Tom Stroschein

(candidate for 2004 Latah County Commissioner, district 2)

1. The Latah County Commissioners are responsible for the operation of Latah County and management of its employees. What training and experience do you have to successfully manage this county government, including the budget, risk management, human resources, and communications responsibilities?
For clarification, Latah County Commissioners are directly responsible for county operations that primarily deal with infrastructure and county management of Informational Services, Disaster Services, Parks and Recreation, Planning and Zoning, Solid Waste, Weed Control, Fair Operations, Social and Health Services, County Motor Vehicle Maintenance, Facilities Maintenance, Youth Services, and Economic Development. Elected officials of each office, such as the auditor-clerk, the sheriff, the assessor, the prosecutor, and the treasurer are responsible for hiring, training, and managing employees in each of their respective departments; however, the commissioners are directly involved with every department in setting their annual budget.

My leadership skills and management abilities were first initiated in high school, then in college as a charter member of Idaho FarmHouse Fraternity I served as president and house manager, and later National IK President. As the president of Stroschein Ranches, Inc, I hired, trained, and managed over 15 employees at a time in a large livestock, irrigated grain, hay, and potato operation between 1962 and 1996. Concurrently, I served as a board member on the Idaho Sheep Commission, the Idaho Wheat Commission, and the Idaho State Office of the USDA Farm Service Agency, requiring me to analyze budget priorities, hire staff, and receive professional training in human resource management. I have implemented this training and experience in serving over the past twenty months as your Latah County Commissioner.

2. Should the Commissioners do more to help complete the Latah Trail? If so, what?
The Latah Trail has been a strong collaborative effort between the Latah Trail Foundation, ITD, Idaho Parks and Rec, and Latah County. Phase I was implemented during the administration of my predecessor and the trail is now in the completion stages of Phase One of a Two-Phase completion plan. The land acquisitions in Phase One required cost over-runs. Thanks to the successful efforts made by the Latah Trail Foundation to raise the additional funds through private donations, these costs were covered. The tunnel under Highway 8 between Joel and Troy was recently completed by ITD at no infrastructure cost to Latah County. The county commissioners are currently providing human resource inputs in project management and grant writing. As your incumbent county commissioner I will continue to be active in supporting the Latah Trail. Phase one will be completed this year and Phase Two is scheduled to be completed next year.

3. Rural businesses may require a Conditional Use Permit to operate, and the decision to grant that permit is often made by the Commissioners. If rural neighbors object to the business, how would you decide whether or not to grant the permit? What are the important criteria for you and how do you balance the rights of the business and the neighbors?
“Conditional Use” is a permitted use with conditions. The over site of this directive is to manage the limited resources of Latah County to the best good: both long-term and short-term. Considering financial (business) benefits of a project is entirely outside the scope of our mandate. The decision making process requires ferreting out health, safety, and welfare issues that maintain an equilibrium between adjoining property owners and the environment while staying in compliance with our Latah County Land Use Ordinance. This requires unbiased, independent, and sometimes unpopular decisions, but I believe I have demonstrated that I am up to the task.

4. In July, Commissioner Paul Kimmell excused himself from the decision-making regarding the setting of property tax exemptions for Christ Church and New St. Andrews College, since he had worked as a real estate consultant for the church, was a church member, and was a member of the college advisory board. Do you have any similar ties to local organizations that would lead you to excuse yourself for a similar conflict of interest if that organization sought a property tax exemption?
My “conflict of interest” parameters are defined by benefits derived from or for my personal finances and/or family. I have recused myself in the past because of one or both of these conflicts and will continue to do so in the future. I am actively involved in volunteer groups, my church, and civic clubs. In the past I have sought council from the county prosecutor’s office if I have questioned a conflict, and will continue to do so in the future.

5. How do you plan to use email, websites, or any other communication tools to inform residents about county programs or to gather input from those residents?
Please include biographical information about yourself, email, phone, or website contact information, and any other message you want to share with county voters.
Latah County has a web site which has a link to the BOCC information, including email addresses. I actively check my email account and respond appropriately. You can access the web site at I have made a conscious decision to encourage my constituents to use the Latah County web site as the medium to make themselves familiar with the agenda and proceedings of the BOCC. FYI - every Friday you can get the following week’s agenda by accessing our official county web site.

6. Please include biographical information about yourself, email, phone, or website contact information, and any other message you want to share with Moscow voters.
My name is Tom Stroschein. I was born in American Falls, Idaho, raised in Aberdeen, Idaho, graduated from the University of Idaho, and purchased a home in Moscow in 1995. In November 2002 I was elected your District 2 Latah County Commissioner. I would like to continue as your District 2 Latah County Commissioner. My focus will continue to be resolving our water challenges and developing a land use management plan that embraces responsible development and growth. My email address is

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