Monday, August 02, 2021
72.0°F

Never a boring moment with Bill

| July 21, 2021 1:00 AM

When you hop on life’s roller-coaster next to Bill Brooks, hang on tight.

Between the clenched teeth and the joyful screams, there will be whiplash.

The county commissioner is a headline maker. He’s outspoken to the point of being deemed rude by some, courageous by others.

Politically correct? Not Bill. He has referred to critics as jackals and chihuahuas — and that was in one meeting.

Brooks also has crossed a line that might be unprecedented around here. While many of us believe the leader of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee has led that group beyond the realm of true Republicanism, Brooks took the bold step recently to unaffiliate with the party. He made it clear that what he was doing was divorcing the local GOP group, not the conservatism for which he’s well-known.

Let’s examine that for a moment.

Brooks’ decision was largely symbolic, as he has no intention of seeking public office when his term expires in a couple of years. With health issues that limit him to a wheelchair, he was also concerned that should he be unable to fill out his term, he did not trust the KCRCC’s involvement in influencing the selection of his replacement.

According to Idaho statute 59-906, a county commissioner vacancy is filled by the governor. “The person selected shall be a person who possesses the same qualifications at the time of his appointment as those provided by law for election to the office,” the statute reads.

Other county elected vacancies are filled by the county commissioners, who choose from three nominations forwarded by the central committee of the absent person’s party. In Brooks’ case, the KCRCC might have unofficially been consulted, but his decision to unaffiliate took even that option off the table.

Now, all of this could be irrelevant, as Brooks has no intention of stepping aside. However, the owners of some of the toes he’s crunched have other ideas. A recall effort has begun with the objective of knocking Brooks out of office Nov. 2.

As so often happens, the political saber-rattling could amount to plenty of smoke and no fire, but if it does make the ballot, two things are for absolute certain.

One, Bill Brooks will continue to do his job to the best of his ability, including fulfilling campaign pledges like letting the people decide if a new form of county government is needed.

And two, the rest of the ride, no matter how long it lasts, will come with complimentary neck braces.