Meet Ron Jacobson, Mayor of Post Falls, Idaho.
Tell us a little about yourself and why you choose to serve Post Falls.
I was born and raised in Coeur d’Alene. My wife and I moved to Post Falls in 1980 and have raised our 4 children here. Over 20 years ago, I was asked to chair the new Park and Recreation Commission. I served 7 years on the commission and when a city council member became ill, I was asked by the mayor if he could appoint me to fill her position. I served almost 15 years on the city council, and when Mayor Clay Larkin announced he was not going to seek reelection in 2013, I ran for the Mayor’s seat. I have served as Mayor since January, 2014.
I have always felt it important to get involved and to give back. I love the Post Falls community and North Idaho and am happy to serve in various ways.
What do you enjoy most about Post Falls?
I love the small town atmosphere and the generosity of our citizens. I am continually amazed at how giving our residents are. Whenever there is a need, people step forward to take care of our own.
Do you have a favorite local restaurant or eatery?
I have several, but we seem to gravitate to the Oval Office on Fridays. It never fails that we run into people we know and oftentimes share a table. The food and drink are excellent and the staff is great. I am also a big fan of Fleur De Sel which is a French restaurant in town. Their food is more up scale and the owners and staff are great.
What does Post Falls have to offer?…
Post Falls offers a safe, friendly environment for families. In the city, we have 28 parks, access to the Spokane River, bike and walking trails and proximity to Coeur d’Alene and Spokane.
The Post Falls School District does a very good job educating our students. We have good facilities and good teachers. There are a variety of activities our students are involved in including athletics, the arts, robotics, etc. A few years ago, the citizens of Post Falls, along with our neighbors in Rathdrum and Coeur d’Alene, approved a bond levy to build the Kootenai Technical Education Campus in Rathdrum.
In addition to earning high school credit, students learn valuable technical, professional and employability skills to prepare for careers and college. There are opportunities to earn college credit, participate in internships and worksite learning as well as earn state and national certifications or licenses.
The professional market in Post Falls continues to expand, especially in the medical field. Located in Post Falls is the Norwest Specialty Hospital, North Idaho Advanced Care Hospital, a Rehabilitation Hospital, the Pleasant View Surgery Center and access to Kootenai Health and Heritage Health. The City has always attracted businesses in the aerospace industry such as ACT, the pharmaceutical industry such as Alk-Abello Source Materials and high tech industries such as Ednetics.
Post Falls houses several facilities which provide services to our seniors. In addition, as evidenced above, our seniors have access to top notch medical providers. We have a very active Senior Center and the different facilities offer numerous activities to their residents.
What is the most distinguishing characteristic of Post Falls?
I can’t think of just one, but we are strategically located between Coeur d’Alene and Spokane, we have access to mountains, parks and the river, and we are blessed with caring, generous citizens. In addition, Post Falls is a safe place to live. Our police force is second to none.
Why might a homebuyer want to consider Post Falls?
Post Falls still offers affordable housing in a variety of locations. My wife and I bought our first house in Post Falls in 1980 in large part due to it being more affordable than the surrounding areas. In addition, living in Post Falls offers a safe, progressive environment.
How would you describe the current housing market in Post Falls, what is your outlook for the next few years?
Improving, but not at the levels it reached before the great recession. 2015 is shaping up to be a very good year, and I anticipate 2016 continuing this trend. I want to see consistent, manageable growth as opposed to the explosive growth we saw before the economy crashed.
How would you describe the Post Falls schools?
Post Falls’ schools compare very favorably to the surrounding school districts. The school district just recently had a school bond passed and is in the process of adding a new elementary school, adding onto one of the middle schools, adding a high school performance auditorium and auxiliary gymnasium. They are also upgrading a $1M in improvements in other school buildings. The City and school district work cooperatively to maximize the use of facilities for the community.
Tell us about any notable developments which are currently underway, or planned for the near future which will be of interest to Post Falls residents.
The Post Falls Urban Renewal Agency has just completed upgrading Spokane St in our downtown area and businesses are already starting to locate. We have a new Brewery who has broken ground and also a new restaurant has purchased property across from City Hall. The Agency is also in the process of building an overpass on Greensferry Rd. over Interstate 90. This will make it much easier to get to and from businesses in Post Falls and improve our emergency response time (which is already very quick by national standard).
The city has a number of subdivisions under construction and a new medical facility started on Mullan Ave along with additional retail/office space across from Wal-Mart. On the west side of town, Transamerica Auto parts is under construction and will open this fall. They will have both a retail space and a manufacturing area. The development northwest of Interstate 90 is under due diligence with miscellaneous retail and one possible light industrial facility along with some multifamily housing. All is expected to start in the next year.
What can a new or potential homeowner expect to witness in the next 5-10 years in Post Falls?
Post Falls will continue to grow at a fairly aggressive pace and will likely add several thousand citizens in this timeframe. This increase in population and in workforce will create more commercial activity, new schools, improved transportation, continued expansion in the medical services area all while the city continues to maintain our quality of life.
A number of the new subdivisions include local parks and pedestrian paths to help with the quality of life and small town feel. Our public safety department will continue to provide a safe community and maximize the use of technology and also continue with citizen engagement. I would predict the new homeowner in Post Falls will see increased services and community opportunities without losing our identity.
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