Ada Director Of Administration Post Eliminated

Things are happening fast during the first two days at Ada County under the new Commishes Jim Tibbs and Dave Case.

The post of “Director of Administration” has been eliminated, putting Rich Wright, a former TV newsy out of a $93,663 annual salary job. Wright had been a supporter and protege’ of sorts of former Commish Sharon Ullman.

In a move that no doubt will come into play with the future of the Dynamis trash to energy project, the county’s solid waste department came back into the operations department, which is directed by Dave Logan. Operations oversees county-owned buildings and facilities. Ted Hutchinson will continue to manage the landfill.

Tuesday they took direct control of several county divisions not run by elected officials, including human resources, purchasing, employee benefits and risk management. All formerly part of the Department of Administration.

As reported yesterday, Larry Maneely, another TV newsy has been named “Chief of Staff” for an annual salary of $85,000. The moves are all part of a reorganization by the commishes which included moving some former department of administration positions under direct authority of the Commishes. A quick calculation indicates the new Commishes made a $8,663 cut in the first 24 hours of office.

In a release issued today the county said:
“The Board of Ada County Commissioners announced today that they will begin undertaking some important organizational changes at the County in an effort to achieve greater efficiency and foster improved transparency in government operations.

Commissioners desire more direct oversight into several key County functions, including: Human Resources, Purchasing, Employee Benefits, and Risk Management. These critical functions will now report directly to the Board of Commissioners. Given this reorganization, the Board has determined that the position of Department of Administration Director is no longer vital to support these functions, and has therefore been eliminated.

“We have made it clear our goal is to be more transparent, efficient, and responsive to the public,” Commission Chairman Dave Case stated. “In order to accomplish that, the Board must have a first-hand understanding and direct input into all key business operations of the County. It comes down to running government as it’s intended to be – for the citizens – and to being the best stewards of taxpayer money we can be.”

Commissioners have indicated they will continue to look for ways to create better efficiencies, and will keep the public informed of any future decisions that impact County operations.”

Comments & Discussion

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  1. LOL. Changing of the guard. Watching with interest.

  2. Great job!!! If they hadn’t eliminated that position quickly, we would have all wondered about them. Good to see Vern. Common sense and honesty are back! Good luck to both of them!

  3. This is, I think, a healthy move for Ada County. I hope other staff changes follow. I’m waiting to see what happens with Dynamis, a private equity firm that still holds – to the best of my knowledge – $2 million in Ada County funds for a supposed gasifier plant at the landfill. Also curious about the various civil lawsuits against the county; how new commishes handle public hearings (especially on Dynamis and the establishment of an industrial park at the dump without proper zoning changes); the indigency fund; the 3 percent property tax increase allowed by law; and much more. Who knows, Ada County could be interesting again!

  4. Maybe Ullman will hire him to her yardwork

  5. I noticed the Idaho Statesman headline “PROGRESSIVE”. That has only one meaning, higher taxes & fess, spend unlimited money extracted from taxpayers. I’m afraid the new commis are just RINO’s.

  6. One has to wonder what the Commission really does. The functions in County government that aren’t run by semi-autonomous elected officials are pretty sparse. Most counties have roads.. but not Ada. So we have landfill, courts, indigent medical care, a minimal parks effort, and zoning. Am I missing something significant? It can’t take three full-time managers plus a chief of staff to manage that can it? Unless they just micromanage to the point of stupidity.

  7. My Two Cents
    Jan 16, 2013, 8:17 am

    Mr. Wright now learns the price for aligning himself with inappropriate interests for self-gain, forfeiting ethics and integrity entirely, and believing he and they were absolutely untouchable. Perhaps he now understands how those he removed from their jobs at the County, and those who he threatened to remove, felt. Remember the saying about karma.

  8. This was a good move. I’d like to see other levels of government consider eliminating overpaid, unnecessary, politically appointed positions.

  9. Finally Ada County will have a stable board of commissioners. The mean spirit that has possessed the commission for years is gone, as is their henchman. The bickering with other public entities will lessen and cooperation will hopefully be the word.

  10. A relief to see that the commission has saved some bucks. Now let’s see if they can save more by getting our 2million back from Dynamis.

  11. I was almost impressed for a few paragraphs, until learning that an overhead position of $94k was replaced by a “lower” priced $85k resource. Yawn. Not the type of “progressive” change I’d hoped for.

  12. John Paul Jones
    Jan 17, 2013, 12:54 pm

    Yeah buddy, honest cop at the top. Maybe it’s time to bust out the hotdog cart, and set up at the Courthouse again.

  13. Craig Stevenson
    Jan 18, 2013, 12:28 am

    Maybe this is the right move, but Ada Co has a budget of 192 million. A 9K decrease is less than .001 of the total budget, so let’s not call this a cost cutting measure.

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