Friday, January 22, 2021

How to lasso runaway growth

| January 8, 2021 1:00 AM

Lately I have been wondering about our “representative” government and how “every vote counts.”

For instance, the citizens of Kootenai County recently voted against an inmate re-entry center, and we did so overwhelmingly, so it was nice to see we now have a “parolee intervention station.” Our votes sure counted that time, didn’t they?

Growth has been a major issue in this area for several years. Just this morning, 1/3/20, an editorial in the CDA Press advocated a “special use fee.” We just voted against a $50 per vehicle fee, and did so overwhelmingly. There have been several “solutions” floated regarding growth and they all are just a form of tax increase. Maybe we should turn the problem over to a 6th grade class and ask them to find the common denominator. GROWTH.

If growth is causing all these problems, then ADDRESS. THE. GROWTH. Which leads me to “representative government.” I have personally been in contact with our county commissioners and provided a solution which has been ignored. It doesn’t feed government, or themselves, so we get nothing.

One of our elected “representatives,” Kootenai County district 2 commissioner Chris Fillios, is an active realtor as is his wife. Their agent profiles appear on the Northwest Realty website. Just who is he representing? To imagine he will do anything to restrict growth is laughable. I was in contact with him and gave him the following solution, which currently limits growth in this community to 3% per year.

But this was during his re-election campaign so he acted interested then. Not so much now. The other two have shown exactly zero interest as well.

Well, not exactly. Bill Brooks wanted me to serve on a volunteer board, which I declined. Each of the three county commissioners is making in excess of $75,000 per year, darn good wages for this area, and that’s just salary. Don’t believe it? Here is where I found it. Resolution-20-58-Elected-Officials-Salaries

Throw in benefits and retirement and it would probably be safe to add an additional 20%-30% to that figure. And I’m expected to work for free doing what they should already be doing?

The following is a link to a growth-restricting ordinance which was VOTED on and passed by the residents of the community in 1979. Any legal challenges were dealt with decades ago. All of our county commissioners have all six pages of the ordinance itself. I know it for a fact because I gave it to them. It can be found here.

Obviously, none of our commissioners is willing to sponsor a vote on addressing the actual problem, or take the initiative in curbing growth, but seem to believe all to which we are entitled is in what manner they will help themselves to our bank accounts. My property taxes have gone up over 20% in five years. I have not received any additional benefit and our “representatives” only tell us we will pay more and if we behave, they will allow us a vote on which of our pockets get picked, all to fund that which NO ONE wants.

Well, except for those who stand to profit. Just who is it these people are representing? The people who live here or people who want to live here? It ain’t us. As far as they’re concerned, we exist to feed them.

Jim Cook is a Post Falls resident.