Thursday, January 27, 2022

Study commission to hear public comment

Staff Writer | January 15, 2022 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — Kootenai County residents have a chance to share input on possible changes to the county’s administrative structure on Jan. 19.

The Optional Forms of Government Study Commission will hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. in the Kootenai County Administration Building on Government Way.

The hearing will also be streamed live on the county’s YouTube channel.

Since last May, the nine-member study commission has collected data to assess whether the county’s form of government should change.

A majority of the citizens’ study commission support increasing the size of the Board of Commissioners from three to five members.

The group also recommends switching to the commission-manager form of government.

This form “is governed by an elected board of county commissioners and a manager appointed by the board,” who also serves as the county budget officer.

The commission also supports that county clerk, treasurer, assessor, sheriff, coroner and prosecuting attorney continue to be elected to a four-year term.

All recommendations are allowed under Idaho Code 31-5001.

The study commission encourages residents to read the full recommendation, which is available on the Kootenai County website, and voice any concerns at the public hearing.

If commissioners approve changes, Kootenai County voters will have the final say during the November 2022 general election.

This isn’t the first time the county has contemplated changing its administrative structure.

In 1996, a study commission supported changes, but county commissioners rejected the recommendation and it never went to a public vote.

The matter went to voters in 2012 but failed.


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