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The Commissioners debate funding a Recreation Master Plan. There is a split vote to pay Loosli $50/hour; he still has no scope of work. The Commissioners talk "Agenda 21" with State Legislators.

The Commissioners debate funding a Recreation Master Plan. There is a split vote to pay Loosli $50/hour. The Commissioners talk “Agenda 21” conspiracy theories with State Legislators. 

Commissioners Debate Funding A Recreation & Public Access Master Plan

The Commissioners started their meeting with a discussion on whether to uphold the $15,000 they had originally budgeted for developing a Recreation and Public Access Master Plan for the County. Commissioner Kunz voiced his opposition and stated that this money would be better spent on county roads.  Commissioner Rinaldi countered that facilitating recreation will promote economic growth, and Commissioner Park agreed with her. Thus, for now, the funding to develop this recreation plan remains in place.

Commissioners Debate The Hourly Wage for Planning Contractor Stephen Loosli

Next  on the agenda was discussion of the terms of Mr. Loosli’s service contract and what tasks he would be assigned as the county planner. When Curt Moore was publicly fired in April, Commissioner Park stated that Moore was partly fired in order to save the county money.  However, Mr. Loosli notified the Commissioners through communications with Commissioner Park that he would not be able to work for less than $50 per hour.  By comparison, Mr. Moore had been salaried at $20.50 per hour plus benefits and had worked at least 40 hours per week.  Park reasoned that so long as Loosli worked only 20 hours per week on a contract basis, this would still be acceptable. Kunz agreed.  Commissioner Rinaldi stated she would not support paying this much and expressed concerns with the court judgments against Mr. Loosli stemming from his prior work as the Fremont County Planner. Kunz responded that “everyone makes mistakes” from their past.

County attorney Kathy Spitzer advised that for $50 an hour, Loosli’s contract needed specific deliverables “in order to get the best bang for your buck." However, Kunz preferred Loosli’s contract remain “flexible.” 

The debate then turned to whether to pay Mr. Loosli for meeting with Code Studios the prior week before he had been formally under contract with Teton County.  Local resident Mary Mason pointed out from the audience that Mr. Loosli was not even hired at that point, and she was concerned that Mr. Loosli appeared to be answering only to Kunz and Park—when he should be responsive and accountable to all 3 commissioners equally.

At this point, Planning Administrator Angie Rutherford pointed that Mr. Loosli’s discussed task list did not include taking on any of former Planner Curt Moore’s work. As the only planner currently working in the office, she told the Board that she needed help because she was now doing the work of two people. At this point however, the discussion ended so the Board could host the state representatives for a legislative update – no contract or scope of work was approved.

The County Commissioners talk "Agenda 21" with State Reps….

Rep. Tom Loertscher, and Rep. Marc Gibbs met with the County Commissioners to give a 2012 legislative update covering everything from the failed liquor law amendments to the passage of Senate Bill 1138 (an amendment to the Local Land Use Planning Act).  Gibbs explained that the bill was partly proposed by a group of Teton County residents, but SB1138 was not specifically written for Teton County. Loertscher said the bill ensured that planning and zoning decisions were applied fairly and that standards for overlays and zoning districts have to be clearly stated.

In light of this new bill, Commissioner Kunz wanted to get down to brass tacks on the legality of the new comprehensive plan and the County’s wildlife protection ordinances. Gibbs opined that Idaho’s courts will have to decide how the new land use law amendments will be interpreted.  To this, Kunz again pressed them for their opinion on the new Comp Plan to which Representative Loertscher replied that he thought Teton County’s new plan was the “product of a national agenda.

At this point in time, other citizens stepped up to comment. Teton County Republican Party Chairman Tony Goe agreed with Loertschers’ assessment of the new Comp Plan, stating that Agents of the United Nations’ Agenda 21 effort  “took over” the comprehensive plan subcommittees, using buzzwords like “sustainability” and “smart growth”.   “I had to fight them off with my bare hands!” he exclaimed, stating that, “their local agents want skyscrapers in Driggs!” 

Driggs City Councilman Ralph Mossman pressed the Legislators to expand Medicaid funding and coverage in Idaho.  Other residents asked for increased funding for Idaho public schools.

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