Do Idaho County constituents feel like they have difficulty staying informed on local government issues? I ask myself that question regularly. Consider looking to internet websites for immediate and easily accessible information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Idaho County information is found on our website (www.idahocounty.org). Idaho County redesigned its website in May of 2005 and since that time there have been significant improvements every year.
The original website goal was to post the county commission agendas each Friday and the minutes of each commission meeting which are posted on the website after approval (about 2 weeks after each meeting). All meetings and agendas are archived for your research since 2005. In 2006, the youth in government students converted county ordinances to an electronic format; the county ordinances were then uploaded to the website in 2007.
The Idaho County website provides elected official pages that can help the 16,000 individual residents locate the office and information they need. Elected officials talk to chambers of commerce, students, city councils and groups, but the best source for 24/7 information is the website. If you do not have a computer, check with your local library or someone who has internet on their computer.
Here are some interesting facts about our county. Idaho County, like the other 43 counties in Idaho, has many moving parts each week of the year in all the offices. At the county level, the most common issues are potholes, garbage and public safety. Other issues not seen or recognized by many are indigent health care, weeds, property appraisal, airport operation, legal recording/filing, court & legal proceedings, county fair planning, disaster management, fire mitigation, legislative interaction, public lands coordination, economic development and much more.
Idaho County is the largest county in Idaho. It covers 8503 square miles (11% of the total land mass of Idaho) with 85% public lands and was established on February 4, 1864 by the first Idaho Territorial Legislature. Idaho County is the 25th largest county in the US with AK (7) AZ (6), NV (5), CA (2), WY (2) and OR (2) having larger counties.
County operational revenue comes from many sources, some of which are: fees, state revenue sharing, state liquor funds, federal government payments (ie. Secure Rural Schools funds and Payment in Lieu of Taxes), and property taxes (property taxes represent only about 20% of Idaho County’s budget). County Commissioners set annual budgets for all offices and departments. Another important function of the Commissioners and other elected officials is to find financial resources other than resident fees and taxes to keep services operating.
Besides the day to day activities, some of the current issues of importance to county government are the Rural Health Works project completed in October (see details on the county Health & Human Services page), the creation of an airport development authority to improve the airport operation, major road project on the big Salmon near Riggins, business recruitment and retention, the ‘siting’ of a regional landfill, recycling effort, forest travel planning, E-911 implementation, mental health/drug courts, election consolidation, adult misdemeanor supervision, and the list goes on.
I believe, the best government is that which is closest to the people it serves. Idaho County elected officials and employees are active problem solvers who work to provide professional and responsive customer service. It’s most effective when you stay informed and we work together to keep Idaho County the best place to live.
Idaho County Commissioner