ACHD Commish Meeting Turns Ugly

Today’s noon meeting of the Ada County Highway District became somewhat raucous after Commishes Kent Goldthorpe and Jim Hansen were recused since they were principals in an open meeting law dispute stemming from e-mails authored by Hansen a month ago.

No public testimony was allowed, but citizens shouted out during the discussion about sending a letter to the Attorney General asking for reconsideration of a decision to not prosecute Hansen. President Sara Baker ejected several people ordering, “Please leave the room!”

Commish Paul Woods spoke in opposition to sending THE LETTER and Commishes Baker and Rebecca Arnold repeated their beliefs that Hansen was guilty of the open meeting violations and “should have known better” than attempting so-called back room deals over ballot language for a vehicle registration fee hike to include transportation earmarks.

When a vote was taken, Baker and Arnold favored sending the letter to the AG and Woods opposed. As the meeting ended there were shouts from those in the audience who obviously supported Hansen.

See previous post for links to all the documents.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. I attended but apparently they were having a public meeting about breaking open meeting laws, but not allowing public testimony. Here is what I was going to say.

    President Baker and Commissioners

    I support the public process that has brought the commission to this point. Commissioner Hansen sent some emails that may of pushed against the transparency that we expect The commission asked for an independent review which Commissioner Hansen welcomed. This review was conduct by Idaho attorney general and it gave some great suggestions of how to proceed in this case and in the future.

    By rejecting this impartial review by the AG’s office, the commission will be resorting to petty politics and continue wasting ACHD resources including the attorney that helped to draft the letter back to the AG.

    And lastly, I would hope that ACHD and the commission either create or revise a policy on use of email. This would include the use of private or personal emails that may be used to circumvent the public process.

  2. I worked with Jim Hansen while volunteering and found him to be a super nice and morally upstanding guy. I’m a little worried that all this “open meeting law violation” stuff is just a way to expel a good guy from a crooked institution.

    I say crooked because ACHD does NOT keep costs down and produce the best outcomes. They are in bed with the paving industry they use for projects at the expense of the citizens. They could make roads that lasted much longer, but then their buddies in the paving industry wouldn’t have all the work constantly repairing the substandard roads.

    Being in Idaho Government since 2004, i’ve seen how the good people are treated by the Corporate Whore’s. 95% of Idaho’s politicians ignore the citizens, while courting the corporations. The 5% of good people are ignored and ridiculed until they give up and leave government service.

  3. Inna Patrick
    Sep 12, 2018, 1:23 pm

    As I see it, Sara Baker is trying to undo the result of the elections by kicking Hansen off the Commission. Further, she proposed to punish him to set an example, and this is not the first time I notice she is condescending to other people. She thinks now she is also qualified to interpret the law like judge and better than Idaho AG. I bet she wants to appoint her own person in place of Jim Hansen. I sincerely hope Sara Baker will get voted off ACHD Commission one day soon. She is the worst of the whole ACHD Commission members, and she is the one that always betrays the public trust in favor of commercial interests.

  4. Isn’t this the same Sara Baker that threw a fit because her name was not on the plaque that ACHD put on the East Parkcenter bridge?…. Even though she wasn’t a commissioner when it was built? Maybe I am getting old and forgetful……

  5. North enders rise up! Kinda fun.

  6. Obliviously
    Sep 12, 2018, 8:12 pm

    After reading much of this I am impacted by two things, at least.

    Hansen seems to be trying to say that the legislation they are trying to pass should have more specific terms, for more accountability. Does anyone see that also?

    That commissioners are substituting feelings, attitudes, and beliefs as facts, when that may not be the case.

    That these things cannot be decided in November means that this is not the current agenda issue being discussed.

    Notwithstanding, of course.

    Really bad political karma for all concerned. Why are they doing so much business after hours and on their own devices?

    ACHD, God bless your taxpayers.

  7. Total disfunction. Baker has been nothing but miserable since her days on the BCC.

  8. Here is a link to a video of the meeting.

    Baker’s condescending manners and tone make her unfit for office.

  9. Awesome fireworks!

    Anyone who thinks government transactions are 100% in the open and transparent are living in LaLa Land.

    Go to the local watering hole AFTER a city council meeting, during legislature, or after the ACHD meeting and see who you find… Anyone think the council members and politicos don’t discuss business in such get-togethers?

    Emails? heck, text messages have not even been mentioned. Real shady things happen in person- not in writing. C’mon.

    So what did the Prosecutor say?

    Pretty simple C Baker- if you think so, pass it to prosecutor’s office and let it go. It is not YOUR call as to the interpretation.

    I hope 3 of the 5 are replaced.

  10. The assumptions we make about others often become self-fulfilling prophecies. Assume the best in others and the outcomes will likely be good. Assume the worst in others and the outcomes will likely be bad.

    I would hope that a diverse group of elected officials would lead by example and assume the best in each other.

  11. Sounds like the dems are uniting and doing their normal display or expecting every one else had better be tolerant but we can be as intolerant as we want.

    We don’t see republicans getting thrown out of public hearings like we do the Dems.

    The most important thing is that those we elect follow the law. If they break the law they stand accountable. We have too many elected and appointed persons who break the law and there is no consequence.

  12. Ah yes…The corruption. Means absolutely nothing.

    As long as all the Northenders show up to vote, and the base doesn’t (because they benefit from the increased property tax to subsidize their large families in the school system, infrastructure, etc.), it’s not going to change.

    Props to those that took the time to stand up…Only to be shot down.

  13. Girls against boys!!! This reminded me so much of Junior High.

  14. To Clancy: Their lawyers inspect and approve/or not their toilet schedules, holiday cards, and choices in apparel, too. fotflmao

  15. Yossarian_22
    Sep 26, 2018, 7:10 pm

    Gonna get that registration increase from the commoners, hell or high water. Somebody has to pay for all the improvements needed to host more migration to our fair corner of the world. That sucking sound is your wallet emptying, and the din of Big City Growth that will take your peaceful living away.

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