Last night I had the pleasure of meeting Bruce Mattare, who happens to be a candidate for Kootenai County Commissioner. This was my first-time meeting Mr. Mattare, and he came across as very intelligent and informed on the issues facing our beloved Kootenai county. He leaned on his experience as Sheriff Bob Norris’ campaign manager, his service in the Army National Guard, his business success, and Conservative values.
Mr. Mattare presented some troubling facts about the current county commissioners that motivated me to advocate others to vote for him, or at least learn more about him.
For starters, the current county commissioners are exploring changing the county structure to add two additional commissioners (going from three to five), appointing the Sheriff instead of electing one, and introducing a new County Manager role. The new role would be duplicative and come at a price tag of roughly a million dollars a year. Appointing the Sheriff would give the commissioners greater control over our law enforcement, such as enforcing mask mandates and other tyrannical measures.
The current commissioners’ priorities are out of touch, at a time when the county is having trouble filling employment positions. Roughly 30 percent of the positions in dispatch and department of corrections currently unfilled. This has caused the county jail to have to house some inmates in neighboring counties, causing the US Marshalls service to pause an almost $400,00/year contract and incur additional costs for housing those inmates elsewhere.
Overall, the county is facing a ten percent worker shortage, largely due to less than competitive wages and forced overtime in many of the roles. In turn, causing burnout in the current employees. On top of that, the consistent switching of insurance by the previous commissioners has caused insurance companies to shy away from working with the county as we are considered high-risk. The end result? The taxpayers are functioning as the county insurance plan, paying the healthcare costs of the county employees.
On top of all the inefficiency and mismanagement, the county is not using its power to collect higher impact fees that would offset the cost of upgrading current infrastructure on to the new developments. Instead, they are focused on creating new roles and concentrating power.
Is this what we really want?
At a time of unprecedented growth and related challenges, we need a candidate like Mr. Mattare. I would encourage everyone to learn more about this gentleman and the family values he represents. My quick summary of a meeting that lasted well over two hours with Mr. Mattare does not do him justice. Check him out for yourself at www.bruceforcommissioner.com.
I am not affiliated with Mr. Mattare’s campaign. These are my thoughts as a concerned Rathdrum and Kootenai County resident.