by American Falls Mayor Marc Beitia
“It is with humility of mind that I consider you as more important than myself. I seek always to do some good somewhere; that I might improve life for my fellow man.” I heard those words in November of 1984. They were spoken by the then National FFA Secretary Bill Caraway in his retiring address at that year’s National FFA Convention. I don’t know if it is fair to say his words changed my life but they sure altered my perspective. I often get asked either about this position or being a teacher, “wouldn’t it be easier to do something else and not have to put up with all the hoops, BS, and politics?” Honestly, I don’t know. Everything has its own “come-ons” and “drawbacks.” I would like to think I would have been good at any path I had chosen over three decades ago, but I know deep down in that spot no one else sees that I chose correctly.
It wasn’t so much a choice as the luck-of-the-draw that the city was fortunate enough to have companies like RSCI and Keller & Associates, DePatco and JUB, BGM, and Spohn Ranch be awarded the bids for the wastewater treatment plant, the downtown project, the Safe Routes project, and the new skate park respectively. I know I have said this before but it bears repeating in light of public entities being required to hire the lowest responsible bidder. The city is damn lucky to have such great companies working for us, doing their best to improve life for their fellow man. Now it may not be as noble as all that sounds, but in the end it is what they do. It is the type of thing anyone with the common good in mind does.
As you read this, two of the projects are within days of being substantially complete; albeit not the one most of you want done…yesterday or last week, but the skate park and Safe Routes projects. After almost 18 months in the making, the wastewater treatment plant is coming together like the last few pieces of a huge jigsaw puzzle, and yes, all the pieces are accounted for. The downtown project is still a bit behind due to higher than average precipitation and testing requirements for potable water lines. However, the concrete crew is back, new curb, gutter and sidewalk is going in, and the 100 block of Idaho and Fort Hall between Idaho and Harrison should be open next week. All the water lines and storm drains should be in by that time as well. Based on the conversation I had with Chad, the construction manager, after last week’s construction meeting, they will then finish the 200 block of Idaho at which point he asked and I agreed to let them “blow and go” on the 100 block of Roosevelt and the two blocks of Tyhee between there and Harrison.
Now I know as a construction metaphor “blow and go” doesn’t sound good at all. And, in all reality it won’t be; except speed and efficiency will be improved immensely. It will be a terrible mess and most likely hugely inconvenient for the five businesses on that block of Roosevelt. Chad’s goal, though, is to have everything paved by October 18, which is only three days longer than his original goal. It’s like the duct tape bandage on a two inch long, one inch deep cut packed with Epsom salts that my Dad slapped together on my leg one day when we were cutting fire wood. Cheese and rice, it felt good when that thing was finally ripped off eight hours later when we got home with four cords of wood. As you may know my Dad wasn’t much to coddle anyone when there was work to be done. Such is the case on the last three blocks of this project; we will work with the businesses of course, but the goal is to get the work done. Done right and on time.
Done right! I know a few people who exemplify “done right” like this person who wishes to remain unnamed, but who chose to nominate Mr. Darrell Quinn for his indomitable sense of community and always seeming to find a way to help his fellow man as this week’s “Good Neighbor.” If nobility were exemplified in a person in our community it would be in Darrell. Be it mowing someone’s lawn, removing snow, making needed repairs for the unable, or most importantly making time to visit the older among us and seeing to their needs; there is something noble in almost everything Mr. Quinn does. I am told he has a love for history, particularly that of Power County and the Roy area and that he works hard to preserve it. He is a man who puts others above self that they may have a better tomorrow; Darrell Quinn.
Until next week…