Low Flying News Under The Radar

The GUARDIAN has been enjoying some summer travel, fishing, and other activities–probably much to the delight of elected politicos. In an effort to offer some topics for discussion we will share some items which have popped up at coffee and lunch meetings.
Fire battalion chief emergency vehicle in motion. Boise, Idaho. fire, emergency, vehicle, motion, movement, blur, emergency vehicle, battalion chief
BATT CHIEFS of Boise Fire Dept. are highest paid city employees, beating out the mayor and most department heads. We haven’t asked for the official numbers, but an insider told us at least one of the unionized commanders earned north of $140,000 last year including overtime. A Nov. 2015 CAMPAIGN FINANCE story might offer some insight.

P2 fire bomber aircraft dropping phosphate fire retardant on a wildfire near Boise, Idaho, USA.

P2 fire bomber aircraft dropping phosphate fire retardant on a wildfire near Boise, Idaho, USA.

WILDFIRE COSTS add up fast when the “air attack comes in. For example, those old P-2B twin engine tankers cost $14,300 a day just to be parked at the airport and an additional $8,500 per hour when the fly. The Newer BRJ-85 Four-engine high wing jets go for $35,500 per day standby and $7,560 an hour flight time. The red retardant costs about $1 a gallon and the tankers drop between two and three thousand gallons per run. Doing the math that means if the P-2B makes a single drop, it costs about $25,000!

THE AUDITORIUM DISTRICT spent $750,000 in legal fees in their successful effort to deny citizens a right to vote on debt for expansion. Even more shocking is the total lack of outrage among citizens that three quarters of a million dollars was spent to avoid an election. Disclaimer: GUARDIAN editor Dave Frazier lost that legal battle at the Idaho Supreme Court. Look for more local governments to use the “lease option” for future financing in order to evade voter approval of debt.

DEMS attending the convention in Philly have been looking for charity with on-line “Go fund me” sites.

GULEN SOCIETY which offers Idaho Legislators free trips to Turkey and free meals in exchange for hearing their pitches about funding charter schools are making the world and national news with claims from Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Muhammed Fethullah Gulen inspired the recent attempted coup. At least 13 Idaho legislators and their spouses have accepted trips to Turkey as guests of Gulen. The GUARDIAN sees favorable Charter School legislation as the main reason for the lobbying effort along with general support for Gulen.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. chicago sam
    Jul 25, 2016, 7:52 pm

    Low News–Well how about this from the minutes of the 3-15-16 CWI Board of Trustees meeting “M/S) Hurlbutt/Bastion Move to approve a education and awareness marketing budget of $370,000 to be funded by the strategic reserve fund, motion passed unanimously.”

  2. It’s time to bust the police and fire unions.

  3. the idea of overtime for a manager is absurd. The job market if full of managers making $40K or less who do not make overtime. To take someone making a base salary of $100K and giving them overtime is crazy!

  4. Fire-Boss, Smoke if ya got em
    Jul 26, 2016, 1:21 pm

    I’ve heard we have too many local Fire-Bosses. Overtime? How’s that possible with too many?

    What are the Names of the turkeys who took bribes from the Turk?

  5. Western Guy
    Jul 27, 2016, 3:33 pm

    Refernece the CWI ‘education and awareness marketing budget’, this is for them to spend more $$ to convince the taxpayers to pass their new building bond. Except the rudderless trustees evidently can’t decide when to run this whale… November 2016 or May 2017. And there’s an immediate need for building space? The buildings won’t be ready until 2018 or 2019.

  6. Western Guy
    Jul 27, 2016, 5:03 pm

    CWi is spending that $$ to convince you to vote ‘aye’ in the upcoming $150+ million bond. But the ‘we lack leadership’ board of Trustees can’t decide when to run the bond.

  7. chicago sam
    Jul 28, 2016, 7:00 am

    Western guy
    I think you have it right. They have decided to build the first building at the Nampa campus where they already have the land and infrastructure delaying improvements (buildings) in Boise until later. However the proposed bond issue in the $150 to $180 million range if passed will mean a boatload of cash in excess of $100 million sitting in bank accounts all the while paying interest on the bonds, until decision made to proceed in Boise.
    It would only make cents to try a smaller bond issue (45 Million)for the Nampa building and delay until later another bond issue for the Boise campus.
    The smaller one would have a much greater chance of passage.

  8. Western Guy
    Jul 30, 2016, 4:33 pm


    The $175+ m bond is really for 3 buildings: two at Nampa and 1 in Boise.

    Your comment about two smaller bonds seems right on, excpet getting two bonds (even smaller) passed vs. one needs to be weighed against a single, but larger bond. That’s what informed leadership is all aboiut.


Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: