County

Political Decisions Costly To Taxpayers

Tuesday was a costly day for Ada County taxpayers. Democracy is a neat concept, but it isn’t free.

The school bond elections were well run political campaigns and despite claims to the contrary, taxes will go up. The RATE may not increase, but the $172 million for school facilities doesn’t just appear by magic.

While the elections were wins for the schools, the manner in which they won is the focus of a bill in the Idaho house aimed at preventing any agency (including schools) from spending tax money to influence an election in which the agency will benefit.

Then there is the costly lawsuit in which Rich Wright won $1.7 million in a “whistleblower” suit against Ada Commishes Jim Tibbs and Dave Case. The commishes have also cost taxpayers nearly $200,000 in legal fees.

They fired Wright four years ago, the day they took office. Wright was the head of county Administration under the Sharon Ullman and Fred Tilman era. A 4th District jury made the award after after the Idaho Supremes sent the case back to the district court.

Wright had claimed he was fired as recrimination for dismissing a former employee who was a friend of former Commish Vern
Bisterfeldt.

Lest we forget, one of the factors that led to the defeat Ullman was a contract she had entered into with Dynamis in an ill-fated “trash to energy” scheme. Tibbs and Case paid off a multi million dollar claim to Dynamis soon after they took office, saying it was cheaper than a prolonged legal battle.

That may have been a good move in the Wright case as well.

Comments & Discussion

One comment for “Political Decisions Costly To Taxpayers”

  1. It astounds me that we pay $0.5 million dollars per year for top management for the county, and they can’t seem to get the job done properly. They are not responsible for all that much.

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