By former Ada County Commissioner
The end run by Commissioners Lachiondo and Kenyon to fund the construction of a new jail pod is a blatant affront to Ada County property tax payers.
In the interest of transparency and accountability of a commissioner to her constituents, I ask Commissioner Lachiondo to tell us why she (and Com. Kenyon) chose to use a lease with annual certificates of participation instead of a constitutional mandated taxpayer-approved bond.
–Why do two commissioners get to indebt county taxpayers?
–What is the difference between annual lease payments and annual bond payments?
When this method was presented to the Board in 2019 I was a commissioner and I was appalled by it. It may not be called a bond, but such a maneuver is nothing more than a deceptive end run by two commissioners. Their route to more debt may be legal, but that does not make it right.
The intent of the framers of the Idaho constitution was to require voter approval for major indebtedness by a county commission. Certificates of participation did not even exist in August of 1889.
One reason that I did not in 2019 nor today support expansion of the jail is because of Sheriff Bartlett’s habit of secretive conversations with Commissioners Case and also with Commissioner Lachiondo. How can I or you trust someone who intentionally flaunts transparency? These non accountability habits have led to more spending of tax dollars.
Sheriff Bartlett has also never shown a regard for bring fiscally responsible to Ada County taxpayers. The expensive route for a jail expansion was approved. Alternative ideas at less cost or even the need for a new pod were swept aside.
This funding method is more than a lack of accountability, it is a sad display of taxation without representation.
(Bartlett has told the GUARDIAN he was not involved in the financing plan. He merely presented the need for jail space to the commishes).
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