Tuesday’s election saw a political flip in the composition of the Ada County Commissioners. Incumbent Dem Diana Lachiondo garnered 121,963 votes, well short of challenger Repub Ryan Davidson who received 128,121.
The GUARDIAN wouldn’t be surprised if Lachiondo pops up back at Boise City Hall with Mayor Lauren McLean. She previously worked for former Mayor Dave Bieter.
Repub Rod Beck with 133,799 votes prevailed over Dem Bill Rutherford’s 114,464 for the empty seat vacated by Rick Visser.
One of the first issues facing the new commishes will be the the right of citizens to approve long term debt for a county jail expansion.
Idaho’s constitution mandates that citizens give permission to local officials to go into debt–normally through a bond election which pledges the “full faith and credit” of the citizens.
Ada County’s current commishes denied voters a voice when they approved a financing plan for the jail expansion using a scheme called “certificates of participation” which was created by a law firm to circumvent the constitution.
The GUARDIAN suggests if all those involved at the courthouse truly have the best interests of citizen-taxpayers at heart, they will cancel the certificate scheme which was based on a convoluted lease-purchase deal with annual renewals for up to 30 years– and schedule a bond election as prescribed in the constitution.
Our state constitution mandates a voter approval of debt and it should be followed rather than be circumvented. Let’s hope the current and newly elected commishes have the moral character to put the funding of a jail expansion up to the voters.
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