moscow.com presents:

Linda Pike

(candidate for 2006 Latah County Commissioner, district 3)

1. Latah County law enforcement officers earn significantly less than their counterparts in the city of Moscow. For example, the hourly wage for a patrol deputy at the sheriffís office with 10 years of Service is $17.36, while the hourly wage for a patrol officer at Moscow with 3 years of service is $20.04. Do you want to eliminate that pay differential, and if so, how would you plan to do that?
          
I believe in equal pay for equal work. It is even more important to eliminate this disparity since the City Police have been deputized and can go out of City boundaries when needed to aid the Sheriff Dept. The Joint Law Enforcement Center that is proposed further enforces the need for equal pay for equal work between the two departments. With this close cooperation between the two agencies, the pay differential becomes more visible and, thus, more important. If the County budget cannot immediately accommodate pay equalization, at least a start in that direction should be implemented so that the department can see that the deputies are valued for the important work they do in making Latah County a very safe place to live.

        
2. Do you believe that a vocal minority of residents too frequently get their way over the wishes of a less political majority? What are your thoughts and feelings on this?
          
It is very hard to discern the thoughts and opinions of a silent majority. If they want their opinions heard, they need to speak up. However, I do believe that we have citizens who because of their age, health, income, or lack of resources (including time) cannot organize and create a voice. We need to be sensitive to those folks on issues which would affect them. A decision maker should not forget common sense and what he/she knows is right or wrong even if being pressured by a very vocal organized group. One may be elected to be a representative of the constituents but also should vote his/her conscience since most constituents will never be heard from.

        
3. Do you suggest that voters approve Idaho Proposition 2 (the proposition that requires taxpayers to pay compensation to landowners if land use rules affect their property)?
          
The first part of Prop. #2, dealing with imminent domain leads one to believe that this is a good piece of legislation, but the Idaho Legislature has already dealt with this issue so it is unnecessary. The 2nd part would have government entities paying out huge sums in compensation to land owners if there are rules/regs. in place that prevent the landowner from doing what he wants with the property. This would either break the County or be the end of any ability to plan and would create many, many problems. This is a bad initiative that is causing problems in Oregon and other states where it has been adopted. I fear that voters will not be informed on this issue and it could pass, which could lead to major problems in the County.

        
4. Do you support or oppose a county ordinance to limit the amount of light from rural yard lights? Why?
          
There is great disparity among Latah residentsí property uses and distance between neighbors. One only needs to drive from Moscow to Cedar Ridge outside of Kendrick to see differences and applications in outdoor lighting. A lighting ordinance outside Moscow doesn't fit the whole county. Those who may live in close proximity to neighbors may find that there is light pollution and trespass. Those who have no close neighbors and live on their farms/ranches believe an ordinance is an intrusion on their property rights and is unnecessary. We have to ask: Is this ordinance necessary? Does it serve a legitimate state interest? Is it reasonable? Would it promote health and safety? Would it be a financial burden to comply? These are questions that would need to be asked to balance the interests of the proponents against those of the opponents.

When this was recently proposed, I suggested that if it was adopted, that it be grandfathered in. This would allow new property owners to be given notice when they purchased property that a shield for their yard lights would have to be purchased if it didnít exist. Yet, this would eliminate current property owners from having to purchase shields. I also suggested that some form of mediation be recommended if neighbors have problems with light trespass. The Latah Planning Commission decided to drop the proposed ordinance for the time being.

        
5. What kinds of economic development should be encouraged and what kinds discouraged in Latah County? Please respond using examples like the proposed Naylor Farms mining operation and the proposed Eid Road dairy.
          
We should encourage economic development that provides living wage jobs that contribute to the community, wonít present a burden to our natural resources, and that donít pollute or leave a large footprint on the environment. We have some excellent examples already, like Potting Shed Creations, D8 Inc., Northwest River Supplies, Inc., Cowgirl Chocolates, and Mary Janeís Farm, First Step, EcoAnalysts, Inc., as well as several businesses located in the Technology Park such as Comtech AHA and Anatek Labs.

As I understand it, Naylor Farms wants to operate an open strip mine. This would appear to not meet the environmental standards set out above and it could possibly be a large water user also. I plan to attend the hearing on Naylor Farms Inc. scheduled for Sept. 25 and listen to the evidence.

I donít know the details about the proposed Eid Road Dairy. I would want to review the plans for this dairy. How many cows does it plan to have? What is the cow to acre ratio or are they confined? How large is the confinement? How will it process its waste? What plans does it have to confine its waste? Is it near a well or other water source? How near are the neighbors? Are they objecting? What are their objections? Will it cause odor problems? Will it create extra truck traffic on the road? Can the road accommodate this? Does it comport with the Comprehensive Plan? These and other questions would need to be addressed in order to make a determination on the viability of a Dairy on Eid Road.

        
6. Please list your campaign websites, email address, and phone numbers, and add any biographical information or position statements you wish.
          
I am running for County Commissioner because I believe it is Time for Change. We need to make progress in the County and that means making tough decisions. Delaying decisions means that plans cannot be made and money cannot be raised to further projects. We need to be proactive in figuring out how to maintain our water supply and entice appropriate businesses to settle in Latah County. I attended the last water summit and I plan to attend the one scheduled for Oct. 3, and I attended the Troy City Council meeting on its proposed new reservoir. I have been visiting many of our local businesses like Potting Shed Creations in Troy, D8 Inc. in Potlatch, Mary Janeís Farm outside of Moscow, as well as Northwest River Supplies and Cowgirl Chocolates in Moscow. I have visited new stores which have opened in Deary and Bovill. Iíve been out knocking on doors and visiting with residents all over the County. Iíve heard what their concerns are on jobs, taxes, water, and many other issues. I know how tough it is for many of them to get by. I am not afraid to make decisions once I know the facts or as much as they can be ascertained.

I served 6 Ĺ years as an administrative judge on the Idaho Board of Tax Appeals. During that time I heard hundreds of cases and made hundreds of decisions. I always based my rulings on the evidence brought before me and what I knew to be true. I tried my best, both at the hearing and later in the written decision, to show the parties the reasons for my decision. At the hearings, I would repeat a summarization of each sideís case as I understood it and ask them if I was interpreting it right. If not, I ask them for help in understanding it. Only after a clear understanding, did I close the hearing. Even if someone loses, they appreciate knowing what they did wrong, if anything, or why the judge had to rule as he/she did. I was told I was a fair judge who listened to the facts. I plan to bring that experience and knowledge to the County Commission. I know how to provide fair hearings.

I have a varied background from farming/ranching, forestry work, systems analysis, and being a practicing attorney. I have an extensive county volunteer service record. I am ready to work for the people and face the issues we need to deal with for the betterment of Latah County.

My web site is www.lindapike.com. I can be reached at lindapike@moscow.com.

        
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