By John L. Braese
VALE – Allen Daniels has fond memories of Vale.
In 1958, Daniels walked into a first grade class in Vale. Many times, when the school day was done, he walked over to his father’s physician’s office above the Kessler Chevrolet dealership.
Daniels spent his youth in Vale before the family moved to Ontario so his father could be closer to the hospital.
He later married a Vale girl in a Vale church.
Now, Daniels is back in Vale, this time as the city manager.
“I have a strong connection to Vale,” Daniels said as he was looking over the city’s budget. “I took this job because it was in Vale.”
Daniels started his professional life in the Air Force before attending college at the University of Idaho. While in college, he tried law enforcement, working as a reserve police officer for Moscow and then in Genesee.
Law enforcement took him to Elgin and then to Ontario. After a few years there, Daniels decided to finish college. Returning back to the area, Daniels worked for Ore-Ida and then Ready-Mix Concrete in Ontario. He also started his own electronics business.
“I did really well for quite a while before it became cheaper to buy a new VCR then fix it,” he explained.
During these years, Daniels became a pilot. After flying in and out of the Ontario airport for years, Daniels accepted the part time position of airport manager in Ontario, one he maintained the next five years.
Daniels also held positions with the city of Ontario in public works and the now defunct swimming pool.
Daniels saw the opening in Vale and applied.
“The income is nice, but that is not why I am here,” said Daniels, who is also receives retirement benefits from his time at the state Department of Environmental Quality.
“I like the challenge of being at the helm of a small town,” he said. “There is nothing more difficult than public works in a small town.”
Daniels said there is plenty of work for him in his new slot.
“Vale has seen some decline,” said Daniels. “We need to make improvements in the appearance of the overall town.”
Daniels said his job would be easier because people on the city’s payroll.
“This is not a troubled department I am taking over,” he said. “The people working for the city know what they are doing.”
Daniels sees good things for the city.
“Growth is coming,” he said. “We have a great quality of life here and others want to experience that. I have no political agenda. I work for the people of Vale and do what they want to happen.”
Daniels said his goal is not to do a couple years in Vale and then look for a larger town with a better paying position.
“I plan on being here awhile,” he said. “I know how to work with people and get things done. That is why I am here in Vale — to get things done.”