G-BAD Boy Gets 25% Bonus Despite Downturn

It sounds like one of those reports from the Wall Street gang or a banking CEO, but this story is about a local government official.

The GUARDIAN was presented with documents today showing the general manager of the Greater Boise Auditorium District (G-BAD) got a 25% bonus on top of his $103,000 annual salary for 2008. According to the public records, Pat Rice had a 2007 bonus of $25,453 which increased to $26,757 for 2008.

Meanwhile three other managers at the local government owned facility got combined total bonuses of $29,060 in 2007, but for the 2008 year they shared a reduced amount of only $6,973–while Rice got bumped up more than $1300. The other three “managers” probably have no hard feelings and the 31 other full time staffers no doubt share their understanding.

Rice is the only employee with a contract and it is a sweet deal. He has a base salary of $103,100, but his “incentive Compensation” clause gives him a piece of the action on Center on the Grove rental fees of 15% of the revenue in excess of $650,000.

He also gets up to 12% more of his salary based on food and booze sales at the Center on The Grove. And then just in case there is more tax money left over, there is a provision for a 10% “discretionary bonus.”

G-Bad is funded by a local hotel room tax. The public money was originally intended to fund–as the name implies–an auditorium. However since the district was formed, many venues have been built at BSU, the Fairgrounds, and the Idaho Center in Nampa. The publicly elected board has tried for years to build another “convention center,” but voters have turned them down twice and numerous private funding deals have fallen through.

They operate the Center on The Grove and have made wildly inaccurate projections for income and revenue to fund the proposed new convention center. The latest version includes a private hotel as part of the project. G-BAD has spent nearly $90,000 with a public relations firm to influence public opinion in favor of a Marriott Hotel and new convention center structure.

The GUARDIAN questions the propriety of using public funds to “make the case” for a private hotel as outlined in their contract.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Why don’t we just use G-Bad funds to reduce our property taxes or fix the potholes. It would be money better spent.

    So do the G-Bad board members get free drinks at the Convention center? Then go sign the directors personnel contract?

  2. What I am hearing from some friends in the industry, The hotel situation in the valley is quite bleak. Rather than try to “partner” with the existing hotels, GBAD wants to add to the dilution of needs.

  3. groan

    burn the money

    I don’t think that i can stand this country any longer.

  4. My, our “officials” never cease to amaze me with their creativity in throwing away money.
    Just when one might think they couldn’t get any dumber, The Guardian serves up another helping of governmental insanity. Wow!

  5. One has to wonder. What are they thinking. Oh ya thats right. There not!

  6. Those bonuses should only kick in when the Center on the Grove is self sufficient and no longer requires the room taxes. The room tax then could be diverted to pay for the tourist trolley.

  7. Tom Anderson
    Feb 11, 2009, 11:19 am

    I am probably one of the only people in Boise that actually read the market study several years back that was supposed to support the need for a new convention center. It was a ‘boiler plate’ document that was not economically realistic several years ago before the economic collapse began. I would immediately call for the dissolution of G-Bad as it has lost it’s relevance.

    Are we really willing to pay for all these people to sit around on their hands for years, hoping the economy will turn around and revive the currently dead convention business?

  8. I am sick to my stomach. An unnecessary bloated agency which is burning our money. Somebody’s son in law got himself a cush job. Who negotiated these contracts? Who provides oversight to this agency? This story along with the missing buses is unbelievable. Get your pitchforks its time to storm the castle!!

    EDITOR NOTE–The G-BAD board is elected by the public just like a city council. Also, we have found 2 buses that are actually with the cops for SWAT and bomb training.

  9. You guys are just a bunch of decider haters. Mr.Rice probably pays a lot of taxes ya know. If he wasn’t smarter than us how could he get such a great cush job? What about all the time he spends at home at night thinking up ideas to rent the Centre? Shouldn’t he be compensated for that? You should thank a decider for making America great. God bless the Deciders.

  10. While the Gbad Board may be elected, it is not just like the City Council. As a matter of fact, Gbad has resorted to some very sneaky voting tactics.

    Most notably was setting up Absentee / Early Balloting during a Contractor’s Convention a few years back when the vote was on a new Convention Center (in opposition to their earlier stated plan of expanding the existing one).

    Hmm.. Contractors. Big, expensive construction project.

    Gee… I wonder which way THEY voted!

    Gbad – like the DBA – is a de facto subsidiary of the CCDC.

  11. These folks have been making a mockery of this “expansion” idea for almost 10 years. Does anyone remember when they were going to build over Front St. Their “blue sky” plans never stop. Wasn’t Mr. Rice the “project manager” of these “expansion plans” before he took his current position? If I remember correctly, Mr Rice used to be on the GBAD Board. Talk about taking care of your friends!!!

    This type of behaviour in a government agency is unbelievable. How does Mr. Rice answer to other managers at the Centre as they have had their bonuses sliced by over 60%?

  12. Mike Murphy, you’re wrong about GBAD being a de facto subsidiary of the CCDC. They’re not and never have been.

    In fact, they have been at odds many times through the years.

    If you don’t like GBAD, they need to be dissolved and I’m sure there’s a mechanism in state law for that. All it would take is someone who wants to lead the charge.

  13. Sara-

    I respect your learned opinion; but I’ve personally borne witness to their intermingling of assets and manpower. And while I’m willing to cede they’ve been at loggerheads before, that always appears to be more about posturing and empire building than actual disagreements. I stand by my assessment of the status quo in the collection of political fiefdoms that is Downtown Boise.

    I have no axe to grind with any individual(s) at Gbad, CCDC or DBA. My problem is with governmental agencies (quasi or otherwise) that require me to suspend all disbelief on an almost daily basis.

    And since drunk, stoned and TRYING to I don’t think I could screw things up nearly as bad, I AM seriously considering another run at Mayor (dropping out the first time only because of an unexpected death).

  14. Sara,

    You are correct, GBAD is at odds from time to time with CCDC. And you are also correct that there is a mechanism to dissolve the district, although highly difficult and improbable. I’d be interested in what your opinion is of the disappointing information in the ARTICLE instead of another readers comments!

  15. “Honey! Did you forget to pay the improbable mechanism bill again?”

    Essentially on topic…

    A pleasant watch and food for thought.

  16. Mike Wilson
    Feb 11, 2009, 8:29 pm

    The Boise Centre on the Grove is completely self sufficient. All money to pay the staff(including bonuses) come directly from sales.
    It is considered one of the most efficient convention centers in the country. Their staff from top to bottom are simply the best. Disagree with the board and their decisions, but I believe its unfair and unnecessary to throw stones at the staff. They deserve your thanks!

  17. I don’t think self sufficiency is the issue. The issue is that this is a minor government agency whose sole purpose is to manage the Boise Centre on the Grove, Convention, and Visitors Bureau. The wages paid, and bonuses granted are obscene. And like most government agencies they want to get bigger so they can have more layers of power and become more indispensable. $90,000 of our money spent to influence our opinion, unbelievable.

    EDITOR NOTE–gman12 you give them too much credit. Not only do they NOT manage the Visitors and Convention Bureau–they claim no knowledge of their expenses or salaries. G-BAD does indeed give tax revenues to the Visitors and Convention Bureau.

  18. GBAD Board Member Mike Wilson weighs in above…….

    Unfair? UNFAIR? The incredible arrogance of your board to thumb your nose at the public and continue your dreamy ideas is UNFAIR. The plain facts in this article are unfair. Quit crying foul at the information shared and answer for the action!

  19. And yet, when I went down to the Grove the other day to check out the Special Olympics events with my son I noticed that despite the presence of hundreds – if not thousands – of guests and visitors, they couldn’t have been bothered to open up the “Visitor’s Information Center” (other times staffing it with septuagenarian volunteers and dated tourist information).

    And the BCVB is in about a user un-friendly place as possible, nearly hidden under the West Staircase at the City Center / Aspen Lofts Parking Garage (whose Front St Exit is a horrific accident waiting to happen).

    Forest for the trees.

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