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Ida Hardcastle not seeking re-election for IF City Council

A long-time Idaho Falls City Council member has announced she won’t seek re-election.

“It needs to be said, and it needs to be said publicly, that I do not intend to run again,” Idaho Falls City Council President Ida Hardcastle said. “There will always be improvement. That’s why you have change. And that’s probably a good reason for me to leave.”

Hardcastle has been on the City Council for 20 years, and served as its president for 18. She said there comes a time to bring in some new faces.

“Right now, we have the finest division directors,” she said. “They’ll help immensely with the training of new people.”

There will be plenty of new people. Fellow council member Ken Taylor won’t seek re-election. He said he’s ready to focus more on his business and his grandchildren. If Sharon Parry wins the mayoral election, her seat will be open, too.

That leaves up to half the council up for grabs, plus a race for mayor that’s getting more and more crowded.

“I think things are going to start looking up,” Hardcastle said. “There’s a lot of new building going on, and so I just can’t imagine that the city will change track very much.”

Council members whose seats aren’t up for re-election feel the same.

“There’s a lot of little sidebar issues, but I can’t imagine anybody wanting to be on City Council and really wanting to inhibit growth of the city,” said council member Thomas Hally, who, along with Mike Lehto, won’t be up for re-election until 2015.

The only incumbent who’s likely to re-run this November is Karen Cornwell.

“I don’t think what we have on the table is something that a new person coming in would attack,” Cornwell said.

Cornwell agrees with Hardcastle and Hally that big issues, like a proposed spray park, the event center and keeping the budget in check, won’t change too much.

“Keep up the good work and find improvements where you can, and just move forward,” Hardcastle said, offering advice to future city leaders.

Hardcastle also said she supports Rebecca Casper for mayor.

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