Canyon Government Workers Earn Top $$$

The Idaho Press-Tribune ran a salary roundup of top paid government workers which shows that Canyon County is a great place to work if you like to benefit from taxpayer largess…not so good if you are one of those taxpayers.

While the story shows half a dozen Nampa coppers earned (received?) well in excess of half a million taxpayer dollars last year, it also shows 6 teachers at Liberty Charter School made $75,000 each for contracts ranging from 185 days to one year.

In all fairness, we figure some these public servants benefitted from overtime and some additional duty pay, but the fact remains, they are very well paid. Rather than cause any sense of outrage among those who pay the bills, we suspect the net result of the news reporting will be a sense of defeat among citizens.

We have joked so many crooks have gotten caught in Canyon the Attorney General should have a permanent investigative office set up in 2C land. This story makes us wonder why they steal when they can make so much legally.

Meanwhile, other jurisdictions will use this “Top Ten List” of payments as justification for keeping salaries high in their city or county. Of course in the case of Boise, the mayor can claim he makes less than a corporal at the Nampa PD!

Comments & Discussion

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  1. I for one am tired of hearing about how little our public servants make relative to the private sector.

    I would like to start at the top and clean house down to the median household income of $47k noted in the data. Then we go on a fishing expedition to backfill all that administrative bloat with a market based approach for the new hires.

  2. Unfortunately, using the median household income is not a very good way to determine salary. First of all, many households in Idaho have both the husband and wife working. If one were to assume that the husband make 60% of the income, that means you would expect all public servants to earn about $28,200/year, or $13.55/hour. While that is more than the average Afgan in Afghanistan makes, it probably won’t work in ANY government location in the US for more than an entry level professional person. And by professional, I am talking about someone with experience and responsibility.

    First of all, in a number of jobs you have to pay for experience. While we can all make disparaging remarks about bad public servants, there are many that are excellent employees and they have years of experience. Do we really want District Attorneys, Chiefs of Police, engineers, medical professionals and other professionals to be HS graduates? Is your doctor straight out of trade school? How about depending on that accountant that just passed Mr. Custer’s 10 grade math class. To a point, you get what you pay for. Most starting professionals START well about the $15/hour, and in some cases about $20/hour…and that is to start. But that also includes at least 4 years of college and in some cases professional certification.

    I know many police officers that earn in excess of $60,000/year, but that includes hundreds of hours of overtime and self sacrifice. I would really like to see who is making in excess of $150k in any position in Canyon County. Come on Guardian – can you get us some more information??

    EDITOR NOTE–We were merely sharing a report from the Idaho Press-Tribune. They billed the survey as the “Top Ten” earners in the 7 agencies.

  3. Sounds like the chief needs to stay up late and send them home when they hit 40 hours?

  4. Does it remind anyone of a small California town?
    Now I understand why when a job comes open for the fire dept or Police dept they get over 500 applications.

  5. Steve Edgar
    Apr 26, 2011, 7:21 am

    On April 13 2009, two years ago now, in the Guardian, I wrote a guest opinion calling for a “sharing” of the pain (reducing compensation) from government workers and the opinion was ripped by many readers for being in poor taste. I see the Statesman is now conducting a poll on reducing public pensions.

    While it is not exactly the same as this current topic, it is very much related. Government compensation, all forms, must be reviewed for savings to the taxpayer. Public services must be cut to ensure we do not undermine our nations economic future.

    Mind you this whole concept has to start at the local level. I urge all of you to really study the levy rates on your property tax bill. No matter what county, there is a ton of local taxes weighing all of us down. I worked with one local agency in Ada county to reduce their levy; it was significantly more than other agencies providing the exact same services in different taxing districts county wide. When shown they were so far out of the norm, and with pressure, the commissioners reduced the levy. It can be done. We are being “nickled” and “dimed” by local taxes. Not to mention the state and federal agencies.

    It is all related, we simply are paying too much for public services and workers. In our economic structure we all have to realize that we are only compensated at our current valuation. Not what we think we are valued at, or what we were paid, it is simply what the market will bear. Past contracts under different revenue streams are not “untouchable”. Revenue sources took a hit, therefore pay and benefits will take a hit. The current imbalance between revenue and payouts is unsustainable. Just a thought – two years later.

  6. Local, county and state government gigs are for losers and chumps! Those governments all have to balance a budget, at least in these parts.

    The jobs to have are FEDERAL jobs! You get a good salary, lots of paid holidays, an awesome benefits package, pension, etc., etc. PLUS – you know you’ll get paid because when they run out of cash, they just print more! (Is this a great country, or WHAT?!!)

    “Winning!” – Charlie Sheen

    (Yeah, I’m sorta feeling a sense of defeat. I can’t see anything changing, until the house of cards comes tumbling down.)

  7. Don’t take some of the corporal and sergents pay at face value. When these officers work Federal or state grants they are paid from such funds but it skews their pay. It may appear that the city paid them that much when in fact they didn’t. A portion of that could be paid from different agencies for special projects.

    EDITOR NOTE–Is this “mercenary” money, freelance pay, or just overtime? It would seem that if these people are working for the public it is public taxes paying their big bucks. Whether it is city or Fed money it all comes from the working folks.

  8. I have never worked with a bigger group of knuckleheads in government than the ones that run Canyon County and Nampa. The various and sundry scandals and failures out there in the armpit of the Treasure Valley confirms my opinion. That they pay a lot is yet another comical oddity, coming from the supposedly “conservative” area.

  9. Remember, Canyon County is the seat of Republican power in Idaho. Canyon County will always be what America was. Canyon County is the pedastal af American Values in Idaho. Don’t mess with 2C.

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