One Nasty Month From Election Day

Gotta hand it to the Rs. They can question the integrity of their fellow party members, claim their fellow Rs are “living high at the public trough,” and then turn around and support that same person in November.

In a press release issued to other media–but not the GUARDIAN, Ada Commish Candidate Roger Simmons goes after incumbent Commishes for taking past pay raises of $20,000. Fred Tilman and Rick Yzaguirre have put a lid on salary increases the past two budget years, but Simmons’ press release says, “claims that they haven’t had a raise in salaries in three years is just flat out false.”

The entire release follows and we welcome responses from the sitting Commishes.

Paid for by the committee to elect Roger Simmons, Kristi Simmons, Treasurer
& the committee to elect Vern Bisterfeldt, Lynda Fischer, Treasurer
(Boise)—-While they may wish they hadn’t taken huge pay raises now that they’re having to run for reelection
on their past records, Ada County Commissioners Rich Yzaguirre’s and Fred Tilman’s claim that they
haven’t had a raise in salaries in three years is just flat out false.
In the first six years they were in office, Commissioners Yzaguirre and Tilman raised their salaries
$20,000 to where they are now making over $93,000 a year. That’s more than the Idaho Secretary of State, the
State Controller, the State Treasurer and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Now, Yzaguirre and Tilman are reaching into future budget years to make it appear that they haven’t
had a raise in three years. The facts are simple. Rick Yzaguirre and Fred Tilman made three percent more in
the 2008-2009 fiscal year than they made in 2007-2008. And they made 4 percent more in 2008 than they
made in 2007. In fact, if you go back six years from 2009 to when they took office in 2003, they are now
making an incredible 22% more than they were when they started. In fact, in the 2004-2005 budget year alone
they moved their pay up by a whopping seven percent.
Although the current recession caused them to hold the line on pay raises last year like almost every
other governmental entity, and while they may have frozen salaries in the upcoming 2010-2011 budget, which
doesn’t start until the new fiscal year in October, and even if they choose to continue to hold the line on pay
raises when they set the 2011-2012 budgets, like former Commissioners Vern Bisterfeldt and Roger Simmons
pledged to do when they announced their candidacies more than a month ago, the fact remains for the first six
years in office, Commissioners Yzaguirre and Tilman have been living high at the public trough on taxpayers’
Here’s a chart of the commissioners’ salaries since they took office in 2003:
2002-2003 $74,880 (salaries already set)
2003-2004 $77,126 3%
2004-2005 $83,000 7%*
2005-2006 $85,490 3%
2006-2007 $87,000 2%
2007-2008 $90,480 4%
2008-2009 $93,194 3%
2009-2010 (current fiscal year) $93,194
*Commissioners Yzaguirre and Tilman took the increase even though two salary surveys the Ada County taxpayers
paid for recommended otherwise. When the first survey came back with unfavorable results, the commissioners
hired another firm. When those results came back suggesting something other than what the commissioners
wanted, they eliminated the comparable counties the professionals used to achieve their results and
re-ran the survey figures themselves to adopt their own conclusions.
“While some might find it admirable that the commissioners are holding the line on salary increases
now, the current state of the economy would make it political suicide to do otherwise. The difference is that
most of their fellow elected officials across the state have been much more conservative even before the economic
downturn. Until things improve considerably there should be no more raises now or in the foreseeable
future,” said Commission Candidate Roger Simmons. “At least the commissioners realize that now. It’s too
bad they didn’t care as much seven years ago when they first started taking such large increases.”
For additional information call Roger Simmons at 869-0200.
Paid for by the committee to elect Roger Simmons, Kristi Simmons, Treasurer
& the committee to elect Vern Bisterfeldt, Lynda Fischer, Treasurer

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Roger Simmons is such a hypocrite. How many raises did he take when he was in office? Did he take any note of the current raises while he was feeding at the public trough at the lottery by testifying at the budget hearings?

    And as far as his cohort Vern Bisterfeldt goes, is he going to ask the building at barrister be named for someone else now that he’s not at death’s door and wants to be back as a commissioner? Vern double dips from persi and his tax paid city council salary. Hmmm no mention of this in their crummy little press release.

    Roger Simmons was bad for the county before, he’ll be even worse for the county now. He doesn’t care about anything or anybody but himself. Yzaguirre may be not much, but he’s miles ahead of Roger the hypocrite.

  2. Sharon Ullman for Governor!

    My heart goes out to the Commissioners who can’t seem to make ends meet for $93K/yr plus a big fat expense account.

    Time for a County Manager to replace all of them with a single person. The Commishes become the board and very part time.

  3. Vern really cares about the valley. The rest of them are just fine feeding on each other.”Population adjustment at it’s best!”

  4. what a hypocrite. simmons voted to increase his own pay every year he was a commissioner in the 90’s, and he opposed another commissioner’s attempt to prohibit incumbent commissioners from accepting any raise until after the following election. so he’s arguing now exactly the opposite of what he actually did as a commissioner. more proof that we should never judge politicians by what they say, but what they do.

  5. In 2005, now BOCC Commish Sharon Ullman criticized commish salary raises and other issues in an e-mail to BG. I presume she is probably the impetus for holding the line on salaries now, as she has fulfilled most of her 2008 campaign promises. Although there is a contested race on the Republican side in the primary, there is an alternative Democratic candidate against Commish Yzaguirre– Larry Rincover– in the general election. Plese don’t overlook an “unknown” who might bring something different to the county table; and please don’t brand all D’s as liberals. Just a thought.

  6. I'll have you know
    Apr 29, 2010, 12:57 pm

    The problem with electing both Vern & Roger is that Vern always votes with Roger. The third Commish might as well stay home. If anyone can find a time when that didn’t occur, bring it forth. Conservative Commish Gary Glen, was always outvoted by this blustering duo. Vern was rewarded for this by having his name placed on the Public Safety Building, the concept for which he did not support. If anyone’s name should be on that building it should be Chief John Church or Sheriff Chuck Palmer or both. They worked together to bring the joining of records, dispatch and other support facilities together in that building. Which was approved by a vote of the public, unlike the current County albatross building downtown which was financed by some sort of an end run around the voters of the county. Not sure how that one slipped by The Guardian and maybe it didn’t.

    EDITOR NOTE– Without regard to naming rights, the historical record will show it was indeed John Church and former sheriff PAUL BRIGHT who advocated the idea…after I took them to lunch in my capacity of police reporter at the Statesman. The idea of a joint facility came from that original luncheon. I am certain of the historical record because I wrote it!

  7. Additional info on Ada County Commish race: :

    Attendance at political party central committee meetings by incumbents/candidates is not a requisite for primary race endorsements. Both Simmons and Bisterfeldt have long run as Republicans. They will have R’s after their names, not D’s. They are entitled to the same treatment by fellow Republicans as others. They are entitled as American citizens to vote for or support whomever they choose. (This is not an endorsement of either of them by me.) In my opinion, the ACR central committee showed extremely poor judgment in expressing favoritism and in alluding to “censure” of Bisterfeldt and Simmons without cause. This is not the function of central committees. FYI: Commish Yzaguirre is also a candidate for precinct committeeman as well as for re-election to the BOCC, which will place him on the central committee as a voting member. This is allowed and perfectly appropriate. Most elected officials are already ex officio members of the central committee. This is another example of pre-election spin and should be totally disregarded as a reason to support incumbents over challengers in the primary election. Vote for the candidates you trust or who most closely represent your individual views. Take it from someone who knows the process.

  8. Republicans, Kappa TA is right, Just continue to vote against the one who is going to take your guns and
    murder babies. Simple.

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