Kootenai County Commissioner Bill Brooks says government is too complicated. And on the local level, he wants to do something to clear it up.
That’s why the first-term commissioner is spearheading an effort, with support from his colleagues, to form a citizen’s advisory panel to reduce and eliminate outdated, redundant and unnecessary rules, policies and ordinances.
“The goal is to uncomplicate county government and get rid of some of the clutter that bogs things down,” Brooks said Monday.
Brooks wants to put together a board of citizens and county employees to analyze areas that can be simplified. An even number of members would be divided between interested residents and county staff.
To kick things off, the county is planning a social media survey that will ask residents to sound off on what areas of county bureaucracy they think should be simplified. The survey would be posted on the county’s website, kcgov.us.
“We want to focus on what are on the top of people’s minds and engage them in the beginning,” said Commissioner Leslie Duncan.
Soliciting community feedback will be key to the panel’s success, said Commissioner Chris Fillios.
“If we start with the survey and identify some number of items, that will clue us in on what direction we want to go,” Fillios said. “Areas that are outdated and redundant, I suspect, will be the easiest ones to wipe right off the map.”
Commissioners believe land use regulations and building codes will be the top areas survey respondents would like addressed.
“It really boils down to putting things in plain language that is understandable,” Brooks said. “It’s all about common sense.”
Brooks said he would like to have the advisory group formed by December. Residents interested in serving can call Brooks at 208-699-2455.