Letters to the editor from this week's Chronicle:

To the editor
Sadly, in politics today we too often focus on efforts to disagree rather than engaging in the arenas of ideas to seek solutions to the challenges we face. It is in this arena where visions can be set forth and new horizons can be conquered together.
So it was with encouragement when I read Congressman Labrador's response that acknowledged that much good work had been done on the Lochsa Land Exchange and that he was eager to consider this proposal in the next Congress.  I urge all three members of our Congres-sional Delegation to engage in this process, which would benefit so many of their constituents.  I also urge county resident and other stakeholders to take a close look at the proposal and see what has been developed to respond to concerns that have been raised.
Sometimes opportunities to make a difference present themselves and we let them go by the wayside. We all to often believe government is the solution and we lose sight of our own abilities to reach out and help one another; it is through our individual talents where we can be the difference that makes the difference in seeking solutions for our communities.
The Lochsa exchange presents us with opportunity to change the dynamic of business as usual. When presented in its original form the county sought to protect the citizenry from higher taxes, while at the same time protecting the private land holdings within Idaho County, which are vital in providing revenue for education, roads and other services the county provides.
The solution the county put forward was met by opposition from those who thought they would be locked out of their favorite recreation areas and we listened to those concerns as did Western Pacific Timber.
Western Pacific Timber went back to the drawing board. WPT spent months in Idaho County listening to stakeholders concerns and working to address these concerns. In a true spirit of collaboration WPT set out to seek solutions.
I believe they have mitigated many of the issues concerning the citizens of Idaho County. In the process they have even forgone some of their private property rights to insure the local access will be maintained, and a stable supply of timber to our mills can be counted on for years to come. Maintaining existing local access and creating hundreds of needed jobs for our residents is a win-win situation for the county.
WPT has demonstrated a willingness to develop a new model of cooperation recognizing not only the needs of the communities where they own and manage land, but also a responsibility to the traditions of local access, which have been established over generations. This type of cooperation should be applauded not vilified.
I would much rather work with county residents, our Congressional delegation, and others of good faith to seek solutions and make our community better for it.  It is amazing what we can accomplish when we move the attention off ourselves and place it on those around us, and work to develop trust within our community.
Jim Chmelik
Idaho County Commissioner

Letter to the Editor
Idaho County voters, why should you vote Jerry Zumalt for Commissioner?
Hes the guy who believes voters deserve a full time and responsible representative.  Hes the guy who worked to enhance the county 911 system for better public safety.   Hes the guy who utilized grant funds to modernize radio communications in the Sheriffs Office by establishing additional mountaintop repeater sites.  Hes the guy who negotiated federal and state funds for roads damaged during floods.  As our county Disaster Management Coordinator for the last 10 years Jerry has aimed squarely at solving real problems on behalf Idaho county citizens.  Hes the guy many of you know as a friend!  When you head to head to the polls on November 4 JERRY ZUMALT is the guy!  
Leta Strauss
Grangeville, ID  

To the Editor
Zumalt! Whether you zoom or zumba to the polls, Jerry Zumalt is deserving of your vote for Idaho County Commissioner, Dist. 2.
Over the past ten years, Jerry Z. has saved or made millions of dollars for Idaho County as he quietly and efficiently accomplished his job as Disaster Management Coordinator, securing significant grants and equipment to improve the county's preparedness.  As a long-time resident, Jerry understands the county, its needs and the importance of future planning.   He passionately believes in good communication, fairness and accountability.   Jerry will not waste taxpayer money on personal agendas.  
Shelley Dumas

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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