Cooke looks to create paramedic service if elected as Latah Co. Commissioner

MOSCOW, ID - Democratic candidate Steve Cooke is running for Latah County Commissioner, District One.

He was one of the many candidates of various races that met at the 1912 Center in Moscow Wednesday morning to explain his stance to a group of local seniors.

Cooke is addressing three major issues in his campaign. One is the county's budget, which he claims is too complicated and difficult to understand.

"I like to say it's 122 pages of checkbook line items that make it very difficult to measure efficiency, productivity, and whether you're getting the right bang for your buck between various functions of local government," said Cooke.

If elected, Cooke would also like to provide better internet access to the rural towns in Latah County. One of his more controversial ideas is creating a paramedic service in rural communities that replaces the volunteer emergency response systems that are currently in place. The county already pays to train the paramedics, and Cooke believes it should also give them a salary so they don't take their training elsewhere.

Cooke is a retired University of Idaho agricultural economist, and he grew up on a dairy farm in a community that he said is very similar to Latah County.