Broadsword resigns to take Health & Welfare post - Bonner County Daily Bee: Local News

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Broadsword resigns to take Health & Welfare post

Resignation takes effect on Feb. 28

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Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:00 am

SANDPOINT — Less than a month after taking her oath of office, Bonner County Commissioner Joyce Broadsword announced Tuesday she is resigning.

The Republican District 1 commissioner is stepping down to take a job as regional director of the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare for northern Idaho.

Broadsword’s resignation, which takes effect on Feb. 28, is not without some regret.

Broadsword campaigned on bringing positive changes to the Bonner County Administration Building, including boosting flagging morale in some departments.

“I had concerns about leaving my post on the Commission, but it became clear I could do more to help in northern Idaho by accepting the job as your new Region 1 Director — and that’s why I got into public service in the first place,” Broadsword said in a written statement announcing her resignation.

Broadsword said in an interview that she did not seek the Health & Welfare position.

“I didn’t go looking for this. They came to me,” said Broadsword, a former four-term state lawmaker who was vice chair of the Senate Health & Welfare Committee.

Health & Welfare Director Dick Armstrong said in a statement that Broadsword’s work in the Legislature made it clear she was committed to improving the lives of Idaho citizens.

“She knows the health and human service issues of Idaho and has a proven record for getting things done. We are very excited about having her on board in this critical leadership position,” Armstrong said in the statement.

Broadsword won the GOP nomination for the District 1 seat after defeating former Commissioner Cornel Rasor in last May’s primary. She faced independent Steve Johnson in the general election and prevailed.

At Health & Welfare, Broadsword will succeed Ron Beecher, who is retiring.

As regional director for Idaho’s 10 northernmost counties, Broadsword will work on special tasks for the department, including working with the regional mental health board and the regional advisory council on substance abuse, in addition to serving as a liaison with Native American tribes in Idaho.

“I’m really looking forward to making things better for our citizens,” said Broadsword.

Under Idaho Code, the Bonner County Republican Central Committee will nominate three GOP members from Broadsword’s district to complete her term within 15 days. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter then has 15 days to appoint one of the nominees.

Broadsword’s commission district is composed of the Algoma, Careywood, Cocolalla, Dover, Edgemere, Gamlin Lake, Kelso, Sagle, Southside, Washington and Westmond voting precincts.

It’s the first time since 2003 a Bonner County elected official has resigned from office. Former Coroner Dale Coffelt was forced to resign after a competing mortuary service opened in Sandpoint, which led to the appointment of current Coroner Kitt Rose.

Former Assessor Jim Boatwright, a Democrat, died in office in 2003 and former Assessor Judie Conlan was appointed to succeed him. Republican Jerry Clemons, the current assessor, went on to defeat Conlan in the 2006 general election.

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  • northwest posted at 9:36 pm on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    northwest Posts: 161

    It was not at all behind the scenes, L Wallace. Wide open, in fact. You can verify Broadsword's endorsement not just in the Bee but also in The Spokesman-Review's Huckleberries section before the primary.

    There was her letter to the editor of the Bee; her letter of endorsement on the website of the 2-term Democrat-turned-Independent Jon Cantamessa; and her endorsement mentioned in his campaign ads which appeared in the Bee several times

    Several letters to the editor of the Bee took her to task for the endorsement. Ultimately the Republican Central Committee required her to explain herself, resulting in her outburst of threatening to change her party affiliation.

  • L Wallace posted at 8:31 am on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    L Wallace Posts: 1412

    LakeViewer, I agree with you but we have to consider reality, painful as that might be. While you are researching recall law, research how successful recalls have been in the past.

  • LakeViewer posted at 7:54 am on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    LakeViewer Posts: 936

    I personally have had enough of Rasor. He was part and parcel to many serious mistakes. One was the airport mess ... absolute stupidity. The courthouse mess ... absolute stupidity. The budget scandals ... unaccounted funds ... absolute stupidity.

    We need a fresh face there. We don't need to step back in time. If the Aristocracy appoints him, I will be one of the first to start a recall campaign. I am researching that now in Idaho code.

  • L Wallace posted at 4:05 pm on Sat, Feb 16, 2013.

    L Wallace Posts: 1412

    Northwest, do you have any verification to your 3:32 Sat. post? If this is true it must have happened behind the scenes, I didn't see or hear of it in any of the news media. I must have had my head in the sand during the election, I didn't know she endorsed a D for Legislative Dist. 7. This would be news if it can be verified. It would explain her resignation & taking a different post.

    Bob W. for about 47% of the people, Romney or McCain were the people's choice in their respective elections. There is no mandate for the current emperor to continue on this course of bankrupting debt. As for how Rasor might get back into office from "to hell with the will of the voters", it is the law that the Ds helped legislate many years ago. Don't like it? Get busy and have it changed. The school of hard knocks has a high tuition rate and lessons not soon forgotten. Maybe the educated Rasor is smarter & would make a better commissioner than the uneducated Rasor.

  • northwest posted at 3:32 pm on Sat, Feb 16, 2013.

    northwest Posts: 161

    The word is that Broadsword's job with the H&W Dept. pays $85,000. Don't believe for a moment that "they came to her". She was irritated because Bonner County Republicans were ready to censure her for having endorsed a Democrat-for Legislative District 7, and she even threatened to change her party affiliation from Republican to Independent.

    She took her ball and went home, with a poke in the eye to everyone who voted for her. What a gal.

  • Bob Wynhausen posted at 10:53 am on Sat, Feb 16, 2013.

    Bob Wynhausen Posts: 10676

    Ben, in FEW cases do people contribute to candidates. If you look at our local races, particularly the legislative races, you'll see lots of business contributions, but not that many individuals relative to the number of voters.

    I watched the swearing in. My recollection is that the oath of office did not contain a commitment to stay "til death do us part." Even the Pope didn't make such an irrevocable commitment.

    I wish it were true that candidates felt a moral and ethical obligation to the voters. But my view of most of our elected officials is that their loyalty is to party more than anything else. That is the only explanation for the Republican performance in DC.

    Lloyd, I'm glad you don't feel that Rasor was rejected. I suppose you also feel that neither Romney nor McCain were rejected. Actually, Rasor WAS removed from office by the voters. That suggests that they don't want him back unless the alternative is intolerable. But, if the governor and the Republican Central Committee want him back, to hell with the will of the voters.

    I only bet on things where reason prevails. If I were to bet, I'd bet they will put Rasor's name on the list. And, you're right, Rasor did learn from the court house remodel. He supported the hiring of a construction supervisor to oversee the building of the juvenile detention center, which came in on time and under budget. That was an expensive lesson.

  • LakeViewer posted at 10:34 am on Sat, Feb 16, 2013.

    LakeViewer Posts: 936

    Here's what I think about it. First of all, the law needs to change. Situations like this should go to election. The idea that the governor will select a replacement, is well, shameful. This is not a party issue; this is an issue for the voters of Bonner county and those in the effected commissioner district .

    The plan should be thus: After the governor appoints the party's minion, then the people should immediately start a recall campaign. This would be fairly easy, because this appointee would have received "zero" votes in the last election. A simple majority in a recall election would replace the minion. All registered voters could participate, not just the R's.

    Bottom line, we the voters would have our choice seated for this position. When shall we get started?

  • L Wallace posted at 8:20 pm on Fri, Feb 15, 2013.

    L Wallace Posts: 1412

    Bob, sure it "feeds the bulldog", it just doesn't feed the liberal bulldog which doesn't hunt anyway. That overweight, liberal, bulldog is on food stamps, why would he "hunt" (work)?

    Rasor wasn't "rejected" he just did not get as much support as Broadsword. Didn't Rasor come in second in the primary election vote count? Rasor was good enough for the Rs in his election, it would be unprecedented to not even "float" their immediate past commissioner's name in the three names submitted. Only if Rasor had been removed from office would his name not be in the mix.

    You can bet that the local R party will send a recommendation as to which of the three the local Rs want. If the governor needs local help in his next election I think he will invest in a favor for payback later.

    I thought maybe you would want to bet that they wouldn't put him (Rasor) back in the running. [smile] I'll bet that they will put him in the running. They just about have to put the incumbent commissioner, (who also ran in the election) back into the running. At least Rasor finished his elected term. Likely he learned something in the court house remodel.

  • bonnerben posted at 5:10 pm on Fri, Feb 15, 2013.

    bonnerben Posts: 291

    @ BobW - Elected public office is a lot more than a job with a tough interview. While running, (the interview) the candidate asks thousands of voters to select him / her for the job. In most cases, people donate money to that candidate, put up campaign signs, attend candidate forums, walk precincts, write letters, and perform many other duties to help that candidate get the job. They do this with the expectation that if that candidate wins, said candidate will perform the duties of the office to the best of their abilities, AND meet the obligation of the prescribed term. After receiving this kind of support, Joyce threw in the towel in less than a month. I think her supporters deserve a refund and an apology, NOT phony rationalization about "making things better for our citizens." The only one receiving the better thing is Joyce. How selfish!

    It's not the sanctity of the public office. It's the moral and ethical obligation that the candidate implicitly owes the voters. You can blame the governor, the health and welfare department, or the Bonner County Republican Central Committee, however, this entire decision rested on the shoulders of Joyce. She is the sole decision maker who chose to opt out of her moral obligation.

  • Bob Wynhausen posted at 1:44 pm on Fri, Feb 15, 2013.

    Bob Wynhausen Posts: 10676

    Lloyd, second place doesn't feed the bulldog. The voters of Bonner County rejected Rasor. Putting him back in the running would be a political mistake and very arrogant. Given that, I bet they will put his name on the list.

  • L Wallace posted at 12:58 pm on Fri, Feb 15, 2013.

    L Wallace Posts: 1412

    Bob, the R Central committee would be obligated to put Cornel Rasor on the list for the gov. to pick from because he was the current R in office. In my opinion the Rs are obligated to put Rasor , the second in R vote count and one other "wanna be" for the Governor to pick from. This may demonstrate more of the power struggle in the local R party.

  • Laurie Wadkins posted at 11:48 am on Fri, Feb 15, 2013.

    Laurie Wadkins Posts: 638

    ,,,,, Cheap shot Joyce..... if the president offers you a cabinet position in DC, will you leave the new one you just traded up to?

  • LawrenceFury posted at 10:57 am on Fri, Feb 15, 2013.

    LawrenceFury Posts: 827

    Same day as the Pope. I too supported Joyce. Her husband and my Dad worked together at the mill in Dover when it was Pack River Lumber Co. She should have stayed with her NEW elected position. So soon after taking office, could this be a ploy so as to get a Tea Bagger in that position when the voters rejected her primary opponents?

  • Bob Wynhausen posted at 10:39 am on Fri, Feb 15, 2013.

    Bob Wynhausen Posts: 10676

    Wow, I had no idea that public office was more than a job with a really tough interview.

    Considering how often the voter picks the wrong person, the sanctity of public office is highly overrated.

    No doubt, Joyce was an improvement over her predecessor, but she's not the only person in the county capable of doing that job. That may also be true for the Health & Welfare district supervisory position, but I suspect the qualities necessary to do that job well are more difficult to find.

    At this point it's impossible to know if her being in the new job is more or less important than the old one.

    The other thing to consider is the fact that an agency of the State of Idaho saw fit to intervene, asking her to give up her job as commissioner to take on their position. Maybe we should blame the governor since he's responsible for the Dept. of Health & Welfare.

    Lloyd, the selections of the Republican Central Committee will tell us whether they are smart or not. If they put Cornel Rasor on the list we will know the answer.

  • L Wallace posted at 9:39 pm on Thu, Feb 14, 2013.

    L Wallace Posts: 1412

    When a person runs for office there is an inherent promise to fulfil the term being run for. To break that promise should only happen for such as bonnerben suggests. To break that promise for more $$, more security, more power (or easier work load) simply says they are the standard politician who puts their own interests ahead of the community. An election is a contract between the electors and the elected representative. Breaking a contract is the breaking of one's word. All rhetoric about "making things better for citizens" is so much "bunk". She is making things better for herself.

    She did do the R party a favor by winning the seat to allow the party to select an unelected representative for the commission. Who said they are the "stupid party"?

  • bonnerben posted at 2:50 pm on Thu, Feb 14, 2013.

    bonnerben Posts: 291

    When a person "chooses" to run for elected office in order to represent the voters who elect them, there should be only two reasons to voluntarily terminate your obligation. The first would be your own , critical health situation, and the other would be a catastrophic family event requiring your full attention. Just because a bigger fish comes along does not excuse you from completing the term your constituents assumed you would fulfill. I'm sure the new job is a better deal for Joyce, however, she let the residents of Bonner County down, and lost any semblance of integrity with us.

  • Bob Wynhausen posted at 1:06 pm on Thu, Feb 14, 2013.

    Bob Wynhausen Posts: 10676

    I don’t know Joyce Broadsword well and I don’t always agree with her. I was a supporter during the election and am disappointed that she is leaving.

    But, I take her at her word. I suspect this was more opportunity than opportunism. Being a county commissioner is a thankless job (just ask Mike Nielsen). Those who disagree with you shout it from the rooftops and those that agree are normally pretty quiet.

    It appears that she got an offer she couldn’t refuse. Probably more money, certainly more job satisfaction, and more job security (there hasn’t been a District 1 commissioner reelected in a long time).

    And, LakeViewer, I think the world is happy that there is only ONE Sarah Palin. Remember, Sarah did half her term before she called it quits. And she didn’t take another job that benefitted the community, she was only in it for herself.

  • LakeViewer posted at 7:19 pm on Wed, Feb 13, 2013.

    LakeViewer Posts: 936

    Politics and opportunism. She should have kept her commitment to Bonner county as said no. Another Sara Palin.

    This should now go to another election, since we are looking at another four years. The Aristocracy should not select her replacement ... we the voters should. Once an appointment is made by the Governor, we the citizens should organize a recall and elect who we think should represent us. That would be lots of fun, and upset the Aristocracy's apple cart, aye.

  • Old Cop posted at 4:25 pm on Wed, Feb 13, 2013.

    Old Cop Posts: 3259

    What's the compensation for the new job? Could that be why she is changing? If the new job pays better, and if she won't have to run for re-election, choosing it is almost a no brainer. That is if one has no concern for their supporters.

  • IdahoGal posted at 4:17 pm on Wed, Feb 13, 2013.

    IdahoGal Posts: 76

    I concur completely, Corey! As I recall, over 10,000 people voted for her just 3 months ago. She has let every one of them down! Presumably she has the sense to never run for an elected position in Bonner County again!

  • Corey Greve posted at 2:11 pm on Wed, Feb 13, 2013.

    Corey Greve Posts: 974

    I am disappointed. Very disappointed. Joyce has turned her back on her supporters. This is not a good thing.

  • Peon posted at 2:03 pm on Wed, Feb 13, 2013.

    Peon Posts: 9

    So disappointed!!! I had great hopes for what Joyce could accomplish on the board. I, too, am concerned the appointment of a replacement could be disastrous. We've had the experience of Marcia and Cornel and do not need a replay...we can only pray for the voice of reason to prevail in the selection process. Bonner County is in a precarious position: the last two years have brought usclose to ruin; the next two can raise us up or drive us deeper into the chasm.

    Joyce, I wish you luck...and wish even more that you had stayed!

  • wilson posted at 11:54 am on Wed, Feb 13, 2013.

    wilson Posts: 1184

    We need someone who has fiscal responsibility in their soul and to do an audit on the courthouse fiasco - There should be millions to recover from possible overcharges and design, specification, engineering incompetence. maybe a committee of taxpayers can be appointed to do a forensic study of this.

  • Perki posted at 11:36 am on Wed, Feb 13, 2013.

    Perki Posts: 661

    Dang Bob, we have something to agree on. I'm afraid Cornel will get back in also. Put him in with the other 2 and we will be in trouble. I hope the Governor would have better sense than to allow that.

  • Bob Wynhausen posted at 11:01 am on Wed, Feb 13, 2013.

    Bob Wynhausen Posts: 10676

    It's a shame to lose a commissioner with so much promise.

    I hope the choices for her replacement will be of similar perspective to Joyce. I have heard that Marcia Phillips has thrown her bonnet into the ring.

    Wouldn't it be ironic if Cornel Rasor made it back to the commission? Let's hope that the central committee doesn't take us down that road again. This will be an interesting test for them.