Arnold urges Boise council to reconsider Bieter's raise

Rebecca Arnold isn't backing down from her fight with Boise City Hall — and, specifically, her criticism of a pay raise for Mayor Dave Bieter.

On Monday, the Boise resident and Ada County Highway District commissioner asked the council to reconsider raises that would increase Bieter's annual salary from its current $91,229 to $113,059 by 2015.

Arnold says the council should not have approved the raise without a formal performance review of Bieter's work. Specifically, she called out Bieter's two-year attendance record as a Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho board member. She says Bieter has attended only four monthly COMPASS meetings over the past two years. Writes Arnold: "In my opinion Mayor Bieter's lack of effort to even show up constitutes dereliction of duty and certainly raises the question as to whether he has failed to perform in other areas as well."

Bieter spokesman Adam Park denied comment Tuesday.

Arnold does not urge reconsideration of raises for the City Council, also approved last week. The council's pay will increase from its current $19,375 a year to $22,799 by 2015.

Here's a link to an earlier blog post on the pay raise flap. And here is the text of Arnold's email:

Please accept this email as a formal request that the Boise City Council reconsider its adoption of the ordinance increasing the Boise Mayor's salary and that the council rescind the salary increase.

I believe the council may have overlooked any consideration as to whether the mayor's performance in office was at a level that would warrant such a dramatic increase in salary (I cannot imagine anyone receiving a 20 percent-plus raise without a performance review and should have required a finding that such performance be extraordinary). I can find no reference in any of the council's discussion and deliberation to any assessment of the mayor's performance. While the Boise City Council does not hire and fire the mayor, you do have authority over the mayor's salary and with that authority comes a responsibility to assure that your approval of our tax dollars for that use is appropriate and warranted by the performance of the person seeking the increase (this responsibility is in addition to your general fiduciary responsibility to use our tax dollars appropriately). Accordingly, prior to your adoption of the ordinance giving the mayor such an extraordinary increase, you should have undertaken and documents an evaluation of his performance.

As the Boise mayor's position is a full-time job with a current salary in excess of $91,000 (which is more than most people make), I, as a taxpayer, expect him to show up every day and put in a full day and to fully carry out the duties of his office. Here's a starting point for your evaluation of his performance: As you are aware, Mayor Bieter, as one of his duties, serves as a board member on the board of COMPASS, an important duty as COMPASS is the two-county metropolitan planning organization that directs the use of several million in federal tax dollars each year. The COMPASS board monthly meetings are on the third Monday of the month and this schedule was set several years ago to avoid scheduling conflicts and to assure that board members had long-term notice of the meetings each month in order to maximize attendance. During calendar year 2011 and 2012 to date, Mayor Bieter has attended only four of the COMPASS board meetings, which is a dismal attendance record by anyone's standards. In my opinion Mayor Bieter's lack of effort to even show up constitutes dereliction of duty and certainly raises the question as to whether he has failed to perform in other areas as well.

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Ms. Arnold

seems to ignore the fact that Mayor Bieter has had four formal performance reviews, aka elections and won the last one by over 74%.

In election years with voter

In election years with voter turnout of about15%. He just called all his pals in the north end.

Turnout is irrelevant

Low turnout means the voters are happy with the status quo. If the voters really hated Bieter then they would have turned out. Or maybe you've forgotten the Brent Coles debacle?

Turnout is relevant

Coles was never not elected. He resigned after enough names were turned in to force a recall.

Beiter isn't Coles, thank goodness.


Apple users, run the Gig of RAM your PC needs to have and read the dumb tech white papers, wrinkle your forehead and buy more food and toilet paper with the difference. The internet is a piece of junk anyway and your cats know this.

Bieter got 12,640 votes in

Bieter got 12,640 votes in the last election. That his total votes. Pretty low turnout


Karl Marx can win the Boise mayor position. The Boise School Board could deliver 13,000 votes to that election.

Might be better than Bieter

Might be better than Bieter

Sounds like Arnold is mounting a campaign for Mayor

In the next election.

She has good points

Have city services gotten better? Taxes reduced as population increased? Is the Mayor's re-election less an evaluation and more a popularity contest? What percent of the city's population even turned out to vote for the Mayor election.

Commissioner Arnold is someone who obviously makes decisions based on metrics and not popularity and has some valid points to consider. If the City Council and Mayor get 20% pay raises, do the rest of the city workers get that as well? How many in the private sector have or will get a 20% pay raise in the next 2 years?

Regardless of her personal aspirations to run or not, she is asking questions that it seems the Council has not, nor has the public even considered.

Pray tell, Lucky, what does

Pray tell, Lucky, what does population have to do with reducing taxes. City taxes are paid by property owners. Has the city increased its boundaries and included more real property within the city limits? Don't think so. So that is not a legitimate question.

20% pay raise is questionable and should be decided by a special commission much like the legislature's pay raises are determined by a special committee.

Yes, the city does have more real property

The city did increase its boundaries under Bieter's term with annexation of Warm Springs Mesa and Harris Ranch. You just didn't hear about it because they wanted it unlike SouthWest Boise whiners who want all our services but none of our taxes.

Every time a new house is built or derelict rental is remodeled the city's tax revenue increases due to increased a*sessments. The sunset of the downtown urban renewal district will add millions to the city, county, school district and ACHD revenues, even though ACHD spends very little downtown. The work on 10th Street and other sidewalk work, yeah, that was paid for by the urban renewal district.

I wish they hadn't given themselves a pay raise but 20% spread out over 10 years is only 2% per year. Much ado about little.

Good points about the

Good points about the annexation areas! Thanks for the insight. But what does population have to do with the issue. I thought Warm Spring Mesa was annexed many, many years ago.

COMPASS Board Meetings

If Ms. Arnold is also at those COMPASS Board Meetings then the Mayor deserves hazard pay.

LOL, at least she is working

LOL, at least she is working and getting the job done while he is off planning his next tax increase

Compass does what?

Working at what? What does Compass do? Exactly what do they do? Do they have any legal authority? Nope, didn't think so. Have you seen their website? If that's indicative of the rest of the work, then disband Compass.


or Metropolitan Planning Organization, for the region; once a region gets to a certain size, they're required to have an MPO to get transportation grants.

why does Ms. Arnold have such a wild hair about this?

Did Dave Bieter spit in her cornflakes or what? Is she in a snit because he doesn't go to COMPASS meetings? I'm not following why she has taken this on as her personal crusade.

Crazy, isn't it?

Tons of irony here. For someone running ACHD to accuse another official of dereliction of duty is priceless, considering the state of their affairs. Also, she supposedly is speaking for the whole board, implying they are spending taxpayer time and money meddling in city politics when they should have both hands on their own tiller.

Sounds like just her

Not achd opinions. Sounds like just her opinions, no reference to the other commissioners. At least ACHD didn't raise our taxes.

Name 15 things they've done without a search engine...

and I'll leave you alone for this thread.


Apple users, run the Gig of RAM your PC needs to have and read the dumb tech white papers, wrinkle your forehead and buy more food and toilet paper with the difference. The internet is a piece of junk anyway and your cats know this.

Tired of tax increases every

Tired of tax increases every year if you read the other email to the city. Is he not doing other parts of the job? Raise seems out of line.

He deserves it

There are CEO's of non profit arts organizations in town who make much more than Bieter does. There are people running companies who make several factors more than the Mayor does. He is running an entire city, with a budget and employees that dwarf other enterprises. He is underpaid and deserves a raise.

The city of Boise is the great place it is because the Mayor has vision and understands what attracts business and people. Republicans just hate the idea that a Democrat occupies any office in Idaho.

Under your philosophy

Under your philosophy presented then the Governor is underpaid???

Uh, no he does not

But mnaybe the next guy or gal will deserve it and need it to pay their living expenses. Personally I hope Bieter loses next time or better yet, does not run. So my concern is making the job pay enough for more non-lawyers to consider running.


I am not a Dave Bieter fan at all but given we have to have a mayor we ought to make it worthwhile for someone other than a rich guy to run for the job. Ordinary people could do better than this lawyer on leave from a thriving practice. But we will not get good people unless they can leave their business or job and still pay their bills.

Lots of good people would do

Lots of good people would do the job for the $92,000 year current mayor's salary. Problem is the low voter turnout in off years when nothing but city races on the ballot. All he had to do is get his north end buddies to vote and he wins

ugly is

underpaid and soon to be over-taxed....

tired of any yuppie using 'our' system and while yet we get robbed....

dollar going nowhere....debt may be the answer....