Candidates make their case in Clark Fork

Print Article

CLARK FORK — A lot of ground was covered during the Farm Bureau’s candidate forum on Saturday, but the topics of discussion often turned back to familiar territory — holding the line on property taxes, economic development and experience.

With Democratic candidates coincidentally seated to the left and Republicans to the right, those seeking elected office in Bonner County outlined their positions and qualifications.

Bonner County Clerk

Incumbent Clerk Marie Scott, the only Democrat currently holding office in the county, said her experience is vastly greater than that of her challenger, Bud Mueller, a Republican and former county commissioner. Scott emphasized that the clerk’s position requires hands-on involvement every day and a knowledge of computer hardware and software.

“You have to know those programs, to be able to use those programs to be an effective administrator,” said Scott, who has held office since 1991.

Mueller concedes that he’s not the most computer savvy person, but said his experience as a commissioner and a businessman have given him the skills necessary to be an effective budget officer.

“I don’t know too much about computers, but we have a pretty good staff,” said Mueller, an instrumental figure in the dismantling of the county building department in the mid 1990s.

Mueller said he was motivated to run in an effort to learn how much reserve funding the county maintains. Scott said such information is no secret, although it’s difficult to provide ballpark figures because they change every day.

Bonner County Commission, District 2

Mike Nielsen, a Priest Lake Republican who won the GOP nomination last spring, pledged to be a problem-solver rather than a politician if he prevails in his contest with Oldtown Democrat Brian Orr.

“My goal is to stop the wasteful spending,” said Nielsen, who secured the GOP nod from incumbent Joe Young in the primary.

Although he’s not held public office, Nielsen said his background in the military, law enforcement and administration will serve the county well.

Orr, however, brings to the race his experience as former two-term county commissioner and mayor of Oldtown. Orr lost his seat to Young in 2008.

“My opponent has done nothing but make accusations and stir up trouble,” said Orr, making one of the more pointed remarks of the evening.

Nielsen said he is proud of his law enforcement background.

Bonner County Commission, District 3

Incumbent Republican Lewie Rich said his record on the county commission squares neatly with his campaign promises and he has put in 60-hour work weeks since being elected to ensure the most educated decisions get made.

“The toughest part of my job is the primary part — the budget,” said Rich, who faces Democratic challenger Melissa “Mel” Davis in the general election.

Davis said her business experience in the private sector and sacrifices in dark economic times have prepared her for the role of commissioner. She’s not held public office before, but does not see that as a hindrance.

“I absorb and process information very quickly,” she said.

In a departure from partisan stereotypes, both Rich and Nielsen advocated for a local option tax in light of declining revenues and other fee-based sources of income. Rich also explained that the board took substantially less funding from property taxes than it could have by law.

Orr, meanwhile, saw job creation as one the most pressing issues in Bonner County as the timber industry declines. Nielsen agreed, but said there is no “silver bullet” solution to joblessness in the county.

“It’s not the job of the county commission to provide jobs,” said Davis. “But it is their job to create an environment where jobs are fostered.”

Print Article

Read More News

Result of US-China talks: Short-term relief, long-term risks

AP

May 21, 2018 at 2:25 pm | WASHINGTON (AP) — In the short run, a truce in the trade conflict between the United States and China has lightened tensions, halted the immediate threat of U.S. tariffs on China's goods and cheered ...

Comments

Read More

Financial Markets Glance

AP

May 21, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Dow Jones Industrials High: 25,086.49 Low: 24,883.06 Close: 25,013.29 Change: +298.20 Other Indexes Standard&Poors 500 Index: 2733.01 +20.04 NYSE Index: 12,804.01 ...

Comments

Read More

Venezuela's opposition scrambles to regroup after Maduro win

AP

May 21, 2018 at 2:03 pm | CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's fractured opposition emerged even more powerless Monday, a day after an election it boycotted propelled socialist President Nicolas Maduro to an easy victory ami...

Comments

Read More

Hope for US-China trade progress sends stocks jumping

AP

May 21, 2018 at 1:32 pm | NEW YORK (AP) — Industrial and technology companies led stocks to solid gains Monday after the U.S. and China appeared to make significant progress in trade talks. That helped ease concerns among inv...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2018 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X