The Association of Idaho Cities has a new District 6 director, Driggs Mayor Hyrum Johnson.
The AIC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation that strives to assist, educate, and train elected officials and cities’ staff to strengthen their ability to serve their communities.
Mayor Johnson will join Roberts, ID Mayor Robert “BJ” Berlin as District 6 directors. This also entails serving on the AIC’s Board of Directors.
The AIC Board of Directors is primarily responsible for the AIC’s governance and directors are elected by the members of the AIC. Equal representation in the AIC is given to all 199 Idaho cities.
“It is a great honor and opportunity to serve as the District 6 director for the Association of Idaho Cities,” said Mayor Johnson. “This reflects my active involvement in issues not only here in the valley but regionally and statewide as well. I view the role of Mayor as extending beyond the boundaries of the town.”
Mayor Johnson views this appointment as a consequence of the not-just-local view he has of local governance.
“It’s just a result of being engaged and getting our community noticed,” said Mayor Johnson.
He plans to inform local constituents of his ongoing involvement in the AIC by providing informative emails and dispersing information on the Driggs city website, which will be getting an overhaul soon.
“We’ll continue to do that by improving these methods even more as time goes on,” said Johnson. “This includes a major overhaul of our website.”
“It’s a part of the duties of mayor,” he added.
AIC serves as the leading proponent of Idaho cities’ interests before the Idaho Legislature, the Governor, and all state executive branch agencies.
This new role will give Mayor Johnson more dialog with state legislators as well as other local-level elected officials across the state.
The two biggest issues Mayor Johnson plans to advocate solutions for will be updates to liquor licensing law and more regulations on short-term rentals.
“There are some structural issues where a single legislator has the power to stop something even if there’s the will of the whole body to move it forward,” said Mayor Johnson of liquor licensing law. “It’s been 20 years in the process. We’re going to keep pushing that.”
Short-term rental restrictions, albeit a newer issue, are just as controversial in the state legislature and will continue to heat up even more.
“The short-term rental regulations, the changes to those, are really time-critical,” said Mayor Johnson. “It’s front and center not just for Driggs or Teton Valley but for communities across the state. This is a collaborative effort and really I believe the most important issues we need to be focusing on right now.”
In addition to the two big-ticket issues, Mayor Johnson has had enough experience with the state legislature to know that there will always be a few curveballs on the agenda.
He will be sure to remain flexible and adaptable to the situation, ready for anything that gets thrown his way.
“There are always fires, if you will, that break out in every legislative session,” said Mayor Johnson.
Those ‘fires’ almost always take the form of “wonky, ill-advised” legislation according to the mayor.
“I can go in with great intentions but we may end up having to shift gears and focus all of our efforts on something that constitutes a wildfire,” he said.