FACT VS FICTION — LOCKWOOD KICKS OFF ELECTION CAMPAIGN

On September 28th, Dan’s opponent announced his run for election in the Sandpoint Daily Bee. The announcement raised considerable concern in the local social media community because it contains several items that deserved some clarification. A comprehensive response was given by local, Anita Aurit, who simply wanted to set the record straight. What follows is Anita’s post.

Note: We welcomed a response from Mr. Lockwood in the social media group called: Sandpoint Soapbox. However, no response has been given as of this writing by Mr. Lockwood because he refuses to participate in public online discussions in spite of several requests from citizens of Bonner County to communicate in open dialog. 

FACT VS FICTION

We saw our opponent’s announcement in the Bee yesterday and noted a number of statements that were absolutely incorrect so we thought it would be a good idea to make the corrections for him

Mr. Lockwood opens claiming fiscal responsibility and transparency are key parts to his campaign.

Fact: His record on the Sandpoint City Council shows anything but fiscal responsibility and more about tax and spend. He also recently was challenged to take questions on a public forum on Facebook and refused to do so. Maybe Mr. Lockwood doesn’t understand the definition of fiscal responsibility and transparency or maybe he is just trying to mislead the public?

Mr. Lockwood says he decided to run to create “jobs that pay well, housing for working families, transparency and representation on a number of concerns, including the proposed smelter, Rock Creek mine, and dangerous intersections.”

Fact: Bonner County Commissioners don’t have the authority to create good paying jobs, nor are the Commissioners developers that are going to create housing, in fact, Mr. Lockwood is against private property rights and would rather have a big government apparatus control what property owners do on their property. He claims again to be for transparency yet when pushed during the campaign, he refuses to be transparent. Commissioners have no authority over issues outside of the County that include the proposed smelter in Washington and the Rock Creek Mine in Montana. Either Mr. Lockwood doesn’t understand the Bonner County Commissioners authority or he is trying to mislead the public?

Mr. Lockwood claims “Current commissioners have not tracked departmental expenses monthly and half of purchases over $5,000 are not preapproved, as required, Lockwood said in the press release. Central purchasing accounts for only about 10 percent of purchases. Tax hikes and service cuts result.

Fact: The Commissioners look at most spending daily or at the least weekly and purchases over $5,000 are preapproved by the Commissioner over the department before getting final approval at our weekly business meeting. While it is true that the procurement position created by Commissioner McDonald has only seen about 10% of the purchase go through that department, that 10% has saved taxpayers over $600,000. Additionally, what Mr. Lockwood doesn’t tell you is of the 90% that did not go through procurement, a good percentage are contract purchases or unique purchases that procurement can’t show a savings on. Commissioner McDonald is also on the record as mandating all purchases be signed off by Procurement after learning of the issue.

Fact: While there was an increase in taxes, Mr. Lockwood knows it was due to the 10% inflation rate the County realized. With that, the County had to take the 3% and make up the difference in the inflation rate via additional budget cuts. Additionally, NO SERVICES HAVE BEEN CUT due to the two consecutive years of successful budget trimming. Again, either Mr. Lockwood doesn’t understand purchasing, budgets or services or he is purposely misleading the public?

Mr. Lockwood claims the “County has reduced hours at some solid waste sites and some may be closed. Others are receiving expensive upgrades. This has led Lockwood to ask whether residents are receiving the best, most cost-effective service.”

Fact: We reduce hours/days on a few more rural solid waste sites in the off season. Solid waste seasonally tracks the number of visitors so we know when it’s prudent to save tax payers money with reduced staffing and hours. Solid waste is completely funded by fees and therefor is not affected by our budget reduction. The Commissioners take the responsibility with the public’s tax and fee monies seriously and do not want to waste the public’s money when the demand is dramatically lower. Is Mr. Lockwood advocating for wasting public funds here or is he just once again trying to mislead the public?

The upgrades discussed are to improve the solid waste sites to avoid any environmental issues and to make their use easier for the public. Is Mr. Lockwood not concerned about the environment or again, is he just trying to mislead the public?

Mr. Lockwood states “The Road and Bridge Department reportedly has been cut by about $250,000.

“Will snowplowing suffer this winter?” asks Lockwood.

Fact: Classic fear tactic based in a “what if” scenario that won’t happen. Last year the cut to Road and Bridge was far more significant yet the County Road and Bridge department did a fantastic job at plowing. In most cases, all 780 miles of County maintained road were plow within 24 hours. Further, Mr. Lockwood should know that the first priority in the new budget year for Road and Bridge is snow plowing as the budget year starts on October 1. There is no separate budget for snow plowing it’s part of the Road and Bridge general budget but again, he is trying to create fear with no supporting information. In fact, he knows he’s wrong and is clearly and purposely misleading the public.

Mr. Lockwood goes on to state “The County should also be much more open and transparent, Lockwood said.

“It’s hard to learn when meetings are happening, what is being discussed and why it matters,” he said. “Meetings should be live-streamed, recorded and on the website. This represents a glaring lack of customer service.”

Fact: The County follows notification requirements as laid out by State Statute. The County also goes above and beyond to post on the website as well as having a Commissioners Facebook site where postings are made as well. Mr. Lockwood knows this but once again is purposely trying to mislead the public.

Once again, if Mr. Lockwood’s concern is regarding transparency, why is it he refuses to be transparent, not wanting to take questions in an open public forum on Facebook but rather to only take questions on his campaign Facebook site and website where he can erase and ignore the tough questions he seems to be dodging?

All in all, it appears Mr. Lockwood either doesn’t know much about the Commissioners job even though he has spent a great deal of time at the building, or he hasn’t have much to run on and is only interested in purposely misleading the public. Is this the kind of person you want handling your tax dollars?

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