‘Capital for a Day’ in Potlatch gave residents opportunity to discuss issues

‘Capital for a Day’ in Potlatch gave residents opportunity to discuss issues
POTLATCH, ID - A big day for Potlatch as state leaders brought their offices to rural Latah County Monday to answer questions from small town community members.

As Palouse Reporter Rachel Dubrovin reports, people took advantage of the opportunity to talk to the governor face to face about taxes and education funding.

It's a very windy day here in Potlatch, but it's also a very memorable one because Idaho Governor Butch Otter named it 'Capital for the Day.'

Each month, Governor Otter chooses a different city to be the state's 'Capital for a Day,' and Potlatch had it's turn on Monday.

"What's important is to let the people of Potlatch know number one, that if they've got an issue, we want to know about it," said Otter.

Community members crowded into the town's senior center to share their concerns with some of the state's leaders.

"We like to stay in small towns off the beaten path, and let folks have an opportunity to ask these directors a direct question," said Otter.

"What are you going to do for seniors who can't even make it?" said Potlatch resident.

Some said they believe taxes are too high, and Governor Otter explained that he's reluctant to raise them.

"When we do tax, we need to make sure that those moneys are spent as efficiently as we possibly can, and that that tax burden falls as lightly as it possibly can," said Otter.

But others said they're willing to pay more if it means they'll see some improvements.

"I don't mind paying taxes if I see things happening," said Potlatch Resident Salie Anderson. "I don't see things happening for job opportunities, I don't see better roads in my community."

Education was also a hot topic since the state recently made significant cuts in education funding. Governor Otter said the state's Education Task Force is currently developing a five-year plan to make up for those cuts.

"And we've said, our first priority, in a very efficient way, not to lose the efficiency's that we gained while we were going through the recession, we want to get the 82 and a half million dollars back," said Otter.

Governor Otter has been doing his 'Capital for the Day' program for years, but he said this is one of the best attended events that he's seen.

Governor Otter has held 58 'Capital for a Day' events across the state's 44 counties.