September 28, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee | Direct Link to Article
SANDPOINT — Fiscal responsibility and transparency are among the key parts to his campaign, Bonner County Commission candidate Steve Lockwood said in a press release announcing his general election campaign.
Lockwood said he decided to run for commissioner to bring solid management to county government as well as jobs that pay well, housing for working families, transparency and representation on a number of concerns, including the proposed smelter, Rock Creek mine, and dangerous intersections.
Fiscal responsibility is important, Lockwood said, adding that in the past two years, commissioners have raised their salaries from $68,000 to $78,000, county property taxes have gone up and reserve funds have been spent.
Current commissioners have not tracked departmental expenses monthly and half of purchases over $5,000 are not preapproved, as required, Lockwood said in the press release. Central purchasing accounts for only about 10 percent of purchases. Tax hikes and service cuts result.
The county has reduced hours at some solid waste sites and some may be closed. Others are receiving expensive upgrades. This has led Lockwood to ask whether residents are receiving the best, most cost-effective service.
The Road and Bridge Department reportedly has been cut by about $250,000.
“Will snowplowing suffer this winter?” asks Lockwood.
Lockwood has expressed grave concerns about the proposed smelter just west of Bonner County.
“Protecting the health of our people, the clean air and water that fuel our timber, technology and manufacturing companies is vital,” Lockwood said. “The county needs to be an active player in representing the interests of residents and business.”
The county should also be much more open and transparent, Lockwood said.
“It’s hard to learn when meetings are happening, what is being discussed and why it matters,” he said. “Meetings should be live-streamed, recorded and on the website. This represents a glaring lack of customer service.”
Supporters say that Lockwood will bring honesty and outreach to the commission. He feels that the county, cities, schools, civic and business groups can collaborate to make Bonner County a great place to live, with jobs that pay well and housing for a variety of incomes.
Lockwood touts his experience — business and civic — as qualifying him to serve as commissioner. As operations manager for Oregon at AT&T, Lockwood’s unit delivered top quality services at costs well below the national average. Locally, Lockwood served on the Lake Pend Oreille School Board, Sandpoint Planning and Zoning Commission and Sandpoint City Council. As a school board trustee and city councilman, Lockwood worked with public budgets, public contracts, and difficult issues. As commissioner, Lockwood stands ready to listen to the public respectfully and lead constructively.
Information: online, lockwood4commissioner.com; or on Facebook, twitter, Instagram: lockwood4commissioner; or via phone, 208-590-7745