Ada-Dynamis Deal Runs Out Of Energy, Commishes Kill Project

It isn’t electrifying news, but the new Ada County Commishes have disconnected with Dynamis over the proposed trash-to-energy plant at the county landfill. Dynamis gets to keep the $2 million the previous board paid the private company and agrees to not sue Ada for any future claims.
A large dumpster unloads trash while bulldozers move it at a sanitary landfill in Boise, Idaho. dumpster, sanitary landfill, landfill, dump, trash, garbage, boise, idaho, unload, bulldozer, machine, bird, seagull, gull, scavenger
“We fought to get the $2 million back, but ultimately determined it was best for taxpayers to settle,” Commissioner Jim Tibbs told the GUARDIAN. Due to certain agreements made by the previous board, county legal staff advised there was potential for a protracted legal battle with the potential for taxpayers to owe even more to the private firm, hence the settlement.

The new board with Commishes Jim Tibbs and Dave Case made it clear upon election their intent to pull the plug on Dynamis. Almost a month to the day their intentions have been realized. The Dynamis scandal was a central theme during the election campaign.

The decision by the previous commishes was the basis of a lawsuit filed by a citizens group which is still pending, but likely will be dismissed. A criminal investigation by a special prosecutor found no criminal acts to be prosecuted, but the question of violating the Idaho Constitution by lending public money to a private company goes unanswered and will probably remain unanswered.

The mutual release agreement will be presented to the Board of Commissioners to be signed on Tuesday, February 19th at 9:00 a.m., in an Open Business meeting to be held at the Ada County Courthouse, first floor Public Hearing Room.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Wow, a slap on the hand for all who is involved. Taxpayers definitely got the short end of the stick on this one.

  2. Two million gone? Just like that?
    I can’t believe there isn’t some recourse for taxpayers. We shouldn’t have to give our elected officials pay raises for wasting our money like this. The current commissioners took pay increases. I would hope that NO pay increases for elected officials at Ada county until the money is equaled out.

    EDITOR NOTE–Judy, it was the previous board that took the raises. The newly elected board has not addressed the issue of pay. In fact, they lowered the salary for their “chief of staff,” vs the previous “admin service director.” I guess technically Sharon Ullman voted for a pay raise that goes to Jim Tibbs.

  3. In the final analysis, perhaps $2 million isn’t too great a price to pay to protect the Treasure Valley’s air quality from uncertain pollutants. Good riddance Dynamis.

  4. My Two Cents
    Feb 15, 2013, 3:54 pm

    Quite a little arrangement that prior board had going with Dynamis huh? The County is concerned that Dynamis is going to sue Ada County? Seriously? Shouldn’t this be the other way around? Wouldn’t you think Ada would have sued Dynamis to get the money back? Unbelievable, despicable waste of money by Tilman/Ullman/Yzaguirre. And yet no one will ever be held accountable.

  5. CJ Petrovsky
    Feb 15, 2013, 4:29 pm

    Infuriating, to be sure, to see Dynamis walk away with $2 million. That said, Tibbs and Case get kudos for making the right call.

    You’re right on the culprits, Two Cents. What I’m wondering is, when the contract was written w/ little/no recourse to reclaim funds, did BOCC (at the time) override legal advice or didn’t the lawyer see the worst case coming?

  6. Didn’t we buy the Dynamis people some laptops? Maybe Macs? Did they get to keep those???

  7. It was probably worth the 2 mil to get rid of Sharon, can you imagine how much more she could have bilked people out of if she had been reelected.

  8. My Two Cents
    Feb 15, 2013, 5:06 pm

    Upon further reflection, perhaps Rich Wright could collect from Dynamis the $1.5 mill he is looking for in his lawsuit. Seems like the County has paid out more than enough taxpayer money at this point…

  9. chicago sam
    Feb 15, 2013, 5:41 pm

    To prevent this from happenning again (there are other landfills in the State) someone in the Legislature needs to step up and write a bill where the Public Hearing is held BEFORE the contracts are signed

  10. Remember this when you vote in future elections. Don’t just vote for them because they are the only one with an R by their name or because you recognize the name. Hope things get better for Ada County citizens.


    The agreement is online for the Tuesday hearing.

  12. Rod in SE Boise
    Feb 15, 2013, 7:58 pm

    The commissioners should hire mercenaries to go get the money back.

  13. We are governed by fools and idiots! Most of the people in public office would not make it to the interview if they had to apply for their jobs. All you have to be is 18 years of age, be a person in good standing ( no felons) and have the ability to get yourself elected.
    The sad part is we put these fools and idiots in office and hoped they would at least do some due diligence before giving the “Music Man Mahaffey” any money.

    I say if they have any PERSI pension payments they need to be garnished until the money is paid back! Take these fools to court and get a judgement and it will make future stupid decisions less frequent.

  14. Shocked vOTER
    Feb 15, 2013, 9:14 pm

    Probably the best thing is to put this boondogle to rest and take the lumps instead of a prolonged law suit. I have property in Boise County and I will be paying for what the dear Boise County Commishes screwed up with some of the same folks invoved in this mess

  15. I forgot to add, it is my belief elected officials have a “fiduciary” responsibility to taxpayers and look out for their best interests.

  16. Sue the prior board and advisors

  17. PERSI pension payments they need to be garnished until the money is paid. Good idea!

  18. Elliot Werk introduced legislation to address the issue of public involvement last week. House bill H0150

  19. This all started with an illegal loan of public (taxpayer) money. At minimum, the assets purchased, computers, software, etc. should all be returned to Ada County.

  20. Moral of this story is that once again some Idaho officials got TAKEN, to the tune of 2 mil. Talk about small town gullibility?

  21. My Two Cents
    Feb 16, 2013, 1:38 pm

    In response to CJ Petrovsky, I think the contract was written by legal staff in a manner designed to meet the demands of the commissioners, which meant it was lopsidedly favorable to Dynamis. Although the results of the so-called investigation into how that contract was created and payments were made was that there was no criminal activity per se, we will all wonder forever what actually went on behind closed doors, and what may have been promised in exchange for that $2 million. We will never have all the answers nor an equitable resolution such as getting money back from Dynamis. We also will never have Tilman/Ullman/Yzaguirre held accountable. But we all must just move on and be grateful the project has been stopped.

  22. So, since the county did not get repaid, I assume that the county and taxpayers still own the project plans. Perhaps the county could try to sell the plans on eBay to get a portion of the loaned money back? ‘Cept the plans are only for buildings, not a WTE facility? I have a feeling that a preschooler with a box of crayons and a tablet of ‘Chieftan’ school paper, with chunks of wood in the paper could have written an equivalent set of contracts

    Here’s to a more sane future! If the county is not careful, they could learn something from all this.

  23. Grumpy ole guy
    Feb 17, 2013, 12:31 am

    I’d like to see a reasoned statement of the facts, along with the names of the Dynamis people involved, published, widely with the hope that others could be protected from these predators.

  24. Utterly Sickened
    Feb 18, 2013, 12:01 am

    I have a thought since Yzaguirre is the last one left on the Board whom caused this mess he should be forfeiting his salary for the rest of his term. I agree they should forfiet any Persi they are to receive.

    It is despicable that Tilman/Ullman/Yzaguirre are allowed to be walking free. Let alone allowing Yzaguirre to continue collecting a pay check from Ada County taxpayers for the next two years!

    Remember those three names if they should ever appear on another ballot.

  25. What is amazing to me is the acceptance that the loss of $2MM of taxpayer dollars was “the best deal” that could come out of this mess by the current Commissioners.

    Secondly, is the acceptance by taxpayers this was an acceptable closure to the Dynamis project.

    Lastly, where did all that money go and if any is left it should be returned in good faith to the Ada County taxpayers.

  26. Sadly, misdeeds by the commissioners is only a misdemeanor – it would have been nice to be able to hold the ones who got in this mess accountable.

    As for Yzaguirre, he is a disgrace for the two-faced manner he dealt with the public. He called this two million loan “a learning experience.” That is a bit like the learning experience he had when he was in trouble before…

    It appears the public forgot!

    Sharon Ullman keeps turning up like a bad penny. She has been hounding people since 2000. Now she is married to that Dynamis “expert” she boasted of on her blog, take care should she run again under a new name!

    Thanks to the Guardian for making sure that this got coverage.

  27. Hey kids, how about us taxpayers fund the design and feasibility studies for a private nuclear power plant? To heck with garbage gas. Nuclear power is so cheap it will pay for itself! Idaho power will buy all the electricity while we watch our utility bills practically dissapear.

  28. Let the cities annex the rest of the county and we won’t need most of those county offices. Going to happen eventually, just speed up the process.

  29. Safe Idaho Citizens
    Feb 19, 2013, 1:26 pm
  30. Dog maybe we could put Idaho power out of business? Like as if they’ve been kind to Idahoans.

  31. “Let the cities annex the rest of the county and we won’t need most of those county offices.”
    Sam, Sam, Sam, is that the way they did it in the People’s Socialist Republik of Kali, or Texas or WA state? It really doesn’t matter from whence you came, the only thing we care less about than you transplants is how you did things wherever you ran away from. . .if you like the way things were done “there” hit the road home, it does run both directions.

    Although your land rapers and little demigod politicians in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, Kuna, Nampa and Cladwell have tried their best to annex and subjugate as much open ground as possible there still remain a few rural areas of Ada and Canyon Counties that are not run by those bicycle pedaling trolley fetishists to whom the Bench and the North End are nirvana.

    These are the days of teflon coated politicians, where even American representatives, murdered by the incompetence of “our” leaders (and then lied about) are mere “speed bumps” to be ignored or just denied away. It would seem that graft, favoritism and payola exist at even the most basic local levels. Incompetence that results in multi million dollar school district shortfalls is dismissed as “Oh, they made mistakes in accounting.” Far too many elected and appointed officials get by, quite literally with murder and suffer no consequences, let alone penalties. Why would we local tax payers even expect ANY return from the TWO MILLION DOLLARS (even if they are deflated obamma marks instead of real US dollars) of OUR money that was handed over by elected crooks to opportunistic sheisters?

  32. Ok dh. I know it isn’t the answer to annex it all, just frustrated. Would eliminate some elected officials, which not everybody likes. And I’m an Idaho native (the fairgrounds used to be on Fairview when I was a kid). It has just never been this bad here before. But more people, thus more getting involved in politics, so maybe changes will happen. Wishing for the best.

  33. Sam, I apologize then for going directly to the ultimate “double dog” slur and calling you one of “them.” I did so based on your possibly, in retrospect, facetious comment about even more county wide land grabs by omnipotent little self serving politicians. The part about total annexation sure sounded like just one more cockamamie proposal that some refugee would drag in when they migrated here. If you want to get rid of one layer of bureaucracy, just don’t live in incorporated areas.
    (Just curious, would you also do away with our elected law enforcement officer, the county sheriff, and have only one more political appointee animal as supreme local enforcement officer for us all?)

    As far as more people moving here and getting involved, see if you can find an older native kali and asked them how that has worked out there. Or even better yet to see the phenomenon of what happened there and is happening here on a condensed scale, research Antelope Oregon and those miscreant migrants.

  34. Just for perspective, this little “loan” that won’t be repaid cost every man, woman and child in Ada County five bucks. Thanks, Sharon and Rick! How about buying us all lunch?

  35. The only good out of this is the EVIL TRASH BURNER, TIRE BURNER FROM HELL won’t be built and more than likely won’t ever be reserected again in most folks lifetimes.

    We are not in short supply for landfill ops by any stretch of the imagination. And for something like this to be sold on that issue is pure folly. Too bad it took $2MM to learn this lesson for our elected deciders.

  36. No, wouldn’t get rid of the county sheriff. He does a lot more than patrol the unincorporated county. And there are other responsibilities he could take on. Agree?

  37. I am disappointed that the project was not able to find a path to success. As it is, our community continues to pour 2000 tons of waste into the landfill each day. That’s not theoretical pollution – but actual and ongoing. That’s not going to change unless some different approach is taken to managing our waste stream. The Dynamis approach was a different approach. Perhaps the management of this project was a bit inept, but it seems to me that a major impediment was also a resistance to change in the community.

    Change will happen. If we do nothing, it’ll be the change of an ever-growing landfill. Approaches that change our waste stream into a resource ought to be encouraged and not discouraged.

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