Robert Jediny

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1: What inspired you to run for elected office?

My entire life has been about volunteering to make my home a better place no matter where I live. From building entry level homes in Arizona, running EMT calls in New York or mentoring a troubled youth in Hawaii, I’ve been able to enhance people’s lives around me. I volunteered to serve our Nation as an Army Officer 24 years ago and continue to serve to this day. Now I’m volunteering to serve the great people of Sandpoint.

2: What unique qualifications would you bring to office that no one else could match?

The U.S. government spent lots of mo- ney in- vestigating my background and teaching me leadership before sending me to lots of far off places. The citizens of Sandpoint reap the benefit of all that training and past experience. I served all over the planet with people I didn't always trust or share the same beliefs. I have no problem putting my personal feeling aside in order to get the tough jobs done. Personal responsibility, teamwork and self-discipline aren't just words for me. They are my way of life.

3. What are the most important issues facing the community? Why?

Increased spending and higher taxation on the citizens are the most important issues to me. The lack of housing in town is also an issue which needs to be addressed. We shouldn't attempt to spend millions of dollars on projects with money we don't have. Common sense tells us to live within our means because our children will ultimately pay for our over-indulgence.

4. How do you plan to address these issues?

If we only have $550,000 to budget a critical project, we will not spend five times more than we have in reserves. The only exception is if there is clear evidence for taking on such colossal debt benefits a majority of the taxpayers and they approve the plan to pay it all back before creating new debts. New housing is being built behind the Super 1 Foods, which should alleviate some of the housing crunch as long as it supports tenants from different income levels.

5. If elected, what legacy would you hope to create? Why?

I would like to leave the legacy of inspiring other non-politicians to step up to the plate, serve the community and have a positive impact on our city. Democracy is not a spectator sport. This is how we keep Sandpoint a desirable place to live.

6. How do you foresee your typical workday as an elected official?

I was told that City Council wouldn't take up much of my time, but didn't believe those words for a minute. This election process has motivated me to participate in radio interviews, creating campaign documents, meeting Sandpoint citizens door to door, as well as answering questionnaires like this. I'll do what it takes to learn about the issues presented to me so that I can make an informed decision that impact the City of Sandpoint.

7. What do you most look forward to after you are elected?

I look forward to seeing another individual replace me on city council. There was a time when politicians were regular people who served a term or two and went back to regular life. There are few exceptions of career politicians doing much good for others. They usually create more government and erode our personal freedoms.

8. What’s the harshest criticism you expect to face on the campaign trail and how would you respond to such criticism?

I have positive outlook, great sense of humor and faced many challenges. If the past is any indicator of the future, I'm sure that I'll be labeled by certain groups for my beliefs which is fine. Unfortunately, criticism and labeling are part of political life. It usually means that you are being effective. My Mom will still love me no matter what people say about me, which matters more than anything else.

9. If you could only get one thing across to voters during your campaign, what would it be?

Vote. Local elections have a bigger impact on your daily life that the national election. Research each of the six candidates who are running for City Council and do your part as a citizen of this great city by voting in this election.

10. What question should every candidate be asked? What is your answer?

Select one role model in your life and how did he or she inspires you? Saint Teresa of Calcutta is my role model because she spent most of her life caring for the poorest of the poor and children who were abandoned by society. She left this world with nothing but the cloths on her back and a legacy that touched the lives of millions of people around the world.

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