Thursday, March 30, 2023

EDITORIAL: This politician shares his personal number

| February 15, 2023 1:00 AM

For two years, he was this newspaper’s Consumer Guy.

Now you might refer to Bill Brooks as the Commissioner Guy.

Same guy, and only slightly different hats.

As The Press Consumer Guy, Bill became well-known for answering calls on his personal cell and diving into consumers’ issues or complaints. Often, when the matter seemed lost to the consumer, Brooks would come through because of his pedigree as a skillful mediator and bulldog for the “little guy.”

Today Bill finds himself something of a lone voice on the three-person Kootenai County Board of Commissioners. Fellow commissioners Bruce Mattare and Leslie Duncan are likely to form a voting bloc similar to what Bill and former Commissioner Chris Fillios enjoyed as a board majority before Mattare ousted Fillios, so now Brooks is the odd commish out.

But this isn’t about slurping sour grapes or rattling political sabers. With a re-election bid highly unlikely, Brooks simply wants to provide the best service he can to constituents for the slightly less than two years remaining in his term.

Hence, the Commissioner Guy is prepared to take your calls, hear your complaints about county business or simply answer questions. If he doesn’t know the answer, he’ll dig in and do his best to find out, then relay that information on to you.

He did that superbly for two years as the Consumer Guy, generating many a phone call or email to the newspaper editor expressing amazement that Brooks would work so hard for complete strangers facing sometimes serious problems.

And you know what? He did it free; never charged The Press a dime.

As a county commissioner, Brooks is paid well, so he wants to reward taxpayers and offer his services to help solve problems between people and the government that’s supposed to be serving them.

We think of his commissioner role as akin to an ombudsman, a troubleshooter who’s not afraid to step on toes if it serves the greater good. If he’s a lame duck, well, consider him a well-armed one.

Bill’s personal phone number is 208-699-0506.

Got a problem with the county? Now you know who to call.

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