Tracking code caldwell guardian

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Overclass Paid Well In Canyon County Public Sector

What do we pay them? This was a feature in the Sunday edition of the IPT.  What was interesting was there was no real commentary to go with the smiling faces of all the elected and appointed officials and how much they are paid.  The numbers posted do not include the benefits package these folks receive. A good number of these folks are into the low six figure range for pay. (link to article What do we pay them.. )

We just had to go see what the median income in Idaho is for the average household in Idaho.  The says the median houseold income in the Great State if Idaho is $47,000!

 Somehow we as taxpayers have allowed the pay of public servants to get completely out of whack with those who are paying the bills.  We realize $100k/yr. just doesn't buy what it used to buy a few years back.

No wonder charter schools can't make ends meet when they have teachers who are paid $75k/yr for 185 days of work.  That comes to over $400/day plus benefits for these teachers.  Valivue and Caldwell School Districts with administrative burdens over $1MM for each district. Nampa School District make over $1.33MM for the jobs and pay listed in the IPT.

Liberty Charter School comes in at just under $1MM for their administrative burden on taxpayers.

(Note Benefits were added to the published pay at the rate of 32% to cover all benefits and social costs.)

Canyon County, city of Caldwell and city of  Nampa all came in over $1MM for their top ten admin jobs.  THE GUARDIAN is old enough to remember that a six figure annual income was a lot of money.  Census data tells us the median household income is $47k/year and all this makes THE GUARDIAN wonders how we got so far out of whack with public servant pay scales compared to those of us paying the bills.

No wonder charter schools are having a time of it trying to make ends meet based on the overly generous pay given to Liberty Charter administrators and teachers.  How did their school board let administrative costs get so out of control?

Congress along with their waste and spend ways is the stuff of hate and Tea Party discontent amongst voters but THE GUARDIAN would offer there is plenty for us to take stock of as taxpayers right here at home.  Apathy is problematic and probably nothing will happen.  We do want to thank the IPT for this public service.


  1. Don't forget Becki Stallcup is receiving income from some of the other charter schools also. And it should be known that her son is the recipient of a fat charter school paycheck as well. The family business pays pretty well.

  2. It is amazing to me how little most people are paid yet we have elected and appointed officials who think they are grossly underpaid. They have the termerity to say those of us in the private sector make more money! I am sure there are lots of people working for the cities and counties who make a lot less but those at the top are certainly well paid.

  3. I checked "Our Idaho" and saw the salaries for public figures was last updated in 2009. It would be interesting to see what5 they are today and how much they have gone up in the past two years.

    Do you have any sway with IFF Paul?

  4. The IFF is headed up by Wayne Hoffman here in Idaho. Funding sources for the IFF are not known to THE GUARDIAN. I do know Mr. Hoffman from his work with TAXPAYERS ACCOUNTABILTY COMMITTEE work on urban renewal law reform this past year in the 2011 Idaho Legislature. TAC was the catalyst group to get legislative reform on UR done this year.

    TAC is a group of Treasure Valley taxpayers who are fed up with waste, fraud and abuse of property taxpayers in Idaho. Might be a good time to let people know their next TAC meeting is May 11th @ 1:00PM Canyon Creek Restaurant (Shilo Inn in Nampa near I-84 and Franklin Rd overpass..

  5. Before everyone gets overly excited about a corporals pay in Nampa please note there is a Name beside the pay. This means not all Corporals or Sergeants make that much money. Instances like these are high graded and these two people probably worked every day and all the overtime they could get.

    It is more than a little bit troubling to see just how much people are getting paid while those of us with families are struggling to make ends meet. It takes everything we make to get all the bills paid in our house. These people are making way more than the two of us make. Somehow fair and reasoanble is missing.

  6. Even with overtime, there is no reasonable excuse for such an exorbinant salary for a corporal!

    Get real! Nampa is overpaid and not in line with other Law Enforcement in Canyon County. Why do Nampa cops make on average more than $5.00+ more an hour than their counterparts in Caldwell and Canyon County?

    How about a tax break Mayor Tom?

  7. Well after reviewing that article I think we can safely say Nampa City is grossly overpaying it's police officers and the education system has plenty of money. It just needs to cut some of it's bloat! How is it possible that principals of schools make more than Doctors (Forensic pathologists) and Lawyers? Something funky going on here. I expected to see Lawyers making 80K a year but I sure didn't expect 90K or 100K.
    Funnel some of that cash flow down to the troops in the trenches level! I know where those positions they say they need can be funded from!

  8. The devil is in the details. Its not that the top managers salaries in each of the entities are 80 to 120k, it is just there are so many of them. The job descriptions and presumably required credentials are probably not unreasonably paid but do they require so many backups. Some of these people though presumably well qualified are probably not doing much, but are experts at justifying their need and importance and delegating work to their backups, not that much different than private business.

    The gagal of lawyers from the prosecutors office must be happy about their good fortune in having steady employment but thats just me thinking out loud.

  9. How come we pay so much more for police services and schools in Nampa than the people of Caldwell or the rest of canyon county for that matter? I think Uncle Tom Dale better be coming up with a plan on how he intends to cut my taxes this year as the school district and police department are getting too much of my money as it is. By the way Tom, I disapprove of your plan to spend more of my money on a cop shop too.

  10. We as taxpayers and citizens have become way too complacent and lazy with our civic duty to let these people know they are working for us. I don't know how to reign in what is going on but I do know how to vote and hope some good people will step up and represent the people paying the bills.

  11. Nampa has raised the ability to waste and spend taxpayer dollars to an outright art form. And to their credit they are getting away with it.

  12. Mayor Nancolas really needs to step up the waste of taxpayer money to just to keep up with Nampa, let alone surpass Nampa. Come on Grotte, you can waste a lot more hard earned taxpayer dollars than you already have!
    I think I need a cold mango drink!
    Hot Postum!

  13. People in the public sector now have the distiction of being far better off than most people in the private sector. We will eventually reach a point where we can no longer afford any more government than we already have. The Tea Party may be a manifestation of that reality moving forward. I wonder if we will hit the stage of citizen revolt we see in the Middle East at this point in time. I am still able to meet all my financial obligations but I know people who have exhausted their unemployment and have no safety net and are headed for the street or their cars for a place to live.

  14. The IPT published in the paper today (4/28/11), the average wage in Canyon County is $31,819/yr for a 40 hour work week. This works out to $15.30/hour. This info was part of a story on the rail crossing time wasted at Midland Blvd and the train tracks. High end wages tend to skew to bottom end wage earners upward. We suspect there are a lot of folks out there who would love to make $15/hr.

  15. So how much should a cop make per year?
    A Deputy Prosecutor?
    A Teacher?
    A commissioner?

    Should they be allowed to make enough of a wage to afford a house?

    Or because they are public employees should they only be paid enough to live in an apartment?

    I'm interested to hear what an acceptable wage is in your opinion for each of these jobs.

  16. Establishing a fair wage for any given job or profession is easily researched on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The below link will get you started. HR people would have you believe it is some mystical formula best left to professionals in the field.

  17. The ruling class, say, the Duke of Caldwell, (Mayor Nancolas) seem to look at the taxpayers as oafs, serfs, and knaves, here to do their bidding and pay their taxes so they can build their castles and moats. The reason the Duke pays his oafs, serfs and knaves so well is to keep them loyal. A well paid oaf is a happy oaf! After being a well paid oaf for some time, the well paid oaf starts to think they are worth it. In this fairy tale world of elected office, the truth is, the Duke's oafs, are not worth any more than any one in the private sector. The oafs are paid well with tax money, that is not the Dukes, and well paid oafs are loyal oafs that will use a lot of their idle time to keep the Duke in office!

  18. So I went to your site as you suggested and used the data you suggested;

    Average mean salaries:

    Fire Fighters $47,270
    Correctional Officers and Jailers $42,610
    Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers $55,180
    Detectives and Criminal Investigators $65,860
    First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Police and Detectives $78,580
    Lawyers $129,020
    Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education $27,450
    Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education $50,380
    Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education $53,150
    Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Education $53,550
    Postsecondary Teachers, All Other $74,330

    This data suggests:
    Nampa police are grossly overpaid
    Nampa Fire is grossly overpaid
    Caldwell police and fire are just about right
    Canyon County Sheriff's and jailers are underpaid.
    Canyon County deputy Prosecutors are underpaid
    and all regular teachers are underpaid.

    It should be pointed out that in most cases the IPT article you are citing picked the upper managements salaries to point out and not the working class slobs. Many have taken that and are trying to say all government employees are overpaid. This is categorically untrue. I know some government workers who qualify for food stamps.

    In the city of Nampa's case however I can't help but wonder what they were thinking. There are some serious salary adjustments needing to be made there!

  19. You can also go to the trade journals to see what the going rate is for people in various jobs and locations. It all boils down to this...."there is a buyer for everything and the only thing that separates them is the price".

    I went to the website to see what mechanical engineers are paid and it was spot on for what I know about them.

  20. I found a statment by Ed Simmerman in Mike Butts article on saturday interesting " Nampa does not use outside services to do sallary surveys. I don't need to I know how it works". Lets see a city employee deciding if city employees are over paid. What could possibly go wrong here.

  21. So how much is acceptable for this area?

    What should we tell our city leaders is acceptable for this area?

  22. I'd say a previous commenter hit the nail on the head. It's not that they're paid too much, there's just too many of them. I'm not gung ho on paying someone $35,000/year to do a job that requires a lot of managerial skill because that could go very wrong very quickly.

    I think Garrett Nancolas provides a real world example of what happens in government when somebody gets a job well beyond their skill package. I think that arbitrarily cutting salaries would simply lead to incapable people with way more responsibility than they should have simply becuase the pay wasn't high enough to attract someone better.

    Flatten out the organizational structure. Combine divisions and bureaus, pay good money to attract good managerial talent and then expect those people to operate without relying on a lot of middle management. The private sector did this a long time ago.

  23. I think Nampa city needs to get in line with what the county is paying it's policemen. There is no way any cop could be worth as much as Nampa is paying them.

  24. I don't see why we do not have a Metro PD like Las Vegas has. Their whole county has one consolidated police force patrolling everything in the county and have been that way since 1973.

    This could be a way to normalize all these pay discrepancies with police departments and prevent Mayors Tom and Garrett from being so fast and loose with our tax dollars. This would also solve the problems with duplication of services like dispatching and the county charging the city for services like animal control. Just think if everyone paid the same levy rate for emergency services.

    This antiquated city/county police and fire structure needs to go.

  25. Fire the Commishes and Mayors. Problem solved.

  26. Rage against the systemMonday, May 09, 2011 8:17:00 PM

    Will not happen Anonymous. Tommy Boy and Lord Garrett will never give up their own personal police force. That would cut their revenue stream. Need something funded? Just have your private police force write more bogus tickets. If the police were consolidated into a police force under a elected official answerable to the people, Tommy and Garrett would flip out! Nothing like having the law under your thumb, literally. Chief of police makes you mad, just fire him. Like to see them try that with an elected Sheriff. At least with an elected official I get a say.

  27. Why should the sheriff get to run the show? Nampa is the biggest city in the county and has the most money. If my city contributes the most, my city should be running the show. Not some hillbilly sheriff's office.

  28. I Agree with Metro.

    One levy rate paid by all taxpayers equally for law enforcement and animal control
    services for the whole county sounds a lot better than the cities and county all
    levying their own taxes to support these multiple agencies which could be consolidated
    into one cohesive and efficient unit

    The question is, how do you make them do it? Do you vote it in or is it something the
    commissioners have to do? How is it done Metro?

  29. I heard the city cops get like more than 80 percent of the money from ticket writing going back to the city. Can anyone confirm if that is true?

    I also heard the county dont get nothing from the sheriffs writing tickets so they dont write as many. I think I understand now why the Nampa fuzz likes to write so many chicken_ _ _ _ tickets. After all we got a new cop shop we got to pay for right?

  30. The nampa top cop is retiring it seems.

    Can I have his job please. Yes I would like to make over 100K per year thank you very much.

    But I will settle for 10K less per year for a job with significantly less responsibility as a corporal.

  31. If you are hurting for a job so bad and need the cash, how do you justify paying the expense for internet service? Typical anti government rhetoric.

  32. I have no problem with us paying cops a fair living wage for what they do. In this area I'd say that's about 45-50K a year for a police officer or deputy. But when I see a cop pulling in over 90K a year I just can't help but wonder how the lunacy started. At that cost they will never get a yes vote out of me for a bigger jail.

  33. Unlike the Tea Party Patriot, I have no desire to allow Mayor Tom to control any more of my tax dollars than necessary. He has already demonstrated he does not care what his constituents think and will continue his tax and spend trend as long as he is allowed to remain in office. If this Metro idea forces the politicos to stop wasting our money, combine and have one police force, one centralized communications center, one Animal shelter, and one ambulance service instead of all these smaller wasteful independent districts, I think I can get behind that. So how do we make it happen Metro?

  34. It is June 6, and some Summer perspective is here. We have to realize that Team Tom is not the only issue we have to deal with, when getting the people to change the city. Once again a reminder of the upcomming city council elections this fall. It's the Team Tom & Thorne
    axis that has to be dealt with. Tom and Marty need a check and a checkmate.

  35. The Sheriff has the authority to take over anytime he wants. Of course that would be political suicide.

    The better way is a citizen driven effort to force these gubment clowns into seeing the light!

    In Clark County Nevada (Las Vegas) the citizens got it on the ballot and voted on it forcing them all to merge and stop wasting money.

  36. Salary is only a tiny part of the "discretionary budgets" of these agencies. One that is notably absent from your list is Canyon County Paramedics, whose operating budget has skyrocketed in recent years. This increase includes lavish trips, meals, and personal vehicles. When was the last time any of us who work in the private sector had an employer purchase us a brand new SUV, license and insure it, pay all the maintenance and fuel costs, and then let us use it at our discretion? By the way, discretionary use includes ALL personal travel, including travel to and from our home in Ada County to our job in Canyon County. When you are making a six figure income on the taxpayers dime without even a college degree, should the taxpayers also be covering your daily expenses? That, my friends, is what is wrong with this country.


A public discourse on the issues of the day makes the world a better place.

We welcome comments but they will be moderated and edited if too long or do not have anything to do with the post.
Agree or disagree just do it without profanity or it won't get posted. Try to keep your comments to no more than 300 words. Too long and I will try to edit it down or simply delete the comment. The whole idea is to get people to read your comment. Don't use 10 words when one will do the job.

It's OK to have a difference of opinion but keep it civil. I have used the "delete" feature on myself at times.

The ANONYMOUS feature for comments seems to be the most user friendly. People have commented they have difficulty with the other methods of posting comments.