Ada Commish Sharon Ullman self destructed in the primary election, paving the the way for Gov. Butch Otter to appoint Dave Case to fill the remaining six months of the seat vacated by Vern Bisterfeldt. Case garnered 11,471 votes to Ullman’s 9833 for a 54-46% victory.
The Ada County Republican Central Committee meets Thursday to select three names they will provide to the Guv as possible appointees to fill the position vacated by Vern Bisterfeldt who resigned May 4 for health reasons. The GUARDIAN generally doesn’t endorse candidates, but since Case will likely take office in January as the Repub winner in the November general election, it makes sense to give him–and the citizens–a six month head start, especially with budget matters in the works. No sense in warming the commish seat with someone who will leave soon.
Ullman’s troubles focused around the controversial Dynamis trash-energy project at the county landfill. At a candidate forum just a week prior to the primary election, Ullman showed up, but refused to participate–to the bewilderment of the audience.
The county rushed through a $2 million payment to Dynamis under the guise of acquiring federal stimulus funds. However, the Dynamis facility is to be privately owned and operated. The county would provide it with free fuel (trash) and Dynamis would retain all earnings from sale of electricity. Ullman repeatedly defended the deal and even boasted of working with the county attorney to formulate the contract. She claimed the $2 million was for the design plans to the private facility and would be repaid to the county prior to construction. Idaho’s constitution bans public loans to private organizations.
Case opposed the project, its lack of transparency, and the speed with which it was going forward–despite red flags regarding Dynamis and its financing. He was supported by folks living close to the landfill with three days of full page ads in the Statesman prior to the election.
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