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What we achieved together in county

Letter: James Rockwell Idaho County Commission, Grangeville

Without new people and fresh ideas, our democratic system of government rots. Failure follows. The current incompetence in Congress shows this. Too many years in office, too little interest in the people, and too self-important. Politicians should be replaced often.

In January, 2015, my second term as an Idaho County Commissioner will come to an end. As promised when you elected me, two terms is my limit. I have thoroughly enjoyed the privilege of serving you. At the end of my term, it will be someone else’s turn.

It is satisfying to consider what we have accomplished together:

Held the property tax levy unchanged for five years, and decreased the size of the county government while increasing its efficiency.

Helped re-open what is now Blue North Mill and secured a competitive timber market and 50 jobs in the process.

Brought Larson’s Department Store to Idaho County and in that process filled a big Main Street vacancy in the county seat and created half a dozen jobs.

Put 55 unemployed Idaho County citizens to work in the forest during the four worst years of the Great Recession.

Created the Airport Development Authority.

Formalized plans for the construction of a much needed new runway at the county airport.

Installed the Automated Weather Service System at the Idaho County Airport, increasing the number of landings there and doubling county AvGas profits from $50,000 to $100,000 per year.

Created Idaho County Recycling, the Northwest’s most successful award-winning, no-cost, all-volunteer recycling program.

Constructed the Idaho County Search and Rescue building.

Developed Warbird Weekend, which now attracts 3,000 people per year.

With the Airport Development Authority, obtained for the county a signed 20-year, 40,000-square-foot lease for commercial expansion at the airport.

Stopped the “Welfare Mall” initiative at the old USFS Headquarters in Grangeville, paving the way for the expansion of three private, tax-paying, for-profit businesses there.

Cut the length of commission meetings in half, proving that the Idaho County Commission is, in fact, a part-time job.

I saw such excellence from those citizens who inspired and helped make these ideas reality. What a privilege to work with each of you. Thank you.

James Rockwell

Idaho County Commission

Grangeville

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