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Ned Tovey to be challenged by John Crowder in Bannock Commissioner race

East Idaho Elects

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POCATELLO — Incumbent Terrel “Ned” Tovey will be challenged in the Republican primary for his seat as a Bannock County Commissioner.

Pocatello-Chubbuck Observer owner John Crowder will look to unseat the two-term incumbent. sent the same eight questions to both candidates. Their unedited answers below were required to be 250 words or less.

The primary election is on May 17. The general election is on Nov. 8.

Tell us about yourself — include information about your family, career, education, volunteer work and any prior experience in public office.

TOVEY: I am a lifelong Idahoan, raised in Pocatello. I have been married to Serena (Llyod) Tovey from Marsh Valley for 14 years. We have two Kids, Taliesin (6) and Isabella (3).

I have served as a Bannock County commissioner for 2 terms. I have a Master of Public Administration and a B.A. from Idaho State University. I have served in the US Army Reserve for 20 years. I have deployed to Iraq (2005) and Afghanistan (2011). My awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and Combat Action Badge.

CROWDER: I have a broad range of work experience, having worked under a collective bargaining agreement, in ‘right to work,’ in corporate management, in the U.S. government, and owned/operated small businesses. This experience allows me to relate to and understand employee, management, government, and citizens’ concerns.

I’ve had experience managing budgets significantly greater than that of Bannock County’s $93.5M budget and led multiple departments with a large staff. I managed budgets of over $300 million and a staff of 130 people located in several countries and in the U.S. for American President Lines, Ltd.

I’ve owned small businesses including a private school, a consulting business, and an online news site.

I have a BS in Marine Transportation with a minor in Economics, a MS in Procurement & Contract Management, and studied contract law.

I am experienced in using process management tools associated with Quality initiatives to reduce costs while improving efficiency in operations.

What are your proudest accomplishments in your personal life or career?

TOVEY: My proudest personal accomplishment in my personal life is my family. My proudest career accomplishment is my two successful Combat Deployments and bringing my troops home.

CROWDER: My proudest accomplishments in my career are having increased efficiency while decreasing costs while a Director at American President Lines, Ltd., and a manager at ARCO Marine, Ltd. I was able to negotiate unique contracts that resulted in millions of dollars in cost savings while in these roles.

Why are you a member of the Republican / Democrat / Independent / Other party? Briefly explain your political platform.

TOVEY: I am a Republican because I believe in limited government, a belief in free markets, and respect for the rights of the individual. I believe that those conservative principles are the best way to have a free and prosperous society.

CROWDER: I am a Republican because I believe in the principles espoused by the Republican platform.

I believe, as our Founders did, that the purpose of government is to protect our rights, and that these rights come from God.

I am pro-life, pro-2A, and pro-Bill of Rights.

I believe in reducing government regulation and the size of government, thus reducing spending, and providing citizens with tax relief.

Please explain the role and responsibilities of the position you are running for?

TOVEY: The role of the County commissioners is the oversight of County budget, management of property, and all other duties as outlined in Idaho Code title 31 chapter 8.

CROWDER: Title 31 of Idaho Code lists the many duties of county commissioners. These functions must be carried out such that all citizens receive equal and fair treatment. Further, county operations must be managed efficiently, with minimal cost to the taxpayer.

Setting and managing the county budget is probably the most important function of the commissioners for our taxpaying Bannock County residents. Increases in county spending directly impact increases in property tax bills. Our excessive tax ask in Bannock County is harming our residents, both personally and by making us unattractive to businesses. Those on fixed incomes, some of our most vulnerable citizens, are particularly impacted as property taxes continue to spiral out of control.

If I am elected, I intend to reverse the trend of ever-higher spending and taxes, and I have the background necessary to get that done.

What are the greatest challenges facing your county

TOVEY: I believe that the biggest issue facing Bannock County is future planning needed to account for the problems of explosive growth, lack of housing, climbing property values and the dependency of property taxes for the county to support the required unfunded mandates of the state.

CROWDER: As noted above, the greatest challenge facing Bannock County is the excessive property tax burden.

How will you best represent the views of your constituents – even those with differing political views?

TOVEY: To listen to feedback opinions and views of the people of Bannock County. To make educated decisions with all available information while respecting rights of all people and limiting the intrusion of government.

CROWDER: In my campaign I promise that my votes will align with the principles that I espouse. All the residents of Bannock County should benefit from decreased spending and lower taxes, regardless of political affiliation.

I believe that the individual should decide how his or her hard-earned money should be spent, and I intend to work to ensure that residents keep more of their income, not hand it over to the government to decide what to do with it.

How can you encourage or improve relationships with cities and other municipal or educational entities within your jurisdiction?

TOVEY: You have to be willing to have a collaborative approach to government. This year, I have worked to create the East Idaho forensic lab at ISU. A partnership between Eastern Idaho County’s and ISU to provide autopsies for Eastern Idaho. This is an effort that required Counties, ISU, the legislature and the Governor’s office.

CROWDER: I am running to help the residents of Bannock County, and that is and will remain my priority. To the extent that the county can work with other jurisdictions to bring tax relief and the efficient delivery of necessary services to our residents, I am happy to do so.

What are your views on local and state media organizations. As an elected official how would you work with the media to help inform the public?

TOVEY: I believe that the media is a very important tool to communicate with the public. That is why Bannock County hired a Public Information Officer this year.

CROWDER: I am the owner of the online news site, the Pocatello-Chubbuck Observer. I have not experienced any significant problems obtaining information from government agencies with my news site, so I’m not aware of any difficulties that news organizations might be experiencing.

It is important that government actors be transparent in their actions. That includes providing press releases to media outlets, answering questions from reporters and providing information to and answering questions raised by government watchdog groups, such as Pocatello for Accountable Government Entities.