Candidate for WIR 2nd VP
I am Commissioner Jeff Hough from Bannock County, Idaho, and I am running for the office of 2nd Vice Chair of the Western Interstate Region. My background in marketing, problem-solving, and relationship-building would be a unique asset to further the agenda of the WIR.
As a relatively new County Commissioner, I have learned much working with NACo over the last three years. I have served on the Community, Economic & Workforce Development, and the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Steering Committees.
As a high school coach and referee, I have learned to lead, negotiate, and look at things from different perspectives. This past year I was able to apply those skills to the political arena. I was heavily involved in the Idaho legislative process, from introducing proposals to our state association to lobbying Congress during the 2022 PILT Fly-In. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire process and discovered a new passion in life for advocacy.
I grew up in rural Idaho, surrounded by public lands, and saw first-hand the use and enjoyment they provide. I recognize the need to work with public agencies to reduce federal regulation and open pathways to better partnerships between all users. For example, I worked with the local Forest Service and Fish and Game departments to improve snowmobile access in our area.
My county is experiencing many of the same issues your counties are. I am working to improve rural Fire and EMS services and I’m concerned about access to health care for our rural communities. Water and water rights are issues concerning all of the Western states. The more I learn about these topics, the more passionate I become. Lastly, wildfires will be another issue this year with the abundance of moisture we have received. Working on Good Neighbor Authority partnerships is critical to combat this yearly threat.
There are two items I would bring to a position like this. First is my ability to see the bigger picture and ask questions. Second is my ability to be open-minded and listen to all sides. I am a team player and look forward to joining WIR’s leadership team.
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