Candidate Talks Trash Over Dynamis Plan

Dave Case is a Repub running against Sharon Ullman for Ada County Commish. He sent the following guest opinion unsolicited to the GUARDIAN. We have contacted Sharon Ullman and expect her response soon.

By Dave Case
Ada Commission Candidate

It has been almost a month now since the Idaho Statesman ran its last story on the proposed waste-to-energy facility at the Ada County landfill, and there are still several unanswered questions the Statesman’s reporter didn’t ask.

For instance: Why were there no public hearings on this proposal prior to the one on June 18, 2010, when the County Commissioners put out a Request for Expressions of Interest on this project?

Apparently, the Commissioners met several times individually with representatives of Dynamis regarding the trash-to-energy concept, but held no meetings with anyone else, and held no open meetings where the public could participate. Then the Commissioners did something extremely unusual. In just nine working days, the Commissioners reconvened to award the proposed project to Dynamis. By most government standards, that’s an incredibly short period of time to allow others to consider responding.

In fact, during the nine days they were supposedly waiting for other submissions, Commissioner Sharon Ullman admits on her blog dated November 8, 2011 that “our lead attorney and I negotiated an agreement with Dynamis”. Were no other responses even going to be considered?

Commissioner Ullman says I.C. 31-4403(6) allows the Commissioners to do this deal “with or without competitive bidding”. But just because you can do it doesn’t make it right. And it certainly isn’t prudent to do something this complex and apparently revolutionary without seeking other expert opinions on the feasibility of Dynamis’ proposed “new technology”.

Why the hurry? Why did the Ada County Commissioners avoid the normal due diligence required for such a complex project?

In a recent symposium on trash-to-energy, Commissioner Ullman said she could find nothing in her research to indicate that Dynamis’ concept would not work. But she gave no evidence of any research that she or anyone else associated with the county had done to indicate the project will work. Most responsible people would demand such evidence before handing over $2 Million in taxpayer money to an unproven entity with an unproven concept without, at the very least, demanding a performance bond.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Look, I can’t get past the haircut.

    Remember those dorky photos we all took for the yearbook when we were high school freshmen?

    This dude never left the ninth grade.

    Is there a libertarian running anywhere?

  2. Is this a story or a paid political ad? And instead of telling what someone else did how about telling us what he would do and what HIS research on this matter has revealed?

    EDITOR NOTE–GUARDIAN takes no ads, endorses no candidates, and has offered Ullman equal space within 10 minutes of receiving the opinion authored by Case. Would you be satisfied with the non-coverage from the Daily?

  3. Rod in SE Boise
    Apr 30, 2012, 9:54 am

    Mr. Case make some good points. I look forward to Ms. Ullman’s response.

  4. I too would like other options. We will get more of the same here. It’s a pay increase for him and will pop the retirement up. Just doing what Vern did. Easier job with more pay and bennies.

    As smelly as the trash burner deal seems to be, I don’t see any of these so-called responsible government types taking any action.

  5. Gary Richardson
    Apr 30, 2012, 12:33 pm

    Sharon cut her teeth in county government by chewing on its extravagances, like the palace and adjacent real estate on Front St.

    Had she remained the citizen-bulldog we once knew, she’d have been all over a smelly deal like the one at the dump.

    What happened? There’s got to be more to the story.

    A disciplined minority of totalitarians can use the instruments of democratic government to undermine democracy itself.
    —Hannah Arendt

  6. Gary, you do realize this is an op-ed by Sharon’s opponent. You are not going to get the “more to the story” from this.

  7. I agree with Gary. I’ve always thought of Sharon as an advocate of the taxpayer and guardian at the treasury door… so this whole Dynamis thing has seemed out of character for her.

    And Dave, your efforts to shed light are much appreciated. Critics MUST be newbies, or resentful toadies for other “news” organizations. You’ve provided your candidate platform for years.

  8. Gary Richardson
    Apr 30, 2012, 3:37 pm

    Yes, and I believe that Ms. Ullman reads these things and will try to answer my question in her response.

  9. CJ Petrovsky
    Apr 30, 2012, 6:24 pm

    Ditto bikeboy and Gary. I too await Ms. Ullman’s response, especially given Mr. Mahaffey’s involvement.

  10. Folks this not the only deal Sharon has been involved in that has a smell to it….

  11. Ms. Ullman’s answer-

    I find it interesting that she discloses that her expert is now her fiance. The relationship sounds like it started after the fact but….

    I don’t think waste to energy is a bad technology. It is a long term solution versus landfill which are a short term solution when spread across generations. It is very costly to build these plants and I am sure Dynamis will be looking for more handouts down the road.

  12. Re: Commissioner Ullman’s latest post on her Website:

    I beg to differ with the sitting commissioner, but the case is closed when the voters/taxpayers say it is. Her latest rant seems to me all the more reason to vote for someone new in Ada County, someone who doesn’t call her colleagues or opponents stupid, ignorant, etc., or blast them for health issues beyond their control. How many days did she miss when she had gallbladder surgery? A simple explanation of the facts would have sufficed.

    We deserve better than this, folks. Ada County deserves better. This is completely my opinion and nothing more.

    KTA, Voter/Taxpayer/Ada County Resident

  13. KTA – In nothing more than my (not-so-humble) opinion, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I’ve *long* been tired of Sharon’s bulwark that she’s on the side of the voter/taxpayer, when she’s really just a bullheaded bully. I’m voting against her for many reasons, least of all that cockamamie stoplight in front of the courthouse, erected for “public safety.” I don’t want my taxpayer dollars trying to mitigate laziness or stupidity, and it does more harm than good when it comes to wonking with traffic, especially at rush hour.

    Yet strangely enough, I did learn something from that rambling diatribe (erm, Sharon’s blog post). It’s interesting she points a finger saying Vern voted against forgoing the allowed 3% levy increase. (Can’t find anything on the county’s website about that one…)

    That’s a good question for Dave Case: If elected, will you vote to forgo the allowed 3% property tax increase and hold the line on the county’s budget?

  14. Registered Voter
    May 1, 2012, 3:04 pm

    Just how stupid and gullible does Mr. Case, (and Mr. Frazier for that matter), think we are? How does getting voted off a school board, voted on to a highway district, and paroling baby rapers prepare a person to run the most populated county in Idaho? I want to know what this guy is going to do to make this county a better place. I think that candidates who can only say bad things about their opponents are losers from the get go and should be completely ignored!

    EDITOR NOTE–Hey Voter! In my own defense, I do not endorse candidates and have offered Commish Ullman equal space on the GUARDIAN. What did I do other than provide a much needed forum for issues and candidates?

  15. Registered Voter
    May 1, 2012, 3:13 pm

    I see Sharon Ullman didn’t respond on the Guardian site. I find it amusing that she didn’t take the bait so she could be ambushed by this lopsided, lip service edition of the National Enquirer!

  16. Look at the mentality of Sharon’s supporters who put their comments in here. It shows by their character who they represent. Sharon used the Guardian to bash other people, it was her best friend. When people starting bashing her and it was posted, she was furious so she writes on her own website. She can delete what she does not like. I find it amazing that it appears she finally might have bought a fiance in the whole dynamis deal. How convenient! Let’s see how long this one will stick around.
    The plain and simple truth is Sharon does not have the class or intregrity it takes to represent Ada County. We need new leadership and I hope her opponent is elected.

    EDITOR NOTE–Curious, you are pushing the envelope with a personal attack. We will allow it as “political opinion,” but don’t condone harsh personal shots.

  17. @RV: You are new? Commissioners have on several occasions commented here to clear things up. More credibility here than the local rag + info babes combined. Lots of surprise inside facts too.

    It is not uncommon however for a lawyer to keep their client off the stand.

    Or perhaps she is on her way to Afganistan in effort to reach a larger population with her reply?

  18. If we are going to talk haircuts can I ask about Sharon’s? (Edited for insensitivity).

    I think the Guardian does a community service by allowing candidiates to express themselves in a public forum. All of the candidates have a chance to speak out – some choose not to take part.

    EDITOR NOTE–Go after substance, but don’t use this “hallowed ground” for nasty personal jabs.

  19. Raising the trash fees is the same as raising taxes. Are we paying for someones research? Is there a global warming nut who is going to save us by burning tires?

    Vern, save your reputation, save us from this experiment.

  20. I wonder about how much heavy metals are going to be emitted in the exhaust stacks of this plant. Many have been stopped on the East Coast because the exhaust contained tons of heavy metals. This whole thing smacks of Mafia involvement to me. Obviously, the Dynamis folks have no investors in this except the taxpayer. Great way to launder money too, while burning taxpayer money.

  21. I agree with RV. What happened to candidates telling us what the will do if elected ( I know this implies accountability) instead of telling us what the would have done with their hind sight is 20/20 vision or slinging mud at other candidates. Come on Case for once take a stand a tell us what you will do! Don’t hide behind what others have done that you don’t agree with. Show us you are part of the solution and not just another part of the problem.

  22. Well well well, Mr. Case I’m happy to see that you didn’t keep your supposed promise to Ms. Cladis to give her her probation contract back. I was concerned that we would have a commish that could be bought with support and money. Kudos to you for doing the right thing.

  23. publicwatch
    May 29, 2012, 9:45 pm

    Stay on topic Jim. This is about the dynamis mess happening in Ada County and the outrageous actions of Sharon Ulman getting us into this. Ms. Cladis is just one of her victims of abuse. This was a good contract for Ada County that she voted out, leaving room for her ongoing decision to support Dynamis with a BAD contract and 2 million dollars. She now is giving the Sherif’s office more taxpayer money to run probation. What will the Sherif do when Ulman is not there to give him what he wants. As for Mr. Case, I do my homework. I don’t see any financial support from Ms. Cladis so you should not be saying things that are not legit.
    Dave Case’s agenda is to make good decisions for the people of Ada County and no one else. Give him time to review all what is happening in Ada County to make those decisions.

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