Boise’s Public Works Department continues to fail the smell test with new revelations to the GUARDIAN involving the sale of “poop pumps and ponds.”
Seems the manager of a Boise sewage treatment plant moonlights selling–would you believe–sewage treatment plants. We understand from confidential sources the new system just opened at the City of Star was one of his most recent sales.
A city vehicle has been spotted in the past at Hidden Springs which also has a treatment facility, but is not within Boise City jurisdiction.
We see this as a good one for Mayor Dave Bieter’s ethical commission. We couldn’t locate a number for the ethics commission in our new phone book, so here is the formal question for those at City Hall:
“Is it ethical for a city sewage plant manager to sell commercial ‘package treatment plants’ to other municipalities while employed by Boise City?”
It may be possible, but we find it improbable anyone could conduct business with engineers, installers, contractors, and customer’s staff during weekends and evenings. Logic tells us there is a lot of 8-5 business on these projects which would have to intrude on city taxpayer time.
Those city employees of lower rank aren’t about to rat off the boss and those higher probably don’t know what’s happening. Now they do.
If this is anything like the Poop Farm fiasco, we hope Boise City will check it out in a timely fashion.
POOP FARM UPDATE
City purchasing records show the illegal purchase of those tractors under the guise of “rental” have been legitimized with outright purchases. Even more equipment improperly purchased with split invoices has recently been discovered.
Despite disclosures in the GUARDIAN last June and AFTER the city council ordered an audit, at least $9,000 worth of tires were approved for split invoice purchases by the city’s purchasing department.
We hear a top notch candidate with an MBA and good work experience is up for City Council approval to manage the Poop Farm following the departure of David Skinner who faces criminal charges over misuse of public funds.
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Feb 9, 2006, 10:45 am
This Poop Farm story is really starting to smell. Thanks for the “fresh air” Guardian!
Feb 9, 2006, 12:40 pm
There are a lot of folks on the city payroll that “moonlight”.
How many cops “rent” themselves out after being trained at city expense? If the City is really concerned about the “other businesses” that are going on then all they need to do is ask every employee to disclose their other businesses annually and keep it on public file.
If the Mayor and City Council do not require this disclosure then they really don’t care to even know what is going on – or control it.
Feb 9, 2006, 7:01 pm
Inside, your missing the point here…
Most employees who do that sort of thing do it on their own time and don’t drive city vehicles.
I support employees who want to moon light, but not at the tax payer’s expense.
Projects like that at Star are major enough to take considerable planning and effort to complete. A majority of that work would have had to of been done during normal working hours which also brings up the point about the City of Boise managers of those involved, you can bet they had to be aware of all this going on.
More details are needed before judgment calls can be made, but among them would be who, when and where this business took place. It shouldn’t be too difficult to track down.
If this turns out to be anything like it now appears, there isn’t a lot of difference between what was done here and what Skinner is accused of doing. It would be in all cases a situation of employees taking advantage of the city for personal gain.
Feb 11, 2006, 12:58 pm
A personal favorite in the moonlighting category is the Boise firefighters who started a business “training” job candidates on how to pass the “competitive” examination…to be a boise firefighter…for a fee, of course. But they did it “on their own time” which they seem to have plenty of. Oh, and fire management saw nothing even remotely wrong with it. The current treatment plant manager is in business with a former supervisor, is my recollection. This is nothing really new. Doesn’t make it right.
Feb 12, 2006, 2:43 pm
There is so much of this type of crap going on, no one seems to be outraged anymore. Sad but true.
Take a look at who is on the ethics panel, who is still in their management positions, who was and who wasn’t audited. Not much has really changed at all.
Skinny houses are a problem??? Really. Huh, I would have thought ongoing corruption, cushy jobs for friends and the ghost of Gary wandering around would have people more concerned.
Feb 13, 2006, 11:05 pm
I see a good story for the main stream media here, maybe Channel 2 or the Statesman would like to pick up on this and follow through.
So far, Public Works appears to be the only one actually doing their “after hours” moon lighting during normal working hours while using their city vehicles. However, this may be a common benefit that goes with some positions within the city that we just hadn’t heard about. The mayor has made several policy changes…