Meet the candidates: 7 vie for seats on Payette City Council

Candidate signs for the upcoming General Election are alongside a fence near Coldwell Banker in Payette in early October.

PAYETTE — With 11 days remaining until the 2021 general election, A total of seven candidates are vying for four open positions on the Payette City Council.

As Mayor Jeff Williams is not running for re-election, there are two candidates running to take over the city’s top post.

Candidates were offered the opportunity to answer a questionnaire for readers to learn more about them, as they try to earn your vote. The newspaper reached out by phone, email and post office means, as means to contact them were made available.

Responses for Jackie Ashby and Tim Kettle were not received before press time. Following are responses, as submitted, from the other candidates.


Bobbie Black, 62

IE: What is your occupation?

BLACK: Deputy City Clerk - City of Payette

IE: What volunteer experience do you have?

BLACK: I was a volunteer on the Payette Fire Department for 25 years and their rural secretary during most of this time.  I was involved in the Payette Civic League for years that sponsored the Apple Blossom Queen’s Court and held office of President.

IE: What is your political background?

BLACK: I have been an employee of the City of Payette for the last 21 years and have extensive knowledge of how city government works.

IE: Why are you the best candidate?

BLACK: Being a City employee has given me the knowledge and background that I feel will help me make decisions on behalf of our citizens. I have experience in the budget process along with accounting and human resource experience. I will listen to our citizens and make the best decision for the city for all citizens. I have applied for grants over the years and been successful in receiving various grants.

IE: What do you see as the main issues for the city of Payette?

BLACK: Updating our current infrastructure is my main concern.  We have to be able to provide our citizens with the best services we can offer.  Working with ITD on the traffic issues on Highway 95 need to be addressed and a solution needs to be obtained.  We need to find a way to revitalize our downtown and make it a success.  Having a Recreation Director will bring more programs to our youth and citizens.

IE: Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

BLACK: No.


Craig Jensen, 70

IE: What is your occupation?

JENSEN: Retired

IE: What volunteer experience do you have?

JENSEN: Pres of Payette County Chamber of Commerce,Pres of the Board of Directors of the Harmon Killebrew Miracle Field and on the Steering Committee of the Boys and Girls Club of Payette.

IE: What is your political background?

JENSEN: I am an Independent. I evaluate people by their ideas not political party affiliation.

IE: Why are you the best candidate?

JENSEN: Because of my 9 years as a city councilor and my ability to bring people together to solve critical issues that benefit the citizens and our city. I am a fiscal conservative when it comes to our citizens tax dollars and will going to do so as Mayor.

IE: What do you see as the main issues for the city of Payette?

JENSEN: Loss of jobs in the area. When our youth have to move for their living then our town slowly dies. We also need to make sure we as a governing body are doing all we can for our present businesses to be successful and have the ability to grow. We also need to get off square 1 and move on downtown revitalization and develop a master plan so we can get grants. Also we need to enforce ordinances to keep our town clean. Also need to work with ITD to alleviate congestion on the 95 corridor in the short term and start on the long term solutions of making it 4 lanes throughout that stretch.

IE: Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

JENSEN: No

Daniel Lopez, 35

IE: What is your occupation?

LOPEZ: Jessica and I own and operate Minit Market and Lux Construction in Payette.

IE: What volunteer experience do you have?

LOPEZ: From volunteering to serve in the US Navy to painting our flag pole on Main Street, I have served and continue to serve anyway I can.

IE: What is your political background?

LOPEZ: I have served on the Payette City Council since January 2020.

IE: Why are you the best candidate?

LOPEZ: I believe my experience in management of personnel and finance, as well as my ability to listen, cultivate conversation and execute a plan is what makes me the best candidate for Mayor of Payette.

IE: What do you see as the main issues for the city of Payette?

LOPEZ: Lack Industry- without responsible growth prosperity is seldom attained.

Housing Shortage- in order to have a healthy service industry you need to have housing that is within their reach. As seen in most destination cities in Idaho that don’t have a good mix of housing options. People work where they live and many like to live where they work. Inability to do so will strain our service industry further.

Ordinance enforcement- if an ordinance exists it needs to be enforced fairly and consistently. Ordinances should not be used as weapons, this happens when ordinances are only enforced on a complaint basis.

Citizen inclusion & participation- citizens should feel like their participation is wanted in the government process. This is a climate that I would create as mayor.

Budget process- our city council needs to be better informed and given more detail to pass a responsible budget.

IE: Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

LOPEZ: No.


Kathy Patrick, age ‘old enough’

IE: What is your occupation?

PATRICK: Executive Director of the Payette Senior Center.

IE: What volunteer experience do you have?

PATRICK: 25 years of fundraising for St. Luke’s children hospital, Payette Syringa Lion’s events (20 years), 7 years at the Payette senior center, food pantry 2 years.

IE: What is your political background?

PATRICK: City councilor for 4 years.

IE: Why are you the best candidate?

PATRICK: I believe I am a good representative for the citizens of Payette, because I believe in transparency in all city governments issues, I try very hard to be a good steward of their money, and I love Payette.

IE: What do you see as the main issues for the city of Payette?

PATRICK: Improvement of the downtown corridor.

IE: Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

PATRICK: No.


Ray Wickersham, 72

IE: What is your occupation?

WICKERSHAM: Engineer & Business Owner.

IE: What volunteer experience do you have?

WICKERSHAM: Coaching, Chamber, Boys & Girls Club, Youth Lodge Rebuild, Portia Club, Cross, Serve Day, Church, etc. etc.

IE: What is your political background?

WICKERSHAM: I am a Fiscal Conservative that believes in Limited Government.

IE: Why are you the best candidate?

WICKERSHAM: I am a long time Payette Resident who understands our community and wants to see it to continue to improve.

IE: What do you see as the main issues for the city of Payette?

WICKERSHAM: We need to continue to keep our city competitive and work to manage our increase in growth in a way that will keep our rural life style.

IE: Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

WICKERSHAM: No.

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