My endorsement of candidate Gray Ottley for Rural Fire commissioner is informed through attendance at all meetings involving the Rural contract. The commissioners voted unanimously this past spring for an early exit of the Ketchum contract. Next, they voted to accept the contract with Sun Valley, before that contract was shared publicly. It was not included in an agenda packet. Rural residents were ignored as public comments took place before discussing the unseen contract.

Committed to transparency, Ottley will ensure that residents are informed and our voices are heard before such impactful actions occur. A successful business owner with years of firefighting and medical response experience, Ottley offers a fresh set of eyes and understanding. His opponent’s priority is “stabilizing the relationship with Sun Valley.” That relationship has become the new reality. Ottley does not seek to reverse course. Ottley seeks to move all entities to a truly unified north county fire district. Ottley will ensure that high-quality service is maintained and grows through constant attention on the unification journey. He is deeply committed to building trust through transparency and enhanced communications to achieve unified services yielding increased efficiencies, tax savings and better insurance rates for all. Ottley understands the importance of open meeting law and public right to know. He will work to ensure that we are well-informed about impactful proposals before votes are taken. With Ottley representing north valley residents, change will be well-directed through his informed, thoughtful perspective. Ottley listens well. He is committed to work inclusively to develop a unified model for north valley emergency services. I urge voters to cast their ballot for Ottley because his primary focus is our safety.

Richard Canfield, Blaine County

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