Republicans Vote “NO” On Ada Commishes


It looks like Judy Peavey-Derr, and even the Ada County Commission got a “NO” vote from Republicans–and perhaps some crossover Demos– in the Tuesday primary election.

Veteran politician and incumbent Peavey-Derr was ousted from her $84,000 job by a low profile political unknown by the name of Steven Kimball with a solid 55% to 45% vote.

Ada voters will now be treated to a real contest in November with a race between Kimball and former Commissioner Sharon Ullman who is running as an independent. She served a two year term, but has followed the commission and county business avidly since her departure.

Her past experience and political savvy will be an interesting match for Republican Kimball. Ullman has a good shot at the seat if she uses her intellect to overcome a reputation of being somewhat of a “loose cannon.”

Democrat Paul Woods, who currently works as the foothills land acquisition director for Boise City, will round out the November ballot. He has a reputation as being knowledgeable of issues and is a civil engineer by training. Working with foothills advocates, including many “northenders,” also puts Woods in a position to take a commission seat.

In a newspaper guest opinion, Kimball sounded like a “mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore” candidate. His message was simple:

“My campaign has been for a change from wasteful government to a government of common people to solve our problems, using common sense.”

Peavey-Derr, known almost universally as, “Judy,” has touted the benefits of a Chamber of Commerce sponsored plan called “Blueprint for Good Growth.” The Chamber recently brought community leaders and elected officials together in Sun Valley to hear speakers brought in from other areas. The local governments want to implement a joint plan for growth, but it has many stumbling blocks.

“The Blueprint for Good Growth is nothing more than a bureaucratic study to spend tax dollars. The “experts” don’t live here, they don’t vote here, they don’t pay property taxes here. That $824,500 could have been spent on an infrastructure improvement,” declared Kimball.

Judy has had a rough year beginning with a taxpayer-funded trip to Hawaii for a convention of county officials from around the country. Then she participated in a closed door meeting which prompted civil charges from the Idaho Attorney General. A judge agreed the meeting was illegal. Judy and the other Commishes have appealed the case to the Supreme Court. So far it has cost taxpayers about $30,000 in legal fees.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Nice.. I’ve never been to hawaii and yet I helped pay for -Derr to go? I want my money back!!!

  2. I cracked up this evening as I heard Ms. Derr say that she lost due to “cross-over” votes. What arrogance.

    I talked to at least 25 people today and ALL of them voted AGAINST her because of the items you stated above. It was simply time to stop the stupidity.

    For her to say she does not understand the Open Meeting law is just plain nuts. Her husband (a lawyer) has been a key advocate for the law for years and has been a part of the Press Club as a key player pushing it.

    Those of us that participated in the Blueprint for “GOOFY” Growth know exactly how the plan is nothing more than a forced agenda – one that will be “played” as if the public really had a say. With all the handlers that the elected officails had at all the meetings it was clear that we were set-up.

    It is very refreshing to see that the voters of Ada County are smart enough to put an end to this behavior – but we are not done yet. We have another election in two years to clear out another seat.

  3. Uh, say Dave, since I see you are staying up late – isn’t there also a Democrat on the Commish ticket?

    Pretty cool about Judy – I think she was right in her on camera interview with Ch. 7 – there were probably lots of crossover votes. I thought about crossing over myself but didn’t. That may also explain the high vote for Bill Sali – I would expect Dems would find him an easier target than any of the more moderate candidates. The funniest moment of television tonight was when asked his opinion of who would win Otter’s seat, old Bruce Newcomb couldn’t even find it in him to speak Bill Sali’s name out loud, much less take note that Sali was ahead of the pack and had been all evening. Atta boy, Bruce – nuke ’em!

  4. Even in defeat Peavey-Derr continued to exhibit her famous self-absorption, contending that she was the target of a Democrat cross-over effort. Sorry Judy, we’re not that well organized.

    Guardian, your analysis of this race would be a little more credible if you had mentioned that the general election in November is a three way race with Paul Woods also on the ballot.

    EDITOR NOTE–Paul Woods will be the Demo on the ballot. Sorry, Paul.

  5. If Queen Judy can’t figure out why she was soundly voted out of office, I have one thing to say: “Derr”…

    Maybe she’ll run for ACHD…again.

  6. I have restored faith in the voters and the system.

  7. What was Judy’s role in the Curtis road mess, who pushed for the original two lane road?

  8. The big question is whether she loses her place at the table of Blueprint for Good Growth and as chair of the Communities in Motion scam.

  9. Ms. Derr was elected to the commision because she said she would open the lines of communication among the different entities. She didn’t!

    Last night was just the opening salvo and should be attributed to one thing. We are sick and tired of the Mayors, city councils, county commissioners, and the ACHD not speaking to each other, not to mention actually working toward a common goal.

    So take note all of you elected officials that are left this morning. Put your petty,obnoxious,petulent egos aside and start doing the citizens business. If not, YOUR NEXT!

  10. I don’t think I’d ever seen Mr. Kimball’s name before I saw it next to the dangling chad. (I’ve heard he spent a total of less than $600 on his campaign – awesome!) I gladly voted for him, and was quite disappointed to see that those other county commissioner bozos were running unopposed (in the primary). Judy needs a breather from her “public service” work.

    I wish Sharon Ullman well in November. Back when she earned her stripes as a “loose cannon,” consider her Commission colleagues… the whole group was rather dysfunctional, as I recall. (Is it better, now that they’re apparently totally unified in spending those taxpayer dollars as quickly as they roll in?) Sharon has always had an uncommon command of the issues… it’s obvious she cares. We may not always agree, but I’ve always felt she was beholden to her taxpayer constituents, and never has self-aggrandizement as her primary objective in office. (And I’d be just a bit leery about voting for the lap-dog of the north-enders.)

    Good luck in your retirement, Judy. Maybe a return trip to Hawaii, on your own dime?

  11. Guardian
    You said….
    “and perhaps some crossover Demos”

    Were you up late last night drinking “Big Boys” beverages? Both parties have had it with Judy! She was terrible when she was ACHD commish, and she was worse as a Ada County Commish.

    She had lost touch with the voters a long time ago. The last straw was the closed door meeting and I don’t think she has a clue that she did any thing wrong.

    All I can say is thank God that she didn’t get a parking ticket while she was comish, or it might have cost us tax payers a couple of $100,000. to fight it.

    EDITOR NOTE–The “crosover” comment was a small concession to Judy’s contention that it was the crossover votes that did her in.

  12. Guardian-
    I know that their are some rules for the candidates to pick up signs, but could you keep a eye on who doesn’t get it done. They are ugly and I hate to see them while I drive around on my scooter.

    I have heard that Sheila Sorenson has already left to her home in Hawaii. Going to be a little hard to make sure they are all picked up while you are on the beach!

  13. I think we can all agree that it was less a victory for Mr. Kimball than a defeat for Judy. These were no votes and she took it on the chin. It raises many questions. Now that she’s elected out will the County still have to pay her legal fees to defend her open meetings violation to the Supreme Court? Will she honor her committment to the City Club next week presenting her views on planned communities? Are her views still relevant in light of her defeat? Was the election a referendum on her position on growth?

    Bikeboy, is “lapdog for northenders” helpful? Do you know something about the Democratic candidate that would lend credence to the implications of this statement? Cause I know nothing about the guy except what the Guardian posted and I like to think positively that his educational background and work experience might make him knowledgeable about the growth issues we face in Ada County. I mean what you say might not be necessarily bad, that he is beholden to the contituents that will elect him rather than big money that may want contribute to his campaign, but it smacks of negativity and invokes a knee jerk reaction rather than a considered and thoughtful evaluation of the candidate.

  14. With Paul Woods in the race for commish does this mean “Team Dave” is trying to take over the county, or at least infiltrate?

    Also for Bikeboy and Sis–Woods is indeed a favorite of the Northend/Foothill tribe for better or worse.

  15. Regarding my statement about the “lapdog of the north-enders,” I can’t say whether it’s helpful. It may be negative. Does the shoe fit? Upon further review, I’d definitely need to research Mr. Woods and his viewpoint before deciding which chad to punch. If his constituency is indeed the north-end crowd, his interests could very well be quite different from my own, despite his impressive resume. (It’s unfair to stereotype, but the North End seems to generally be an enclave of blue-state government-is-the-answer-types.)

  16. The vote against Judy P-Derr was a vote in favor of the People, who are tired of the arrogance and corruption in the County Commissioners office. The fact that a relative unknown, Mr. Kimball, was “surprised” that he beat her shows the depth of the Ada county voters disapproval of the refusal by the County Commisioners to ” represent, in an honest and responsible fashion” their Constituents. Mr. Kimball will be contending against Demo Paul Woods and former Commissioner Sharon Ullman, who was one one the more honest and constituent oriented County politicians this area has had. We all wish all of these candidates well and ask them to cooperate with each other in giving the People of Ada County the best commissioner possible ( a much needed change).

  17. I think lots of people don’t understand the “cross-over” vote thing. If you punched the Democrat slot at the beginning of your vote you can only vote for Dems and the other groups of non-partisans – as in judges. If you are a Dem but realize how boring that ticket is you can choose to vote as a Republican in the primary. That’s what old Judy Hyphen was saying. She might be right. Now it will be interesting….I like Sharon Ullman but don’t really know much about the guys who fell into their slots. You have to love it.

  18. Watching Channel 7’s election coverage and their astonishment at Derr’s ouster, it was amazing no one including 7’s esteemed political analyst[& BSU professor] touched on the real reason Judy was ejected. Even the power of incumbency couldn’t hold back voters who finally had enough of the current county commission and Derr in particular.

    I believe enough examples of her arrogance and disdain for any who would challenge her decisions have already been noted. Now we can only hope she doesn’t get taken care of the way Gov Kempthorne took care of Roger Simmons when voters tossed him from the Commission. Talk about hitting the LOTTERY.

    What do you think would have happened had they all been up for re-election?

  19. I was a cross-over voter – I crossed right over Judy’s name and voted for Steven Kimball. I’m bummed that no one went after Fred Tilman. With this latest $30,000 fiasco, he would’ve been an easy target as well. Had Judy just paid the $150, she would still have her job. – you other two should take note and end this insanity! You’re supposed to be good stewards of OUR money – spending $30,000 to save $450 is nuts. That’s my 2cents – can I have my change?

  20. I have also never been to hawaii…my savings go towards paying my property taxes.
    hawaii, sun valley….no wonder my property taxes have gone up and up and up……

  21. And the thing I really like is the next time I write a letter to the Statesman criticizing Rick I may not get an 8 AM phone call from Judy protesting my letter. I told her I wouldn’t vote for her and when Rick’s chair comes open I will vote for his opponent, even if that person is on life support and in a coma.

    After reading the analysis in today’s paper about cross voting I guess I was wrong in thinking Dems would be so devious. 🙂

    Does anyone remember when we used to have to declare our party preference at the polls and then received a ballot for only that party (plus the non-partisan seats)? I guess that must have removed some temptation for cross-voting. I would also be curious how many people voted for both parties and had their ballots tossed. Does anyone know?

  22. TJ
    Your comment…… “I would also be curious how many people voted for both parties and had their ballots tossed. Does anyone know?”…

    I just made a call to Al Gore. We WILL get to the bottom of this!

  23. Thanks, Porc. Seriously, I talked to a guy on Wednesday who told me he punched the Democratic selection but then leafed through the Republican pages and punched a few holes there. I told him I thought his ballot would be tossed but I don’t really know if that happens.

    The older I get the more often I see that lots of things don’t work the way they are supposed to. The Eagle Fire Dept. vote is a good example. What person with common sense would have thought such an issue would be left off the regular ballot or out of the usual polling places?

  24. Guardian
    In driving around town today I will have to say that Steven Kimball has done the best job of getting his signs down along the roads….. of course I don’t think he put any up! Might have something to do with his donations??? Maybe there is a lesson in this somewhere….

  25. Guardian –

    Could someone run as a write-in against Fred Tillman in November? Maybe we can clear two seats.

  26. Sharon Ullman pointed out to me that there is someone running for Tilman’s spot. His name is Al Ames and you can check out his credentials at I am glad we have a choice.

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