last few weeks. The beauty of the lightning in the sky can sometimes be lost in the roar of the thunder particularly if you have animals.

Friday nights will not be the same this year for many of us. I visited with Ken Avant last week and Friday Nite Live has had to be suspended this year. As you may know Friday Nite Live was the joint effort of Ken and Gene Inskeep. Ken was the idea and logistics man and Gene allowed his property to be used to house the event each week. Gene decided after last season to fix the courtyard up and removed the bricks and pavers along with trees and brush in hopes of redoing the area to better accommodate the event and provide a nicer set up. Gene unexpectedly passed away last winter. His family has since sold the building and courtyard. The new owner has expressed his support of the event but unfortunately the cost of replacing the roof after our ‘winter from Hades’ along with the cost of removing the tree and redoing the courtyard has made it cost prohibitive to get it done. Ken has looked at other possible venues but the transportation of equipment and setup in other areas with seating capacity has not worked at this time. This was a fun Friday night activity and a wonderful way to showcase local talent as well as a way to raise money to get music in the hands of our school kids. Thank you, Ken, for all your efforts over the last five years. You are so appreciated. We will miss this community wide event.

Be sure if you have kids to put Kids’ Day, Tuesday, June20 on your calendar. This has become a premier event for the kids during Fiddle Week. This year the ping pong ball drop has been added back in down by the Depot. Check out the details for all the activities in the special section of today’s paper. Enjoy Fiddle Week and be safe.

Jun 07 2017

The Mayor’s Corner 06/07/2017

Last week I wrote about the structure of our court system because I am working with a team of folks to look at funding for the courts. We received an overview of current fees related to criminal and infraction cases I thought I would share so when you see the listings you might have a better understanding of them.

The following fees are charged in all cases whether felony, misdemeanors, or infractions and does not include any fines. Felony costs are $245.50 which is broken down in the following way: $17.50 Court costs, $10 County justice fund, $15 POST Academy, $75 Crime Victims Compensation, $10 Court Technology Fund, $3 Peace Officer Disability, $100 surcharge which I understand goes to Supreme Court, $15 Victim Notification Fund. Misdemeanor fees are $157.50 which includes $17.50 Court costs, $10 County Justice Fund, $15 POST Academy, $37 Crime Victims Compensation, $10 Court Technology Fund, $3 Peace Officer Disability $50 Surcharge, $15 Victim Notification Fund. Infraction fees are $56.50; $16.50 Court costs, $5 County Justice Fund, $15 POST Academy, 0 Crime Victims Fund, $10 Court Technology Fund, 0 Peace Officer Disability, $10 Surcharge, 0 Victim Notification. There are additional fees in specific cases such as Community Service Fee $.60 per hour, Felony Probation Fee $75 per month or less and a list of other cases depending on the charges.

There are also fees established by the courts that are collected by the County Clerk for civil and criminal filings. Civil fees would include filings like divorce, guardianship, conservatorships, adoptions, small claims court, etc.

The fines charged are set by statute or law and the percentages that are allocated are also set by law. The Supreme Court also established the priority list when payment of fees and fines is made. The actual Criminal fine is number 16 on the priority list so the other 15 items must be paid if the judge orders them as part of the fine before the criminal fine is allocated payment. There are another eight items on the list that may need to be addressed in payment if they apply to the case. Now when you see those numbers in the paper you may have a little more understanding of them. Funding courts is complex as is the funding for our law enforcement. Funding for law enforcement at the County level comes primarily from taxes and in the City, it is taxes through the general fund.

Fiddle Contest is not far off. It is time to look at clean up around the community. City crews have already started getting crosswalks repainted and streets clean for our visitors. There are some changes to the location of the contest and changes in the parks. Many organizations are looking for volunteers to help with projects so watch the paper for opportunities to help out.

Remember if traveling I-84 on the weekends, that the lanes of traffic between Caldwell and Nampa will be restricted from 7 pm. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday for construction. Watch local news and the ITD website for the specific plans for crossover to one-lane in each direction during these times. Initial construction began May 21 and is expected to continue through mid-July.

May 31 2017

The Mayor’s Corner 05/31/2017

I was recently asked to be part of a team of city, county and court representatives to talk about funding of our Idaho Court system. It is always interesting to work with others to try to find solutions to such diverse issues. To make sure I had a clear picture I decided to go back and revisit on paper, of course, our courts and thought I would share the information as a refresher. The information comes from the Idaho Supreme Court website and the Idaho Bar Association website.

The Idaho State Court system is made up of three levels: District Courts which include Magistrate courts and are the trial courts; Court of Appeals; and the highest court, the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court consists of a Chief Justice and four Associate Justices that are elected at-large in staggered terms every 6 years in a non-partisan election. They do not run on a party line ticket. Only occasionally are there races such as we saw this past year. The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over 1) Claims against the State (advisory opinions) and 2) Extraordinary writs. They have appellate or appeals jurisdiction over appeals from interim orders and final judgment in district courts and direct appeals from certain administrative agencies.

The Court of Appeals is made up of a Chief Judge and three Associate Judges. The judges also serve staggered 6 year terms and are elected non-partisan. Their cases are limited to appeals assigned to them by the Supreme Court and come from the district courts.

The State of Idaho is divided into 7 judicial districts. We reside in the third Judicial District which includes Adams, Washington, Payette, Gem, Canyon and Owyhee Counties. Each county houses a District Court. Magistrate Courts are also under the same judicial districts. District Judges are non-partisan and are up for re-election every four years in the district they serve.

In the District Courts, judges have original jurisdiction over 1) personal injury and other civil claims; 2) Contracts; 3) Property Disputes; and 4) Felonies, which are crimes punishable by a fine or incarceration in the penitentiary as well as civil disputes when the amount of money is above $10,000. They also hear appeals from Magistrate Court, small claims departments, and state agencies and boards.

Magistrate Court judges hear criminal cases punishable by a fine or incarceration in the county jail. This includes misdemeanors and infractions. They also have jurisdiction over 1) civil actions up to $10,000 which include personal injury, property disputes, contracts, etc.; 2) Small claims; 3) Traffic cases; 4) Probate of Estates; 5) Juvenile correction proceedings; 6) Child Protective proceedings; 7)Arrest Warrants; search and seizures; 7) Preliminary hearings for probable cause on felony complaints; and 8) Domestic Relations.

Each county has at least one Magistrate Judge. Larger counties have more judges and in some smaller counties, their judges travel to supplement other counties. Our local Magistrate is Judge Frates who does travel to other jurisdictions to help out. Our local District Judge is Judge Wiebe.

So why the committee I am serving on. The Courts are facing increased costs as are other Counties. Cities and many agencies. How do we fund the courts and our ever growing law enforcement costs. That is the question we are being asked to address. How does society pay for the dysfunction we see without trying to pick each other’s pockets. I will talk next week about some of the fees and fines and where they go to help pay for the Court process. Stay tuned or skip next week, depending on your interest.

Don’t forget the Community Pond cleanup on June 2 beginning at 9 a.m.

May 24 2017

The Mayor’s Corner 05/24/2017

Tomorrow is the last day of school for Weiser School district. Students will be released at noon so drive carefully as kids will be excited as they walk and ride home. Baseball is in full “swing” and kids will be on their way to practice and games around the parks and schools. Please be alert. The crew has been working on getting the pool ready and the manager is here to begin training for guards. It is hoped to have a limited opening on June 1-3 for some open swimming and then open on Monday, June5 with a fuller schedule. Season passes are available at the Rec office.

The Electric Department will be doing maintenance and repair on four sector cabinets in the apartments north of Pioneer on West 6th Street on Wednesday. This will require a power outage in the apartments for approximately six hours from 9 am to 3 pm. The moderate temperatures make this a good time to do the work while the kids are still in school for one more day. This will eliminate too hot or cold weather and the kids being home without power. Residents have been notified and if there are questions contact the City office.

The Water Department is doing the hydrant flushing today, Wednesday, May 24. Please refer to the City Water web page or last week’s article if you have problems with your water after the flushing or contact the Water Department.

Congratulations to the participants in spring activities at the high school. WHS’s boys and girls golf teams, Girls’ Softball team, tennis team and track team, all participated in State tournaments some time over the last two week and represented the school and our community very well. Congratulations to all. In addition, we had four very talented students compete in the annual state solo singing competition. Congratulations to Aaron Real for taking first place in the tenor division. He has an amazing voice as do all the ladies. We have so many talented and nice kids in our community I appreciate people keeping me up to date on the activities.

Monday the City offices will be closed in honor of Memorial Day. Thank you to the Elks and other volunteers who go to the cemetery each year to place the flags on the veterans’ graves. This is a wonderful time to honor our veterans but also for families to get together to remember loved ones and the memories they have of them.

Memorial Weekend is the first of several summer holiday weekends and the beginning of vacations which see a large increase in accidents. There are several major road construction projects in our area this summer which will add to the danger and frustration of drivers. Please drive carefully and patiently as you travel on vacations and weekends. Enjoy the change in our weather and the beauty of our state and be safe.

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