September 29, 2023
Vol. 1, No. 2
Hadden for Eagle City Council
The following letter is a political announcement paid for by the Committee to Elect Christopher Hadden, Wendy Klesack, Treasurer.
As your next elected Eagle City Council Member, the City of Eagle needs to make some significant changes to manage growth while focusing on low-density rural development and limiting construction in the Eagle foothills. I invite you the Eagle Citizen to read my platform which I believe captures the current issues we are facing and how I will work for you to resolve them.
I’m a New Jersey native and at an early age moved to Arizona which is where I met my wife, started a family and lived for 25 years. My wife and I fell in love with Idaho back in 2004 when we visited a family friend and knew immediately if we had the opportunity we would love to move and raise our family in Idaho. We visited Idaho several times before uprooting our family, two children and a dog back in 2016. Since moving to Idaho, I have been active in the Eagle community by volunteering at my children’s school, held Boy Scout leadership roles, Reagan Republican Member and been involved in the City of Eagle politics.
My professional background includes extensive management experience in corporate finance having worked for JPMorgan Chase, Metris Bank, Express Scripts Pharmaceutical, Mutual of Omaha Bank and most notably Honeywell. At Honeywell, a defense aerospace company, I have had the privilege of traveling the world in my business travels as a Global Operations Manager for Honeywell Corporate Finance responsible for yearly disbursements of over $3 billion with direct oversight of a staff of 130. I feel my experience makes me uniquely qualified having negotiated multimillion dollar contracts and having worked with state, federal and defense agencies.
I currently run my own successful small business which allows me to understand the needs of Eagle, both small and large. I presently run and own a remodeling contract business here in Eagle serving the Treasure Valley. As a lifelong conservative, I look forward to the honor of serving the citizens of Eagle as Eagle City Council member.
I will not accept donations from special interests, PACs, or developers.
As your next Eagle City Council member, I work for you. It’s the responsibility of the Mayor and Council to protect and serve the interest of the public. My impression of the city council is “developer-friendly,” and this does not align with the interests of citizens hoping for Eagle to maintain its small-town charm.
Citizens have a right to ask questions and even challenge through legal channels decisions made by the city council and mayor. With Avimor, citizens have filed a request for reconsideration which was denied by this council and these citizens are now seeking a judicial review of Avimor. I personally worked with the prior city council to ensure all citizens in Eagle directly impacted by the largest annexation in Idaho history were notified by mail. The current council is attempting to overturn this law in favor of a political PAC whom they received donations from: Builders Association of Southwest Idaho.
It’s time we elect a council that works for you! Your Voice. Your Vote.
I have listened to public feedback and am committed to keeping the City of Eagle a safe place to live, raise your family, or retire for generations to come. I will be proactive and forward thinking when it comes to the safety in our community. We have witnessed a 16% increase in crime and have seen graffiti on our roadways. I will advocate for adding an additional 3 deputies which will help keep us at the current service levels with the addition of the Avimor annexation. Looking forward, I support a comprehensive plan review to make any fiscally conservative impact fee adjustments to reach the Sheriff’s recommended service level increase from .74 to 1 deputy per 1,000 residents which would add 9-10 additional deputies in 2024.
I acknowledge that “growth is inevitable” however it needs to be managed appropriately so as not exceed our infrastructure, schools, and city service capacity. We have witnessed unprecedented growth in the last 4 years, and I have personally witnessed public testimony of hundreds of residents who were strongly opposed to the 15,000+ new rooftops while there were no new schools built and limited road improvements. I fully support an extensive comprehensive plan review in partnership with citizens. We need to revisit city building codes and development agreements to ensure that we see 20% open space and eliminate builder land credits which add more houses to a development. Development agreements need to require developers to break-ground in 4 years or less and have reasonable build-out periods. Current and past administrations have approved 30+ year or open-ended agreements which will not work well for our community which changes over time. We should look to follow examples of other cities who have faced the same challenges and have created codes that allow for managed growth. This type of change in our process would allow key services to be in place to support our population's growth. Future development agreements should have conditions of approval and fees collected from builders that account for park or green space expansion, new schools as needed to prevent overcrowding, and roadway improvements.
Developers need to contribute more so the City of Eagle can maintain and grow existing services. Economic development needs to be expanded to address and attract the commercial sector while building upon the solvency of Eagle. I am concerned about the financial health of our city and the current budget. In the past 4 years, our current leadership has almost doubled the city budget, increasing it from $30M to $56M. However, the city has only added 4,000+ residents. What did our current city leaders do with this increase in budget? They expanded City Hall for $3.5M+, bought a trolley, purchased a historic property for $2M without an appraisal, allocated $4M+ to build the first phase of the Shooting Sports Park, and committed the city to finance a 90+ acre sports complex budgeted for $18M that will take years to complete. I promise the Citizens of Eagle to take a common-sense approach to projects to determine what the city can afford while prioritizing projects that are important to our community.
As a lifelong conservative, I support a small and fiscally conservative government that listens and respects the sovereignty of Eagle citizens who they are duly elected to serve. I believe a truly conservative approach for developing needed services for our citizens is to attract entrepreneurs. I do not believe that city government should exist to start and run businesses such as a shooting range, fiber optic broadband and trolley transportation services. The current leadership’s government overreach is illustrated by several city takeovers. Examples include the takeover of the Eagle Senior Center which was run by the Eagle Seniors Citizens Inc. non-profit for over 30 years, the Eagle Arts Commission, and the Home Depot dispute over parking spaces. These lawsuits all come at significant legal costs to the city budget. Other examples of overreach include the elimination of the city Economic Development staff and takeover of the budget for Library and Historic Preservation Commission. I support an extensive review of these boards, commissions, and the economic development staff with direct input from citizens to determine what is best for our city. Forward looking, I will promote the implementation of a city code of ethics to prevent future unwarranted takeovers, lawsuits, and potential government overreach. Transparency is key in running a successful city government that is “for the people.”