I never aspired to public office. Having been a professional lobbyist and Political Action Committee "guy" since 1984, the prospect of being on the other side of the table should send shudders down my spine. However, here I am as a candidate for elective office in an election to be held November 4, 2008...a date most pundits suggest is the "most important election of our time" though its importance has nothing to do with me frankly. I am grateful to be unopposed in my election to serve a four-year term on the Board of Trustees of the relatively new College of Western Idaho.
I am often amazed at the naivete and/or ignorance of voters in general, and I have frankly been even more incredulous that many people I know don't realize that:
1. There IS a college in the Treasure Valley, and
2. that Trustees have to run for election.
In Idaho, a state with about 1.3 million people, the most challenging elections from a "numbers game" would be a statewide race or a congressional district. Next to one of those, running for the CWI Board encompasses the largest potential block of voters in Idaho! The two most populous counties (Ada and Canyon) with a combined population of perhaps 600,000 people votes at large in this election. What can the Trustees do? Make a considerable difference in the future of the valley through education, work force training, and economic development which seem especially critical at this juncture when the economy may be faltering. Cynically, some suggest our major role is to impose property taxes on the public which is an unfortunately short-sighted view.
I am also disappointed in the media for the most part for missing the importance of this election. The Idaho Press Tribune is an admirable exception to this because they have covered the races in Board elections carefully, interviewed candidates, hosted candidate forums, posted information on their website. The rest of the media has been indifferent at best. If you are interested in this election and want to learn more about the candidates for the Board of Trustees, you should visit the Idaho Press Tribune at: http://www.idahopress.com/elections/
I'm actually enjoying part of the process which is talking to people about the college. But, I have it easy....I'm unopposed!