Michael on ballot unopposed for
By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer
In her four years as a Blaine
County Commissioner, Sarah Michael has added a lot of feathers to her
She has spearheaded public policy
on weeds, public transportation, water quality, budget processes and the
use of personal watercraft on Blaine County’s scenic Sawtooth lakes. She
said she believes it is important to be proactive when it comes to
"We have a history of proactive
leadership with (former commissioners) Len Harlig and Tom Bowman, and
that sense of leadership and initiative is important to keep Blaine
County special," she said.
Michael, 57, is running for her
second term. Though the Hulen Meadows Democrat’s first term ran for four
years, the second will last two because of the staggered nature of the
three commission seats.
She is running unopposed in the
primary on May 25 and in the general election Nov. 2. The only contested
county commission seat will be decided in the May primary. Former Blaine
County Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Tom Bowman is challenging
incumbent County Commissioner Mary Ann Mix for a four-year term.
Because both candidates are
Democrats, that race will be decided in the primary.
For her part, however, Michael
said she is running again, in part, because she’s having a good time.
"I’m having a lot of fun. It’s fun
being a county commissioner and being in service to your community," she
Michael was also critical of some
of the ways things are done at the county courthouse.
"It doesn’t need to take three
years to pass an affordable housing ordinance," she said, referring to
an ordinance the county commission passed on Monday. "We should hire
long-range planners or consultants. I think we need to add resources—add
Michael also supports hiring a
county administrator to help oversee grants, budget processes, hiring
and firing and to give general oversight to the county’s nine
departments. It’s something she proposed early in her first term, but
her fellow commissioners squelched the concept. Because Bowman has also
proposed hiring a county administrator, that is one change that would
probably be certain should he be elected.
"The amount of paperwork and
minutia we deal with is ridiculous," Michael said. "Our meetings take so
much time that we never get to the big picture stuff. I think Blaine
County growth issues are urgent.
"It’s not something we can wait to
deal with. I would like to see a stronger commitment from the board to
Candidates for Blaine County
Sheriff and Blaine County Commission will square off in a debate on
Thursday, May 13.
Citizens for Smart Growth is
hosting the event, which will begin at 7 p.m. at the Liberty Theater in
County Commission candidates Mary
Ann Mix and Tom Bowman, both Democrats, will square off. Sheriff
candidates Walt Femling and Steve England, both Republicans, and Steve
Gunter, a Democrat, will debate issues.
A group of panelists will ask
questions, and Wood River Valley Channel 13 Perspective host Gene
Delaggo will moderate the event.