Monday, June 5Welcome

Urban Renewal Leadership Changes in Hayden

With a new Executive Director of the Hayden Urban Renewal Agency and a stepping down of Chairman, the future of Hayden’s Urban Renewal District will be explored more thoroughly in the near future.

Welch Comer project manager Melissa Cleveland was almost unanimously elected to replace Rob Wright at Monday’s board meeting. Cleveland will step down as Hayden’s director of community development in August 2021 after nearly three years. He was voted against by Matt Roetter.

Mr. Wright, who served five years as executive director of the board, is also a city engineer.

“I wear two hats,” Wright said after the meeting. I can focus on my work again.”

Wright said he plans to continue attending meetings for several months to help Cleveland transition into the role.

“Our hope is to sign an agreement, after which she plans to start at a meeting in January.

Board Chairman John Young announced his resignation in an email Monday night. His decision to step down followed a meeting involving board members of the Urban Renaissance District and a discussion of land ownership within the district.

At the meeting, Roetter said he had asked former Senator Mary Souza, a Republican from Coeur d’Alene, whose term ended in 2014, to seek information from the Idaho Attorney General’s Office on the matter.

“I am guilty,” said Lothar.

He said he first asked the agency’s attorney, Pete Bredeson, about the ability of board members to purchase properties in urban redevelopment districts.

“He answered, and I appreciate that that would require analysis, etc. So what I did was ask Senator Mary Sousa to answer that question for the AG. It was,” Lotter said.

Roetter circulated Deputy Attorney General JJ Winters’ response, stating that if a board member voluntarily acquires property within an urban renewal project area, that board member is in violation of Idaho Code 50-2017.

“Knows or intends to own or will include property that a board member owns or has owned within the last two years and is entitled to ownership of the project and /or failing to disclose their votes, board members are violating Idaho Code 50. 2017,” Winters wrote.

The remedy, writes Winters, is the removal of the local government by majority vote after a public hearing.

Mr. Young, who has served on the board since 2010, purchased real estate in the district three years ago.

“I did the right thing. I resigned as soon as it came to my attention,” Young said.

Young said he was surprised by the new information, sought legal counsel, spoke with the executive director, and announced it to the board when the purchase was first made. The confusion lies in whether an entire urban renewal district is considered an urban renewal project, as described in the Idaho Code. Young’s attorney ruled that the purchase was legal.

“The assistant attorney general interpreted that if you are a member of the board, you cannot buy property,” Young said. “If I had known three years ago, I would have resigned then.” prize.”

Winters said his analysis was limited to the very specific factual scenarios presented in the investigation rather than the finding that a breach had occurred.

“I have enjoyed this opportunity to make a difference in the city of Hayden and its residents,” said Young. “It has been my pleasure working with the Commission members, City officials and the City Council to accomplish many great projects during my time on the Commission. The ongoing participation on the HURA board when I purchased the asset did not match.”

Hayden Mayor Scott Forsell accepted his resignation with regret. He said Young has served Hayden admirably in several capacities and has devoted much of his time to making sure the city prospered as it grew.

“The city really appreciates all of John’s work,” Forsell told The Press.

The Urban Renaissance Agency Commission may function during periods of vacancy. Forssell begins looking for potential candidates for volunteer positions that require city council approval.

The board discussed what lies beyond Hayden’s urban renewal. The present-day district includes the section north of Hayden from Ramsey Road to Government Way along the south side of Lancaster Avenue and south along Government to Prairie Avenue, where the section intersects west of Route 95. is doing.

In addition to creating new districts, expanding districts is also an option. This item has been tabled and will be resumed at a future meeting.

Established in 2005 by the Hayden City Council, the Hayden Urban Renaissance Authority follows its mission to “improve the quality of life for citizens of Hayden and the region through the restoration of dilapidated properties, redevelopment partnerships and the construction of public infrastructure. ” is working on it.

The Hayden Urban Renewal Agency’s next meeting will be on January 9th at 3pm on the City Council Chambers.



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