Most Ada Salaries Top Those Of State Officials

Look for state elected officials and local coppers to pitch salary hikes during future legislative and city council meetings, comparing state and local salaries as justification for pay hikes.

Ada County Commishes approved a budget crowding $200,000,000 last week and bumped up the salaries of elected officials including a 15% hike for Sheriff Gary Raney, putting him within a few dollars of the Governor’s salary.

The commissioners say county revenues are growing and elected officials’ salaries — particularly the sheriff’s — need to be aligned with the marketplace and to recognize top performance. Never mind the fact the prosecutor and sheriff are directing an investigation into the conduct of the Commishes over the Dynamis trash to energy project.

The Sheriff and Prosecutor Greg Bower were the largest beneficiaries of the so-called salary adjustments. Raney will make $115,535 and Bower will rake in $139,648. That puts Raney about ten grand higher than Idaho State Police Colonel Jerry Russell and Bower more than $35,000 above Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.

The Commishes also tweaked their own wages by 2.5% to $97,434. County Clerk Chris Rich was raised to the same salary level, putting him almost $4,000 above Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa’s $93,756.

The DAILY PAPER ran some comparison salary figures which reveal the top cop salary in Ada County goes to Garden City Chief James Bensley at $119,933. Number two is Boise Chief Mike Masterson’s $116,896. Bensley is possibly the highest paid cop in all of Idaho.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Where do these salaries stack up nationalaly. Per population? Thank you in advance for the info Gaurdian

    EDITOR NOTE–There is NO ACCURATE data base. Do you compare Boise PD to Austin, Texas, but cost of living is higher there? Do you compare Idaho Salaries to North Dakota, but they have oil income? Is the total budget of an agency a criterion for director wages or the number of people supervised?

    Bottom line, you can bet none of the lower paid guys will say their counterparts are overpaid.

  2. Judy Peavey-Derr
    Sep 10, 2012, 1:05 pm

    I don’t believe this is the time for Commissioners or other elected officials to be raising their salaries. People are trying to save their houses, if they still own them, cope with higher food prices, and higher gas prices, and if they have a job which many don’t, they aren’t receiving increases. What are Commissioner Yzaguirre and Ullman thinking? I understand Case argued against the increases.

  3. Thank you editor

  4. It just doesn’t make sense that they are getting 15 percent raises when for the last 5 years most other state employees have all had their raises withheld entirely ( and that trend holds true for the self-funded agencies too). So now we find out the old excuse of “there is no money in the budget for raises” just isn’t true: they’re just giving it all to themselves.

  5. when this country started, all these elected officials worked normal people jobs to survive, and their elected status was a privilege, not a paycheck….
    its far past time to start cutting their pay, not increasing it, we need to remove a monetary compensation to a position of public service, in doing so we would see more ethical people willing to take office, rather than those who are simply looking for a paycheck with fat benefits.

  6. costaprettypenny
    Sep 10, 2012, 7:40 pm

    Couple years ago Nate Mitchell, Mayor of Star and a couple City Councilmen wanted to raise their salaries and since no one goes to Star City Council meetings, no one knew. Then there was an email sent out to the city’s residences about the proposed raises. At the next council meeting the chamber was filled with angry citizens against the idea of raises. Low and behold, the Mayor and councilmen changed their minds, funny how that works! Good decisions require the light of day, at least in Star!

  7. JustaWondering
    Sep 10, 2012, 9:58 pm

    I have not heard anyone ask what revenues are up to justify such an incredible increase at the top?

  8. Unfortunately, Ullman and Yzaquire just do things and spend money without input from the taxpayers. I have never seen such unethical practices in this office in the 60 plus years I have been in Ada County. With Sheriff Raney’s ongoing abuse of power and control with two commissioners backing him, he now makes what our Governor makes! This is really sad. How many petitions does it take to get Yzaguirre out? We are lucky Ullman is on her way out soon.

  9. The director of Ada County EMS made $94205 in 2011. There were 55 members of the Boise Police Dept and 55 members of the Boise Fire Dept that made more than that in 2011. Police and fire department budgets are a drain on us all. The cost of living in this area simply does not warrant such exorbitant salaries.

  10. If the average wage in Ada county is less than $50,000 then why is Ada county giving raises to Prosecutor Greg Bowers and Sheriff Raney? Two of the best paid positions
    in Idaho $115,535 and $139,648 respectively.
    Anyone answer that?

  11. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the Dynamis investigation. Oh wait – there isn’t going to be one.
    Unfortunately until January Ullman and Izaguirre will continue to do things over the objections of Dave Case. Sometimes it seems like Ullman is trying to get back at the taxpayers for kicking her out of office.

  12. I was recently a State employee for over 10 years and was always given an exceptional work review. I made $1.80 and hour more when I left than when I started, all benefits were cut, not to mention the furloughs.

    The legislature treats state employees like lepers. Only administrators seem to get the raises while cutting back on positons that do all the work.

  13. I really don’t want to hear about comparisons with the “private sector” when comparing these people and their wages and fringes. I feel fairly certain they all make more when and if this comparison is actually made.

    They have a lot brass to pay themselves this kind of money for what they do. It must be pretty nice to be able to give yourself a pay raise anytime you feel like doing it.

  14. My Two Cents
    Sep 11, 2012, 2:50 pm

    So are we pretending there is no conflict of interest that Raney and Bower just chose who to appoint to decide if an investigation of the Commissioners is warranted? There is a blatant conflict, since each was just rewarded with a 15% raise by the very people the taxpayers seek to have investigated. Moreover, they have not found someone to investigate the allegations. Rather, the Statesman reports that they have found someone to determine whether the allegations made are worthy of investigation. Why this extra step? It’s just further cushioning of the Commissioners from any accountability and a further delay until after the elections.

    I hope Jim Tibbs gets elected and he and Dave Case actually clean up the County, including making sure proper investigations into past inappropriate activities by the other commissioners take place.

    I would also note that today they approved an expansion of the boundaries of the Dynamis project from what I understand, in order to help Dynamis get its DEQ permit. Consideration of the actual lease with Dynamis was tabled until Thursday. So let’s get this straight: The Commissioners met in secret with Dynamis principals for like a year and then rushed through a contract and handed them 2 million dollars despite the Dynamis folks being unable to even obtain a performance bond. When an issue arose about them getting financing, the Commissioners extended the contract from five to 30 years to help Dynamis. Today they extended the boundaries of the project to help Dynamis get a DEQ permit. So basically, the Commissioners have put everything into getting this thing going. WHY? This unbelievable commitment to getting this thing through is mind boggling.

    They have defended Dynamis to the extreme point of giving up their political careers (a la Sharon not getting re-elected). Why? People don’t do stuff like that without motivation. What is the motivation? And on top of everything else, they will not permit an inquiry and have delayed it and delayed it and passed it from one agency to the other, and now we get an inquiry to see if there should be an inquiry by someone appointed by two folks who just were handed 15% raises. Seriously?

  15. They are PUBLIC SERVANTS. They are not corporate or private industry leaders. Military personnel went without COLAS for a couple years, while soldiers were deployed away from their families and fought sometimes deadly battles on foreign soil. They soldiered on without pay raises. I was humbled today to meet the very young widow of a very young Idaho soldier who died in Iraq last year. That’s true sacrifice. That’s what service is all about.

    Time for voters to elect new public servants willing to make sacrifices and return dignity and honor to Ada County.

    KTA-40+-year member of the military family, Ada County voter/taxpayer

  16. Frustrating
    Sep 11, 2012, 7:23 pm

    The commissioners laid off dozens of county employees and they give themselves raises. And Bower’s salary …. amazing!

  17. chicago sam
    Sep 11, 2012, 7:40 pm

    Somebody had to step up and give some salary increases and what better method than to have a Commissioner who will be turned out to pasture do the dirty work. The legislature will soon be in session with many new members who won’t have to stand for election again for two years. Hang on to your wallet. State employees will use this as justification to demand a raise. One hand washes the other

  18. Should be tied to per capita income of those in their district.

    And how is it that the county is bringing in more money when nearly everyone is getting crushed.

  19. The commissioners laid off dozens of county employees and they give themselves raises. And Bower’s salary ….

  20. It really is time for taxpayers to reassert these people are PUBLIC SERVANTS and they work at our pleasure not theirs. If they wish to leave two weeks notice is required and if we wish to terminate them they look for a “package” in a right to work state.
    TIME TO SAY “TIME’S UP!” for a whole lot of people on the public dime.

  21. public watch
    Sep 11, 2012, 9:38 pm

    Sheriff Raney and his 3 man posse make over $400,000 a year. So what’s wrong with this picture? It’s ludicrous. Give the deputies a decent raise, they are the ones doing the work. Raney is a smoothe talker, his biggest asset, but his daily actions speak differently. As for Yzaguire, he is starting to look like another Sharon. The three of them together is just plain bad politics in Ada County. To just wondering: look at the budget and see where the revenues came from. No other than the Sheriff from his costly fees to the taxpayers. All those fees got him a big fat raise. Now that’s a real story for the media to investigate.

  22. And Republicans want to quit raising tax’s. Ya right!

  23. Do these numbers include the overtime also?

    EDITOR NOTE–These jobs don’t have overtime pay. One of the problems with overtime pay of government workers by the way is we get to pay it as long as they live. Idaho pensions are based on the highest 42 months of pay, not base salary.

  24. Fiscally conservative Republicans??? Idaho keeps electing them, term after term.

  25. Dog:

    Fiscally Conservative Republicans are elected on a set of values that we Idahoans beleive in. We will now, and in the future keep electing them.

    Sometimes our leaders loose there foresight. This does not mean Fiscally Conservative Republicans are bad. It simply means we need to remind them who supplies there power, and why we gave it to them in the first place.

    Sep 11, 2012, 7:56 pm

    Should be tied to per capita income of those in their district.

    And how is it that the county is bringing in more money when nearly everyone is getting crushed.

    Thank you for the Good post Zippo!

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