Guardian Top Stories

Ada Sheriff And Commish Trade Barbs

The recent Democratic pile-on of Mike Bloomberg seems like a love fest compared to vicious attacks Friday between Ada Sheriff Steve Bartlett and Commish Rick Visser.

The GUARDIAN has obtained an e-mail exchange between the two County Republican officials which reveals there is little in the way of mutual admiration. The term “dysfunctional” is fired by each official at the other.

In a nutshell, it appears the sheriff opposes House Bill 460 which would allow lawyers to be able to serve garnishment papers on wages and bank accounts and bypass the sheriff. Visser, himself a lawyer, supports the bill.

Both Bartlett and Visser appeared at the statehouse.

The sheriff wrote first to Visser:

Good Afternoon Commissioner Visser,

I wanted to follow up on this sent letter in support of the garnishment bill. I am very surprised that when we were standing outside Jud and Rules this week that you did not tell me you were supporting this bill as myself and the Idaho Sheriff’s Association were testifying in opposition of it.

We at the sheriff’s office and around the state have been fighting against this bill for many many years. It was very disappointing to hear that you are working in direct opposition of what we here in Ada County have worked so hard to maintain and accomplish.

Our job in government is to be fair and provide the very best service to our customers possible. Not to line the pockets of private attorneys.

This is a great example of how dysfunctional we look when we cannot even communicate within our own house. Steve

Then Visser fired back referring to a budget issue more than a year old in which he alleges sheriff slipped himself a 6% raise.

Sheriff Bartlett,
The dysfunctional lack of communication glare has not left my mind in the waste of taxpayers‘ money that you have propagated. I had heard that you knew how to spend other people’s money but not save it the first week of my term.

One of your most disrespectful examples of spending with a lack of transparency is your request for a 6% raise after budget deliberations but before the new fiscal year started. Other elected officials have requested a raise in their budgets, so why didn’t you?! Do you not remember that you never communicated to me about your raise request?! Do you remember talking off the record with Dave Case about your budget but not with me?! If it is not a public writing, you know that your oral communications are not transparent.

You have no one to blame for dysfunction but yourself. Why did you cc this group instead of reaching out to me first? Are you that dysfunctional?

I hope that the media exposes you for your non transparency and your poor communications.

Idaho’s Well Trained Wildlife


The GUARDIAN took advantage of the sunny day Tuesday and made a wildlife viewing journey to Garden Valley.

It has been a while since we visited the area in spring and we were surprised at the way the deer and elk have been trained by Idaho Fish and Game biologists. The two big game species get along better than the Dems and Repubs, sharing dinners on the south and east facing hillsides.

The deer apparently are able to read since they cross the highway at the marked crosswalk. The elk aren’t as good at finding their way. We saw one with a GPS around its neck so it could locate and share the crosswalk with the deer.

If you go, take along some binoculars and at least one co-pilot. It is easy to get distracted as you watch the critters. Be mindful of other motorists and remember your car is the best viewing location.

Gannon Seeks Taxes From Government Tenants

Boise Dem representative John Gannon has a bill co-sponsored by Repub Mike Moyle to charge taxes to to private entities using public real estate. He wants to amend the Idaho constitution to include: “any property belonging to the state, counties, towns, cities, villages, school districts … or public libraries” that’s leased to a private entity “shall be assessed and taxed as any other property.”

Clan McLean, including Mayor Lauren McLean oppose the idea claiming it could short circuit efforts to provide “affordable housing” with “public-private partnerships.”

Gannon’s amendment stems from the State leasing space to Hewlett-Packard at the state-owned campus in west Boise. Also, BSU is planning to purchase the mirrored building on Broadway for $22 million and lease 75% to private firms. Boise City owns a $23 million hangar at the airport, but leases it to SkyWest. ALL of those structures are government owned and are tax exempt.

Legislature– Quit Picking On Boise

The Idaho Legislature doesn’t have Dave Bieter to kick aground anymore, so they need to quit picking on us.

Former Mayor Dave Bieter was often downright pugnacious with legislators, but he is gone and there is new blood at Boise’s City Hall. The statehouse boys need to give Lauren Mclean an the new council a chance.

According to Betsy Russell at the IDAHO PRESS, bill to force “cities of more than 100,000 population” to elect city councilors from districts is being circulated under the Capitol dome, but it obviously is aimed at Boise politicos.

The GUARDIAN has no problem with forcing council members to living within geographical districts. The only caveat is we think EVERYONE should get to vote for (or against) them. We do that for the county commishes.

It has always bothered us that Ada County Highway District commishes don’t have to get countywide approval. We can vote for only one of the five members, yet they all get to decide how to spend our money.

While we have state legislative districts and congressional districts, we also have senators and a governor and president with veto power. To allow city councilors to garner approval from only one-sixth of the voters would disenfranchise too many citizens.

Too Many People, Too Much Hype

Idaho State PARKS has more happy campers than they can handle, forcing the department to make the wise move to stop advertising for visitors.

The GUARDIAN has long held the GROWTHOPHOBE position that state and local governments should do the same thing–stop paying businesses to come to Idaho.

It makes no sense to us for the state COMMERCE DEPT. to offer “incentives” in the form of tax breaks, job training credits, etc. in their efforts to increase the population and thus the demand for services like schools, police, roads, etc.

Same holds true for the politicos in Boise. The city touts a list of ENTICEMENTS in their efforts to increase the population through corporate welfare.

The GUARDIAN growthophobe mantra has long been, “we welcome anyone willing to pay a fair wage and their share of taxes. If they need financial help, try New York or California.”

Parks has the right idea. Stop advertising for people you don’t need.

The Boise Guardian

…is a fun, factual, informed and opinionated look at current news and events in and around Boise, Idaho. The Guardian was born of necessity.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address:

Categories