COEUR d'ALENE — Kootenai County Commissioner Bob Bingham is seeking re-election to his District 3 seat in the May 15 primary election.
He is seeking the Republican nomination along with Leslie Duncan, Russell McLain, Luke Sommer and Robert Thornton.
The seat, currently a two-year term, will change to a four-year seat in January. District 3 includes Athol, Rathdrum, Hayden and part of Coeur d'Alene
"Over the last few months, my wife and I thoughtfully and prayerfully considered whether I should run for office again," Binghan said in a press release. "We ended up believing that I should again offer the voters a conservative Republican choice. I feel like I just got here and it's time to run again."
Amid Kootenai County's growth and increased demand on services, Bingham said leaders need to take a stand on taxes.
"To lessen the tax burden upon property owners, I seek commercial development over residential because, quite simply, residential development costs more to service than commercial," he said. "Doing this will offset the need for tax increases." However, attracting commercial investment takes time, he said.
"I shoot straight," he said. "I supported a 1.5 percent property tax increase in the last budget cycle, but that was down from the 3 percent tax increase passed by the prior board. Most of the citizens who called me learned that their tax bill went up not due to the Kootenai County levy, but due to school levies or their neighborhood market appreciation. Our Kootenai County levy rate was actually less this year than the prior year."
With the high interest in the position, Bingham offered personal observations since he took office.
"The job is not hard," he said. "anyone who has effectively served in the capacity of a manager would have the basic skillset to do the job. However, the job is very demanding from a time aspect. There is a lot of busy work. For me, it has been a very rare day or weekend that I have not had to take my county laptop home to read or research some topic before the board.
"Anyone can make decisions, but it takes time to read everything presented, to research it and understand the benefits and ramifications of a decision before you make it. While Kootenai County is dominantly conservative Republican, we are anything but cohesive and the internal strife does us no favors."