Jane Q. Citizen: I would respectfully disagree with my favorite punster John Austin that this is not the time to discuss the county administrator issue since at least one of the commission candidates — Todd Tondee, has made it the cornerstone of his election platform. Voters should know how all of the candidates feel about the issue and it will have a rather large fiscal impact either way once the commission is settled in come January.
DFO: You’ve put me on the spot, Jane Q. Todd Tondee, indeed, wants to bring back the county administrator … and he told me that he’s willing for refund the recent commissioner salary increases to pay for one. Although most people probably oppose hiring a county administrator, I believe Tondee is right on. A good administrator will save his/her salary annually and more by being attentive to daily operations of the courthouse. Kootenai County is too big and complex to continue to expect three people, hired by a popular vote, to set both policy and oversee daily operations. One of the biggest mistakes Commissioner Gus Johnson has made was to join the late Ron Rankin in axing the administrator position 6 years ago.