Connolly to run for third term as BoCo commissioner

By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey
Reader Staff

Jeff Connolly announced Jan. 24 that he is running for re-election for Bonner County commissioner in District 2.

“As a lifelong citizen of this county I see opportunities for the continuation of our longtime values, and opportunities for expanding and improving our quality of life,” Connolly said in a media release. “I will continue bringing forward viewpoints that reflect the best interests of our citizens.”

The 63-year-old Republican first ran for county office in 2016 after serving on the Priest River City Council. After a four-year term on the board, Connolly ran successfully again in 2020. 

Bonner County Commissioner Jeff Connolly. File photo.

Connolly stated that he has “witnessed large amounts of change” in Bonner County, “both good and unplanned,” during his lifetime. While some areas of county government have “improved” to accommodate this change, Connolly shared that he “believes there is room for progress that reflects Bonner County’s values and spectacular environment.”

Connolly’s goals as county commissioner include continuing to tackle land use issues, including revising the county’s Comprehensive Plan “through a collaborative process.”

“Citizen advisory committees are an important and necessary part of strong and suitable involvement that I respect and encourage,” Connolly said.

Connolly plans to work on property tax reform with Sen. Jim Woodward, R-Sagle, and Rep. Sage Dixon, R-Ponderay, with the aim of minimizing the impacts of growth. In addition, Connolly believes collaborating with municipalities to address concerns and ideas about growth “is paramount to the stability of the county.” 

“Growth is happening, and that growth should pay for the necessary upgrades to the county infrastructure and not be put on the backs of the longtime residents,” he said.

Also important to Connolly is fostering working relationships with other elected officials, county employees and his constituents.

“Listening to all points of view and responding as best I can is important to me and to our citizens,” he said. “I plan on keeping my door open and I will do my best to bring different needs and views toward the middle ground in a collaborative manner. 

“Government does not need to be intrusive,” he added, “but it does need to be inclusive.”

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