With an olive branch in his teeth and a white dove of peace tattooed on his body, City Councilor Vern Bisterfeldt made a visit to his old haunt, the Ada County Commission, last week at a scheduled meeting seeking to reduce friction between the city and county governments.
City officials seem to have lost sight of the fact that every Boise resident-citizen-taxpayer is also an Ada County resident-citizen-taxpayer. The county people also have to remember the majority of their revenue comes from taxes on property within the city limits, while the county offers few services to city taxpayers.
Having been both a commissioner and city councilor, Bisterfeldt had the right idea–a little RAPPROCHEMENT. Vern wouldn’t use that word, but he does understand the value of ‘harmony and friendly relations.”
Not wanting any of the citizens to view dirty laundry hanging out to air, Ada Commissioners Fred Tilman, Rick Yzaguirre and Judy Peavey-Derr went into executive session–that means they held a secret meeting, contrary to Idaho law.
Secret government meetings are a no-no in our democracy except for personnel matters, land purchases, and litigation discussions. In this case they didn’t buy land, no lawyers were in the room and the only personnel they discussed were probably Mayor Dave Bieter and some other City Councilors–but since they met in secret, we can only guess.
Since it was an official Ada County meeting, their actions cannot be ignored. Prosecutor Greg Bower, as usual, won’t handle any complaint–citing conflict of interest.
He told the IDAHO STATESMAN he would need a written complaint from a citizen and would then refer it to another county to handle.
The GUARDIAN would suggest to Mr. Bower that an “out of court settlement” would be appropriate in the “interests of justice” if each of the commissioners publicly admitted their error and made a PERSONAL donation of $100 each to the charity of their choice.
Unlike our friends at the giant chain newspaper we can’t see any ill intent on the part of the commissioners, but we do agree with their editorial that secret meetings–regardless of intent–cannot be tolerated by public officials.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.
Jun 20, 2005, 10:39 pm
Maybe good old Vern was just trying to find out if any of the Commisioners have heard who is going to run against him? I guess that would be a “personnel” issue – right?