GOP group opposes county manager - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

GOP group opposes county manager

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Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 12:00 am

A North Idaho Republican organization released a resolution on Thursday objecting to the Kootenai County commissioners' ballot measure for an alternative form of county government.

The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee's document warns that the ballot measure will deprive the county of checks and balances, and add a cumbersome level of bureaucracy.

"A group (in the central committee) decided they didn't like the idea of change in our government form," said Neil Oliver, central committee chair, adding that those committee members called a special meeting on Wednesday night to discuss the resolution.

The document criticizes the ballot measure's proposals to add a county manager position and make the clerk, coroner, treasurer and assessor positions hired, instead of elected.

The manager position is "a business model" position, and "not applicable to government," the document states.

The role would also have "vast law enforcement power" as the "chief enforcement officer" of development laws under the Unified Land Use Code.

"Some people, they didn't know if it would be a bad thing to have," Oliver said of some members supporting the manager position. "Others, they felt it would cause an insulating effect from getting concerns noted. We have commissioners now, you can go straight to them. Hiring a manager, you wouldn't be able to get your concerns heard."

The resolution also contends that no longer electing several positions would "eliminate the right of county voters to choose and hold accountable" those officials.

Oliver said only 33 of the 68 precinct committeemen were at Wednesday. The resolution was passed by a roll call vote.

A handful opposed the resolution, including precinct committeeman Kellie Palm.

"The Republican Central Committee is supposed to support Republican candidates," she said, reminding that the commissioners who created the ballot measure are Republicans. "Doing this before a critical election period sends out a mixed message, as to why are you doing this and not supporting your constituency?"

Commissioner Dan Green said the commissioners as a board aren't endorsing the changes in government structure.

They're only fulfilling campaign pledges to let voters decide.

"Personally do I think it's the right thing to do? Yes," said Green, who has created Streamline Kootenai County to promote the ballot measure. "I think by streamlining operations it will produce efficiencies that will save us money."

Commissioner Todd Tondee disagreed with the points of the resolution. He also touted that the proposed changes would promote more government efficiency.

But the whole point of the ballot measure, Tondee said, is that the Republicans or anyone else opposed can say so.

"It's on the ballot, they can vote no," he said. "That's the reason it's out there."

Assessor Mike McDowell, also a Republican precinct committeeman, said he couldn't predict how affairs in his own office would be impacted if the ballot measure goes through.

He opposes the changes because a county manager position is more suited to the fast pace of private enterprise, he said.

"We need more checks and balances to make sure decisions are correct," McDowell said.

Keeping his own and other positions elected keeps officials accountable to voters, he added.

"It may not be as efficient as another system, but it will be more accountable," he said.

The KCRCC has posted the resolution on its website, Oliver said. The group will also submit it to the commissioners.

"I would hope the good people of Kootenai County, w hen they go to vote, they make a choice that is right for Kootenai County," Oliver said.

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  • crust123 posted at 1:29 pm on Tue, Oct 16, 2012.

    crust123 Posts: 205

    pretty funny. same old paranoia over something different. and talk about jumping to conclusions, rational or not. the present county system has no manager, but based on the comments below, most of you hate the current commission and cant wait to throw them out. but guess what, the write in's have no chance if history bears out. so after all your complaining, you are going to have the same bunch running the county once more. and then you can start up the complaining all over again. what a great system, eh?? Good luck finding the perfect candidates to run for commissioner. Look back over time, we have had some very good ones, but weve also had people who needed a job, who had no business overseeing a budget this size,etc.
    And are you suggesting that it necessary to have a manager in order to bring corruption to government? just read this or any other paper and youll find all the corruption in govt you want, in both elected and non elected positions. And, yes, part of the deal would be part time commissioners to oversee the manager and make the big calls. it really does make sense...

  • taxpayer posted at 9:23 pm on Mon, Oct 15, 2012.

    taxpayer Posts: 343

    the Rathdrum City government has gotten worse since they created that postion, VOTE NO ON COUTNY MANAGER

  • 3Cheers posted at 10:24 am on Mon, Oct 15, 2012.

    3Cheers Posts: 435

    Every city going bankrupt has a manager. Managers are the problem, not the solution.
    Vote to retain our present form of county government.

  • AnonymousCda posted at 10:04 pm on Sun, Oct 14, 2012.

    AnonymousCda Posts: 344

    That's if your able to make contact with the manager when there is problems. An most likely he will be on vacation. An when the manager steps down for sudden reason then he gets a huge pension plan. Just like some many other places with managers (California).

  • AnonymousCda posted at 10:00 pm on Sun, Oct 14, 2012.

    AnonymousCda Posts: 344

    Sounds like there's a few old school Idahoans still living in Idaho. The County Manager agenda sound so like Californian. Already see problems on how contacting the manager, most likely always on vacation like in California. Then after 6 or 8 months the manager retires with a huge life pension plan. Like so similar to the California managers get when the quit or suddenly retire.

    Vote NO to the Manager agenda.

  • 3Cheers posted at 1:48 pm on Sun, Oct 14, 2012.

    3Cheers Posts: 435

    jmowreader; You should have read the question more carefully. Nowhere does it say the commissioners will be part time. You will now have a county manager and three full time commissioners, who will spend their time passing more onerous regulations. When will there be part time commissioners? Maybe after the recall election, and the special election to reduce the commissioners pay by 80%.

  • jmowreader posted at 8:30 pm on Sat, Oct 13, 2012.

    jmowreader Posts: 1405

    On this issue I gave some significant thought before casting my ballot last Thursday.

    I voted yes, and I'll be happy to explain why. Basically, it's more efficient for a county to do business with a trained professional county manager and a part-time board of elected commissioners, than a full-time elected board of county commissioners. This form of government is common in many of our states, it works and it actually cuts down on corruption in government.

    Now look at the six positions they are talking about making appointed: the Clerk, Coroner, Treasurer and Assessor now, and the Prosecutor and Sheriff later. Very few people in our electorate can really say, "this is what makes a great Coroner." To be blunt, forcing Coroner Deb Wilkey to beg for her job every four years--especially since she's got a job with an outrageously high reelect rate--is not a good use of either the taxpayers' or Deb Wilkey's money.

    Let's do this: Vote Yes on Streamlining. In two years, have one final election for Clerk, Coroner, Treasurer and Assessor, then allow the winners to serve "on good behavior"--if they perform well, they keep their jobs as long as they want them.

  • rationaldiscussionplz posted at 4:00 pm on Sat, Oct 13, 2012.

    rationaldiscussionplz Posts: 266

    The commissioners are power hungry and don't care in the least about the voters in Kootenai County. We can't trust the (R) next to a name at this point, because all it takes for a liberal to register as a Republican is to mark a checkbox on a form at the elections office. They're overrunning the party. The people running for commissioner who truly stand for rights in Kootenai County aren't even on the ballot. You have to write them in. The names on the ballot have an (R), but think of that as an "R" for "Retire this guy."

    Todd Tondee and Dan Green are doing everything they can to take away voting rights with this county government change, and they're doing everything they can to take away private property rights with the Unified Land Use Code. It's disgusting.

    Write in candidates running against Todd Tondee are: Tim Herzog and Jack Schroeder.

    The write in candidate running against Dan Green is Gordon Ormesher, Jr.

    If you forget a name, each precinct *should* have a list of write-in candidates available upon request. Personally, I think they should hand out the list of write-in candidates to each voter. But they're not going to do that, unfortunately. So if you need the list, you'll have to ask for it.

  • rationaldiscussionplz posted at 3:36 pm on Sat, Oct 13, 2012.

    rationaldiscussionplz Posts: 266

    I think we're starting to see that more in the local Republicans. The KCRCC in particular. There seem to be a few of them who are trying to push back against the liberal shift in the Republican party. So they're doing things like this, working with others in the party to pass resolutions against political powergrabs and bad regulation like the county manager stuff and the ULUC. It's a group of real Republicans who are standing up and doing what's right rather than pandering to the local media and special interest groups like the Environmental Alliance (which has had its hand in the pot through the entire ULUC process).

    I don't think there are a lot of truly conservative folks in the KCRCC who are pushing back against the big government, follow the leader, do what you're told "Republican" types like Palm seems to be. But it looks like there are at least a handful of conservatives there. I'm glad they managed to get this resolution against changing county government passed.

    It shows that they're willing to stand up and state publicly when something is wrong. Even if that something is supported by "their" candidates. That's awesome! It shows integrity. It shows that there's some hope for the Republican party after all. At least locally.

  • 3Cheers posted at 10:19 am on Sat, Oct 13, 2012.

    3Cheers Posts: 435

    If the members of Concerned Businesses of North Idaho are so proud of what they are doing, why can't we find a membership list?
    And with Kellie Pa;m's blind support, the commissioners will happily give away your voting rights, property rights, and money.

  • Bob Loblaw posted at 8:48 am on Sat, Oct 13, 2012.

    Bob Loblaw Posts: 413

    Hmmm, making elected positions appointments instead? Generally, it is a bad direction to go in, taking power away from voters and concentrating it in the hands of "officials". Payoffs, cronies, etc., and less accountability. Especially Tax Assessor.

  • bob-athol posted at 8:40 am on Sat, Oct 13, 2012.

    bob-athol Posts: 192

    Kellie Palms statement; "supposed to support Republican candidates" might be worth considering except for two points.

    I downloaded and reviewed the ID GOP Rules and found nothing that prohibits the RCC people from supporting other candidates. It appears the ID GOP does not force its membership to vote any one way, but keeps choice as an option. It appears the write in candidates are conservatives.

    But perhaps more important is the requirements placed on each (R) candidate. Each is REQUIRED to support the GOP platform. The GOP platform specifically comes out against environmentally based activism in local codes, which it deems harms property rights. This BOCC, specifically the two (R) candidates are supporting via the proposed ULUC ordinances.

    I've maintained people voted for them (myself included) not because of what they campaigned for (more codes, county manager, stiff enforcements on property owners) but because they had (Rep) next to their name on the ballot.

    My wife and I recently left the Republican party after over 30 yrs just because the Republican party has not done its homework in making sure its candidates were indeed conservative candidates. I would encourage the KCRCC to do its home work and if your candidates are actually RINO's masquerading as conservatives, quit endorsing them. What is worse to us is that a local group calling themselves Reagan Republicans is either knowingly supporting RINO's or also not checking them out. It could be plain old disgusting politics, I don't know.

    Some years back a liberal thought writer suggested the only way to get their people in office here in KC was to infiltrate the Republican party with Dems. Have they succeeded? Neither (R) BOCC candidate won the primary with a majority vote, more people voted for other people than for them.

    Make no mistake, EVERY unincorporated property owner in KC is having their zoning changed, EVERY property owner will have a complete set of new ordinances put on them, EVERY property owner will come under new enforcement provisions ...... that alone is enough to make us not support them. The BOCC will be able to hide behind the new county manager and not be around when each property owner comes in for a permit or to divide their lot and is told "no", or to carry out $30k worth of studies first.

  • Tim Herzog posted at 7:46 am on Sat, Oct 13, 2012.

    Tim Herzog Posts: 392

    WRITE-IN Tim Herzog for District 1, County Commissioner
    Former candidate in 2008, lost by 939 votes!
    Former candidate in 2012, 5 way race!
    WRITE -IN Candidate District 1, County Commissioner November 6th
    "Officially Endorsed" by Kootenai County Deputy Sheriff's Association and supported by
    many county employees.
    "It's time for a positive difference"

  • estatetracker posted at 12:38 am on Sat, Oct 13, 2012.

    estatetracker Posts: 344

    Concerned Businesses of North Idaho are essentially the same people who were appointed to the two past "work groups" who concluded then recommended to the BOCC(s) that the County needed to be reorganized.

    If anyone looked at the membership of the work groups - and their affilates and friends - and if "Concerned Businesses" would ever make public their membership, all the dots would connect with a crayon.

    Fulfilling compain promises - to whom and for what in return seems to be the next question.

  • Truthful posted at 1:17 pm on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    Truthful Posts: 135

    The title of the article is only a "partial" truth! It is not just about a county manager but the ENTIRE reorganization of County government. A Kootenai County Citizens Review Committee were appointed by Resolution No. 2005-46 by County Commissioners at that time: Gus Johnson, Rick Currie and Katie Brodie. It was comprised of Harry Perry, Herbert Haight, Chris Kuhlman, John Parry, Tom Addis, Peter Erbland, Jon Hipler, Sholeh Patrick, Paul Anderson and Linda Davis. Perhaps they would like to "weigh in" on this topic!

  • 3Cheers posted at 11:22 am on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    3Cheers Posts: 435

    Anyone have a membership list of Concerned Businesses of North Idaho? They contributed $10K to campaign for this.

  • taxpayer posted at 10:32 am on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    taxpayer Posts: 343

    he county commissioners are hired to manage the county, by hiring a county manager they are admitting they can not do their job, so they need to be fired and we need 3 new county commissioners

  • Marc Eberlein posted at 10:21 am on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    Marc Eberlein Posts: 11

    "Commissioner Dan Green said the commissioners as a board aren't endorsing the changes in government structure. They're only fulfilling campaign pledges to let voters decide. "Personally do I think it's the right thing to do? Yes," said Green, who has created Streamline Kootenai County to promote the ballot measure."

    Research of the Press archives reveals that both Tondee and Green have advocated the restructure for some time. Green & Tondee also cite two studies done by Kootenai County movers , circa mid 90's and '05 ish, both "studies" "found" in favor of restructure and appointed officials.

    Outside of the small circle above, how many have ever heard a clamoring to put this restructure thingy on the ballot?

    In the November 6th elections there are write-in choices for both commissioner races;
    District 1 - (Tondee) write-in candidates Jack Schroeder or Tim Herzog
    District 3 - (Green) write-in candidate Gordon Ormesher, Jr

    Heard tell the Brooklyn Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge are for sale again, cheap. Wanna buy it? No? Consider checking box #2 "In favor of retaining the present form of county government." and consider a write-in candidate.

    We proclaim that the framers of our Constitution were wise men. So why would we even consider ignoring their warning to have checks, balances and separation of powers in our government?

  • angryNIdaho posted at 9:40 am on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    angryNIdaho Posts: 81


  • Brent Regan posted at 9:30 am on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    Brent Regan Posts: 676

    "It's on the ballot, they can vote no," Tondee said.

    Actually there is no option to vote “No”. One must select the second option on the ballot to be:

    "in favor of retaining the present form of county government."

  • Brent Regan posted at 9:26 am on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    Brent Regan Posts: 676

    The Democrats passed a similar resolution. It seems we now know how bad an idea has to be to get bipartisan opposition in Kootenai County.

  • cdaman1 posted at 9:15 am on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    cdaman1 Posts: 30

    "The Republican Central Committee is supposed to support Republican candidates," she said, reminding that the commissioners who created the ballot measure are Republicans. "Doing this before a critical election period sends out a mixed message, as to why are you doing this and not supporting your constituency?"
    Dear Kellie Palm, I am a republican and can't believe the message behind your statement. Am I, a voter, as dense as you make me sound? No I am not. I will vote for what I believe is best for me, my family and my future, REGARDLESS of party affiliation. I will not vote for or endorse in any way this "Streamline Kootenai County" I believe it is a horrible plan and will do a tremendous amount of harm to this County in the long run. Kellie, lemmings follow aimlessly without thought or direction. I am not a lemming. There are no mixed messages to this statement. I choose to be a republican, I do not have to choose to vote for a republicans bad idea.

  • 3Cheers posted at 9:03 am on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    3Cheers Posts: 435

    The four precinct committee people who were willing to take away citizens right to vote are Kellie Palm., Ron Lahr, Duane Rasmussen and Jeff Tyler. I believe people who live in their precincts should hold them accountable. The rationale of voting for bad policy simply because a Republican puts it on the ballot is complete nonsense. Republicans voting for bad policy is how the nation has gotten in to the mess it is in. Kellie said precinct people not supporting this were committing "blasphemy"! She was very eager to give away her precinct and my rights to vote.
    These commissioners are attempting to create their own little kingdom. There would be no end to crony politics if this passes. If the commissioners really need a manager that means they are not doing their jobs.
    Dan Green has been making the rounds with a power point presentation to support the changes. Is he doing this during working hours? Who is the money behind it?

  • I Carry posted at 7:55 am on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    I Carry Posts: 529

    # 1; The current commissioners have treated their employees like dung.
    # 2; The commsssioners claim they don't have money to pay employees their due, yet have funding to ADD yet another cog in the wheel.
    # 3; The commissioners have indicated they want to build a 6 or 7 story parking garage when they missed the chance a few years ago when one of the court buildings was condemed. Bad planning on their part!

    Please consider voting all incumbents out of office ASAP. The three stoges could represent us better then these "officials." I'm not pushing anyone running for office. We need to just get some dead wood out.

  • Catching_Fire posted at 7:35 am on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    Catching_Fire Posts: 14

    "From what I could tell, that handful was about 4 people who were defending the Streamline campaign that is affiliated with Dan Green and Ron Lahr's, who was a co-founder of the Reagan Republicans, Strategery Group. Pretty much everyone there was very opposed to the idea of a county manager and appointing the county assessor, treasure, coroner, and clerk.

    Mike McDowell, our county assessor, did an excellent job that night, as he did in this article, explaining the reasons why not to support this ballot measure.

    I commend the local republican party and the KCRCC on taking a stand for conservative principles and supporting the republican platform against bigger government, more bureaucracy, and even the violation of property rights."

  • local res posted at 7:14 am on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    local res Posts: 1165

    If we need a county manager, then tell me why we need commissioners? If we elect to be governed by a manager who has the ability to set policies through the bureaucratic process, then I propose we fire the current board of commissioners and just have the manage who is ELECTED and ACCOUNTABLE to THE PEOPLE!

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