(Times-News (Twin Falls, ID) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) May 11--FAIRFIELD -- Camas County voters will be asked May 20 to keep two incumbent county commissioners or replace them with two former commissioners.
Barbara McMurdo faces challenger Bill Davis in the Republican primary for District 1, and Commissioner Janet Croner is being challenged by Rob Chapman for District 2.
Davis was a commissioner for 12 years before losing to McMurdo in 2012.
After serving more than a decade, Davis said, he burned out. But he said he's spent the past two years "recharging his batteries."
"I just thought I could do something better," Davis said.
His main goal would be to improve communication between the commission and public. Rather than merely posting meeting minutes, he would like to see scheduled office hours for the public to visit with commissioners.
McMurdo owns the Camas Creek Country Store. She also has experience as treasurer of the local Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the rodeo committee.
"I'm trying to bring honesty, fairness and integrity back to the taxpayers of Camas County," she said. "And it is definitely a work in progress."
She said she hopes to jump-start local construction work by lowering building permit fees and to capitalize on the area's recreation and tourism.
"I don't want it to be the next Sun Valley by any means ... but I do want it to be prosperous for what we have to offer people," she said.
McMurdo said voters should consider her for her experience in business.
"I'm well aware of taxpayer money, and I think the government needs to be run as a business."
Ron Chapman also comes with 12 years of experience on the commission. Croner took his place in 2010.
Like Davis, Chapman said he was burned out by the time he lost his seat and did not campaign hard. But he said problems with the county's budget have spurred him to run again.
The commissioners gave pay raises last year, Chapman said, but had to retract them later in the year.
"They haven't been able to afford raises. People need money to live on."
Croner said budget issues have been problematic in the past, but the county's finances have gotten better.
"It was a hardship," she said. "But presently, we are in a better position financially."
Croner said she wants to promote the county's recreational and tourist attractions by spending her next term collaborating with Fairfield and expanding marketing.
The county, however, must address its aging bridges, she said. State officials have forced the county to close three bridges but have not provided resources to repair them, she said. That means the county must begin finding grants and other funds to reopen those bridges.
"I've always felt like I was the candidate for the people," she said. "I want to hear people's problems. Call me at any time. I want to hear from them."
Times-News reporter Brian Smith contributed to this report.
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