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Green Wants To Streamline County

DFO interviewed Commissioner Dan Green online this afternoon re: the ballot measure to change Kootenai County government, which he supports. The measure proposes to turn four elected offices — clerk, assessor, treasurer & coroner — into appointed ones. And to add a county administrator:

  • DFO: How is the Streamline Kootenai County campaign going?
  • Dan Green: I think it's going well. It's generating a lot of discussion, which is healthy. We're gaining momentum.
  • DFO: You've encountered opposition from the GOP Central Committee, your own party. How do you overcome that?

Green: The Central Committee has their own opinions. Only 33 members of the 68 precincts were there that night (that passed a resolution against the proposed government change). This is not a partisan issue. This is an administrative issue to be more efficient. There are a great many Republicans who support the measure. They just might not be on the Central Committee.

More below

  • DFO: How were you received by the Reagan Republicans at their luncheon last week?
  • Green: There were definitely supporters in the audience, and there were some who didn't support (the measure). The same was true when (Assessor) Mike McDowell and I spoke at the Democratic luncheon (last Friday). I don't like to portray this as partisan one way or the other. We're talking about how to run the administrative side of government. Not the policy side. They're very different. Policy side implies more partisan philosophies more than the administration of an organization this size.
  • DFO: Why didn't you just go for part-time commissioners, a county manager and not touch the other elected officials?
  • Green: You'd make the system more dysfunctional because you've tasked someone with being the professional manager to manage on a comprehensive level — and you've cut the legs out from under them at the beginning (since the administrator wouldn't have the authority to deal with the department heads). You'd simply be adding another level of bureaucracy. You'd be making the system worse.
  • DFO: If this fails, how long will it be before it comes back?
  • Green: I have no plans at this time to bring something back. But it is not my decision. It takes a majority of a Board of County Commissioners to place initiatives on the ballot. I kept my campaign promise to give citizens of Kootenai County an opportunity to vote on this issue that has been discussed for almost 20 years.

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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