Wednesday, October 27, 2010

County Commission



 

Mickey Garcia

Age: 67

Occupation: Retired forester, electrical technician, instrument technician, wildland firefighter, bus driver.

Government experience: U.S. Air Force, Forest Service, BLM, state of California.

Education: B.S. in forestry from University of Montana, Missoula. Various private and government electrical and electronic tech schools.

Political affiliation: Independent

Why are you running?

It's a free country.

How would you describe the position you are running for?

The County Commission is the board of directors of a public, county corporation.

What sets you apart from your opponent?

A) I'm more willing to cut the budget. B) I'm more willing to confront special, politically correct interests who are doing the wrong thing. C) I'm more colorful.

Is the community housing requirement on planned-unit developments stifling the construction industry in Blaine County? Why or why not?

Restrictive zoning causes an artificial land scarcity which in turn raises the cost of housing, including low-income housing. There's plenty of economic research to back this up.

What can the county do to facilitate the replacement airport process?

Less navel-gazing, fewer special interest turf battles, less tribal warfare.

How important is it for the county to stop reserve spending completely? What big-ticket item would you cut to reach that goal?

I would cut county spending 15 percent across the board in the next two years, about a 7.5 percent annual spending reduction.

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Angenie McCleary

Age: 33

Occupation: Blaine County commissioner

Government Experience: July 2008 to present: Blaine County commissioner; 2007-2008: Wood River Middle School social worker; 2007: Washington state Legislature—worked to create children's mental health legislation; 2000-2005: served on numerous governmental boards as the director of YAK! (Youth Adult Konnections).

Education: B.A. in psychology, Middlebury College; M.S. in social work, concentration in policy and administration, University of Washington.

Political affiliation: Democrat

Why are you running?

I want to protect and enhance the quality of life in Blaine County. As a current Blaine County commissioner, I have had the opportunity to make a difference in the community that I care about deeply and I want to continue serving my community. I have the experience, skills and character to continue being a productive county commissioner.

How would you describe the position you are running for?

County commissioners represent the public's interest in county decision making and serve as liaisons between county government and the community. We are leaders who listen to community concerns, bring the community together and solve problems. The position requires a full-time commitment to manage county government, including budgets, essential public services, county planning and public safety.

What sets you apart from your opponent?

I believe that county government can improve the quality of life for Blaine County residents and visitors. Thoughtful land-use planning, for example, protects our natural surroundings, maintains our agricultural heritage, promotes sustainable development and ensures the safety of our residents and visitors.

Is the community housing requirement on planned-unit developments stifling the construction industry in Blaine County? Why or why not?

The present recession and mortgage crisis are the problems for developers. The Public Benefit Planned Unit Development is voluntary and is an incentive-based ordinance that provides the opportunity for benefits such as increased density and waivers to certain standards in exchange for providing public benefits such as community housing.

What can the county do to facilitate the replacement airport process?

The county needs to be the leader that keeps the process moving forward. It should bring the community together by increasing cooperation and building trust between the county and the cities. It can also develop a comprehensive business plan to assure the community it can successfully build and operate a replacement airport.

How important is it for the county to stop reserve spending completely? What big-ticket item would you cut to reach that goal?

It is important that the county budget responsibly. This means not funding ongoing expenses with reserves; reserves should be kept at a reasonable level and held in case of extraordinary circumstances. Through careful budget planning, the county reserves are now at a level recommended by the county's independent auditor.




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