Mayor Chase going out a ‘winner’

By Arlo Luke

It is my desire to write openly to the community in expression of thanks and appreciation to Mayor Roger Chase for his service to the city of Pocatello. I know very little of nor have met incoming Mayor Brian Blad. I’m sure he will be a good mayor from what I am hearing and offer my future support to him. He will be surrounded by a great City Council and a very effective and productive city staff. He will do well I’m sure. My comments have nothing to do with him personally.

I have been a member of the community for 46 years. During these years, I have been active in the community in many different roles and have come to love greatly Pocatello. It is a treasure to live here and to raise our family.

The first I remember Roger was his emerging role in politics. My first impression of him was not favorable. He was a representative of the opposing party and he seemed to be a big politician and a big “talker.” Both of us were young and probably lacked maturity in our experience and understanding. Over the years though, I have come to know him well, particularly as our mayor. My opinion has taken a “180” degree turn.

The recent election was a shock to me and most of my close community associates. I think most of us took the election for granted as the turnout was very low. We felt that Roger was undefeatable. That should be a lesson to anyone in office. But the American system is great and always allows for a new winner.

In my opinion Roger Chase was as fine a mayor as we have had in Pocatello. He had some wonderful talents and abilities, which many may not have realized unless they worked closely with him or the city. Roger had a great ability to communicate and gain trust at the higher levels of the state and national government. He had established some very valuable connections and relationships that benefited the community. I always was impressed with his ability to spontaneously speak and motivate those with whom he spoke. He had a very positive attitude, and was always optimistic, which is a trait of all great leaders. He loved Pocatello and was home grown. He was a great politician and that was needed in order to work effectively with different political parties and entities. When he met with potential businesses coming to Pocatello, which he did a lot, they were always impressed with him and the community he represented. I know personally that he had a great influence on many businesses who decided to locate here. He fought hard for us in this respect.

Roger always gave super support to the many service organizations who were trying to bring good events and activities into the community. He was always there when we needed him and offered additional support from the city services and staff. He was easily accessible as the mayor if we wanted to visit with him. I don’t recall ever a real negative comment. It was always one of encouragement. Praise and appreciation was always the first thing that came from his mouth. Roger possessed great vision and influence.

I know that his departure to him is premature and he may feel unappreciated. But for one who has come to know and understand him, he needs to know that many in the community love and appreciate him for the good he has done for Pocatello. He goes out of office in my opinion as a winner. He has made a positive difference to the community because of his outstanding leadership. We were lucky to have had him as our mayor. Thank you Roger for your great service. Best wishes in a productive future that awaits you and your talents.

Arlo Luke is a longtime Pocatello resident and community leader.