I was quite disappointed when I read the recent editorial [Jan. 29 issue] from the Idaho County Free Press taking Commissioner Jim Chmelik to task for deciding to seek state office while serving as our county commissioner. I suspect Jim’s level of energy and drive in pursuit of issues of critical importance to the county (control of federal lands) is what has caused others to seek him out for this higher office. There are many other counties in this state with the same problem. This is not a career path he has chosen – it has chosen him. Jim is not the kind of person who seeks public office for his own glory, but only as something to help others while fighting for the principles upon which this country was founded. He has more than demonstrated his interest and devotion to this county (and this state) in this process.
Yes, he will be very busy during the next few months. But regardless of whether he wins or loses, I firmly believe Idaho County will be better for his effort. And just because he is not sitting here with us quite as much does not mean he will be serving this county any less effectively. And, should he be successful, knowing him as I do, as the lt. governor of this state, he will be able to not only continue to serve Idaho County, but will be able to extend the ideals which make him such a great commissioner to the entire state.
Jon Menough, Ph.D. PE