ACHD Commish Fires Another Round At Bieter Raise

EDITOR NOTE–The GUARDIAN will offer equal space to the MAyor and/or the Council to respond to this post.

Ada County Highway District Commish Rebecca Arnold has fired another round over the pay hike for Mayor Dave Bieter which she adamently opposes.

Arnold is calling for a performance evaluation by the city council since they are the ones who appropriate the funds for the Mayor’s salary. While the Mayor’s press agent notes the raise was warranted in part because of Whole Foods locating in Boise, Arnold notes the Mayor has a low attendance record at meetings she deems important–like COMPASS, the regional planning association. Her latest letter follows.

Boise Council Members:
Please accept this email as a formal request that the Boise City Council reconsider its adoption of the ordinance increasing the Boise Mayor’s salary and that the Council rescind the salary increase.

I believe the Council may have overlooked any consideration as to whether the mayor’s performance in office was at a level that would warrant such a dramatic increase in salary (I cannot imagine anyone receiving a 20%+ raise without a performance review and should have required a finding that such performance be extraordinary). I can find no reference in any of the Council’s discussion and deliberation to any assessment of the Mayor’s performance. While the Boise City Council does not hire and fire the Mayor, you do have authority over the Mayor’s salary and with that authority comes a responsibility to assure that your approval of our tax dollars for that use is appropriate and warranted by the performance of the person seeking the increase (this responsibility is in addition to your general fiduciary responsibility to use our tax dollars appropriately). Accordingly, prior to your adoption of the ordinance giving the Mayor such an extraordinary increase, you should have undertaken and documented an evaluation of his performance.

As the Boise Mayor’s position is a full time job with a current salary in excess of $91,000 (which is more than most people make), I, as a taxpayer, expect him to show up every day and put in a full day and to fully carry out the duties of his office. Here’s a starting point for your evaluation of his performance: As you are aware, Mayor Bieter, as one of his duties, serves as a board member on the board of COMPASS, an important duty as COMPASS is the two-county metropolitan planning organization that directs the use of several million in federal tax dollars each year. The COMPASS board monthly meetings are on the third Monday of the month and this schedule was set several years ago to avoid scheduling conflicts and to assure that board members had long term notice of the meetings each month in order to maximize attendance. During calendar year 2011 and 2012 to date, Mayor Bieter has attended only 4 of the COMPASS board meetings, which is a dismal attendance record by anyone’s standards. In my opinion Mayor Bieter’s lack of effort to even show up constitutes dereliction of duty and certainly raises the question as to whether he has failed to perform in other areas as well.

Thank you for your consideration.
Rebecca Arnold

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Ha. How about fixing the roads in Downtown Boise instead of writing letters to the City Council? Please start with the intersection of 15th and Idaho.
    I think it is this little tiff between Boise Council and ACHD that puts downtown roads on the bottom of priorities.

    State St.
    The regional transit hub.
    Capitol Blvd in front of City Hall.
    And now the mayor’s salary.

    Since Arnold used the ACHD collectively “we” in her first email, I wonder if this opinion has been a matter of public discussion in ACHD meetings and therefore this is ACHD Board opinion as well.

  2. Right on Rebecca! In the current fiscal economy, the raise is ridiculous for what the mayor does (or does not do)

  3. As I see it, Ms. Arnold’s votes on the ACHD Commission should be a bit more concerning to Boise residents than the mayor missing a few meetings or getting a pay increase. Frankly, I sort of find it hard to believe she’d want to work in City Hall with her blatant disregard for the taxpayers of the city. The City of Boise does not get its fair share of the money it spends on ACHD. She knows it and so does everyone else. If she really cared about Boise, she’d start being an advocate for our tax dollars being spent here. What a politician!

  4. Is he taking credit for Whole Foods? Dumb, doesn’t justify a raise for him. Does he actually do anything?

  5. Diane Sower
    Dec 4, 2012, 7:05 am

    20%? Are they out of their minds? Homeless shelters full to the brim, people who cannot afford healthcare in greater numbers than those who can, yet the mayor is up for a raise? Could it be his religious affiliation?

  6. At a time when companys made employees take a 10% to 20% wage reduction? Employees paying a higher % of there medical insurance, losing all kinds of benifits. They want to give a raise to goverment? I think it’s a good showing of goverment being out of touch with the people and whats happened to them.

  7. I can appreciate the points being made here about the appearance of disconnect with the reality of Boiseans, but I think that it may have gone too far. My family and I have had cycles of poverty. We understand what it means to live on a ramen noodle budget. That said, someone or some group decided long ago that that mayor and council would be in the position to change their compensation. That wasn’t a change in policy under our current mayor and council. What I understand Ms. Arnold and others on this website suggesting, is that it isn’t ever appropriate for the mayor and to a lesser degree the council to give themselves a raise. I would suggest that is nonsense. Is the rate of 20% for the mayor higher than it should be? Perhaps so, but when you compare the mayor’s compensation with that of mayors from similar sized cities throughout the United States, Boise’s mayor is vastly underpaid. The mayor is the CEO of the city. If we want to try get it done on the cheap, so be it, but that is not the sort of city I want to live in.

  8. People! You act like the entire $300,000,000 bi-annual city budget comes out of your very own pocket. Bieter’s salary is less than 1/1000th of the annual city budget.

    The raise amounts to pennies per taxpayer per year. The City of Boise is a bigger operation than all but a handful of corporations in the entire state. Where are your complaints every time the CEO at HP or Micron or Simplot or DL Evans Bank gets a raise?

    Steve Appleton’s Micron stock was nearly a penny stock but he had the money to own and operate numerous aircraft and recklessly fly aerobatic aircraft. Most employees at Micron barely make enough to own and operate a car. What’s up with that?

    Meanwhile, the real economic parasites on Wall Street are making millions and profits as big as ever despite the fact they were responsible for all the hand wringing all you hand wringers are doing.

    EDITOR NOTE–Hardly fair to mix private and public. Totally different standard. CEO takes from shareholders, politicos take from citizens. If it is only pennies, why do politicos need to risk being tossed out? Notice they don’t give selves raises during election years.

  9. Why does Rebecca Arnold have such a wild hair going on about this? Did Dave Bieter spit in her cornflakes or what? Why is this such a crusade for her?

    EDITOR NOTE–There is a history of bad blood. Bieter wanted to take over ACHD in 2007. He also has pushed for a trolley for years without getting approval of ACHD, a sore point to say the least. But to be clear, Arnold is writing on her own behalf, not in her official position.

  10. When the pot calls the kettle black, it’s already over.

  11. Big business has no interest in little isolated Boise anymore. That era came and went with the local titans like J.R. and Joe. Team Dave, like Obama, is trying to tax and spend in effort to replace them. It will fail when people and business flee the taxes. Urban crime will increase with the rate of welfare handouts too.

    A plausible solution is for Team Dave to become super cheap on taxes for all, and super hands-off of small manufacturing / reseller type businesses which sell products outside of Boise. For example one of our biggest successes is the national pull into Boise for corporate jet maintenance at the airport. However, Team Dave will tax them off the airport soon with further airport expansion tax and spend projects.

    Also perhaps Luke’s can start to pull business from other states. To do this they need short wait times and very high quality. (Cleveland Clinic like concept.)

    Team Dave points to service sector jobs as a success, but unless these are servicing outside of the Boise area the money is just pushed around a circle and taxed at each transaction. Money for him each time but the pot is getting smaller with each cycle.

    Since none of this has passed through the minds of the Team Dave brain trust, we need a new mayor.

  12. Looks like Comm. Arnold is going to fill the vacuum left by the exit of Comm. Ullman.

  13. I can’t believe the number of people defending the mayor and city council giving themselves a raise. The term “public servant” seems to have been lost on the modern democrat. And enough with this “it only makes up x percent of the budget blah blah blah.” It is money going from the public coffer to a polititians pocket, everyone should care.

    I have a reasonable solution…If you don’t think the mayor and city counsel’s pay will keep up over time then just tie it to the CPI and have it adjusted for inflation. But giving yourself a flat raise is the definition of self serving. Anyone who is in support of such a raise is 1) someone who also benefits financially from the Mayor and City Council or 2) your a one sided political hack.

  14. One must note that the raise does not take effect until the January AFTER the next election which is November 2013. Therefore, what was the rush to pass it one year beforehand? Because dear readers, the memory will have long faded.

    In an ethical world, the Mayor and Council would have raised this during the summer of 2013 during the budget hearings. But then, the furor would be fresh and perhaps some decent alternatives would come forth to run our city instead of the same stale liberal hacks.

  15. Nan, If you are correct, mayor & council will stand for election before the pay hikes take effect. If that’s the case, what’s the beef? Those who don’t think the increase is deserved can vote them out before they can benefit.

    BTW, since the mayor has not taken a raise in eight years, and council in six, the 20- and 18-percent hikes ARE about equal to cumulative cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) over those periods. If an automatic COLA were added to their salary ordinance, this kind of seemingly steep pay hike could be avoided.

    Looks like Ms. Arnold has her eye on that $110,000 seat. The lady doth protest much.

    EDITOR NOTE–As we understand it, the raises are a two step process. Also, the 8 yrs. without a raise is a red herring. Bieter has often bragged about not using a city issued car or taking a raise and it has gotten him reelected. HE never said he would ask for a raise during a campaign. Also, the newest councilors are paid the same as the longest serving. If Bieter is defeated, his opponent will get the higher salary as well.

  16. costaprettypenny
    Dec 4, 2012, 9:54 pm

    Well said Rebecca

  17. Does anybody know how many signatures need to be collected in order to recall Mayor Bieter?

    EDITOR NOTE–Forget about it Joe! It takes 20% of the REGISTERED voters just to get it on the ballot and we seldom have that many vote.

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