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Decision was in the public interest?

| January 15, 2023 1:00 AM

The reporting regarding the decision by Bonner County commissioners on Dec. 19, 2022, regarding Camp Bay Road has totally missed the elephant in the room which was that the decision was made while forbidding discussion or consideration of all the potential outcomes of that decision.

The BCC has a legal obligation to make such decisions “by the exercise of reason.” To refuse to consider the possible outcomes of a decision is not reasonable.

The decision had three possible outcomes: full access, no access, or limited access via the trail. The remand order from the court specifically authorized the BCC to consider that full picture. Testimony clearly showed that the trail option was very significantly inferior to full access, for example practically eliminating kayak use.

A simple decision tree (see any textbook on decision making) shows that, unless the probability of the court finding for full access was very low, the trail option was not a good choice. BCC previously heard expert legal testimony that the probability is quite high for the court case yielding full access, i.e., direct driving access to a more desirable beach.

Yet BCC refused to consider or allow testimony regarding possible final outcomes if they didn’t vacate. The decision was then made to vacate the road and accept a proposed half mile trail (which the developer retained the authority to close off completely) and a less desirable beach area. That decision rendered the existing court case moot ending the potential for full access. Not “in the public interest.”

NICK ORIHEL

Sandpoint

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