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Rehder drops from county race

Election 2016: commission


Jim Rehder

Jim Rehder Press Release May 20, 2016

Jim Rehder Press Release

May 20, 2016

It was not my original plan to be a candidate for elected office this year, however, I decided to become a write-in candidate because of my dissatisfaction with Commissioner Chmelik’s positions and performance. I oppose his position on the take-over of public lands which, in my view, is a total waste of time and contrary to the majority of residents’ feedback in Idaho County. I also disagree with the commission’s decision to spend county funds on Mr. Chmelik’s personal public lands foundation. I oppose brothers-in-law serving together as commissioners because it threatens transparency and open meeting laws. It’s disheartening to watch the commission’s lack of support for community and organization block grant requests ie. Kids Klub, hospital…; they make community organizations, who are already hard working volunteers, jump through unnecessary hoops to gain their grant approval sponsorship. I oppose commissioners spending little time on the job for receiving $25k salary plus benefits. However, the straw that broke the camel’s back, the commission voted to pay themselves $100 per meeting outside of the courthouse—that put me over the edge. When I served six years as commissioner, I attended over five meetings a week outside of commission meeting days; frankly, it’s part of the job. I consistently hear the commissioners complain about the federal government’s inefficiencies and then watch their mishandling of the county garbage issue. They brokered a 10-year contract for garbage service touting it to save county money when in fact, according to the county’s budget/expenditure report printed in the local newspaper, there is over a 30% increase in garbage service expenditures with no sensible solution to county garbage in sight.

I am an experienced county commissioner elected to two terms and worked hard for those I served. I know what good county commission service looks like and wanted to be sure this commission seat went back to good service which includes listening to and working with Idaho County residents. I disagree with Mr. Chmelik that the election results were the result of a rigorous campaign against him by "green groups – environmentalists” who did a hatchet job on him, but rather, concerned Idaho County republicans were overwhelmingly opposed to his performance and actions.

I visited with Denis Duman, who defeated Mr. Chmelik, and am satisfied with his views and goals as county commissioner. Knowing the commission position is adequately filled, I am withdrawing as an Idaho County Commissioner candidate.

— With last Friday’s departure of Democrat Jim Rehder from the Idaho County Commission race, Republican Denis Duman appears to have an unopposed ballot come the Nov. 8 general election.

However, prospective candidates still have until Oct. 11 to file as a write-in for the District 3 commission two-year term position.

Duman ran against and overcame fellow Cottonwood resident and two-term incumbent Jim Chmelik in the May 17 Republican primary 2,014 to 1,157. Duman was poised to face off in November against Rehder, also of Cottonwood and a former two-term county commissioner, who had filed as a Democrat write-in for the position. However, Rehder announced in a press release his withdrawal from the race last Friday, May 20, stating he is satisfied with Duman’s views and goals as county commissioner.

“I know what good county commission service looks like and wanted to be sure this commission seat went back to good service,” Rehder stated in his release, “which includes listening to and working with Idaho County residents.”

Rehder stated he became a write-in candidate due to dissatisfaction with Commissioner Chmelik’s position and performance on such issues as takeover of public lands, solid waste, transparency and open meeting law issues, and the commissioners “spending little time on the job for receiving $25k salary plus benefits.”

Election results that turned against Chmelik, he wrote, were due to concerned Idaho County Republicans who were “overwhelmingly opposed to his performance and actions.”


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