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.