Constitution

Jail Scheme Needs To Be Unlocked

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.

Comments & Discussion

7 comments for “Jail Scheme Needs To Be Unlocked”

  1. Hubert Osborne
    Nov 4, 2020, 11:09 am

    It is clear we have an erection problem on the proposed Ada County jail expansion and the method of financing.
    I would like to refer you to Idaho Code 31-1001 which gives power to county commissioners to enter into a lease purchase agreement at their discretion for courthouses, jails, and hospitals or any combination. Fairgrounds are also included.
    This provision is being abused by a number of sitting county commissions and probably other taxing districts. The legislature needs to change the law to require citizen votes on these large debt expenditures.
    There is little doubt in my mind that the recent action by Ada County Commissioners on jail financing contributed to election kickback but to repeat Legislature needs to change the law.
    Conforming with the Idaho Constitution should be the first consideration.

  2. That feels better
    Nov 4, 2020, 4:12 pm

    Thank you for making this right shift possible Mr. Visser.

  3. Down goes Diana. The blatant abuse of power conspiracy by Ada County Commissioners Diana Lachiondo and Kendra Kenyon to indebt county residents for $44.5 million has consequences. I thought Diana was such a welcome relief from the ignorant RINO Jim Tibbs, but I was mistaken. Neither Tibbs nor Lachiondo have any desire to control county spending. Now they share the embarrassment of losing as an incumbent. It takes a lot for an incumbent to lose, but those two now know how to do it.
    Thank you Ada County voters for voting to end their reign. smh

    EDITOR NOTE–The legacy “EASTERNER” informs us this post is not his. Yet another pitfall of not requiring real names.

  4. I heard a discussion on the radio in the last couple days about prison reform, mandatory minimum sentences, etc., in Idaho. (May have been the NPR station.)

    I believe they said we have around 10,000 people incarcerated in Idaho, and 85% of that total involves various “substance abuse” violations, or at least a contributing factor in other crimes. I’m no expert, and don’t know the solution… but is it the best practice for us taxpayers to provide three-hots-and-a-cot, plus medical and dental care, sex reassignment surgeries, etc., for thousands of people who have addiction problems?

    Can o’ [expensive] Worms!

    (I am the “legacy bikeboy,” and I approve this message.)

  5. Lachiondo was a double edge sword for conservatives. As stated above, the jail scheme is an attempt to subvert the requirement of a vote. But on the other hand, a conservative growthophobe should be applauding her efforts to implement impact fees. Growth can only pay for itself when it pays upfront.

  6. good one Bikeboy.
    And the good people of Oregon seem to agree with you. Oregon is the first to decriminalize those petty drug offenses. That is really not much different than what Idaho does for 1st and 2nd DUIs in Idaho. Pay the fine, pay a leach attorney for a plea & attend a ‘how to drink safely class’ — no real jail time- despite the risky behavior with a deadly weapon.

    Mental health care not incarceration. You know, like the Affordable Healthcare Act. Public healthcare for all.

    ###
    Obviously, ANYONE can post as anyone else here- real name or not- or a lame headline instead of “Name”.

    This platform not requiring ‘uniqueness’ or verified email is the pitfall– & jealous imposters apparently. 😉
    The proof is above.

    btw- to refute the above FAKE post, the Legacy Eastie opposes R Beck as a politician along with his pro-dumpster alignment. I oppose racists, sexists, xenophobes, isolationists, liars, cheaters, science deniers, and sociopaths in office AND I oppose the people who vote for and allow such things to continue.

    This Betsy piece from 2016 says much:
    “Why should we take advice from a loser?” Let’s keep in mind, Trump did NOT win the Idaho primary in 2016.
    Sooo who is the loser?
    https://www.spokesman.com/blogs/boise/2016/mar/08/rod-beck-why-hes-chairing-trump-campaign-idaho/

  7. I hope the new commissioners create A Citizens Oversight Committee On Public Finance, as this would balance the decision-making authority of elected officials with the desire of the public to participate in capital spending and other budget decisions.

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