Tracking code caldwell guardian

Thursday, June 3, 2010

911 Debate Re: What Funds Can Be Used For

The local paper picked up THE GUARDIAN story about  the $500k brouhaha between the City of Caldwell and the County.  The local paper reported that both Mayor Nancolas and Sheriff Smith state emphatically 911 funds may not be used for salaries of 911 dispatch personnel.  Mayor Nancolas has declared he will not roll over and play dead on this one.  The answer to this dust up lies in a memo we have in our possession from the County Prosecutors Office.

We have obtained a memo dated June 3, 2003 from then Chief Civil Prosecutor Chuck Saari to the Canyon County BOC.  The four page memo is a legal analysis of changes to the law going into effect on July 1, 2003.  Page 2, item #2 says:

"2.  Based upon new legislation, effective July 1, 2003, concerning 911 fees and salaries "directly related" to an emergency communication system, it is clear that Canyon County may use received 911 fees to fund a portion of the Canyon County dispatchers' salaries."

The above quote seems pretty clear.

Canyon County is now on track to receive about $1.3 million in 911 phone and cell phone surcharges by the end of this fiscal year.  This is not chump change and if the Sheriff and the BOC maintain 911 surcharge money could not be spent on salaries then where has all the money gone over the last 20 years?  We will anxiously wait for the county mavens of money to answer this question.

Meanwhile, we do not share the CCBOC and Sheriff's beliefs the City of Caldwell should be on the hook for any 911 services.


  1. At least Nancolas "will not roll over and play dead on this one."

  2. You should actually read the law on this Paul.
    Once again you got it all wrong.....

  3. Bill,

    Perhaps it is you who should visit Idaho Code 31-4809, then go seek a copy of Mr. Saari's Memo to the BOC dated 6-3-2003. What you have said is an opinion and you do not cite or back up your comment about me having it "all wrong".

    Plese do let me know if there is a more recent change to the law or revised analysis ..


  4. It's not 2003 anymore.
    As of 2007 you cant do that.

    TITLE 31
    CHAPTER 48

    31-4804.Emergency communications fee.

    (5) Use of fees. The emergency communications fee provided hereunder shall be used only to pay for the lease, purchase or maintenance of emergency communications equipment for basic and enhanced consolidated emergency systems, including necessary computer hardware, software, database provisioning, training, salaries directly related to such systems, costs of establishing such systems, management, maintenance and operation of hardware and software applications and agreed-to reimbursement costs of telecommunications providers related to the operation of such systems. All other expenditures necessary to operate such systems and other normal and necessary safety or law enforcement functions including, but not limited to, those expenditures related to overhead, staffing, dispatching, administrative and other day to day operational expenditures, shall continue to be paid through the general funding of the respective governing boards; provided however, that any governing body using the emergency communication fee to pay the salaries of dispatchers as of March 1, 2006, may continue to do so until the beginning of such governing body’s 2007 fiscal year.

  5. Actuall, it is not clear. So how about we let the people who interpret the law decided which section of the Code prevails 31-4804(5) or 31-4809 and the analysis of the former Chief Civil Prosecutor. You have raised a valid point

  6. It doesn't matter what the code says. What matters is the system is there and the people who operate it will get paid. The county gets the 911 money for the system so they simply need to budget for the operation of it.

    Secondly, if the system is paid for where is the money now going? Over $100k/month comes to the county from phone users what are they spending the money on over the course of the year. $1.3 million is a lot for just maintenance. How about we get a phone tax reduction?

  7. You guys don't have the whole picture is all I'm saying. Check it out. You are oversimplifying the problem and don't have a complete list or clear picture of all the expenses being paid out of the E911 fund. There is a lot more that can and is legally being paid out of these funds. How can you even make the accusation when you have no clue what or where the money is being spent in the first place? I just think your accusations of mismanagement are not based in any fact and are premature. A whole lotta something out of nothing.

  8. I would offer the costs of running the 911 center is a "sunk cost". For example, if Caldwell went to Nampa for dispatch services the costs to run the county dispatch center woul not be any different than they are today or the difference would be so small it would be insignificant. The county would be paying dispatchers to sit with idle time on their hands.

    The County has to pay for their dispatching of Sheriffs personnel, County EMS/Paramedics and have to be staffed as a part of the Homeland Security deal.

    Sheriff needs to budget for the costs of operation and taxpayers ultimately pay for what isn't covered by various revenue sources. It is the price of doing business for county taxpayers and breaking it up into finite pieces to assign costs flies in the face of all taxpayers.

  9. Dispatching for Caldwell City Police, Fire and EMS is something they would have been paying for through the city budget. We don't have to dispatch them you know. That is the cities problem. In the past they had a source of income to pay for this. If you would like the city to raise your taxes to build their own center, erect their own repeater towers and staff 24 hr a day dispatchers etc. then by all means Paul tell Garrett that. Otherwise pay your fair share. I don't feel bad in the least bit knowing darn well how CEURA is sucking up tons of cash that should have been used to pay for school teachers, building schools paying your share of dispatching services etc. and using it to beautify downtown Caldwell. Please! Get your head out of the clouds and wake up. I wonder what Garrett will do when he has to ask Caldwell residents for 10 million to build his own facilities. Hope you enjoy the tax increase Caldwell. Or maybe by your reasoning the Sheriff should budget for the paying of CPD's officers too.

  10. Mr. Jarrett,
    "We don't have to dispatch them." Surely you don't think for a moment the Sheriff would cease dispatch to anyone do you? The Sheriff and you are by my definition "public servants", even the sides of most Police vehicles have the words "to protect and serve" somewhere on them.

    Your sentax is also very wordy and hard to follow.

  11. No, We will not stop serving the public. I am sorry you could not detect the cynical tone I wished to convey to illustrate to Paul how ludicrous his thinking was. Sheriff Smith is definitely getting the short end of the stick here all the blame to boot. By the way, thank you for the lesson in grammar. Now I will return the favor and give you one in spelling. The word is spelled "Syntax". I have made my points, and they have been heard. Thanks for listening.

  12. Why should we pay for 911 services, anyway? Isn't that one of those "personal responsibility" things?

  13. What planet are you from? We pay 911 dispatch taxes for 911 and normal communications to field operations of Police, Fire, EMS and other public safety communications.

    Next time you need help try waving your arms in the air and yelling for help. See how soon you get help from public safety personnel.

    Or perhaps you think waving your arsenal of weaponry from your bunker will do the trick.

    "PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY" what planet are you from anyway?

  14. Mr. Jarrett,
    You should try and do what politicians do. Try putting what you have to say in 20 words or less. It might help us to get to the end of what you are trying to say. I get lost trying to follow your comments. I really do think you have valid points.

  15. I would like to read what Bill has to say also. too much info coming in one big paragraph. One point is if all the county officials are against UR why did some at the county support a person for clerk that has a track record of supporting caldwell ur and is a proponent of the concept?

    If you or he says anything to the contrary the truth is not being told.

  16. Mr. Yamamoto as County Clerk will be fun for people like Paul. He will either buck up and learn the job and the responsibilities or the media will eat him alive.

    He may not like life under a microscope once he gets sworn into office. Wonder if he will get to file his own bankruptcy documents?

  17. Please try to stay with the issue of the posting. Comments are getting way off the subject of e-911 and the dust-up between the County and Caldwell.

  18. I'm from the planet of Sarcasm, DA.

  19. Can we all please get over the whole bankruptcy stigma thing? It's so void of value.


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