Shayne Young and Brian Farnsworth face off in Jefferson County commissioner race
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RIGBY – Shayne Young and Brian Farnsworth are facing off in Jefferson County’s District 1 Commissioner race.
EastIdahoNews.com sent the same eight questions to each county commission candidate. Their responses, listed below, were required to be 250 words or less.
More information on Young can be found on Facebook.
Tell us about yourself — include information about your family, career, education, volunteer work and any prior experience in public office.
Young: I am a life long Jefferson County Resident. I grew up in Rigby, lived 26 years in Lewisville where I raised my family, and now reside in Labelle where I have lived for the past 14 years. I have been married for nearly 43 years. We have 5 children and 3 grandchildren.
My education has been in the electrical engineering field. I graduated from Ricks College and have attended the University of Idaho for several years.
I served a mission to the Paris, France mission and served in several other ecclesiastical callings including being a Bishop at Brigham Young University-Idaho. I have served as the Jefferson County Commissioner in District one for the past 16 months.
Farnsworth: I am Brian Farnsworth. I was born in Rigby and grew up in the little town of Ucon. I am a graduate of Bonneville High School. I served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Jackson, Mississippi.
I married Tammy May from Dubois. We have been married for 37 years. We have 5 children and 12 grandchildren. I own and run my own business and have done so for 23 years. I served as Jefferson county commissioner from 2013 to 2019.
What are your proudest accomplishments in your personal life or career?
Young: The proudest accomplishment is having raised 5 children together with my wife, which is not an easy thing to do in today’s world.
In my career, my greatest accomplishment is having been able to participate in launching the first large real-time data system for water management for the Bureau of Reclamation, Pacific Northwest Division and then bringing that technology to the State of Idaho. Also, I was able to participate in the launching of the current Agrimet program for the Bureau of Reclamation, which real-time data gives farmers the ability to better schedule their irrigation needs.
In 2001, I then started my own company and continue to provide service and installations in the real-time data market as well as branching out to the automation of canals and dams. Most of this business is with canal companies and different government entities.
Farnsworth: My wife and kids and grand kids are my proudest accomplishment. My successful business comes in as No. 2.
Briefly explain your political platform, and/or legislative goals if you are elected to office.
Young: I will continue to build a spirit of trust, harmony and common goals for the county. I believe these goals should be to update our ordinances by working with the residents of the county, communities in the county, the Planning and Zoning Department, as well as the Planning and Zoning board.
Currently, I have a great relationship with our current legislators and they have been instrumental in stopping legislation that would have hurt Jefferson County. I will continue to build relationships with other legislators so that Jefferson County will be protected from unfunded mandates, as well as working with them to help create the funds we need from the state for the maintenance of our roads.
Farnsworth: If elected, I plan on working on the county debt. I would like to see Jefferson County debt-free.
We need to work on infrastructure as well. Our failing road system is in dire need of work.
Budget is a priority. It’s very important to stay within your budget while still providing all the essential services to the county patrons.
Continue to work with the cities to improve our county as a whole. Continue to treat and spend our tax dollars wisely and within the budget. And as before, always working to move the county forward.
What are the greatest challenges facing your county?
Young: Without question, the growth in Jefferson county is the greatest challenge. We are the second-fastest-growing county in the fastest-growing state per capita. We must continue to be diligent with our budget so services to our residents are still provided at the current levels and improved where possible. We must have the vision to accommodate the growth so our infrastructure can accommodate the businesses that will be coming to Jefferson County.
We must also plan to modernize the roads which will be necessary to provide efficient access to the different areas in our county.
Farnsworth: The greatest challenge facing our county is the growth we are experiencing. We need to be proactive not only for residential but for school locations and for business locations. We need to grow in an organized manner.
How is your experience better suited to dealing with these unique challenges than your competitor?
Young: I believe that my education, as well as my business experience with different government agencies, provides me the type of vision that is needed for Jefferson County. I have been involved with technology throughout my career that has changed how departments do business and will be able to help Jefferson County adapt as different technologies are sure to be part of our future.
Working with different government entities over my career has helped me gain insight in fostering relationships with different government agencies.
Farnsworth: I have six years experience. The tough, legal decisions I had to make throughout those years were based solely on integrity while following the rules and laws set forth by the county with no regard to favoritism.
How will you best represent the views of your constituents – even those with differing political views?
Young: On a county level, differing views can provide various effective solutions, and often there is a compromise that can meet the needs of all those involved. I do believe that there is talent among the residents that can be utilized to help those of us in office. We must be available to listen to everyone so we can work together to find the best solutions. Regardless of political affiliation, working together as citizens, not members of political parties, is the best way to work towards a unified county.
Farnsworth: By setting my personal preferences aside and taking all points of view into consideration, decisions will be made that will be of the greatest value and benefit to the county.
How do you plan to improve relationships with other elected officials in your county and with state legislative officials?
Young: We are very lucky in Jefferson County to have excellent elected officials. My job is to continue to learn and understand what they do so I can support them. Many times, on a county-level, their direction and support for me have been greatly appreciated.
I know and respect our state legislators and I do have excellent relationships with them. They have always been available to listen to me anytime I’ve needed to talk with them. They have helped us avert legislation that would not have been good for our county. My goal will be to continue a harmonious relationship and continue to communicate with them for the best interests of our county.
Farnsworth: Building relationships with other elected officials and state representatives comes with honest, open communication. Listening to all viewpoints and working in unison on programs that will have a positive outcome for the county and the residents.
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?
Young: I feel it is our duty to work hand in hand with the media to disseminate important information out to the county in a timely manner. I believe it is important to be acquainted with local members of the media so the communication lines are open.
Farnsworth: The media is important to all organizations. Working with the reporters whenever possible is of great value to the county residents to provide them with valuable news on issues that could affect their lives. By working with reporters, you can help assure that the facts are correct and that people are properly informed. When honest, the media can become your greatest ally.