May 17, 2019
Writer: Jaime Strobel
“One of the best things about public service in a city is the people you get to meet,” Rebecca Casper, Mayor of Idaho Falls said. “On a daily basis, you get to meet people who step up, people who volunteer, people who care about their community, (and) people who are passionate about improving some aspect of the community.”
Meeting these people help remind Casper that humanity is alive and well.
One of her favorite experiences while being mayor has been the community college efforts which led to the transition of Eastern Idaho Technical College to the College of Eastern Idaho.
“That was a remarkable experience working with a citizen group that did a thorough study and then watching the results of the study permeate into the community and how people step up and vote affirmatively and tax themselves to create and education institution,” she said.
Education is extremely important to Casper.
Before running for office, she was an adjunct professor at Eastern Idaho Technical College and BYU-Idaho. Her appreciation for the U.S. system of government and constitution grew from her experience teaching American government.
“Education is at the core of a successful democratic system,” she said.
Every day, she gets the opportunity to teach people how city and local government works.
American confidence can’t be restored on my own, Casper said. However, she does believe she can play a role in what she calls, “The Healing Process.”
One of her goals for this takes the form of service. She hopes that city employees will serve the citizens of Idaho Falls in a way that will increase their confidence in government.
She never wants to seed anger.
“Sinicism, anger and despair are no basis of government,” she said. “We need to be optimistic and we need to believe in our system and I believe that to my very core.”
One thing that motivates Casper to run for office in the future is the belief she is making a difference and being effective.
One of her goals is to have Idaho Falls represented well in conversations about things such as global nuclear energy.
A few things currently happening in Idaho Falls include federal government involvement, cleanup project success, nuclear waste cleanup, missions on homeland security, naval reactors and more.
“It thrills me to know that Idaho Falls plays a role in supporting all these important things,” she said.
She explained that areas of the art are thriving, along with the medical community in Idaho Falls, which helps her feel positive and hopeful for the future.