Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Candidates Visit Bayview

The above candidates for public office appeared last night at the Bayview Chamber of commerce meeting, vying for votes in the primary, Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend.

From top to bottom, Rick Currie, incumbent County commissioner, District 2, Phil Hart, State Representative, pos B, incumbent, David Rawls, challenger for State Rep. Pos B, former School District Superintendent, Jim Connell, Senate candidate, Dist 3, Jai Nelson, Candidate for County commissioner, District 2. Not shown, Tim Herzog, challenger for County commissioner, Dist 1.

Residents were treated to a meet the candidate night which has not been terribly typical until recently. Currie, however, to his credit, manages to attend most monthly meetings. The hot contests this year appears to be for Currie's seat on the commission and Hart's seat in the legislature. It appears that we have some good choices for all offices. This blog will not officially endorse any candidate, due to recent changes in the Spokesman-Review ethics rules regarding attaching ones self to a political campaign.

I will say, however, that with the possible exception of failure of the current County commission to pass what could have been a county wide restriction on building heights, outside incorporated cities, I believe this commission has done a passable job, though could improve, especially in the area of letting the legal department legislate. Sometimes, the right thing to do shouldn't hinge on whether a lawyer thinks a lawsuit might ensue.

Having said that, all speakers attending, were bright, articulate and would make fine choices. But throwing the incumbents out every election cycle isn't the answer either. Bonner county has been known for single term office holders for a long time, and in some quarters is held in ridicule for not being able to govern itself. It would be sad to see the same "dump the losers," mentality take over in Kootenai county. Starting over anew with office holders needing to be trained into operational effectiveness should only be used in extreme situations. It takes experience in any endeavor to be effective.


Anonymous said...

After last night, I'm voting for Jai Nelson for County Commissioner. She supports Overlays, which says she is for empowering people.
Did you hear Rick Currie say that folks in Harrison want something different than folks in Spirit Lake, and folks in St. Maries want something different for their area than folks in other places? So why then did Currie reject the idea of a Bayview Overlay ? Sounded to me like he put his foot in his mouth.

Anonymous said...

My favorite was at the Overlay Hearing when Tondee said, "Why should the taxpayers of Kootenai County front the extra cost of administrating the Overlay". HELLO, we are the citizens of Kootenai County. They allow subdivisions larger than Bayview yet they tell us we need to incorporate all in the hopes of avoiding dealing with us, avoiding liabilities and unsavory developer problems. I have to disagree with you Herb on this one and say vote out the incumbents.

Anonymous said...

I for one am voting for Jai Nelson,why? Cause she's cute...and I would rather deal with her than that ugly ole Rick Currie.And for Senetor??? Well Mike Jorgenson came and bought me Drinks and listen to us so he's got my vote as well.

Jeanne said...

I'm not advocating one candidate over another but I found Hobart Jenkin's letter to the Press informative as well as the endorsement of the SR for Currie-

CDA Press May 21, 2008

CURRIE: Willing to listen, weigh issues

Rick Currie should be re-elected because of his honesty and willingness to listen to conflicting public comments. I have not agreed with every vote he has made, but he has a rational explanation for his positions. He demonstrates his willingness to listen by paying close attention to people addressing the commissioners. He always looked the speaker in the eye, never closing his eyes or looking bored as others have done on occasion.

Rick has had to balance ever-increasing desires for county services with funds inadequate to meet all the requests. Under his chairmanship the foregone tax total has increased to several million, which means the taxpayers did not have to pony up that pile of dollars in the treasurer's office. His opponent does not exhibit the depth of understanding of the conflicting issues, the demands of special interest groups and their impact on the county as a whole. There is no way an incumbent commissioner can satisfy everyone because every vote cast has both negative and positive impacts on different groups.

I have observed Rick Currie's record and feel he has made decisions that follow the law, and depict fairness to the conflicting interests of various advocacy groups. He has not been any one group's "yes man" nor has he been a "no man" either. His decisions have demonstrated a reasonable public service philosophy balancing conflicting positions among various groups with a "middle of the road" prospective. Real estate development is a burning issue that won't go away. There will be development, the only question is whether that development is designed to prevent damage to the larger environment, minimizes the impact on the regions infrastructure and complies with the Comprehensive Plan.

Rick has done that in a consistent fashion. Such behavior deserves favorable consideration of his candidacy.