Legislative District 1 - Representative, Position B, incumbent
City of residence: Dover
Years of residence in Bonner County and Idaho: Approximately 28 years of residence in Dover plus 5 years of residence in Boise for a total of 33 years as a resident of Idaho.
Marital status/family: Married to Jenise I. (Stilwell) Eskridge. We have two sons, Perry and Jimmy, daughters-in-law, Krisann and Amy, and grandsons, Taylor and Jordan.
- PO Box 112
Dover, ID 83825
- Graduate of Sandpoint Senior High
- University of Montana, Bachelor of Science in Business Admin.
Recent or pertinent employment history:
- Retired from Bonneville Power Administration
- Presently: Sales Associate for Four Seasons Real Estate
- Presently: Idaho State Legislator, District 1-B
Public offices held:
- Idaho State Representative
Relevant professional affiliations:
- Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce
- Member Selkirk Association of Realtors
- Pacific Northwest Economic Region - First Vice President
- National Conference of State Legislators - Chairman of “Working Group on Energy & Trade Policy”
- National Conference of State Legislators - Member of “Committee on Electric Energy”
- Past Idaho Commissioner on Pacific Marine Fisheries Commission
Nonprofit groups or service organizations to which candidate belongs:
- American Legion Baseball Chairman
- Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Post 2453 (Sandpoint)
- Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter ID0890 (Sandpoint)
- American Legion, Post 15 (Sandpoint)
- Sandpoint Elks
- Sandpoint Eagles
- Retail lumber sales (retail business experience)
- U.S. Government (Rural Electrification Administration; Bonneville Power Administration): Served in positions as Power Requirements Officer, Area Economist, District Manager, and Public Relations Officer
- Real estate agent (small business experience)
Why are you running for public office?
I am currently in my third term as State Legislator for District 1. I am running for a fourth term because:
- Our nation and our state have been good to me and I believe that service to our state as a legislator is my opportunity to repay in a small measure the benefits I have received.
- I am in a position where I can devote the time necessary to serve as an effective legislator for our district.
- My career in retail trade, as well as the electric utility industry, is of value to the legislature and District One Constituents as we deal with Idaho economic issues and as we continue to develop a meaningful state energy policy.
- I have been in the forefront of promoting property tax reform and feel that I continue to have an effective influence in the legislature as we pursue additional property tax relief for property owners in District 1.
If you are elected, how much time will you spend each week in the office?The Idaho Legislature is a Citizen Legislature and as such each member of the legislature serves on a part time basis; most have other employment (as do I) in their district. Given this, I do (and will continue to), spend many hours each week on legislative issues. Aside from the legislative session that takes place each year on a full time basis from January through most of March (sometimes longer), I currently spend as much as half and more of my week on legislative work, including responding to Constituent issues, interim committee assignments and service on regional and national committees that involve Idaho issues.
Describe the top three to five issues you believe are most important, why you consider them most important, and your position on these issues.
- Property tax: Property tax is the number one issue for many residents in our district. The current system of using market values to determine property tax in a fast growing area such as Bonner County (and to a lesser extent Boundary County) is creating a financial hardship for property owners whose income is not keeping pace with the market value of their property. We need to “fix” the current system to make it more equitable for all.
- Education: We owe all our children the opportunity to achieve a quality education that prepares them for a highly competitive post-school environment. This requires that we fund our education system not only with the dollars necessary, but that we account for those dollars to insure that our limited “tax-payers dollars” are spent effectively and efficiently. It is not so much of a question of how many dollars we are spending on education, but rather a question of how those dollars are spent and what results are we getting for those dollars!
- Energy: We have essentially reached the limits of our low-cost hydroelectric energy capability. We need to develop a state energy policy that provides a diversified energy resource, including use of renewable energy resources.
- Transportation: We need to continue our work improving our northern Idaho state highway system, especially Hwy. 95 that connects our state north to south.
- Water: Our state waters are a major economic resource for our state. We need to continue pursuing solutions to our water rights issues and continue finding ways to protect our northern water resources for the benefit of Idaho, given the competition for these resources by downstream interests.
What differentiates you from other candidates? Why should people vote for you?I take my responsibilities as a state legislator seriously and spend a large amount of time working on legislative issues. I encourage and listen to constituent input and work hard to help constituents in their interaction with state agencies. I serve on the legislative committees on Finance and Appropriations, Resources and Conservation and Energy and Environment, all three committees of importance to North Idaho. I also serve on regional and national committees that are important to Idaho economic and energy interests. I am an active and effective legislator and work hard to serve our District One citizens.