Here’s the good news for voters in Heyburn: There’s no shortage of strong candidates seeking seats on the City Council.
Here’s the tougher news: There are five candidates for three seats, creating a slightly muddied race that could turn out to be a toss-up. Only a handful of votes are likely to swing this election.
The candidates are incumbent Dick Galbraith along with Nile Bohon, Glen Loveland, Chad Anderson and Michael Covington. Anderson currently holds a two-year seat that Rose Schmitt is running for unopposed.
All the candidates agree that managing the city’s growth while retaining its rural roots is a top challenge for the next Council.
Loveland is a former mayor and a Realtor; he’d feel at home returning to the Council, and his experience in real estate gives him key insight into growth challenges. Covington is also a Realtor, and at just 27 years old, he believes he’s best suited to connect with a new generation of Heyburn residents and the millennials the city hopes to attract to its expanding population. Galbraith is a self-employed builder, another candidate with a background keyed into growth issues. Bohon also has a background in construction.
Among the candidates, only Anderson, a 30-year-old mail carrier, lacks a pedigree in construction, building or real estate.
But Anderson holds an advantage because he’s already served on the Council, and he has specific plans to build community spirit and bring the city’s water department into the black.
We also like Covington’s youthful ambition. The young professional is green, but we believe he’s up to the challenge.
Galbraith’s experience — 19 years on the Minidoka County Planning and Zoning Commission and four years on the City Council — will be valuable to help mentor the city’s young new leaders.
Bohon hasn’t done enough to convince us he deserves a City Council seat. He skipped a candidate forum earlier this month, and in a questionnaire for our voter guide, his answers were vague. Not a good strategy for winning a newspaper endorsement.
We applaud Anderson for his years of dedication and service to Heyburn; it’s clear he loves his community. But a new generation of leaders is ready to step up, and we believe it’s now their time to lead.
In a crowded field with no shortage of qualified candidates, we think Anderson, Covington and Galbraith will strike the right balance between institutional knowledge and new ideas.