SUGAR CITY — The Sugar City Council has started the summer off with two new council members.
Connie Fogle and Sid Purser were recently sworn into office and attended their first city council meeting last month. They both say they are looking forward to serving the city. Both noted the three-year controversy surrounding Old Farm Estates Division Three and the great divisions it caused. Fogle and Purser said there were no bad guys involved in the issue, and that good people were on both sides of the issue.
Fogle and Purser replace former council members Joy Ball, Bruce King and Vaun Waddell.
Gov. Little appointed Fogle and Purser from a list of 15 people who applied for the vacancies last month. As required by law, Little stepped in to find two people to serve on the council as there was no city quorum left to do so. Normally, a city council does so but in this case there was only one councilman left serving in Sugar City.
With three council members now on the council, Ogden says he plans to look for a fourth council member next month.
“I’ll decide on a fourth city councilman probably the first meeting in July – that’s when I’ll make my appointment,” he said.
Ogden said he wasn’t privy to the names of those applying for the Sugar City council jobs, but he is glad there are two new members now serving on the council.
“I’m looking forward to working with them. I appreciate the Governor doing his job and helping the city out,” he said. “I am really excited about trying to get some work done and working with the new council.”
This week the Standard Journal profiles the two new council members.
To begin with, Real Estate agent Connie Fogle says that Real Estate work and serving on a city council have much in common.
“It’s in serving and giving back. There is more to being a realtor than listing and selling houses. We care about the communities in which we live and work, and we want to give back and help make a difference. Serving on the city council will allow me to give back to my community at a different level, and I am excited to get to work” she said.
While Fogle has only been to one city council meeting thus far, she believes it will be a great adventure.
“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to serve on the city council, to be able to listen to thoughts and concerns of others, while having the opportunity to ask questions and voice my thoughts also,” she said. “And secondly, (it’s) the huge responsibility we have, to be prepared, follow the law and make the best possible decisions we can for our city.”
Fogle says it proved a great honor to be interviewed by Gov. Little’s staff.
“The Governor’s staff was great. They are concerned about our city, and what’s happening in our community. They were organized and friendly during the interview and wanted to make sure they found a good fit for the open positions, so we can get back to work,” she said.
Fogle notes that she’s the only woman to be serving on the council.
“I believe that having a diverse council would benefit all of our community. Diversity is a good thing” she said.
A Sugar City resident for 19 years, Fogle says she hopes to help the city effectively govern property rights.
“I want to offer my experience in land use and property rights, contribute to the conversation with an open mind on issues that are brought to the council, follow the law and serve my community in the best way I can,” she said.
Fogle says she wanted to serve on the city council to pay it forward to a community that has given much to her family. Fogle is married, has 6 children and 14 grandchildren.
Fogle was saddened by the Old Farm Estates Division Three controversy.
“I felt it was an unfortunate situation that our community was divided. I believe there was so much passion with opinions because our citizens care deeply about our city. This is where we live and raise our families. This is our home, our town where we feel safe, and we want it to stay that way. I have hope that it will,” she said. “We have had such great people dedicate their time and service to our community. With the resignation of three of our council members, I felt it was time for me to step up, get involved,” she said.
Fogle says she loves the way Sugar City residents show concern for each other.
“They care about each other, and they have a passion for what’s going on in their community,” she said.
While Fogle hasn’t served on any city boards in the past, her work as a real estate agent has given her the opportunity to work for various real estate organizations. She’s served on the Idaho Association of Realtors Board of Director’s from 2012 to present. She’s also worked as its State President in 2017 and currently serves as Immediate Past President. Fogle has also worked with the Upper Valley Association of Realtors from 2007 to 2014 and was its President in 2011. Fogle served on the Southeast Chapter Women’s Council of Realtors Board from 2012-2015 and was its president in 2014.
Fogle says the best thing about her job is building relationships with clients.
“Nothing is more rewarding in my career than helping my sellers sell their homes, so they can relocate to where they need to be, or helping my buyers find the home of their dreams in the community that fits their needs. What’s great about it is that everyone’s ‘dream home’ or ‘where they want to be,’ is something different. Every time I meet with a new client, it is a new adventure,” she said.
Born and raised in southern California, Fogle attended Rio Hondo College in Whittier and later attended Eastern Idaho Technical College where she obtained her realtors license. Fogle enjoys serving her community and says that her family is her favorite hobby.
“It’s my happy place,” she said.
The Fogles like vacationing at their Wyoming cabin.
“I also love spending winter getaways with my husband in tropical and warm places, with beautiful blue water, good music and great food. Spending time with my family and enjoying their company in beautiful places helps ground me,” she said.
Purser is also looking forward to serving on the Sugar City Council. At one time, he served on the Rigby City Council and the Jefferson County Commissioners. Thanks to that experience and because he loves his community, Purser applied for one of the two open Sugar City Council seats.
Purser said that he had a great discussion with Little’s staff about the possibility of him serving on the Sugar City Council.
“I was hoping for it, and it worked out good,” he said.
Purser wants to see Sugar City succeed.
“I like Sugar City. Maybe, I can contribute something and help them through our crisis right now. It’s worth it. Any time you can serve people and improve things, it’s important,” he said. “I’ll be honest with you, I had lots and lots of phone calls encouraging me to do this. I just feel it’s a good time to get involved.”
The crisis Purser referred to was over the Old Farm Estate’s Division Three issue. He recalled the issue creating lots of bad feelings and bickering.
“I just think it was very, very unfortunate,” he said. “I think for the most part, it could have been avoided — maybe not totally, but to a great extent — had it been handled properly. So to speak, ‘take the bull by the horns’ and handle the problems. It does no good to put things on the back burner until a later day,”
Purser believes it will take time for the city to heal, and for residents to work through all the hurt feelings.
“Unfortunately, there’s no way to please everybody, but I believe if you use common sense and keep good input from other people, you can’t go too far wrong,” he said.
Purser says that cities will grow, and that cities need to prepare for it in an organized positive way.
“You cannot stop it. There’s no question about that,” he said.
Growth will bring in a stronger taxbase that is much needed in Sugar City, and Purser noted there are only two or three businesses in town.
“We need a tax base for funding of lots of things. That’s how you get it,” he said.
Purser believes that the city can maintain its small town feel while also growing. He says that Sugar City is attracting those who can help improve and develop the community.
“We’re not getting riffraff. We’re getting some good quality people into town, and that’s important,” he said. “You never know what new people might contribute. A lot of talented people are coming into town.”
Purser thinks of Sugar City as more of a bedroom community.
“I think businesses are nice, but I think our first priority is to handle the residential area because that’s where we’re going to grow,” he said.
Purser believes that Sugar City needs to coordinate with Rexburg to provide better access for Sugar City residents traveling to and from Rexburg.
“I see that bottleneck every day. I’m sure Rexburg understands that. It’s just a matter of coordinating ideas and efforts. The other thing is that we just need to get back together and work for a common goal. I think that’s my number one goal — to see the community draw together again,” he said.
Purser enjoyed attending his first city council meeting.
“I was happy to be there and happy to serve,” he said.
Purser expressed concern that the water rates discussion was tabled during that meeting and said that people expect elected/appointed officials to make decisions in a prompt manner.
“That’s why people elect or appoint us. They’re thinking we can solve challenges and move on to the next one,” he said.
Retired from work at the Rexburg Ford dealer and the Rexburg Arctic Circle, Purser now works part-time at the Sun-Glo office.
“I like to work with people. I’ve never had trouble working with people ever,” he said.
Married to wife, Len, for 54 years, the couple is the parents of seven children, 27 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. The Pursers met at the former Ricks College. When not working, Purser says that he and Len enjoy spending time with their ever-growing extended family.
In the meantime, Purser plans to focus on unifying Sugar City residents. He hopes to do that via various community events.
“Getting people back together on one channel — seriously, that’s a huge thing. Any kind of a community event is important. We have good ones now. Anything you can do to support and to bring your community out, so they do things together, I think is important,” he said.
The city council meets at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, June 13, at city hall. The meeting is open to residents. For more information, call 208-356-7561.