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Posts tagged: Dan Green

Pay disparity in County departments

COEUR d'ALENE - A recent salary survey conducted by BDPA, Inc., shows a lot of disparity in pay between certain departments in Kootenai County.

Overall, county employees are paid 16 percent below average wages for the same jobs in 19 different governments in Washington, Montana and Idaho.

Still, about 140 employees are over their average market wage, and of those 18 employees are over the maximum market value for the job they are performing. Nine of those employees are in salaried positions.

The two positions with highest percentage, 136 percent, over market average are the Public Defender and Supervisor of Operations at the Coeur d'Alene Airport. The Public Defender is also the highest paid employee at nearly $99,000 per year.

The prosecuting attorney was not part of the salary survey because it is an elected position.

The county has no employees making more than $100,000 per year, said Commissioner Dan Green. Read more. Jeff Selle, Cda Press

Any thoughts as to why so many city employees make over $100,000, but no county employees do?

Bay Views: Recall Jai Nelson

First the firing of the best public defender in Kootenai County History over personal attacks and council bullying, now a country treasurer not daring to retire for fear far right politics will skew what has been twelve years of smooth operation. Perhaps it is time to stop Spencer candidates from being elected from the hinterlands of what ever planet his political persuasion originates from. Jai Nelson (pictured) is misusing the power bestowed upon her and the other two are going along with her. When doing a good job interferes with a political agenda, it is time to replace the political thorn in the county's side. I urge those of you that have been outraged by the antics of the few, guided by the most far right and power hungry of our Republican Party, to select new candidates or even recall those that have abused their positions to settle personal issues/Herb Huseland, Bay Views. More here.

Question: Forget about Nelson for a minute … why did Tondee and Green go along with the firing of competent Public Defender John Adams?

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

Streamliners Back County Change

Kootenai County Commissioner Dan Green unveiled on Wednesday a new organization he has formed to promote his vision for government restructuring, which he promises will save the county more than a million dollars. Noting that the effort is separate from the other commissioners, Green trotted out Streamline Kootenai County before a crowd of other officials and business leaders at The Coeur d'Alene Resort. The group's main task is education and outreach about the commissioners' ballot measure for an alternate form of government, Green said, which he pegged as the first step in improving county government. “I'm frustrated with the dysfunctional structure in place to make ordinary decisions and spend tax dollars,” Green said. … He identified the co-chairs of Streamline Kootenai County as Joe Morris, former Kootenai Medical Center CEO, and Jon Hippler, former Mountain West Bank CEO/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

DFO: I appreciate streamline government. But I can't support a proposal that makes the entire county government structure vulnerable to a takeover by the Far Right, which has a shot at two of the three Kootenai County seats every two years.

Question: Any thoughts about Streamline Kootenai County?

Green Replies To Plan Code Critics

Some of a Republican group's concerns about Kootenai County's land use code are already going to be addressed, and some are off base, according to county officials and the consultant helping write the code. “I'm very cognizant of people's property rights, and we welcome participation, especially to address specific concerns in the code,” said Commissioner Dan Green about the drafting of the Unified Land Use Code. Green said on Wednesday morning that he had yet to see the resolution passed by the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee at a meeting on Tuesday. The document contends that the ULUC as written would violate property rights, and it calls for the commissioners to hold regional hearings and notice property owners individually. Upon learning the committee's requests, Green said hearings are already slated to be held on the draft ULUC. Hearings will be scheduled before the Planning and Zoning Commission, he said, and then before the county commissioners/Alecia Warren, CdA Press. More here.

Question: What do you make of the 42-2 vote by the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee on a resolution opposing the county's Unified Lane Use Code?

Spencer Raking In Money

You wonder why Larry Spencer can afford all those sound-bite yard signs slamming incumbent Commissioner Dan Green? Spencer has raked in almost $31,000 to date for his campaign for Kootenai County commissioner, or twice as much as Green, according to the 7-day pre-election campaign finance reports filed before the Tuesday afternoon deadline. Meanwhile, Rathdrum Mayor Vic Holmes as raised less than $3000 in his long-shot bid for the office. I'll be back to break things down. Meanwhile, you can read the campaign finance statements for yourself: Larry Spencer here, and: Dan Green here, and Vic Holmes here.

  • Spencer's donations include $11,000 in $1,000 increments from the same Spokane, Wash., post office box, including one from Dennis Swartout, a Spokane developer whose subdivision for 1,500 affordable houses near Silverwood was rejected in 2006 by the Kootenai County commission.
  • Green has raised $14,960 and spent $7219 with Ron Lahr's Strategery Group, which is aligned with the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans (the original RR group)

Question: Any thoughts on the backers of Spencer & Green?

Spencer Hangs Up On SR Reporter

From Erica Curless' story on Kootenai County commissioner Seat 3 race: “This is the first time Spencer has run for elected office and instead is known for his behind-the-scenes efforts against anything he sees as a misuse of taxpayer dollars or an assault on private property rights. Yet he hasn’t dropped his evasive persona, refusing to tell his age, which public records show is 39, or the name of his company, DH Consulting. Spencer hung up on a reporter who asked about a 2008 property foreclosure and three run-ins with the law in the early 1990s that resulted in traffic-related charges for racing, obstructing an officer and careless driving.” More here.

Question: Should a Kootenai County commissioner candidate refuse to answer a reporter's questions?

McGruber: Green Or Spencer Will Win

McGruber: Vic Holmes shot himself in the foot with that interview and his remarks about running for the paycheck. Dan Green needs to remind people of that at every forum. Vic might be a nice guy and all but he’s out of his league in this commission run. Taryn nailed it. The primary is just a month away and that’s not enough time for Vic to become known outside of Rathdrum. He probably shouldn’t count on a big groundswell of support from his hometown voters after doing just what Taryn said. Gets elected in November to a four year term and then three months later decides he’s worth more money so wants to be a county commissioner. This race will be between Dan Green and Larry Spencer and will probably be too close to call on election night.

Question: Anyone else think Larry Spencer has a chance to win one of three Kootenai County commissioner seats?

Holmes Seeks Green Commish Seat

Vic Holmes is hitting the election trail again. Holmes, re-elected at Rathdrum's mayor in November, will challenge incumbent Dan Green for the District 3 seat on the Kootenai County Commission in the primary on May 15. Holmes has been Rathdrum's mayor for five years and served on the City Council for four. “I think it's time for me to further take advantage of the skills I have been taught and apply those to the best of my ability for the community and my family,” Holmes said. “Trying to be mayor (a part-time position) and make a living can be a complicated deal/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Is Vic Holmes well known beyond the boundaries of Rathdrum?

Government Change To Be On Ballot

Item: Power to the people: Initiative proposing county manager to be put on ballot/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: The commissioners have asked the prosecuting attorney to draft a ballot measure that, if it passes, would give the commissioners authority to hire a county manager tasked with administrative duties. The same measure would also propose making the offices of county assessor, clerk, coroner and treasurer appointed positions, instead of elected as they are now. The positions of sheriff and prosecuting attorney would remain elected positions. The board of commissioners would also continue to have three full-time members, despite past discussions of expanding to five. … A county manager would handle day-to-day administrative tasks and free up the commissioners' time for policy making, Green said.

Question: How would you change Kootenai County government?

Commissioners Propose Govt Change

Kootenai County commissioners have asked Prosecutor Barry McHugh to draft a ballot measure that would dramatically restructure county government. The measure, which will be on the November ballot, will call for a commission-manager form of government with four current elected offices to be transformed into appointed ones — assessor, clerk, treasurer and coroner. The offices of prosecutor and sheriff would continue to be elective. If the measure passes, the three commissioners will hire an manager whose duties would include hiring & firing and preparing a preliminary budget for review and entering contracts. In a news release, the commissioners noted that they all three ran for office, pledging to present a possible change in county government to voters. Full press release here. (Photo: Commissioner Dan Green)

Question: Do you support a change in Kootenai County government?

10 R’s Running For Kootenai Commish

Huckleberries has just received the list of candidates who have filed for Kootenai County office this spring. No Democrats filed. At the last minute, Republican Donald Gary filed to run against Prosecutor Barry McHugh in the county GOP primary. Ten Republicans are running for the two Kootenai County commissioner posts, including the two incumbents. Three Republicans and three Independents are running for sheriff. No addresses or cities of residence were provided by the Kootenai County Clerk's Office. Here's the list of candidates:

  • Commissioner District 1 (2-year term): Republicans (incumbent) Todd Tondee, Gerald Arno, Marc Eberlein, Bruce Noble, Tim Herzog, Steven Peter Benner and Greg Wells.
  • Commissioner District 3 (4-year term): Republicans (incumbent) Dan Green, Vic Holmes and Larry Spencer.
  • Sheriff: Republicans Ben Wolfinger, Keith Hutcheson and John Green; and Independents Joe Bodman, Tom Dickson and Bob Foster.
  • Prosecutor: Republicans (incumbent) Barry McHugh and Donald Gary. No Democrats or Independents have filed.
  • Complete list of candidates from Kootenai County Election Department

Also: You can find candidates in Kootenai County GOP Central Committee precinct races here

Also: You can find a list of legislative candidates for Districts 1-7 here (click on link at top of page)

Joker: How Spencer Will Win

HucksOnline asked you Merry Hucksters to paint a scenario in which Larry Spencer could win a Kootenai County commissioner seat — and Joker responded with this scenario:

“It was a dark and stormy night. A dark blue Mercedes parks in front of a warehouse off of Government Way. Bob Seger’s Night Moves” is playing loudly and Larry Spencer smiles. Outside the warehouse he sees a flashlight turn on and off. It’s time. He turns off the engine and get out. With each step toward the man with the flashligh, the gravel crunches under his boots. The man, a local private eye, hands him a DVD. “It’s all there man,” the private eye says. “Turned my stomach.” Larry starts to giggle, “I know. I know. I can’t wait.” More below.

Question: Can Spencer win?

Spencer Files For County Commish

Political activist Larry Spencer has filed to run against incumbent Republican Commissioner Dan Green in the Kootenai County Commission District 3 race. The move confirms the rumor that HucksOnline reported recently that Spencer had told Green that Spencer planned to run against him. Rathdrum Mayor Vic Holmesis the third Republican who has filed for the seat. Running for the Commission District 1 seat are five Republicans: incumbent Todd Tondee, Gerald Arno, Marc Eberlein, Bruce Noble and Tim Herzog. No Democrats are running for county commission. In the sheriff's race, Independent Tom Dickson of Cataldo has joined four others: Independent Joe Bodman and Republicans Ben Wolfinger, Keith Hutcheson and John Green. No one has filed to oppose Republican Prosecutor Barry McHugh.

Question: Can you paint a scenario in which Larry Spencer becomes a Kootenai County commissioner?

Spencer Files … For Precinct 15 Post

At 3:21 p.m. Thursday, Larry Spencer posted: “Well, for all of you that have waited to go after me until I am on a ballot, have at it. I filed my paperwork a few minutes ago.” But he didn't say which office he was seeking. As you may recall, HucksOnline posted a story recently in which Commissioner Dan Green confirmed a conversation with Spencer — that Spencer told Green he would run against him. Spencer has filed candidacy papers — to run for precinct committeeman for Precinct 15.

For Those Keeping Score At Home …

… Just got off the phone with Kootenai County Commissioner Dan Green. Who confirmed that Larry Spencer called him 2-3 weeks ago to say that he was going to run against Green. The commissioners told HucksOnline that Spencer told him that he was a “good guy” but Spencer disagreed with him on some issues.

Commish Green Seeks Re-election

Republican Dan Green has announced he will seek another term as Kootenai County Commissioner. Green, who won the Republican nomination for County Commissioner in 2010 by a 24 point margin and was unopposed in the General Election, expects to be challenged in the Republican primary because of the conservative changes made under his leadership at the courthouse. “We made some tough decisions to eliminate positions, change employee benefits and streamline the county government; applying conservative principles to county government is sure to make certain folks unhappy.” Green said.  Dan Green is a longtime Kootenai County resident. He and his wife of 26 years, Linda, have two sons in college. Dan started a forest products company in 1995 and retired from the firm in 2008/Dan Green news release. More here.

Question: Do you support Kootenai County Commissioner Dan Green's re-election bid?

Mary: A Ray Of Hope In Courthouse

In her latest newsletter, Mary Souza of tells of hobnobbing with new Kootenai County Commissioner Dan Green (pictured, left) to discuss “public employees and much more.” Quoth Mary: “The County will not raise taxes this year. They eliminated at least 12 underutilized positions. They combed through the budget and sliced out $800,000, but were saddened to discovered the state-mandated indigent care had been estimated at only half its real cost by the previous administration, so the new budget savings were obliterated this legal obligation officially called County Assistance. But they’re trying.” Green, Commissioner Jai Nelson (pictured, right), and new County Clerk Cliff Hayes give constituents “a much needed sense of hope.” You can read the rest of Mary's column here.

Question: How would you rate the performance of the two new commissioner — Dan Green & Jai Nelson — during their first 8 months in office?

Kootenai County offers 2012 budget


Kootenai County commissioners are proposing a 2012 budget almost $3 million higher than this year’s, but they say property taxes won’t increase because $4 million will be used from reserve funds.

Several county reserve funds have risen to levels well beyond what is needed, said Commissioner Dan Green, who took office in January. “We are going to draw them down to prudent levels,” Green said. “Right now we have extra money.” Full story. Alison Boggs, SR


Press: Commissioners Are Leaders

They've whacked a failing program, ostracized a bunch of kids and parents, cut here, consolidated there and, in all likelihood, succeeded in getting every single employee to do his or her best work. That's what we call leadership. The Kootenai County commissioners - Todd Tondee, Dan Green and Jai Nelson (pictured) - are cutting expenses because that's the mandate they got from voters. They aren't waiting for the next budget; they're saving money right now. They're also tossing political caution to the wind by considering an unpopular step like eliminating county extension programs, including the popular 4-H program/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the CdA Press that the current Kootenai County commissioners are showing leadership by consolidating, eliminating, & cutting the budget?

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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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