COEUR d'ALENE - Coeur d'Alene small businessman Steve Adams announced his run for City Council on Monday.
The 45-year-old Allstate insurance agent and Lake City native said implementing a public vote on the proposed McEuen Field changes, and opposing city employee raises while supporting the police and fire public safety departments are his main campaign issues.
"I think the taxpaying citizens' view of the (current city administration) is a little disgruntled right now with the whole McEuen thing, the pay raises, and I think the budget is a little bloated," Adams said. "My short opinion of the mayor and council is they have a big government, progressive philosophy on running government. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just the way they are."
Adams ran for City Council for the first time in 2009. He lost to incumbent Woody McEvers by 361 votes, taking in 48 percent of the total.
"We gave him a run for his money," Adams said. "Now, I'm more educated, more organized, and better supported."
Before making the announcement at Bluegrass City Park Monday evening, Adams issued a press release and then spoke with The Press.
"We need balance on the council," he said in the release. "I am (a) staunch fiscal conservative who will be critical of unnecessary city spending and tax increases. I will stand for our neighborhoods not the downtown establishment."
The city is not proposing a tax increase for the 2012 fiscal year. It took a 1.5 percent increase for the current year.
Adams said he would look into reducing city department head wages by 10 percent each, giving 5 percent back to city coffers and 5 percent to the "rank and file" employees. He said he would implement this first for the police and fire departments, but consider it for all employees.
He said he would also be interested in exploring ways to do away with the city's collective bargaining groups.
"I would not have voted to accept those increases, but it's deeper than that because of the contracts," he said about the proposal to give 3 percent cost of living raises for city employees. "I think I would support going the way of Wisconsin and getting rid of any union representation for government employees."
He is running for seat 5 held by Jon Bruning.
Adams has a wife and three sons, ages 16, 7 and 4. He is a 1984 graduate of Coeur d'Alene High School and attended North Idaho College and the University of Idaho.
He is a Sunday school teacher and leads an annual ministry to the poor. He's on the city's parking commission and was elected the Republican committee chair for the 39th Precinct. He is the 4th Legislative District chairman and is also vice president of citizenship of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans.
He said he would exercise oversight of the city's urban renewal board, Lake City Development Corp., should he be elected.
"No more districts, no more loans, no more borrowing," he said of the agency.