Four St. Anthony residents running for Fremont County Commission seat
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ST. ANTHONY — Incumbent Commissioner Lee Miller is not seeking re-election to Fremont County Commission District 2. Four Republicans from St. Anthony are looking to take his place: David Davis, Scott Kamachi, Larry Singleton and David Hobbs.
All four candidates are competing in the May 19 Republican primary. To learn more about their platforms, EastIdahoNews.com sent the same eight questions to each candidate. Their responses, listed below, were required to be 250 words or less.
For more information on Kamachi visit his Facebook page.
For more information on Singleton visit his Facebook page.
For more information on Hobbs visit his Facebook page.
Tell us about yourself — include information about your family, career, education, volunteer work and any prior experience in public office.
Davis: I was born and raised right here in Fremont county. I am the fourth generation of my family to reside here in this district. When you grow up in the family farming/ranching business, you get put to work as soon as possible, so I learned from an early age what hard work is. It was drilled into me to respect everyone, and every person has value to our society. I have worked a wide variety of jobs, timber industry, farming/ranching, but mostly in the trucking industry, from driving to a mechanic. Active in my local church and local charity endeavors. While I have had no prior experience in public office, I feel like professional politicians were NOT what the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution for our great country.
Kamachi: My name is Scott Kamachi. I am 66 years old. I have lived in St Anthony all my life. I managed Chiz’s for 10 years, then owned it for 34 years. I have been married for 22 years to Glenda Kamachi and we have six children and 14 grandchildren. I was on the St. Anthony City Council for 14 years. I spent 10 years as the head of finance, 10 years as the head of planning and zoning, eight years as council president and six years as the head of the St. Anthony airport. I was on the county planning and zoning committee for eight years, co-chair of the Fremont County Hospital Board and co-chair of the Youth Service Center Advisory Board. I was on the founding committee of the South Fremont Education Foundation. I was the head to procure the St. Anthony Work Camp.
Singleton: I am Larry Singleton. I was born in Ashton, Idaho. I was raised in the Wilford area. I attended Fremont County schools and graduated from South Fremont County High School, and then attended Idaho State University in Pocatello. I have farmed and ranched in Fremont, Clark and Jefferson Counties. I am 65 years old and retired.
I’ve served on:
- Fremont County Planning and Zoning commission.
- President of Fremont-Madison Cattlemen’s Associations and Board of Directors.
- Board of Directors of the Idaho Cattle Association.
- Farmer Friend Canal Company and other Water Boards, and Water Adjudication.
- Fremont County Farm Bureau Board of Directors.
- Fremont Woolgrowers Board of Directors.
- District Five Animal Damage Control Board of Directors (Grizzly Bear and Wolf Depredations)
- Medicine Lodge BLM Grazing Advisory committee.
- South Fremont High School FFA advisory committee.
- Church and Scouting callings.
I realize that agriculture, tourism and recreation are all very important to Fremont County.
Clean water and natural resources are important to attract people to visit the county and patronize local businesses.
I feel with the experience I have, I can serve all residents. I have the qualifications and experience and want to serve you and your family of Fremont County. I would appreciate your vote. Thank You, Larry Singleton.
Hobbs: As a resident of more than 45 years, I bring a deep-rooted commitment to serving as Fremont County Commissioner. I want what’s best for this county and the people who live here. I was raised on our family farm in Fremont County and grew up in all things agriculture. I met my wife in the 5th grade and we both graduated from South Fremont High School, where I played both football and basketball. We raised our three grown sons in the St. Anthony area and now enjoy three beautiful grandchildren. As a family, we spend our free time hunting, fishing, boating and take full advantage of the beauty and resources Fremont County offers. I have owned and operated logging, excavating and construction businesses in Fremont County creating jobs and bringing revenue to the local economy. I also coached high school basketball for more than 20 years and currently work for the State of Idaho Juvenile Corrections Center.
What are your proudest accomplishments in your personal life or career?
Kamachi: My proudest accomplishment is my family. Second would be successfully operating my business, Chiz’s. Third, participating in updating Fremont County’s comprehensive plan. Fourth, securing the work camp for St Anthony. Fifth, updating the City of St. Anthony’s comprehensive plan. And finally, enjoying the hunting, fishing and recreational activities our great county has to offer.
Singleton: The number one accomplishment in my life is my family. I have been married to my wonderful wife Robine Browning for 40 years. We have seven children who are all married and nearly 13 grandchildren. All our children and spouses live and work in the community.
Another accomplishment is community service. Farming and ranching is not only our occupation but our way of life. We have heavily involved in leadership positions tied to our occupations and lifestyle. I’ve worked with many people throughout the county.
Hobbs: Raising a family and seeing our children become successful and self-sufficient has brought me great joy and a sense of accomplishment. Owning and operating my own businesses was both challenging and fulfilling. I’ve always enjoyed working in the community and knowing that I was not only able to support my family but create jobs for others and build lasting relationships in the process. With my businesses in logging, excavating and building, it was always a sense of accomplishment to complete a project, and I take pride in the work I did. I really enjoyed coaching and working in juvenile corrections where I’ve had a hand in helping build character and improve lives.
Davis: I am most proud of the family I have raised here in Fremont County. I married my high school sweetheart 45 years ago, have five married children and 12 grandchildren. Career-wise, I drove interstate truck coast to coast for thirty-five years. I have been awarded company driver of the year, million- mile safe driver, and State of Idaho Driver of the year. In thirty-five years, I moved products 5.5 million miles across this nation. Through it all, I met people from all walks of life and am proud to call most of them my friends. I also learned dedication to the problem will have positive results.
Briefly explain your political platform, and/or legislative goals if you are elected to office.
Singleton: If elected, I would like to share the experience and knowledge to the county commission. I am a born local and would like to give back to the community. I believe in family values, local control, keeping taxes low, less government interference and protecting personal rights.
Hobbs: I have no agendas coming in. I would, however, look for appropriate ways to cut costs in areas like our landfills or other projects the county needs to complete, and make sure tax dollars are spent responsibly. I would work to protect our public lands from outside interest groups. I would work to protect water rights for farmers, ranchers and for recreation in our county. I also feel we need to work on our infrastructure and would help achieve responsible growth for our community while protecting our natural resources.
Davis: I will keep in mind that I work for those who elected me, and I want to have the county government work for them. Over the last decade or so, it feels like we, the public, bows to the government. The Constitution wasn’t written that way. I want Transparency and balance in our budget. I’d work to end monetary waste within our budget while improving our county services. I will be accessible to my constituents with their concerns.
Kamachi: My platform is to create sound long-range planning. To defend agriculture as well as the natural resources we have to create a balanced multiple-use strategy. There are other industries in the county that are also important and must be incorporated as well.
What are the greatest challenges facing your county?
Hobbs: Waste management will always be a challenge, and all options need to be considered. With the growth Fremont County has seen in recent years, I think it’s important to realize the benefit of growth to our economy, but equally important to ensure our natural resources are protected to preserve what makes this county great. The current pandemic will also create new challenges that need to be considered and handled with a balanced response. The safety of our citizens is important, but the impact to our local economy also needs to be carefully considered.
Davis: Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, when I first began thinking of running, people that I visited with have concerns about the landfills, the condition of our roadways and bridges and the diversity and employment of our county.
Kamachi: We have infrastructure requirements that need to be maintained. One which comes to mind is the Parker-Salem Highway. The county has already begun preparation, we need to see it completed. In Northern Fremont County there are needs in infrastructure. A task force for the Ashton and Island Park area should be implemented in my opinion. The people who live there know what is needed in their neck of the woods. More than three people sitting in the courthouse. With the data supplied by them, the commoners can make better-informed decisions. We can look at the landfill issue and see if we can streamline and make it more efficient.
Singleton: Future growth of the county is a big concern. The economy is going to be a big factor. With the COVID -19 shutdown, the economy will be affected locally as well as on a state and national level. Residents want county services such as roads, sanitation and other services performed. Taxes, less government interference and property rights are also important to residents.
How is your experience better suited to dealing with these unique challenges than your competitor(s)?
Davis: I will gather information from my constituents and from Constitutional law. I have not taken donations from big business, so no business or individual can leverage me for favor. I have traveled this great nation of ours coast to coast, and I have seen first-hand how different communities handle the same challenges our county is facing with growth, taxes and funding. I’d like to put that knowledge to work for my constituents.
Kamachi: These issues are nothing new. Dealing with municipal issues and county issues is the heart of my experience, for decades.
Singleton: With 70% of Fremont County federally and state-owned, it is important to have someone with experience dealing with these agencies. As a rancher, I’ve worked with the Forest Service, BLM and state during my career. We need someone with agricultural experience on the board. Recreation and sportsman are also very important to the county. Water issues are important to the county and all the region.
Hobbs: It’s easy to use sports metaphors to best explain this. My years in athletics has taught me how important it is to be a team player. I’ve learned the importance of working both offensively and defensively. You not only have to work well with your teammates, but to be truly successful, you need to be aware of your competitors and respond appropriately. At the end of a game, whether win or lose, good sportsmanship is the biggest success you can achieve. I’ve brought the same skills into all aspects of my life and career. My calm temperament has allowed me to work through difficult challenges while keeping things from heating up and causing friction with others.
How will you best represent the views of your constituents – even those with differing political views?
Kamachi: The simple fact of the matter is, when one becomes an officer in a political position, it is the moral and legal responsibility to hear each and every constituent’s concerns and weigh them against what is truly best for the county.
Singleton: It’s important to gain the facts and then focus on the future plans of the county and the challenges it might face and learn from the past.
Serving six years on the planning and zoning taught me that there are always opposing views. Helping rewrite the existing 2011 Development Code and Comprehensive Plan taught me the importance of working together for a workable solution. We must always have a listening ear. I am here to listen to your thoughts and opinions.
Hobbs: Everyone’s views and opinions are important. As a representative of Fremont County, it’s important to take all viewpoints into consideration. Listening is often an under-utilized skill. I’m a listener and would always make myself available to listen to what others have to say. If an issue is important to them, it’s important to me. At the end of the day, I’d take all factors into consideration and do what’s best for the county. Sometimes that’s easy, and sometimes hard decisions would need to be made.
Davis: We are one of the most diverse counties in Idaho in terms of area. We are largely rural, agriculture and tourism, with a vast amount of public lands within our borders. All these constituents have an opinion and need to have access to their government representative. Too many times a person goes into public office for their own agenda. I want to be the voice of the majority of those I represent and be the instrument of compromise for all. When we come together and work for the common good, we all benefit.
How do you plan to improve relationships with other elected officials in your county and with state legislative officials?
Singleton: I’ve served on several boards and committees throughout my life. It is very important to be able to serve with others. I am dependable, goal-oriented and have a positive attitude in solving problems. Being self-employed has taught me to be responsible and to reach out and work with others to solve problems. I served three years on the Idaho Cattle Association in Boise. During that time, I worked with many Legislators and Governs through-out Idaho.
Hobbs: My measured temperament has always helped me create and maintain good relationships. I get along well with others and look for ways to avoid conflict, not reasons to create it. It goes back to being willing to listen. I believe the elected officials in our county want what’s best for Fremont County. Each has a job to do in the area they were elected. I would respect those areas while defending the things I’m responsible for. I believe all relationships with elected officials — whether local or state — can be strengthened through trust, respect and consistency.
Davis: Communication is the number one key to any relationship. Open and direct dialog between entities is not only necessary but essential.
Kamachi: The time-proven method is to seriously listen to them, communicate your points and seek solutions addressing both parties as equally as possible. Open communication is the key, and solutions derived from both parties.
What are your views regarding the role of the media in covering your county? How can you best work with local reporters to ensure coverage of the issues?
Hobbs: I believe Fremont County is one of the most beautiful and diverse counties in the state. From the forests, lakes and wildlife to hosting the five-county detention center. I would be willing to work with the media to ensure that appropriate coverage is given to all important issues in the county.
Davis: The media is vital in getting information out to the public. I have great respect for an honest reporter who reports the facts, and both sides of an issue succinctly without his/her opinions coloring the article, thereby allowing the reader to form their own opinion. Again, access and communication are keys.
- 1. Honest, objective reporting
- 2. A true effort to collect all the information before you write a story
In working with local reporters, I welcome them to attend any meetings, except, those of course which are of executive session-level.
Singleton: Accurate media coverage is very important. Getting information out to the county population is a must. Transparency is always a big complaint from residents. People don’t always have time to attend meetings to learn the facts. With the virus outbreak, the news media is very important in getting the information out to the public. Having a close relationship with reporters ensures the information is available and reliable.