Promoting county interests, advocating good public policy
and providing education to Idaho's county officials

2018 IAC Candidate Profiles

During the IAC Annual Conference, members will have the opportunity to vote for the IAC Secretary/Treasurer, WIR Representative, and NACo Representative. Each candidate has been asked to fill out a profile in order for the members to get to know them better before the election. Please scroll down to view all of the profiles.

IAC Secretary/Treasurer

  • Kathy Ackerman, Idaho County Clerk

NACo Representative

  • Gordon Cruickshank, Valley County Commissioner

WIR Representative

  • Wayne Butts, Custer County Commissioner
  • Dotti Owens, Ada County Coroner
  • Rick Winkel, Clearwater County Commissioner

Candidate for IAC Secretary/Treasurer

Kathy Ackerman

Idaho County Clerk

Summarize your background and how it relates to the position you are seeking.

With the exception of a few years after high school, Grangeville has been my lifelong home. As such, I have had many opportunities to lead and serve in our small community. I have held leadership positions all of my life through high school, into college and on in to adulthood.

I am a long time employee of Idaho County with more than 30 years of public service under my belt.  My ten years of work experience in District Court prepared me well for a position as Civil Deputy with the Sheriff’s Office.  That position afforded me the opportunity to pursue teaching for Idaho POST, where I taught Instructor Development and achieved the level of Master Instructor.  The retirement of Rose Gehring in 2011 opened the door for me to pursue a new level of service as the Idaho County Clerk, a position I have held since that time.

I am a “sit in the front of the class” type of person.  I enjoy being engaged and active.  I like working with others to get things done.  IAC has provided numerous opportunities for me to grow in knowledge and experience, to meet people and form valuable friendships, and to utilize my talents in a broader arena.

List participation and years of participation in any IAC Committees, the IAC Board of Directors and any leadership positions in affiliate organizations.

  • 2012-2013-IAC District II Secretary/Treasurer
  • 2013-2014-IAC District II President
  • 2014-2016-IAC District II Secretary/Treasurer
  • 2014-2015-IACC Secretary/Treasurer
  • 2015-2016-IACC Vice President
  • 2016-2017-IACC President
  • 2017-2018-IACC Immediate Past President
  • 2013-Current IAC Board of Directors Representing IACRC & IACC as Immediate Past President
  • 2014-Current IAC Ethics Committee Chair

Briefly state your reasons for seeking the position and any other qualifications that might be an asset to IAC.

I was raised with the directive that if you have something to give, you’d better be giving it.  I have tried to use the gifts and talents I’ve been given in ways that are productive and beneficial to the organizations I belong to, to my community and constituents, and to the small sliver of the world that intersects with my life.  I do want to be someone who makes a difference.

I have many years of experience in teaching in both a professional (Idaho POST) and personal (church youth group) setting.  I enjoy working to find new and creative ways to engage and encourage people.  My position on the Ethics Committee has afforded me opportunities to develop short lessons that bring an important topic back to the forefront.  I have received very positive feedback on these efforts and am encouraged that the IAC membership has found value in a renewed emphasis on ethics.

Additionally, I have experience on the IAC Board of Directors.  Coming into this position with an understanding how the board functions and interacts with IAC staff, the roles and responsibilities of the Board and Executive Committee, and the responsibility of the Board to the general IAC membership would definitely shorten the learning curve and allow for more efficiency and productivity in the work of the overall organization.

I have given considerable thought to pursuing this position.  I have discussed it with my husband, my children (two adults and one still at home), my staff and the County Commissioners.  I feel that I have the support of the people who will be most impacted by moving forward to this higher level of service and leadership.

List NACo/IAC events/conferences/meetings that you have participated in the last four years.

My father’s fragile health prohibited me from attending the NACo conferences I had hoped to attend as an officer for IACC.  His death in late September 2017 kept me from attending the last IAC Annual Conference and Board Meeting.  Otherwise, I have attended every IAC conference offered to me for the past 4 years with the exception of the IACRC Conference in McCall 3 years ago, which I missed due to excessive fires burning in Idaho County.  I have also attended all IAC District II meetings during the past 4 years.

Candidate for NACo Representative

Gordon Cruickshank

Valley County Commissioner

Summarize your background and how it relates to the position you are seeking.

I started working for Valley County in the Road Department and was there 16 years with the last 10 years as the Road Superintendent. When a prior commissioner resigned I was appointed to the commissioner seat. I have been involved with the Secure Rural Schools funding while at the Road Department, became involved with PILT funding as a commissioner, I was the appointed representative for Counties, Cities and Highway Districts on Governor Otter’s Transportation Task Force to look at future funding for Transportation and I am a current member of the National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition who advocate for SRS funding to help offset the lack of Timber Receipts. I was one of five commissioners to assist Congressman Labrador with a possible Community Forest Trust to provide an alternative for Public Lands Management. I believe this helped create the Good Neighbor Authority currently being used to manage timber lands in Idaho. I have also testified numerous times to Congressional Committees on EPA regulations, Public Land Management and SRS and PILT funding.

List participation and years of participation in any IAC Committees, the IAC Board of Directors and any leadership positions in affiliate organizations.

Since 2008 and currently I am the IAC District 3 Rep for the Legislative Committee. I am a member of the Public Lands and Transportation Committees. I served as the IAC board WIR Representative from 2010 to 2016. I currently serve as the IAC board NACo Representative. I served on the IAC By-Laws sub-committee twice when it was reviewed for updates.

Briefly state your reasons for seeking the position and any other qualifications that might be an asset to IAC.

As a representative of IAC to NACo you provide another avenue of knowledge and information to be shared with your fellow elected officials. As changes are made Nationally and Statewide this helps see the potential benefits or impacts to Counties in Idaho. I hope my involvement provides a voice for IAC at the meetings. I travel to Washington D C every year to advocate for SRS and PILT funding along with a variety of other issues. My voice is your voice to tell Idaho’s story of county government.

List NACo/IAC events/conferences/meetings that you have participated in the last four years.

Since elected I have attended all IAC conferences and all but one IACC conference. I also attend many meetings of the IAC Legislative Committee and have testified to the State Legislature on various topics including transportation funding and Public Land Management.

Since 2010 I have attended all NACo Annual and Legislative Conferences, several NACo Board Meetings and missed a few due to illness or family emergency. I have been requested to attend several State Association Conferences outside of Idaho to speak about issues. They include Alaska, Montana, South Dakota and Washington. I have attended all NACo WIR Annual Conferences and attended all but one WIR Fall Board meeting. I served in the leadership of WIR and was President of WIR from May 2015 to May 2016. In 2017 I was elected by the 15 Western States of NACo to be the West Region Representative and to serve on the NACo Executive Board of Directors. This position provides more insight into the workings of county government which I attempt to bring back to the counties of Idaho to help us grow and be the best we can be.

 

Candidate for WIR Representative

Wayne Butts

Custer County Commissioner

Summarize your background and how it relates to the position you are seeking.

As Commissioner and Chair of IAC Public Lands, I have had to work with the Forest, BLM, Fish and Game, and Fish and Wildlife to help people resolve problems and find solutions to problems, even if it meant going to Washington, D.C. I feel I am respected on both sides. I am the voice for those who are afraid to speak.

List participation and years of participation in any IAC Committees, the IAC Board of Directors and any leadership positions in affiliate organizations.

Since I took office, I have sat on the Public Lands, which I Vice Chaired before becoming Chair. I have also sat on the Transportation and Intergovernmental Affairs Committees. I have been on the IAC Board of Directors since being appointed to fill the WIR position.

Briefly state your reasons for seeking the position and any other qualifications that might be an asset to IAC.

As chair of IAC’s Public Lands Committee, I feel that it is my responsibility to be informed of the issues not only affecting Idaho but the Western United States.

List NACo/IAC events/conferences/meetings that you have participated in the last four years.

WIR Annual, Sun Valley, 2018

WIR Annual, Sun River, 2017

WIR Annual, Wyoming, 2016

NACo Legislative Conference, Washington, D.C., 2018

Commissioner Meeting with White House, June 2018

NACo Annual Conference, Nashville, TN, 2018

Candidate for WIR Representative

Dotti Owens

Ada County Coroner

Summarize your background and how it relates to the position you are seeking.

I was raised in a small Idaho county, later receiving my Bachelor’s degrees in CJ and Anthropology (minor) from BSU and my Master’s Degree of Criminal Justice Admin from ASU. I value education and have put it to work! For the last four years I have served Ada County as the elected Coroner. During this time I have been responsible for my offices statutorily and budgetary obligations. While maintaining fiscal responsibility, I have brought our office to a new era. The Ada County Coroner’s office is NAME and IAC&ME one of only three offices in the nation. While I have worked hard to develop this office, I have felt a responsibility to elevate the standards in other areas as well. I am fortunate to live in a prospering county; I realize that other counties don’t have the same opportunities. I developed a grant that now pays for other counties to come to our office and learn from us. This takes the financial burden from the other counties and allows them to learn from the fastest paced office in the state. At the same time, it brings our states standards to higher level. This is the goal I would like to achieve with this position as well. Thank you.

List participation and years of participation in any IAC Committees, the IAC Board of Directors and any leadership positions in affiliate organizations.

IAC:  

Health and Human Services Committee – Present

Legislative Committee, Coroner Representative – 2015 – Present

Justice and Public Safety Committee – 2016 – 2017

District III Representative — 2016

Idaho State Association of County Coroners:

Vice President, Executive Board Member           2017 – Present

Education Committee Chair  2017 & 2018 to Present

Board Member                      2016 – Present

Legislative Representative     2015 – Present

Secretary                               2016 – 2017

Education Committee                        2015 – Present

Education Committee Chair Present

Briefly state your reasons for seeking the position and any other qualifications that might be an asset to IAC.

I have been the Ada County Coroner for the last 4 years. I have extensive knowledge of how county government works, identifying programs that both are successes and failures for our communities as well as our state. I have been instrumental in moving the Opioid Crisis to the forefront within the state of Idaho, recognizing the immediate need for county intervention on a statewide level. I have also lead the Idaho State Association of County Coroners to a new level of professionalism with the implementation of state standards, bringing the importance of these standards to the attention of county elected officials.

I believe the relationship between NACo and IAC is imperative to a county’s successes. Counties across the nation are implementing policies and procedures that have both hindered and helped those counties. In my current position, I have spoken at multiple venues in our region, all the while gleaning information as the particular area’s economics. As in my state, financial stability is not equally distributed and many districts need more attention and assistance. I think that I could guide these underdeveloped areas as I have in my own state. I believe that the individual counties should maintain their independent integrity while their association with NACo will keep them current, educated and involved. This collaboration between IAC and NACo will give IAC a voice nationally.

List NACo/IAC events/conferences/meetings that you have participated in the last four years.

2018 Annual NACo Conference-                             2018 IAC- Both Spring and Fall Conference

WIR-                                                                    2017 IAC- Both Spring and Fall Conference

Legislative Conference-                                  2016 IAC- Both Spring and Fall Conference

2017 WIR-                                                                   2015 IAC- Both Spring and Fall Conference

Legislative, DC

2016 WIR-

Legislative, DC

2015 Annual NACo Conference

WIR

Candidate for WIR Representative

Rick Winkel

Clearwater County Commissioner

Summarize your background and how it relates to the position you are seeking.

Martial Arts School Owner/Operator, Siding and Roofing Contractor, Construction Superintendent, General Contractor (Negotiations with CEOs and CFOs on commercial jobs), Clearwater County Commissioner, State Hospital North Board, Public Health Board Member, Clearwater Management Council Board Member, Public Defense Task Force Member, Regional Solid Waste Member, Superintending Clearwater County Construction Projects (Calling, Scheduling, Creating Take Offs, Supervising Jobs to Completion).

As an active board member, I participate in discussion and decision-making processes, the experience allows me to interact on a meaningful level with good people skills, learned from reading and used in dealing with people at all levels, problem-solving skills are a must and thinking out of the box is a strength I have.

List participation and years of participation in any IAC Committees, the IAC Board of Directors and any leadership positions in affiliate organizations.

Clearwater County Commissioner, Clearwater County Construction Superintendent, Clearwater County Road and Bridge Commissioner, Attend IAC Board meetings as Spectator, every IAC conference, all WIR conferences, the Whitehouse trip in June 2018, dinner at the NACO building in Washington D.C. for brainstorming session, newly elected officials training, PRIMA training, open meeting training

Briefly state your reasons for seeking the position and any other qualifications that might be an asset to IAC.

To be more actively involved in national and state level county politics,  if you want to make a difference you have sit at the table with the big boys. The relationship between IAC and NACO is almost symbiotic in nature, NACO is IACs voice in Washington D.C. and advocates for counties across the nation there. NACO teams with us to broaden our base and extend our influence in D.C., financially NACO opens up national services to IAC membership, whether its financial or material and equipment acquisition. If we weren’t a part of NACO our voice would not be heard in Washington D.C. as loudly as it is now, NACO helps lend force behind our voice as we are united as counties through one voice.

List NACo/IAC events/conferences/meetings that you have participated in the last four years.

I understand the time commitment and have the time available to fulfill my duties as the WIR representative and I will be able to attend all meetings required of that position as well as the term requirements.