The citizens of Sugar City placed their trust in me when they elected me City Councilwoman. I have tried to stand by my duty and do my job in making difficult choices that may not please everyone. Seeing the people who benefit or disagree with my decisions at church, the grocery store, and other places, has created both warm and cool relationships.

As pertaining to the March 6 Public Hearing and City Council meeting, there are elements I feel should be brought to light which may help residents better understand my decision to abstain on certain votes. I spent days studying Land Use Laws, Idaho and City Code, as well as the documents affiliated with the OFE amended zoning application. During this study, I had a concern as to whether proper procedures had been followed, and I called for a Point of Order to determine if re-notice was required. This led to a delay in the meeting as the mayor, city attorney, Dave Thompson and I met privately. Upon leaving the private meeting, the mayor berated me for delaying the public hearing, saying I should ask such questions of the attorney and not bring them up in a public meeting. Later, the city attorney, in a private conversation, asked if I had talked to anyone about the public hearing, as he had heard comments from where he was sitting, insinuating that I had been fed information as to what I should say. I was shocked.

He also cautioned that I needed to be “careful.” I knew he was referring to the fact that my deposition is still open, with a possibility of again being subpoenaed. This brought more stress into my continued participation. When the applicant’s attorney gave his concluding remarks and referred to the certainty of even “harder questions,” I felt that was an affront to me, using terminology curiously similar to my description of experiencing the first deposition. Being threatened tempered my confidence in voting.

I was also saddened when the mayor’s vote ended an option to seek an agreement with Vaun Waddell, which he and I had agreed to pursue in a meeting in his office. I sincerely apologize if my actions led to a lack of trust from the residents of Sugar City.

Joy Ball

Sugar City, ID