Friday, August 24, 2012

Blaine Dems prep to replace commissioner

Deadline for letters of interest Sept. 11

Express Staff Writer

Blaine County Democrats are stepping up the search for county commissioner candidates as the deadline to choose a replacement for Commissioner Tom Bowman grows closer.
    Blaine County Democrats Chair Gini Ballou said the group voted on new precinct captains and set the timeline for Bowman’s replacement at a special meeting Aug. 16. Four new captains have been chosen, and these precinct captains will help choose among candidates and present Gov. Butch Otter with three choices from which to appoint a new commissioner.
    Ballou said the only qualifications for a new county commissioner are possession of a high-school degree and a residence within District 2.
    District 2 runs from the East Fork River south to Quigley Creek on the east side of Highway 75, and south to Glendale Road and U.S. Highway 20 to the county line on the west side, excluding the city of Bellevue and the Woodside neighborhood of Hailey.
    However, Ballou said the ideal candidate would have other qualifications as well as a high-school diploma and residential requirements.
    “[The candidate should be] someone that listens well, and who can read a lot,” she said, referring to the amount of research that the commissioners do on each issue they tackle.
    She added that the candidate should also be prepared to serve as a liaison to a number of boards, both of nonprofit organizations and those required by the office, such as the Southern Idaho Solid Waste District.
    “When they gave us our presentation of what they do, Angenie [McCleary, Blaine County Commissioner] said she sat on something like 19 boards,” Ballou said. “The person should have a collaborative mind.”
    Ballou also said the ideal candidate would have some business experience, as the commissioners are in charge of setting annual budgets in excess of $20 million.
    District 2 residents who wish to become county commissioner should submit a letter of interest to Ballou, and Blaine County residents and precinct captains can also submit letters of recommendation.
    “Sometimes the best candidate is someone whose first inclination is not, ‘Oh, I’m that guy,’” she said. “And that’s part of the reason why they would be a good candidate.”
    The deadline for letters of interest is Sept. 11, with a public candidate forum to be held Sept. 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Blaine County Courthouse in Hailey. At the end of the forum, precinct captains will choose three candidates by secret ballot to recommend to the governor.
    Ballou said the names will be submitted to Otter on Oct. 6, one day after Bowman’s resignation.
    For more information on submitting names for consideration, call Ballou at 720-4347.

Kate Wutz:

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