Ada Redistricting Could Spawn Commish Rivalry

The potential for some Ada County political fireworks and intrigue were opened up with the latest state redistricting plans.

Ada was cleanly divided into nine legislative districts based on population and will likely remain unchanged. That makes a perfect fit for the Ada Commishes to each take three legislative districts to form the three county districts.

Now, here comes the intrigue and potential fireworks. The Commishes could decide to put Sharon Ullman and Vern Bisterfeldt in the SAME district since they are both up for re election. Vern has the historic edge with over 50 years of public service as a Boise copper and city councilor as well as former Ada Commish.

Ullman has a solid working knowledge of the commission and has worked hard on several projects including preventative health care services. It is no secret the two tolerate each other, but don’t play nice together. She favors the proposed Dynamis trash to energy project, he is opposed and wants the $2 million the county paid to Dynamis returned.

The next question is, “do they both run for Vern’s four-year seat or Sharon’s two-year seat?” The terms of office are staggered to prevent a total turnover at any given election. If Ullman and Bisterfeldt are put into a grudge match ultimate fighter cage, that means there will be an empty seat.

Former copper, chief, drug czar and city councilor Jim Tibbs isn’t currently in public office and his name has surfaced in GUARDIAN circles.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. So exactly how does the state redistricting affect the county commissioners elections? Do you have a link to the actual civil codes related to the county commissioners elections?

    EDITOR NOTE–The commishes have to establish districts every 10 years. Just happens this year it is a clean 9 legislative districts and the math would allow them to just split 3 each so all precincts would be same for both county and state races. Otherwise it is a ballot nightmare with all the potential combinations.

  2. I think Jim Tibbs would be a great choice. He did a great job on the force. His actions after 9-11 to work with the local Muslims was laudable. He wasn’t badge heavy. Not militaristic in his approach to police work. The current commissioners are a joke and he would be a welcome change.

  3. I am wondering how the Dynamis project will get funded. I can’t imagine anyone buying bonds for this questionable project. Moreover, why would any bond underwriter take this on and represent it to investors?

  4. Tibbs is an honorable person who could bring some very good insight into the commission. Sharon Ullman needs to go for good, she has proven to create ongoing conflict instead of working for the citizens of Ada County. Come on people, a public official actually going on blogs and to the media to trash other people. She has no class and can not back up her remarks.

  5. “Ada Redistricting could spawn commish rivalry” has nothing to do with the potential of bringing Sharon and Vern into the same district. I heard months ago that Sharon was interested in having them in the same district so she could end up with a four year term instead of a two year if she won. Her efforts are purely for her own potential political gain versus equalizing the districts as is required by Idaho Code Section 31-704 (see below) which charges the commissioners with equalizing the districts in January making the districts “as nearly equal in population as may be.” Nowhere does it state that this power is given to the commissioners to pursue political gain/motivations/manipulations as Sharon clearly identifies on her December 14th Facebook post (see below). She laughs at the legislation identifying it as a conflict of interest and then clearly shows why it is a conflict of interest for the commission to have this power. Our forefathers must be rolling over in their graves to see a politician in place that is so personally motivated. I sure hope the voters wake up and realize that Sharon Ullman is not in her position for anything to do with the people. It’s all about Sharon!

    TITLE 31
    31-704. Commissioners’ districts. At the regular meeting in January, preceding any general election, the board of commissioners must district their county into three (3) districts, as nearly equal in population as may be, to be known as county commissioners’ districts, numbers one (1), two (2) and three (3) respectively; provided, that when a new county shall have been created, or the boundary lines of a county shall have been changed, then the board of commissioners of such county may district their county at any general or special meeting of such board.

    Sharon Ullman (quoted via her Facebook page)
    ♥ County commissioners in Idaho have to reapportion county commissioner districts by January 15 of each election year. (Can you say, “Conflict of interest?”! We didn’t make the law but we have to abide by it.) Vern Bisterfeldt and I are both up for re-election in 2012. What would you think about the two of us being put in the same district, and facing off in the 2012 Republican Primary Election? ♥

    Posted December 14, 2011 at 10:41pm ·

  6. Commish Districts Update:

    Ada County Commissioners Vern Bistefeldt and Sharon Ullman, both Republicans, are now in the same commission district (3), according to today’s Idaho Statesman. Ullman’s seat in commission district 1 will be an open seat since she no longer lives in that district. She told the Statesman that she plans to run for Bisterfeldt’s seat in the newly configured commission district 3. Bisterfeldt has not yet commented on his plans. Should be interesting, yes?

    Once again, the GUARDIAN’s crystal ball has accurately foretold the future!


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