COUNTY: Elect, don’t appoint

Print Article

From Roman bureaucrats in the ancient world to English Royalty in the American Colonies — tax collectors, document recorders, treasurers, coroners and virtually all government positions were appointed by the powerful. The election of such positions is a relatively new phenomenon in the history of humankind and essentially it started right here in America after ridding ourselves of British rule. So, before changing back to the old appointment system, we might want to consider why we finally decided to have voters make these choices.

This monumental change in selecting these positions is based on the importance they hold for society — treasurers keep track of our public funds, assessors determine what share of the tax burden we must pay by virtue of the value they apply to our property, recorders safeguard the documents that show who owns, inherits and has legitimate claim to possessions, and the coroner decides if someone died of natural causes or at the hands of another.

Elected department heads, just like their appointed counterparts, are constantly pressured by lobbyists and powerful special interests to make decisions of questionable merit and legality. The major difference is that those in elected positions can tell these powerful interests to take a flying leap, whereas appointees and employees must worry that they might lose a promotion, their department’s funding or even their jobs for some trumped up reason, if they do not comply with such requests.

I think our nation’s founders were wise to make these positions answerable to the judgment of voters instead of leaving employees vulnerable to bribery, threats, coercion and influence by the powerful.

STEVE NOVAK

Coeur d’Alene

Print Article

Read More Letters to the Editor

HELP: Same-name friend

November 22, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press I am searching for a woman I had a conversation with at Heritage Health Clinic on Tuesday, Nov. 7, around 3:15 or so. I went in for my turn and soon realized that I should have given her my number, s...

Comments

Read More

LETTER: God help you

November 22, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Re: Ridout Letter from Nov. 12 Wishing harm on America or fellow Americans is sick and sad. Joking about North Korea nukes destroying our West Coast because there are those with different opinions t...

Comments

Read More

LABELS: Actions better define us

November 22, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Republicans are racist! Democrats are homosexual! Really? Is this really the tone today? Is this really what you believe? Is this really what we have become as a nation indivisible, or are we just a ...

Comments

Read More

TAX: Here’s one to keep

November 22, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press The current Republican tax proposals call for the elimination of the Estate Tax. This federal tax (referred by its defenders as “The Death Tax”) taxes individuals on their estate at the time of their...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2017 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X