JBelle: My observation, from the last row of the sidelines, is that more than the exorbitant property taxes, people of Kootenai County resent not having representation at the county level. The things you mention as the downside are only symptoms; what people really don't like is that once a commissioner is voted in, they forget how they got there. That's why I asked about Ron Rankin's heir; my parents, long time business people and property owners in North Idaho, felt a great pride in and relief with Mr. Rankin's leadership; they didn't need to agree with him 100% of the time because they knew no matter what, Mr. Rankin hadn't forgotten about them. He was the people's man and from my seat in the stadium, the people really miss him and want, more than anything else, somebody who's pitching for them.
DFO: Rankin was unique in that he had a populist vision and a connection to the average taxpayer. He also wasn't afraid to cheerlead pet projects like the local-option tax. None on the current board fill those qualifications to be the Rankin heir. Then, few could.