Commish Candidates Tame At City Club

It was like a tag team wrestling match Thursday when the four Republican Ada County Commish candidates fielded questions from an audience of about 200 City Clubbers.

It was Rick Yzaguirre and Fred Tilman against Vern Bisterfeldt and Roger Simmons. The best we could get from members afterwards was, “Interesting.” And that was charitable.

All four said the economy and jobs were important. S & B were upset there was no fire protection in Hidden Springs and Avimor. Y and T said there was. Simmons claimed the courthouse was free and Tilman said he writes a $4.5 million check each year for a lease.

Someone asked Vern if he could work better with Sharon Ullman this time around if he won.

“I have never worked with her. I just beat her twice in elections,” snarled the former Commish…it was the highlight of the hour.

POET PAUL’s take–

Simmons pitched ponies because he felt
His popularity would not melt
Of secret meetings Tilman sure felt
Were an unfair shot below the belt
Yzaguirre didn’t pay taxes since he felt
He was just playing the hand which he was dealt
But others believe and always have felt
Ya’ just can’t beat ol’ Bisterfelt!

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Casual Observer
    May 14, 2010, 9:14 pm

    Tilman has a lot of chutzpah throwing bricks at Simmons for the courthouse deal. This is the second year in a row that he, Tilman, has botched horse racing at the county fairgrounds. Not only is Tilman not getting any rent on the facility, local businesses are missing out on the $15 million per year generated by running the ponies.

    Add in the $30,000 of taxpayer dollars he spent in a failed attempt to dodge the conviction and fine for his open meeting law violation and we are left with a man whose fiscal chops are pathetic.

  2. I am biting my nails in anticipation of the Daily’s endorsements in this race! Will it be for two former commmishes, both good men, or for incumbents just because they are incumbents and have experience, 40 county party votes, like to attend ribbon cuttings and conferences and Republican Women’s and Chamber luncheons instead of conducting county business on site and brushing aside taxpayer concerns over ethics violations and other assundry things. This is not an endorsement, because I do not vote in the Republican primary. If I did, I’d vote for Vern and Roger.


  3. Folks, if you don’t mind, I’d like to take another moment of your time to SELL Vern and Roger:

    Many of you may not know that Roger Simmons was and is a highly regarded JOURNALIST (formerly KTVB-Channel 7). The last time I saw him was about two years ago when I stopped by his home to pick graphics from his wife for an article I was writing. He opened the door clinging to two frisky dogs he and his wife were pet-sitting for neighbors. He recently sent out a press release that told you the truth and facts about a sitting commish’s tax issues. I may not agree with his stands on all issues, but I respect him. The new courthouse was built in times of austerity, as was the Meridian City Hall, as was my home. The economy has soured and we have to live with our choices and hold the line on what we have.

    One of the last times I interviewed Vern was in the pouring rain at the VETERANS Cemetery for an article on “Wreaths Across America” to salute our fallen soldiers of all commissions and all branches of the military. A former paratrooper, he was there with then Boise City Councilman Jim Tibbs, also a veteran. Despite the nasty weather and his sometimes crusty regard for the media, he took time for the interview. He is who he is. I respect him.

    I also like the Bisterfeldt-Simmons Idaho license plate election billboards. Pricey, maybe, but for a good cause and great campaign strategy.

    We have a better chance of resuming horse racing if this duo wins.

    You will most likely not see this duo listed as FANS on any media’s Facebook page (See Statesman’s Facebook page where commishes list their favorite product as the Statesman.)

    Finally, if Vern wins the primary and the general election he will leave an OPEN Boise City Council seat–won’t that be FUN to see who is appointed to fulfil the remainder of his term? Will it be another streetcar fan or someone with a different view?

    I am not voting in the Republican primary because I am running for re-election on the Democratic side and I want to vote for myself, whom I trust! If I wanted to vote in the R primary, I would because it is my right to vote for whomever I darn well choose! No closed primaries!

    As a former FLACK (a good one), thank you for your time! TJ-T if you are reading this, pass it along to V and R.


  4. Why doesn’t anyone seem to care about the constant campaigning (for governor by Ulmann and for county seats by the other two) while being paid, according to Simmons, $93,000 a year? In private industry if you were paid that much and did your personal business on the company’s dime, you’d be fired!

    EDITOR NOTE–Frustrated, you need to include the Guv, Senator, Congressmen, and every other incumbent as well. We don’t like it either, but that’s the way it is.

  5. I just can’t get past Roger standing in front of the cameras and saying “this building will not cost the taxpayer of Ada County anything”. I also find it ironic that Roger seems to be always referring to “WE” meaning he and Vern, during the campaign. Vern is the definition of public service for this community for decades. Roger? Not so much!!!

  6. Update: DAILY has “reluctantly endorsed” the sitting commissioners. See today’s (May 16) opinion page. As a voter, I find the whole thing kind of sad. If I were an R, however, I would still cast a vote for Simmons and Bisterfeldt based on overwhelming reasons against the incumbents.

  7. Roger Simmons and Vern Bisterfeldt offer a two-year, five point plan that includes eliminating double-taxation by the County on citizens of Boise, Garden City and Meridian; redirecting more Ada County resources to economic development & job creation; and bringing county property values down to more realistic levels to reflect the current housing market.

    As our Valley faces difficult times, our County needs leadership and know-how from Roger and Vern more than ever to strengthen our communities. Their experience is unparalleled and their commitment to improving the lives of Ada County citizens is unquestionable.

    You can learn more about Roger Simmons & Vern Bisterfeldt and their vision for Ada County at

  8. TJ, you are the perfect candidate for this bridge I have. Honest! You will really like it and I can get you a heckuva deal!

  9. Cyclops:

    Mr. Thomson is a sitting Boise City Councilman. How about a little respect for his honest views. I repect your views, though I disagree with them on this issue. In time, you will see that Vern and Roger are the right men in the R-primary for the commish races, no matter your personal opinion of them or their past mistakes. In the end, it all comes out in the wash, as the saying goes. Have a super day!


  10. If the Ada Courthouse was indeed “free” then all they need to do is quit writing the $4.5MM checks each year and see what happens.

    I would be willing to bet we could find out who owns the place in a big hurry.

  11. I’m sorry that Roger and Vern didn’t have more on the ball that day at the City Club. I attended and was disappointed in everyone’s performance. While Yzaguirre and Tilman seemed more the polished politicians, their responses lacked substance and were defensive. But their tenure has been marked by obstinance, lack of communication, and some outright failures as with the race track. I am voting in the Republican primary and its because of this race.

    It seems clear to me that all the current commissioners have used the office for their own personal aggrandizement whether its for the salary, the benefits or to launch a bid for higher office. Throw the bums out. I like the idea of voting for a couple guys out to make their jobs obsolete.

  12. Wow, am I the only one that read the interviews by the Statesman? I am amazed at the Roger and Vern show. Roger has made claims that Rick only does and says what Fred tells him to but I am starting to see that it is Roger that is trying to tell Vern what to do and say. Who wants a commission that Roger runs?

    Then there is the great “Five Point Plan,” what a joke. Even Vern doesn’t agree with the five points. He mentions that two of them he has problems with. So who’s five point plan is it? I am also amazed at how lame the great five point plan really is. They are all five feel good points, but I am amazed at how two former commissioners can be that stupid. Most of their points the commissioners don’t actually have control over.

    I also find it very amusing that Roger has “grown up” and can now miraculously work with others. He is the one that is out there touting that the county needs to work better with the other cities, but he himself doesn’t play well with others. Please do not be conned into thinking Roger is this great guy that is open minded and will work well with others just because is babysits the neighbors dogs. It is obvious that most of you on here don’t remember the nasty days of Roger on the commission. ADA County was actually the laughing stock of the State due to the “Five Point Plan” man.

    I am also very intrigued that Roger can’t run on his own merits, especially for as long as he was in office. Instead he is running on his opponents past. I received his mailer and started laughing when I saw the he is claiming the Rick inherited his businesses. Is that what it is called now when you buy a company? Is this really who we want at the helm of the county? I also thought it was ironic that Roger gave himself a bigger raise in the time he was in office but is out there professing to the world how much the commissioners make now.

    Then there is the five member commission. That is the worst idea I have heard in a long time. Even Vern doesn’t think it is a good idea. I am just floored out at how some of you can even think about voting for Roger or Vern!

  13. I’ve stopped watching the candidates debates. I rarely read the garbage they propogate in the paper. They expect people to vote according to how much hatred they can conjure up about the other person, not about what they think they might be able to do, or, who they think they might be able to work with to find common ground, both sides of the fence. Politics these days are hateful, ridiculous, and counter productive.

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