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Letter from Your Elected Official: Jeff Hough

by | Dec 6, 2023 | Commissioner Press Releases, Highlights, Letter from Elected Official, Newsroom

One of my goals as Commissioner is to help Bannock County become a leader in the State. As the end of 2023 draws near, I can’t help but reflect on what we did that moved us towards that goal.

One of our most visible accomplishments was a successful concert season at the Portneuf Health Trust Amphitheatre. Our team worked tirelessly all summer, adjusting the fan and artist experience. Because of their efforts, multiple artists complimented the venue and staff and said they want to return. I heard numerous fans say the same thing.

Another visible accomplishment was the opening of The Village: A Place for Youth and Families. Two years ago, I visited with high school students about what they felt our community needed. I often heard requests for better access to mental and behavioral health resources. Creating The Village was a response to those conversations. Our fantastic team worked many long hours to make the vision a reality. Now, we have an incredible resource for the youth and families in our community.

One of the not-so-visible projects we wrapped up was the landfill expansion project. Our Public Works director worked with our landfill team to complete the project in time and within the budget. This project added significant years to the landfill’s life expectancy.

One of my favorite quiet projects was our Adult Probation Pre-Trial Assessment program. This program is a data-driven analysis to help keep low-risk offenders out of jail. This program started earlier this year, and the results have been promising. The program gives judges a matrix to help determine sentences so low-risk people don’t have to sit in jail while waiting for a trial.

We had another big year at the Bannock County Fair. The 4H program continues to burst at the seams with record numbers of animals entering. Attendance numbers continue to grow, and the new fair board has great ideas to continue to make the fair the best little fair in Idaho.

This year, we welcomed Morton Buildings and LA Semiconductor to the area. Both companies brought good-paying jobs to the community and want to be good community partners. I’m excited to see them establish themselves in the Portneuf Valley.

Another area that goes unnoticed is our employees’ efforts. Recently, we had several department heads participate and graduate from a 12-week leadership development course offered by the National Association of Counties. Additionally, several other employees participate in and lead organizations throughout the State. 

Our jail recently completed one of their extensive audits from the State and received high marks as a great example of some of their practices. The sheriff and his team have done a fantastic job moving the jail forward in numerous areas while it is short-staffed.

Lastly, our 911 team continues to lead the State with our technology infrastructure and ability to serve as a regional hub for 911 services. They recently implemented a video-to-911 feature in each of our dispatch centers. Likewise, departments like Elections, Auditing, Procurement, and the Assessor’s Office continue to do things that move the County forward. I’m grateful to work with such dedicated people at Bannock County.

As I look forward to 2024, I’m optimistic about where we are going. We have many challenges, but our leadership team is working together better than ever. Our employees work hard and do everything they can to care for those they serve. We may not always get everything right, but we listen and try to improve.

Bannock County’s future is bright. I love coming to work and, along with my team, trying to create a place our kids will come home to. 

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