GRANGEVILLE “I’ve only been in office a week, so I can’t report a whole lot,” laughed Denis Duman of Cottonwood. He is the newly elected District 3 Idaho County Commissioner.
Duman spoke to a crowd of 23 people at the Grangeville Chamber of Commerce quarterly meeting held Jan. 18, at Oscar’s Restaurant.
“I don’t have all the answers yet because I don’t even know all the questions,” Duman said. “I have been busy getting set up on several committees and finding my place.”
Duman has served as a representative on the Ida-Lew (Idaho Lewis County Economic Development Association) board and will continue to be involved with Ida-Lew, he said. He is also in the last year of a term on the CEDA (Clearwater Economic Development Association) board and is now a part of the chamber.
“Denis has been a great member on Ida-Lew and very supportive,” said chamber member Jeff Kutner, who also serves on the Ida-Lew board.
Duman said he will soon be delving into issues that affect everyone in the county, including public lands issues and the need to solve solid waste concerns.
“I definitely want to support economic development in this county,” he said. “It’s complicated — the days of chasing a smokestack are over. We need to look at the whole county, not just Grangeville or Cottonwood, to see what fits best where.”
Duman also said he wants to be a support to local businesses, not a hindrance.
“I think across the nation as a whole we are coming upon a whole new day, a whole new attitude,” he said. “Things are changing.”
Chamber member Todd Marek of Grangeville, Northwest Insurance, asked Duman if he feels housing is an issue in the county.
“Yes, definitely. I think the two biggest concerns for employers and potential employers are housing for their employees and training for their employees,” Duman said.
He said he is not looking for single person subsidized housing, but would like to see some affordable family-style housing.
“I really don’t want us to get mired down with government housing, so we need to figure out other ways,” to create reasonably-priced homes, he said.
Duman told the crowd he would “come back in a year” and visit again.
“Then maybe I will have more answers than I do after a week on the job,” he joked.