Yes, it’s that season, and the heat is on. Everywhere you turn, there are political candidates coming out of the woodwork ‘working’ their individual campaigns. June 7th is the Primary Election, and many Republicans are vying for the same position; there will be no general elections for those particular candidates.
In Flathead County, there are four individuals running for the role of County Commissioner. The topic we are addressing in this article is “accessibility.”
There is a reason the role is entitled “County Commissioner,” as the purpose of the commissioner is to reach out to the entire county.
Here is the scenario at hand.
Pamela Holmquist (the incumbent) is in her office sometimes, which is located within the upstairs ‘chambers’ of the Old County Courthouse located at South Main Street in Kalispell. Pam is in her office at times, but often she’s not. Holmquist seems to spend a good deal of time going to “meetings,” which, of course, is part of the job of a county commissioner and many of which are in Kalispell, but it doesn’t seem that she travels too far from her epicenter. (Holmquist is actually unfit for the role of the commissioner, as you can see by reading here and here and here).
Jack Fallon is in poor health. It doesn’t seem as though Fallon wants to travel far at all; in fact, he shared with a Flathead County resident how he wanted to “set up a computer at home to work from.” (Read here, and here, and here, about Fallon who is actually a liberal and shouldn’t even be running as a Republican).
Brian Friese shared that he wanted to work from his computer at home as “county commissioner” because he has two other businesses he works on from his residence. (This isn’t the greatest idea because the job of commissioner doesn’t need to be watered down among two other jobs, especially when the county contains more than 100,000 people!)
Jason Parce, also a commissioner candidate, has an entirely different vision than these others on how the duties and responsibilities of a county commissioner should be executed.
Truly effective county commissioners travel far and wide throughout the region of the whole county.
Parce believes it’s a 24-hour job. “Often folks work during the day and can’t make it into the commissioners’ chambers. So then, it would be my responsibility to go to where they are, whether it be Lakeside, Marion, or Olney. I’d be available to meet with people in the evening or on a Sunday if they need to talk or discuss things.”
Parce’s take on the obligation of the commissioners’ role is a far cry from holing up at home and hiding away on a laptop.
“Sure, there are times when one needs to do ‘paper and busy work.’ But the commissioners’ purpose is to serve the people; at the very least, the commissioner should be in their office and accessible to the community, not in their house miles away in some bedroom. There may be a need to work from home on occasion, but by no standard should that be the norm. We need to be here to meet with the public; it’s the role of a public servant.”