City Government

Big Buck Salaries at CCDC

While Boise and Treasure Valley politicos are off at Sun Valley being indoctrinated by the Chamber of Commerce, the Idaho Business Review broke a story in the current edition detailing big buck salaries at the CCDC, (Capital City Development Corp.).

Reporter Lora Volkert details $10,000 annual raises the past two years for CCDC Director Phil Kushlan, bringing his salary to $127,820. The director of Planning and Development services for the ENTIRE CITY, Bruce Chatterton, makes a paltry $104,400 by comparison. Others at the agency are paid handsomely as well, according to the story.

Turns out Kushlan makes more than most state of Idaho department heads including the Guv, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and every mayor in the state.

In what can be described only as a masterful stroke of timing, the IBR published their front page expose’ of the high paying jobs in the same issue that carried a slick advertising insert paid for by the Downtown Business Association.

The CCDC is currently subject of a City Council mandated audit. No doubt the salaries will be subject of discussions following the audit. Taxpayer funded membership in the exclusive private Arid Club for Kushlan was recently revoked when it was made public.

We have also heard what sound like paid advertising spots on Boise State public radio. The GUARDIAN donates to public radio, but we question the propriety of a city urban renewal agency sending taxpayer money to the station.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. This is what happens when you give private interests government powers and benefits, yet sheild the government entity from normal government checks and balances/oversight.

    I’m quite pro-business, but I tire of the fundamental misunderstanding that some private interests seem to have in their government. Government is NOT business. It should not be run like a business. Government is not about making a profit and growing market share. The CCDC is a small-ish enclave of private interests that have figured out a way to line their own pockets and benefit selected others with government money. Thus far, it has escaped any normal government oversight.

    Sadly, most in the media ignore this issue, probably because they don’t understand it and/or they think the goal of urban development is so noble that they will overlook shortcomings that aren’t too significant in terms of dollars. A few thousand here, a few thousand there…. Who cares when we are talking about projects worth millions, and think of the overall economic impact! Let the CCDC people and their friends pocket a little cash for their work!

    I will follow this audit very, very carefully. Frankly, I wonder how the city can do it without a conflict? I think the Attorney General should be brought in here. He has gone after public officials several times, demonstrating a fearlessness in keeping government honest.

    EDITOR NOTE–State controller is better equipped to do audits.

  2. Cheeze! We need even **more** tar and feathers!!!

  3. Dissolution and forensic auditting.

    That is fate of the CCDC that Boise needs, and deserves.

  4. shealyisnottheantichrist
    Apr 24, 2007, 8:37 am

    Do they approve their own salaries? If so, this is apparently the business to be in. If not, who decided that they were actually worth that kind of income?

    EDITOR NOTE–Salaries are apparently approved by the CCDC board which includes 2 city councilors.

  5. Wow, a nice gig if you can get it. And I’ve heard the advertisements on public radio also and never understood why they pay for those. It’s not like they have to sell widgets and need customers.

  6. Irregardless of the other CCDC discussions that have gone on and are continuing to go on, these salaries are probably not that out of line with what similar positions pay in comparative markets.

  7. I think they’re sellng themselves Sara. Thanks to the Gman directing his rays of sunshine in a very dark place CCDC is in need of a little goodwill.

  8. The people of boise need to take a cynical look at the reality of their City politicians and admit to themselves who is really running the show.

    Who is this guy Kushlan and his other buddies on CCDC ‘s board and exactly why has The city given them their own private bureaucratic kingdom? My take is Kushlan and (company) are controlling the elected officials of Boise with taxpayer money and they illustrate a kind of ” two-bit Tammany hall” here in Boise (to which Jimmy Walker would comment ” Whats wrong with those people out west?”

  9. OK- let’s forget(for just a second) about the wages paid to this group. Did anyone notice that our very own little CCDC has “similar urban renewal budget” as DENVER-ANAHEIM-PORTLAND-SACRAMENTO-SAN DIEGO-SAN JOSE!!!!
    These people are cerifiably insane!!!

    EDITOR NOTE–C’mon Cyclops. Give us more! Where did you get your data. You are such a tease. This is worth a complete story–give up your source.

  10. G-Man! Read the article from the IBR by Lori Volkert. In the third paragraph she reports that Cheryl Larabee said “six cities with similar urban renewal budgets” when she was justifying Kushlan’s pay. Read it and weep folks!( and not even a kiss!)

    EDITOR NOTE–Actually it is MUCH worse when viewed factually. Another reader sent us the actual spread sheets from Denver and Portland which reveal their budgets were more than $100 MILLION higher than Boise’s CCDC. Which means the Larabee statement is simply not true. Kushlan is angling for an equal salary to manage what appears to be a budget about 10% of the big boys. These folks should be BPD union leaders.

  11. IBR just picked this up about the comparable budgets.
    The numbers are drastically different especially when you look at the debt financing at a city like Portland (well over 9 digits). Spokane or Reno would be better peer cities to look at for review.

    Many cities are going through studies about restructuring their Urban Renewal District/TIF agencies. The only thing these studies do not provide reccomendations. San Diego completed a restructuring study recently.

  12. From a news release: “John Foster, former managing editor of the Idaho Business Review, has been hired as the Executive Director of the Idaho Democratic Party, state Chairman Richard Stallings announced on Thursday.”

    Congratulations to John on the new job. I am left wondering, however, whether the recent positive changes in the IBR will survive without his leadership there.

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