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Evidence Shows Bonner County Commissioners Broke Idaho Code

It is very important for us as citizens to be present at these meetings

Evidence Shows Bonner County Commissioners Broke Idaho Code

As part of a homeschool civics class comprised of students in the 7th through 10th grade levels, students were asked to write opinion editorials on topics of their own choosing which reflect current themes in governance and policy-making.  

Over the course of the next few weeks the class will be tracking the views of and commentary on their op-eds with the goal of generating as much meaningful community engagement as possible.  

A prize will be awarded to the student who is most successful at generating meaningful community engagement with their op-ed.

Thanks so much for partnering with us to create this experience for the children and teaching them to be actively involved in the governance of their community!

Evidence Shows Bonner County Commissioners Broke Idaho Code

by HSC21

This fall, the Bonner County Commissioners, led by board chair Steve Bradshaw, appear to have violated section 74-206 of Idaho code. This section of Idaho law is defined as “open meeting law” and specifies that if a public board is discussing public business, the board must discuss it publicly. Bradshaw seems to have led the board in breaking that law.

It is only acceptable for the board to arrange an executive session to respect the privacy of an individual, receive legal advice, hear from insurance/risk management1 representative, or to discuss competitive trade or investments. However, elected officials can use executive sessions to keep public, county business from the people. They can use executive sessions to practice impropriety. They can use executive sessions to commit fraud that the county will never know about. That is why this is so concerning. Officials can shamelessly violate the rules if no one confronts them.

The incident in question begins at a meeting of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) held on September 19th. During the meeting, Steve Bradshaw suggested that an unqualified topic be taken into executive session. At his suggestion, Commissioner Asia Williams challenged the legality of his proposal. He then responded to her with a harsh tone, unnecessary disrespect, and no answer to her challenge. At the end of the meeting, Bradshaw adjourned for “a session with risk management”.

However, two weeks later, in a meeting on October 3rd, Commissioner Williams stated that the board had discussed a different item of public business in the September 19th meeting. This item was an HVAC system requested by the sheriff totaling a whopping sum of $149,950.00. No mention of this system was made in the meeting on the 19th. So did they talk about a very large public expense in private?2

This may seem small, but it is very important for us as citizens to be present at these meetings. Even if you don’t have the time to attend in person, it is always worth the while to go back and watch the recording. It can help you so much to understand what is happening locally. When you are not active in your community and county, politicians and officials can break the law and go unnoticed. So please, for the sake of this county, hold your local officials accountable.

* * *

1This is permitted so long as you are discussing an upcoming claim with a representative

Idaho law states that “It shall be a violation of this chapter (74-206) to change the subject within the executive session to one not identified within the motion to enter the executive session or to any topic for which an executive session is not provided.”

 

Related Article:  What Has Happened In The County Building?

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32 Comments on Evidence Shows Bonner County Commissioners Broke Idaho Code

  1. This is a well written article with an important message that the people of not just Bonner County need to hear. This happens every day with political figures on every level of government. Change will occur slowly starting at the roots of county government and hopefully spreading to the federal level. Great essay.

  2. Very well written about a serious issue that our local community should be aware of. Elected government servants should be held accountable for any ingenuous- or in this case potentially illegal-behavior.

  3. We as a community we need to do better and stand up to these politicians. Great article it’s amazing to me that a 7th – 10th grader wrote this. better than most articles I have read that adults wrote. Great job again!!!!

  4. I am so encouraged to see the youth of our area doing well thought out articles like this. It gives me hope that the next generation can fix the errors that the current leaders of our community are making.

    Keep up the good work!

  5. Great research (citing statute) and well written. I’ve attended many Commissioner meetings and, unfortunately, a very small percentage of our citizens participate. I highly encourage all to attend, in person if possible, or on Zoom. Our elected officials need to know they are being watched and will be held responsible. Thank you, ******, for bringing this to light.

  6. She brought the meetings to life with her editorial. Anyone reading this would be blown away with her facts and explanations, and hopefully be led to some future participation. Politicians must be made accountable. Inspect their behavior so we get the performance we expect and deserve from them.

  7. Amazing how well written this is for a middle/high schooler. Also amazing is the insight to know that transparency in government is a must!

    Great job homeschoolers!

    • It is very well-written for a youngster. It demonstrates what’s possible when we focus on on academics and supporting families instead of cheerleading school district administrators, passing massive levies (or going into debt) to build all new schools, and pushing woke agendas.

      The Idaho State Constitution states:

      “The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it shall be the duty of the legislature of Idaho, to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools.”

      These homeschooler articles clearly demonstrate why we need more conservative stewardship of our public schools – so that ALL of the children in Idaho are capable of doing what these homeschoolers are doing.

      Get out and vote for Jenn McKnight, Troy Reinbold, Kathy Nash, and Allen Galloway on November 7th so that we can see this type of fulfillment of our state constitutional responsibility in the public schools.

  8. Thank you for pointing out his questionable actions. This will be worth keeping an eye on…. We all need to hold accountable all of our elected officials.

  9. Great to see our community’s kids thinking and excelling! Studying and writing about legitimate concerns in our community prepares them with great life skills, and is a service to the community! Now, if the adults would do something with the info being served to them in a platter!!

  10. What’s the excuse for hiding this from the public? And what did he imagine the public’s response would have been? Alot of public meetings are so boring, you could hide stuff like this in plain sight. Guess there must’ve been vigilant people there paying attention.

  11. Does anyone know the space that the HVAC system heats and cools, and who the company is that was used to install the system (and if they’re friends with any elected official). What was being hidden I wonder?

    • Unfortunately, the only information I can give you is that the company being used to install the system was Legacy Heating and Cooling out of Spokane. Because this was presumably discussed in private, we do not have the information. It is hard to know what they were trying to hide, but we do know that they were hiding something.

  12. I do hope the Commissioners see this and understand they are actually ACCOUNTABLE for their behavior
    Thats why we vote!!
    Thank you for siring this

  13. If I cannot attend or watch meetings what is another way for me to get involved politically? Also, what exactly did Steve Bradshaw say to Commissioner Williams, (you had mentioned a harsh comment)? Great article by the way!

    • If you are old enough to vote, being an educated voter is very helpful to the community. Try to find reliable sources and develop an opinion on our county’s politics. For younger people unable to vote, it is very helpful to remind your parents and friends or community over 18 about the responsibility of holding our politicians accountable through knowledge and elections. Or if you have the opportunity, write articles such as this one, exposing the corruption and lies in our county.
      When I spoke of Mr. Bradshaw’s harsh tone, I referred to the fact that he rudely interrupted Commissioner Williams while she was speaking about a controversial topic. He suggested that they take this topic into private (executive) meeting. She tried to ask him why, but he interrupted her again, and said “I am speaking right now” and again “I’m pretty sure I’m talking”. He could barely hold the sneer off his face, let alone the disrespect and aggression from his voice.

      You can see the full September 19th meeting at this link, and the clip in question occurs at 1:36:00…
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok8hZkOdgVk

    • This is a clear and well written article with an important message. On all levels, i.e. towns, cities, counties, our nation, we need to hold those we elect and who represent us, accountable for their actions and wrongful actions.

  14. I’ve been told that Bradshaw stepped down as board chair and assign the position to Omodt which in my mind doesn’t really change anything. Just took the monkey off of one’s back and placed it on another’s. Nothing else will probably change since both appear to be joined at the hip.

    • I think that Luke Omodt is acting chair, but he is still technically vice chair. But I agree that they are joined at the hip, seeing the way they gang up on people’s freedom of speech is disgusting.

Comments are closed.