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KIFI/KIDK Voter Guide: Ernie Moser

202 Voter Guide Ernie Moser head shot
Ernie Moser

BANNOCK COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Three men are facing off for Bannock County Commissioner District One. Among them is incumbent Ernie Moser.

Moser was elected as the District One Bannock County Commissioner in 2018. Before then, he served as the Mayor of Inkom and on the Inkom City Council. During his time as County Commissioner, he served on the Board of Equalization during the 2019 property tax hike and heard hundreds of tax appeals. He currently serves as the Bannock County representative on the Southeastern Idaho Public Health Board, which is leading the district’s Covid-19 response.

Why are you running for Bannock County Commissioner, District One?

Moser: “Just those facts. Since I’ve started, I’ve learned more about what this position is. There’s great things going on in Bannock County. You look at the Event Center. We’ve gotten our contract back on it so we have control of concerts and concessions, so great things are starting to happen there. High school rodeo, there’s confusion about it this year. They’ve just sent us a letter and agreed to be there for two more years. The events and activities up there are exceptional. 

This year, we’ve given the Fair Board more opportunities, and they’re going to take care of the Downey Fairgrounds, but it’s a Bannock County fair. We put new bleachers in there, tore out the old bleachers. We’ve allowed them to now take control of employees and everything else to make that facility better. 

Taxation--we’ve been working hard. Like I said, last year in the BOE, we had 3,000 appeals. This year, we had 1,000 appeals. But last year the legislature, when they went back into session, had to designate more funds for Bannock County for the appeals. This year we had 5 appeals go on from us to the state, which means the commissioners worked real hard to satisfy those 1,000 appeals we had. So it’s a work in progress. 

Then when it comes down to property taxes, we’re going over our budget line-by-line. From what I’ve heard, before the commissioner would get a budget and sign it. We’re going over it line-by-line to be accountable to every citizen for the moneys we spend and the projects we approve. 

There’s just so many more things going on. This is a great county. We have wonderful employees. When I first came into office, we were getting complaints that it was taking three months or longer to get a building permit. Now, we’re passing a building permit within five days generally. We’re serving the people of Bannock County. 

The other thing I promised when I was elected is that we would open up communication with the cities in the south end. The county doesn’t stop at the gap. We’ve been to each of those cities and had a community meeting, and then Covid hit. But during Covid--it was weekly but now it’s every other week--we hold a telephone conference with all the mayors. The four members of the legislature and the two members of the senate are all invited to that meeting. Then after that meeting, we have a conference call with all the surrounding county commissioners. So information is fluid. 

What issues would you focus on if you’re re-elected?

“This county is growing, but we’ve got to do it the right way so it benefits people. Each city needs to have a seat at the table to make sure their goals meet the county goals. I use the analogy that we hate paving a road and then tearing it up because we have a sewer line we have to put it. We don’t want to do that. We need to develop these partnerships so we don’t have to dig the road up, if we put all the infrastructure in first and then we go ahead and pave the road.

You’ve mentioned community growth, do you have any specifics on how you would manage it in the long term?

“We’re generating a new comprehensive plan, and that should be ready in the next month. We’re also looking at all of our ordinances. Do they help? Do they hinder? What was the purpose of it, and is the purpose still vital? Or have we grown? Have we changed? Is technology different?

Is there an ordinance you can use as an example?

In the county, your parcel has to be a 5-acre parcel to put a house on it or a building on it. And as you get further out in different areas of the county, there’s a 40-acre rule, which means you have to have 40-acres of ground to have a building right on it. In doing so, we have people who have their houses all together, but the area outside isn’t taken care of. They own it, but what do they do with it? So let’s plan that out better.

Article Topic Follows: Bannock County Races

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Emma Iannacone

Emma is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.


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