My name is Paul Sand. I am a 74 year-old retired computer software engineer with over 65 years of electronics and computer experience. I am also an extreme outdoors adventurer. If I am not playing on liquid or frozen water, I am probably climbing something or building something. I live in White Bird Idaho and previously served ten years on the White Bird City Council and I am a former member of the White Bird Volunteer Fire Department.
I am also a carpenter/architect and I built several homes for my family in my spare time and on weekends. I have a wife, Sandra Miller (pictured), an ex-wife who is the mother of my three grown children, three grandchildren and 4 cats. I grew up in Minnesota and moved west, about 30 years ago, after my divorce. I met my current wife about 23 years ago when I was working in Spokane.
My campaign theme song is "Take Me With You" by Blugazer, Catherine & Blue Symmetry. Recommended reading is the 1961 farewell speech by President Eisenhower, the speech by Charlie Chaplin at the end of the film "The Great Dictator" in 1940, the book "Anything Worth Doing" by Jo Deurbrouck, and the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. My campaign is powered by an "infinite improbability drive" as described in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
I have been playing and working with electronics and computers since the mid 1950’s. My experience goes back to the days of electronic data processing (EDP), analog computers and digital computers that still used vacuum tubes. I developed the first operating systems for micro-processors long before Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.
As a systems analyst, it is my job to understand complex problems and design simple solutions. I specialize in coding ultra-reliable systems for industrial, biotech, military, and wired/wireless communication applications. Although I studied architecture in college, I have a working knowledge of all science and engineering disciplines, and all business and economic models.
I have also done extensive research and experimentation in neural biology and cognitive and educational psychology. I have developed functional specifications for the brain, the mind, and the interface between them. My three children don't know that they were science experiments.
I believe that representing the people is a position of service, not a position of power. My wife and I have no retirement savings or retirement income other than social security. Our house is fully mortgaged, and we are living on borrowed money and borrowed time. We have nothing to lose, and we have nothing to gain.
I am not asking for any donations from anyone, including myself. My opponents will each be spending millions of your dollars. If I am not the most qualified applicant for the job or you don’t like my policies, don't vote for me. My campaign is not about me, it is about you and your future. If you support personal freedom and responsible government, please support progressive Libertarian candidates who will put worker’s interests ahead of corporate interests.
My father ran the back office of a retail men's clothing store and my mother was a keypunch operator in the data processing department of a grocery store distributor. I grew up learning the retail and distribution business models. Both of my parents spent their entire careers processing data.
After starting my first computer business at the age of 19, I’ve started and run about a dozen businesses during my 54-year career. This includes several stock corporations, a partnership, an LLC, several sole proprietorships and a 501(c)3 educational / scientific non-profit corporation.
If you are starting or running a business, I’ve been there, and I understand what is involved. If you are trying to raise capital for your startup business, I’ve done that, and I understand how difficult it is. If you are trying to keep your business generating enough revenue to pay the rent and keep your employees working, I’ve been there, and I understand that stress.
If you are starting a business on a shoestring by your bootstraps and you need to do all the clerical work yourself plus generate billable income, I’ve done that, and I understand accounting, payroll, billing, purchasing, shipping/receiving, and what it takes to do virtually every job in most businesses.
If you are a residential construction general contractor, sub-contractor, or construction worker, I've done your job, including footings, concrete work, masonry, framing, roofing, siding, interior finishing, drywall, tile, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc.
I also have experience working with product testing laboratories such as UL and Factory Mutual and with regulatory standards agencies like the NFPA. I understand intellectual property law, including patents and trademarks and was issued a registered trademark for “Smartware®”.
During my construction career I have had to deal with land use zoning, building permitting, building inspections, and homeowner associations in several states. While I oppose all land use restrictions, I support Idaho state permitting and inspections for all electrical, plumbing and HVAC work, for public safety reasons. If you own property in Idaho County, you can build anything you want, any way you want, and you don’t have to ask anyone for permission.
Between 1972 and 1977, I developed software tools for the State of Minnesota that was used by a variety of public agencies at the county, regional, state, and federal levels for geographic analysis and mapping of natural, physical, and economic resources.
Some projects I was involved in include determining the St. Croix Scenic River Corridor for the Minnesota / Wisconsin Boundary Area Commission, land-fill site selection for Washington County, visual impact of Reserve Mining pollution case proposals, potential impact studies of copper-nickel mining by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the State Planning Agency (SPA), power plant siting and transmission line routing studies for Northern States Power (NSP) and the SPA, 6 different environmental assessment studies by the Minnesota Highway Department, 3 different park planning studies for DNR and SPA, and two wildlife refuges for the Bureau of Sports, Fisheries and Wildlife.
Excerpts from a report by the University of Minnesota Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) and the Minnesota Land Management Information System (MLMIS) describing this activity is on my photo gallery page.
From 1997 to 2010, I worked in Spokane, Washington, for Monaco Enterprises, Inc., which produces emergency detection, response and incident management systems and related communication infrastructure for hundreds of US military bases around the world. After my retirement in 2010, through 12/31/2021, I continued working as a consultant and independent subcontractor.
As lead software engineer, I designed the GIS and GPS based front-end dispatch application and designed, developed, and maintained the data communication backbone that ran the building communication layer.
Due to my work and experience in this field, I fully understand what is involved in civilian emergency response operations.
From 2007 to 2017, I served three two-year terms and one four-year term on the White Bird city council. I understand local election procedures, the state open meeting law and meeting procedures, and the responsibilities of the mayor, city clerk, and city council members. I also have experience dealing with city/county government and public safety operations.
During my ten-year tenure on the council, we handled many complex and challenging issues including:
Federal Pollution Lawsuit – The Idaho Conservation League (ICL) sued the City of White Bird (70 households) for 35 million dollars for discharging wastewater without a permit and polluting White Bird Creek. Our city’s liability insurance does not cover pollution lawsuits, so we had to hire our federal lawyers and pay for their federal lawyers out of our pockets. We had proof that the discharge permit was in fact properly filed when the former treatment plant was put online but it was never processed by the EPA.
Engineering grant applications – Our grant application for engineering services for our sewer plant upgrade is what triggered the ICL investigation and lawsuit.
Engineering firm selection process – We interviewed and reviewed the proposals from several engineering firms. I am not sure the selection committee was entirely unbiased.
Wastewater design selection process – This was challenging because there was no affordable discharge option other than into White Bird Creek. This would require a very expensive treatment plant that would produce water clean enough and cool enough for direct discharge into a salmon spawning stream.
Construction grant applications – The plant was likely to cost several million dollars and most of that would be paid by federal grants with balance paid by issuing bonds and drastically raising sewer rates.
Municipal Bonds for sewer project – The voters approved the bond issue and construction could finally begin in 2018 after the construction firm was selected. I was no longer a council member during the construction bidding and construction phases. The new sewer plant was completed in 2019.
In 2013, I formed the White Bird Area Recreation District to acquire the former White Bird Elementary School property for the benefit of the entire White Bird area and to prevent it from being sold by the school board for private development. After I convinced local community leaders that the rec district was the best option to keep the school property public, I presented our plan to the school board and asked for their commitment to give us the property if we succeeded. They agreed, mostly because any local politician that tries to privatize public land in Idaho County, isn’t a politician much longer.
Then we had to convince the surrounding landowners to pay taxes for another government entity and we needed 25% of the district's registered voters to sign a petition just to get on the ballot. The election turned out to be a hard-fought battle with record voter turnout (about 75%). The district passed with about 65% approval. I also support private property rights and I am familiar with Idaho law pertaining to taking private property for public use (implied public dedication).
By 2015 the White Bird voters were tired of the mayor and city clerk running the town for their own benefit and after another hard-fought battle with record voter turnout, Rod Pilant was elected mayor with about 65% of the vote. The former mayor’s fire department resigned when Rod took over. Rod was already suffering from a degenerative lung disease and eventually he had to take a leave of absence. By then, city work was not getting done, the next budget wasn’t prepared, and as senior city council member, I tried to get help from the Idaho Association of Cities on how to handle the situation but there apparently was nothing we could legally do until he resigned. I prepared the city budgets for the 2 years that Rod was incapacitated and after Rod finally stepped down, we appointed Homer Brown as mayor who was then elected in 2017 and re-elected in 2019.
I reorganized the White Bird Volunteer Fire Department after a year without fire protection and I reorganized the White Bird Flood District which had been inactive for nearly ten years, which resulted in an unacceptable rating for our dike from the US Army Corps of Engineers. Dike maintenance is now back on schedule. I feel I left the city going in a positive direction when I retired from the council in 2017.