Thursday, February 26, 2009

Open letter to the Ada County Commissioners

To the Board of Ada County Commissioners,
According to a press release from Ada County: "In an effort to help offset the elimination of employee merit increases, the Board of Commissioners has agreed to cover the cost of employee health insurance premium increases, which in previous years, might have been passed on to employees. Additionally, the county will give employees a “health insurance premium holiday” resulting in no payroll deduction for health insurance premiums during the month of December – a time when most employees could use a little extra cash in their paychecks."
As a small business owner in Ada County, I am against these moves and moves such as this in general. I would like to see the county act more like a business. You don't see many private sector employees offering health insurance premium holidays or covering the costs of health insurance increases. Many "regular" employees in the private sector are seeing cuts to their health benefits and are seeing no merit pay raises, if they even still have a job. Private sector employees shouldn't then be expected to bear a tax burden to help fund added health benefits for county employees. Most taxpayers in Ada County would like to see a little extra cash in their bank accounts in December rather than seeing it go to the county to pay for a health insurance premium holiday for county employees. We should all share the burden and sacrifices of the current economic downturn.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Kuna mayor says he'll give a state of the city address

At the last City Council meeting, council member Trina Stroebel asked Kuna Mayor Scott Dowdy if he was going to give a state of the city address, just like other area mayors. Dowdy gave a state of the city address back when he was interim mayor and he was running for mayor, but he hasn't given one since. Reluctantly, Dowdy said he would do a state of the city address. Council president Jeff Lang encouraged him to give one, especially considering all of the city budget cuts and the news about the LID. City attorney Randy Grove had the best line of the night: "Your theme for it could be 'At least we're not California.'" Details not hammered down yet, but we'll let you know in the Kuna Melba News when we find out.

Friday, February 6, 2009

City of Kuna gets in line for federal stimulus money

The city of Kuna is doing what it can to save its place in line for federal stimulus money.
President Obama, along with mostly congressional Democrats, is proposing anywhere from $800 billion to $900 billion in federal money to projects that, in theory, would jumpstart the economy by creating jobs for the millions of people who have lost their jobs in recent months due to the tumbling economy.
Much of the talk had centered around infrastructure, such as bridges, roads and sewer and water projects.
Kuna has put together a list of projects that city officials feel could benefit from federal support. Included in that list are the new wastewater treatment plant, an overpass over Indian Creek along Meridian Road and a new city hall.
In addition, the city is trying to work with the Ada County Highway District to come up with some local road projects, such as a traffic light at Columbia and Meridian roads, sidewalks on Linder and Fourth streets and a widening of Deer Flat Road from Meridian Road to Ten Mile Road. All of these projects have been in the pipeline for years. Craig Quintana of ACHD tells me that ACHD is submitting a list of projects to the Idaho Transportation Department, including half-a-million dollars for repair of dangerous sidewalks, including some in Kuna. ACHD also is requesting $4 million for road repairs all over the county. Another $40 million in ready-to-go projects are in the wings, including a bridge over the Benton Lateral along King Road east of Black Cat Road, Quintana said.
We'll keep you posted.