FROM FOR THE RECORD (Saturday, July 19, 1997): Correction Incorrect headline: Concerned Businesse of North Idaho did not author a proposal for changing the structure of Kootenai County’s government. A headline in Friday’s paper stated otherwise.
A prominent North Idaho business lobby wants the Kootenai County commissioners to send a proposal for changing county government to the ballot without alterations.
The board of directors of Concerned Businesses of North Idaho voted unanimously Thursday to ask the commissioners not to tinker with the Optional Forms of County Government proposal and instead put it on the November 1998 ballot.
“We think the voters in this county support the process,” said Steve Judy, executive director of Concerned Businesses. “We think the voters ought to be able to choose.”
That’s angered County Commissioner Ron Rankin.
“This is a sneaky organization and they have a history of waiting until the last minute and throwing in their money and influence elections,” Rankin said. They want to change county government because “the fewer elected officials you have the fewer people you have to control and have it your way.”
Concerned Businesses isn’t commenting on the way the proposal would change government, Judy said. He also declined to comment on Rankin’s charges.
The commissioners appointed a citizen commission to study alter native ways of running the county in the wake of a 1994 ballot initiative and subsequent legisla tion. After nine months of work, the group proposed expanding the number of commissioners from three to five, hiring a county manager, and having the commissioners and manager hire the sheriff, prosecutor, clerk, assessor, coroner and treasurer.
The citizen group that made the recommendation believes the county commissioners should advance their plan to the ballot unchanged. The commissioners don’t appear eager to do that.
They will make a decision next Tuesday. The result could be putting the citizen group proposal on the ballot unchanged.
They also could send a modified version to the ballot or kill it entirely.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: What’s next The commissioners will make a decision next Tuesday.
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