Dan R. Dinning
• Party affiliation: Republican
• Age: 66 years
• Profession: Boundary County commissioner
• Educational background: Completed 2 years University of Idaho
• How many years as a Bonners Ferry resident: 66 years
• Marital status: Married to Mary G. Dinning; will be 46 years this year.
• Family: 3 children, 5 grandchildren
• Hobbies: Sports, hunting and fishing, any outdoor activity.
- I would continue to serve the citizens of Boundary County in the methodical, pragmatic decision-making process I have always followed. I will continue providing the full-time effort that is necessary for the improvement of our community.
- Growth – We live in a wonderful place, but now we have been discovered.
Forest health – we need to manage the national forest to reduce the risk of catastrophic forest fire to adjoining private lands. A byproduct of this management is providing raw materials for the Forest Products sector of our community.
Infrastructure – Roads and bridges are old and especially the bridges. There are five bridges that have been listed as needing some form of repair or have significant restrictions.
- Growth – is a function of the private sector. A government that tries to limit or stop growth is going to do so by taking away rights. Lack of water is now slowing new growth. I would love to have this community as it was when I was much younger. But that would entail no paved roads, no sewer treatment facilities, a dump that was always on fire and blowing rancid smoke to the northside. All these improvements in these things occurred because of growth that could pay for it. I don’t have a solution, but just locking the gate is not feasible.
Infrastructure – We cannot propose the taxes it would take to replace and repair the roads and bridges that need attention. We must improve them by obtaining federal or state monies designed for that specific purpose. These roads and bridges move our agricultural and forest products. Growth creates the need for additional emergency services. All emergency services need monies to upgrade or to just maintain where they are.
Forest health – It has amazed me at how little attention by candidates that logging, sawmills and the health of the National Forest has received. The forest products industry and the jobs that it supports, is a large part of this community. They need the raw materials. I have made it my goal to support them by being involved with anything that would promote forest health and wildfire reduction. About 10 or 12 years ago I, and another member of the community, submitted a proposal to a panel in Salt Lake for an additional $12 million to fund more work on the Bonners Ferry Ranger District. It was accepted, and in conjunction with the Kootenai Valley Resource Initiative, our local collaborative, this forest has now put out over 200 million board feet of timber to help support the forest products industry in Boundary County. This has all been done without litigation or appeal of any of the projects. These efforts must continue and it needs to be led by Boundary County.
- Impact fees to a degree already exist. A new road brought into the system must meet our existing standards. Utilities are the responsibility of the developer. All tools must be considered when we are dealing with infrastructure needs. Would it add additional cost to new construction, what occurs in a downward turn in the economy if these are pledged to service debt? I would need to see an analysis of the effect of such a fee. As I have said many times, I am pragmatic about making decisions and would need to evaluate this more before I can commit either way. This would need to be voter approved for me to feel comfortable about it.
- Yes, I do. If I didn’t, I would be working with the other commissioners to address changes.
- When I was elected, I made an agreement with myself that I would do all that I could to learn everything I could, to be educated and experienced enough to address any issue that might arise for a citizen. Because of my years of experience, I have become knowledgeable in where and who to contact for help with many different issues. This comes by experience and is learned over many years.
- The knowledge of the candidates in dealing with all the state and federal agencies. It is important that a keen awareness exists to question the agencies and their representatives when they are engaging the community. The example of the potential designation of hundreds of thousands of acres of National Forest for caribou critical habitat comes to mind. Knowing who to go to for help caused U.S. Fish and Wildlife to only designate a few thousand acres in Boundary County.
- The area that has generated the largest interest is the ARPA monies ($1.1 million) that we have received. There is a group that wants us to send it back yesterday and not even consider it. We have the monies in a trust account sitting, earning interest that we get to keep. Not one penny has been spent or pledged to be spent. There were some concerns raised about the strings attached and we have asked our legal council to investigate those and report back to us. If we choose to keep it, we have two years to determine what to spend it on and four years to use it.
- Are you able to devote the time and energy necessary to become knowledgeable with the agencies, and develop personal relationships with the representatives of each agency and non-government organization that interact with Boundary County?
This is what I have excelled at on behalf of Boundary County. Developing relationships at the local, state and federal levels. This also includes the government of British Columbia and non-government organizations (conservation organizations). It takes years and even decades of effort to develop trust with individuals and organizations. It is not easy and all is being done for the benefit of Boundary County residents.
- When I was elected the citizens expected me to become knowledgeable regarding everything that Boundary County may face. Over years of experience and efforts I have dealt with most of the issues that arise with government. I experienced the growth and increase in housing costs in the early 2000s and lived through the subsequent crash. I have extensive knowledge in all aspects of county government. We have some challenging times coming and I have the temperament and experience to guide Boundary County forward.
This has never been about me; it has been about WE. My friends and neighbors have always been on the forefront of my actions from day one. Taking care of our community has always been first, and I hope it will always be done the Boundary County Way.
This is a crucial election for the continuation of the culture of our county. Please vote.