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  • Writer's pictureErin B.

Comments At Kootenai County Commissioners Business Meeting

Last week there was a complaint against Candlelight Christian Fellowship being used as a polling location. Nothing was decided until their legal counsel had a chance to go over the statutes and see what was legal to do in this case. This week the commissioners will be deciding the fate of that location for the general election on November 8, 2022.

I have sent an email to the commissioners and have read a shortened version of my email at the meeting. Once I am able to update this post I will include the October 4 discussion on this polling location.

My email to the Kootenai County Commissioners:

“[The “few” loud people who complain are] like chihuahuas with microphones. Same people that go from place to place, that, uh, basically, uh, disrupt.” Commissioner Bill Brooks said that during his July 14, 2021 interview for the Optional Forms of Government Study Commission.

I am going to take that quote and use it again here. Last week we heard a complaint by a person about using Candlelight Christian Fellowship as a polling location. This person said “I met with Kootenai County citizens who expressed their concern about one of the polling locations in their community the Candlelight Christian Fellowship. I know commissioners have been receiving emails from concerned citizens regarding this location and I urge you to take the time to go over these concerns.”

Let’s look at this for a second.

One. The person complaining at the meeting lives in Sandpoint and has absolutely nothing to do with Kootenai County politics, unless it’s helping divide the Kootenai County community by spouting hate and liberal democrat rhetoric…but any of her opinions should be thrown out because again, she does not live in the county, let alone in precinct 403 or 405. She is also an active member of Idaho 0.97 and Reclaim Idaho, of which is a political action committee that one of the current county commissioners donates to monthly.

The other person who stood up to complain about Candlelight at last week's meeting is someone you all know: the longtime girlfriend of Chris Fillios’s campaign treasurer and a current Kootenai County Planning & Zoning Commissioner…who also does NOT live in the precincts in question. So again, her opinions should be thrown out.

All this should have been said in last week’s meeting for FULL transparency of the situation, but I believe, in my opinion, that these details were left out intentionally for the sake of the fear mongering talking point that could be flushed through the community by the CDA Trash Press.

Second. Let’s take a look at those 35 complaints that came in RIGHT before last week’s meeting; the ones that made Bill Brooks and Chris Fillios want to drop everything and change the polling location immediately before doing any due diligence. Those complaints, mind you, were only emailed to Brooks and Fillios, not Leslie Duncan unless someone filled out the website contact form. Why is that? Any legitimate complaints should go to ALL commissioners if there’s no agenda behind it, right?

All legitimate concerns should be handled appropriately and with care; my problem is that only FIVE of the complaints actually came from people living in precinct 403 or 405. You did receive complaints from current democratic Idaho state representative candidates, however which, running for state positions, both candidates should have already been aware of the legality of moving a precinct without precedent between a primary and general election. You also received another 28 complaints from the normal ilk of Kootenai County liberal progressive activism trying to pass off the ”complaints” as legitimate precinct concerns. The small roving group is what I think of when Bill Brooks calls the loud ones “chihuahuas with microphones.”

I do not want to discount the concerns of the 5 legitimate complaints that have come in; 4 of the 5 were registered democrat and typically get their ballot by mail anyway. I did my own due diligence for you, you’re welcome, into these precincts and after speaking with *actual* residents in both precincts here’s the general concern about the polling location:

  1. Residents are fine with using Candlelight as a polling location and the *majority* in the precincts vote on election day.

  2. The residents that DO use Candlelight on election day go through a side entrance directly into the gym to vote and leave the same way.

  3. The voters have only ever seen the polling employees from the Clerk’s office, not church employees.

  4. Residents are concerned with moving the polling location to United Methodist Church, more because it will be the 4th time in 2 years that the location has moved, but there were some conversations from residents about Pride in the Park and child grooming drag shows that could have gone into longer conversations if I wasn’t already pressed for time. These were residents’ concerns, I am just relaying those from people who are afraid to raise their concerns for fear of being targeted for political harassment.

There were definitely more than 5 residents I spoke with in each precinct.

For full transparency, I am a member of Candlelight Christian Fellowship, and they recently helped my family during our house fire, but I am also a resident of precinct 406. Candlelight was my polling location, and before that it was Lake City High School, and before that it was United Methodist Church. Now my polling location is Heart of the City Church. That’s FOUR different polling locations in 2 years. I am an expert doorknocker and know all the houses up and down my block and I have spoken with about 75 households; 95% of them complained when our location was moved for a 4th time. They also had no problems using Candlelight as their polling location. They were more concerned about the competency of those making the decisions to move polling spots again but understood that for us it was because our precinct maps changed, nothing more. The residents in precincts 403 and 405 don’t have that same excuse. This time there *may* be a change because the “chihuahuas with microphones” who don’t live there want to try and change polling locations from one politically active church to another. At this point I think you should remove ALL polling locations from churches because there will always be someone complaining about ideological differences.

No, in my opinion this sudden uproar is a targeting of an institution that has done nothing but help the community but because it doesn’t align with a particular set of political ideals it has become the boogey man of the liberal democrat community. In Bill Brooks’ own words with one minor change, “Those thugs want to deny the rest of the 403 and 405 precincts the opportunity to express their opinion.”

Candlelight Christian Fellowship needs to stay as a polling location not only because it gives consistency for those using it to vote, but also because they do not charge the county for its use, and those who actually use it as a polling place have had no fears or problems against the organization that graciously allows the county to use its property.

One last note. At last week’s meeting, Commissioner Fillios said that the only reason he did NOT put the Optional Forms of Government question on the ballot was because he didn’t want to divide the community further. But his comments during his study commission interview was the exact opposite saying “It is [the study commission’s] decision. You will do the analysis and [Bill Brooks and I] will abide by your decision.” Which statement was a lie?

Thank you.


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