Downey Hosts 88th Capital for a Day
|Earlier this month, the great city of Downey and Mayor Dennis Phillips hosted the 88th Idaho Capital for a Day and it was a huge success! State, local and county officials worked all day with residents in the Downey City Hall to address and solve issues. Among the many presentations by my Cabinet, Idaho Department of Commerce Director Megan Ronk focused on opportunities available to Idaho counties for economic development partnerships.
The residents of the Downey area were tremendous hosts and I was impressed with the work we were able to get done on their behalf. Thank you again to Mayor Dennis Phillips and everyone who make Capital for a Day successful for the citizens of Idaho.
|Megan Ronk, Director of the Idaho Department of Commerce, addresses attendees at Downey's Capital for a Day about economic development partnerships.
Governor, Lt. Governor Tour Pioneer Fire
On August 17th, I had the opportunity to participate in aerial and base camp tours of the North and South Zone of the Pioneer fire. These tours were a testament to the professionalism, precision and attention to safety and detail that all of the coordinating departments and agencies work with on a day-to-day basis. Brook Chadwick in the North Zone and Mike Wilkins in the South Zone are leading by example and taking care of business to contain the largest wildfire in the nation, keeping critical watershed, structures and the public safe. Thank you to
Lt. Governor Brad Little
for joining me and a very special thank you to the outstanding work of our firefighters, their commanders and everyone putting their lives on the line
Idaho Youth Robotics Week
Idaho Youth Robotics Week was August 7 - 13. During that week, I made efforts to highlight the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. I was proud to join all of the accomplished STEM students and their teachers, mentors and parents on August 11th in the Capitol Rotunda to proclaim Idaho Youth Robotics Week.
3rd Annual Intermountain Energy Summit in Idaho Falls
On August 10th, I joined Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper, the Idaho National Laboratory and many other energy stakeholders for the Intermountain Energy Summit where I discussed the need for clean, predictable nuclear energy for Idaho and the Nation.
Many thanks to Mayor Casper for hosting us and putting on such a successful event!
Boise Named 2nd Fastest Growing Construction Market in the Nation
In early August, The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) released data confirming that Boise is the 2nd fastest growing construction market in the nation. I have advocated an all-hands-on-deck approach involving the state Commerce Department, AGC and many others and it has paid off for our community. Thanks to great projects like the Broadway Bridge Project, Boise's construction industry will continue leading the nation and provide Idahoans with world-class buildings and infrastructure.
First Lady's Focus: Back To School!
August means back to school! As an educator, I know how important it is for kids to be geared up adequately for the year. This year, Children's Home Society of Idaho is having a school supply drive to help prepare their clients for the new school year.
Children's Home Society of Idaho is a nonprofit organization committed to counseling children and family members to help them succeed educationally. Their center, Warm Springs Counseling Center (WSCC) counsels large numbers of families every year and sets themselves apart from other counseling centers by helping even those who cannot pay. WSCC feels the best investment you can make is in our most valuable community resource - children.
If you or anyone you know would consider donating to their cause please reference the list below. Donations can be dropped off at either their Warm Springs or Meridian Offices.
School Supply List - New Items Only Please
- #2 lead pencils (packages of 12 or more)
- Boxes of crayons (24 per box or fewer)
- White school glue, 8oz or 4oz (orange cap recommended)
- Large pink erasers
- Rulers (12" with metric scale)
- Spiral or wireless notebooks, 70-100 pages, college and wide-ruled needed
- Large packages of 3-holed college and wide-ruled paper
- Quality pointed scissors (Fiskar-type recommended)
- Boxes of colored pencils
- Red pens or pencils for correcting
- Folders with pockets
- Water-based felt markers
- P cases, backpacks, and other fun/colorful items to jazz up the school year
Children's Home Society of Idaho - Thank you for your dedication to our community and children's education!
Also, Zions Bank Community Magazine highlighted Idaho Women in Leadership. To read the article, click here: https://www.linkedin.com/company/zions-bank
Agency Spotlight: Idaho Transportation Department
Why is transportation important to Idaho?
The state transportation system is inextricably woven into the fabric of Idaho life. The state's citizens use Idaho's transportation system to get to work, school, friends and recreation.
They also rely on that system to bring goods to their stores, services to their doorstep, and to make sure the state's goods and services are delivered to the customers of the nation and the world. From the food they eat, to the letters they read, to the movies they drive to, Idahoans are empowered by transportation in complex and substantial ways. Idaho's leaders and transportation officials understand the essential role transportation plays as a cornerstone for the state's economic and social health. The transportation department's mandate is to provide the people of Idaho with a transportation system that includes various means of travel.
Highways are a driving force in state's economy
Air travel provides a vital economic link
Idaho's transportation system is the backbone of the state's economy. Safe and efficient roads, bridges, airports, railroads and ports promote the expansion of Idaho's economy. The cost of doing business is affected by how well goods and people can be moved across town, across the country and around the world. Thus, Idaho's economic performance is tied to the quality of our transportation system.
The aviation industry provides jobs either directly or indirectly through the state's airports or tourism from the money that visitors bring into the state. Together, this generates $1.3 billion in aviation-related economic impact to Idaho and provides more than 24,000 jobs. Another nearly 27,000 jobs in the state are in some way dependent upon aviation. Idaho's airports also help protect lives and property in the state by providing a base for fire fighting activities.
Investing the 2015 Revenue Increase
The 2015 Idaho Legislature increased user fees, providing ITD with around $58 million annually to fund pavement preservation, bridge repair and bridge
replacement projects. The department had 27 projects ready for bid less than three months after the funding increased was signed by Governor Otter. The department also received around $54 million in general fund surplus and had another 17 projects ready to bid by February 2016. Visit
to see a complete list of all the projects and their status.
ITD has adopted an innovative solution to everyday problems that arise when maintaining Idaho's transportation system. The results are 114 ideas for improvement implemented statewide, saving taxpayers more than $700,000 in savings over the first 18 months of the program. "Innovation is the most constructive way to change and get better. We do not reject ideas. Rather, we empower employees to look for innovation in all we do from basic, yet effective, process improvements to the most creative ideas," said ITD Director Brian Ness.
Doing More With Less
ITD has reduced its workforce by 155 positions since 2010, generating nearly 46.1 million in salary savings which has been reinvested into employees and spent on road and bridge projects. While the employee count is down, employees are more satisfied with their jobs and performance measures have measurably increased. See the ITD performance measurement dashboard
Horizontal Career Paths
ITD Developed and implemented a compensation policy that allows pay levels for maintenance operators to be based on performance, training, experience and skill. This program is the first of its kinds for a state agency in Idaho. ITD maintenance operators have increased the percent of time highways are clear of snow and Ice during storms from 28 percent in 2010 to 76 percent in 2016.
ITD won 53 national, state and regional awards in 2015, including the department's seventh AASHTO President's Award since 2013... In 2014, Idaho had 11 percent fewer highway fatalities than in 2010, despite a 3.8 percent increase in miles traveled annually...
The Weigh-in-Motion system ITD installed on I-90 in Coeur d' Alene cost approximately $1.5M to install. It is estimated to save the trucking industry over $1 million per year in time and fuel.
To view the ITD website, click here.
Blind & Visually Disabled Commission
Bond Bank Authority
Children's Trust Fund Board
Criminal Justice Commission
Damage Prevention Board
Environmental Quality Board
Factory Built Structures
Health Quality Planning Commission
Dr. Rhonda Beale
Dr. Richard Rainey
Dr. David Pate
Housing & Finance Association
Medal of Honor Commission
Atty. Gen. Lawrence Wasden Nampa
Motor Vehicle Dealer Advisory Board
Oil & Gas Commission
Parks & Recreation Commission
Professional Engineers & land Surveyors
Psychologist Examiners Board
Dr. Jason Gage
Public Charter School Commission
Public Safety Communications Commission
State Independent Living Council
Rick Lee Huber
Wolf Depredation Control Board
Workforce Development Council