by A.F. Mayor Marc Beitia
Last week started much like the week prior to it ended; but, instead of me speaking to our state legislators and other elected officials it was our FFA members.
The last Monday in January is known in FFA as Cenarrusa Day on the Hill. It is sponsored by the Northwest Agricultural Cooperative Council, of which our very own Lamar Isaak is President.
The day in Boise began for the FFA members in attendance with a workshop on banquet table etiquette and conversational practices. Not all of us bring the same set of skills to the table so to speak and the workshop was intended to bring all the members in attendance up to speed on the do’s and don’ts of dining with dignitaries.
While the FFA members and my teaching partner Courtney Knickrehm were in the workshop I was in the Idaho FFA Foundation Board of Directors meeting. At noon the FFA members greeted our District 28 legislative delegation of Sen. Jim Guthrie and Reps. Kevin Andrus and Randy Armstrong. Through the well taken remarks of Isaak and several awards, the FFA members did in fact engage our legislators in excellent and meaningful conversation about all manner of agriculture and leadership topics.
I mention the above because the FFA members engaged with the legislators had never been to such a banquet, let alone had they ever spoken to such dignitaries. The six students at the table with the legislators were Hispanic, all English second language learners and each one was exceedingly thoughtful and well-spoken in their various conversations. They are this year’s Agricultural Issues team made of six Hispanic girls and one boy; one girl stayed home for a test in Doug Good’s class; school and grades always come first.
After the banquet all 11 FFA members and Knickrehm joined Guthrie and several other senators at the capital to discuss this year’s Ag Issue. That conversation went extremely well too, according to both Guthrie and Knickrehm. It had to have been a good conversation because it lasted longer than the rest of my board meeting and that has never happened. I tout this perhaps seemingly small achievement because of all the FFA members in attendance, all of our members were exceedingly professional, courteous and well-spoken. I am very proud of each.
Tuesday brought a different type of meeting back at city hall. You may recall me writing of the recent water facilities study that had been completed and the state of our water usage and infrastructure. Councilwoman Kristen Jensen, Clerk Robyn Herndon and I met with Krystal Harmon and Michael Patton of SICOG, the Southeast Idaho Council on Governments, to discuss possible loans and grants that could be used to offset the pending costs. The meeting was very encouraging and we will be meeting again in conjunction with Keller and Associates, who completed the study, Water Superintendent Pete Cortez and Street Superintendent Daren Dahlke on February 19. I will keep you informed of our progress.
Over the last two weeks the city administration and I, to a much lesser degree, have been sitting through hours of webinars as we narrow down our selection of the new administrative software suite that the city will be purchasing. The two programs that we are considering are very capable and either will increase efficiencies and allow us to provide you with increased services. The decision should be made this month with implementation to follow.
To everyone who has volunteered to participate in and/or contribute to the Opportunity Community summit that is taking place Saturday, Feb. 9, at the high school I give you my most sincere and heartfelt appreciation. I look forward to working with you in continuing to make American Falls the very best place to live; regardless of life’s circumstances.
Until next week…
Thanks for reading!
Read more in this week's print edition.Subscribe Today!