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ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF GOVERNMENT WORKSHOP

March 23, 2021

TL;DR

  • Next iteration of study commission bylaws were discussed at the meeting.
  • Fillios and Brooks want to create appointed committee to appoint study commission.
  • No policies and procedures will be put in place for this new committee.
  • Sample email at the end to send to county commissioners.

Appointing groups to appoint groups

This morning’s Alternative Forms of Government (AFOG) workshop was something of a cluster for almost all who attended – commissioners and legal counsel too! The purpose of this workshop was to discuss the updated draft of the study commission bylaws after Leslie Duncan’s insistence at the last workshop that it go through the county legal department. The updated bylaws version was not available for viewing by the time this meeting took place; I’m hoping it will be put onto the kcgov.us website soon.
 
Although Leslie reiterated that she believes the entire premise of the document is worthless and ridiculous, knowing that she is overruled on anything to says she still added her comments about what still needs to be changed onto the doc itself after it going through Legal. Fillios also added to the conversation with his own doc updates while Brooks just sat there looking out into the crowd. It did not seem like he was following along with any physical copy of the bylaws, he just let the other two commissioners do any modifying – with some condescending “clarifying” comments sprinkled in.
 
Proceedings took an interesting turn during the discussion regarding how to appoint the committee when Fillios mentioned that he received a phone call from Jake Garringer, North Idaho Field Director from Governor Little’s office. Garringer said that the best way to create the 9-person commission – to keep the commissioners as far away from this process as possible – would be to create a 3-person ad-hoc committee who would then interview and vote upon those who would make up the actual AFOG study commission. Each commissioner would appoint 1 person to this ad-hoc committee to find the AFOG commission members…but there are no rules around qualifications or even HOW to appoint people to the commission.
 
Hmmm.
 
Leslie asked if they could have Jake Garringer speak in Monday’s Status Update meeting about how this process was handled in the past to ensure transparent, evenly qualified appointees but that was shut down immediately, Brooks and Fillios both said they didn’t want to do waste any more time and they already had people to appoint to this ad-hoc committee.
 
Wait. No rules, policies, procedures for the ad-hoc committee to appoint AFOG study commission members? What would happen if those ad-hoc members appointed their friends? What would happen if those ad-hoc members appointed only developers? Republicans? Democrats? Nothing. Because there’s no policies/procedures, those ad-hoc members could appoint anyone to the AFOG study commission they wanted with a vote, and if those members reflect the opinions of the commissioners who appointed them in the first place, there would always be a 2-1 split AGAINST the appointed member from the only person who gives a damn about We The People.
 
Am I the only one frustrated by this line of thinking?
 
Instead of having Jake Garringer speak at next Monday’s Status Update meeting, the commissioners decided (2-1) that they are to come back Monday and officially announce who they will be choosing to represent them on this ad-hoc committee. The commissioners’ reason why they didn’t want Garringer to speak and just pick people: “it’ll take too long and we’ll draw this thing out even longer.” Whaaa???? This ad-hoc committee will basically choose 9 names out of thin air to represent the ENTIRE population of Kootenai County during the “study.” Wouldn’t matter if all 3 ad-hoc members didn’t agree, because there are no rules for this committee in the first place they could gang up on whoever disagrees and put whomever they wanted on this commission.
 
Solid plan.

ACTION

Here’s what you can do.

  1. Send an email to the county commissioners explaining your disappointment in their choice to move forward with an ad-hoc committee without having policies in place for said committee.
    1. They spent TWO WEEKS dealing with AFOG Study Commission bylaws that were confirmed by Legal to be out of line with Idaho Statute and basically disregarded. This of course is AFTER the 5 MONTHS waiting for Brooks to get the bylaws to the other commissioners in the first place.
  2. Explain that there needs to be policies and procedures in place for this ad-hoc committee, otherwise this would NOT be a solid representation for all people in the county.
    1. The term litigation has been mentioned but I am not a lawyer and not quite sure if this would open the county up for a court case.

 
Leslie Duncan lduncan@kcgov.us
Chris Fillios cfillios@kcgov.us
Bill Brooks bbrooks@kcgov.us

Sample email: 
Commissioners,
 
Please reconsider your decision to move forward with an ad-hoc committee before any policies and procedures are put in place. You have already spent close to 6 months trying to figure out bylaws for the study commission; bylaws that are in essence useless as there are already procedures in place through Idaho Code § 31-51. There is no reason why you can’t spend a few more days transferring over any relevant procedures to the ad-hoc committee instead. If nothing else, listening to Mr. Garringer will give you and the public a chance to hear the wisdom from the Governor’s office, to ensure all parties have a clear understanding of the task assigned to the committee, and to ensure nothing has been left off the table due to ignorance and the desire to forge ahead.
 
Respectfully,
Erin Barnard

 
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