Tracking code caldwell guardian

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Reality of Teachers and Turnover Losses

We are reprinting this with permission from Shari Webster of Nampa.  This was originally a letter to the editor and appeared this past week in the Idaho Statesman:

National estimates reveal that one-third of all new teachers leave the profession after three years.  46% depart within five.  What day-to-day experiences have so many headed for the door?

  • In the midst of crisis, Nampa's dedicated teachers (equipped with personal funds) formed a line at an office supply's self serve photocopier.

  • Report cards were printed on the blank side of used paper.

  • A first-year teacher received access to a long neglected classroom 13 days before opening day.  After expending 12-16 hours a day and $1,500.00, she transformed the space into one suitable for instruction.

  • District policy mandated that designated employee complete all laminating processes.  Because the sole worker became contractually available four days prior to opening day, a trip to a local office supply became necessary--as did another out-of-pocket expense.

  • A non-working printer accompanied by a technician's growing waitlist necessitated documents being emailed to teachers' personal accounts for home printing.

  • Utilizing a single workbook, teachers awaited turns at a solitary photocopies to produce student copies.  Added frustration?  A limit on pages!

  • Traditional classrooms became occupied by 35 plus students, some void of English speaking ability.
Upon arrival of 2014, we honor these teachers, whose sacrifices are worthy of front-page headlines.

Shari Webster, President on behalf of Chi Chapter
Delta Kappa Gamma Society International

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

King's Bldg., Downtown Caldwell (and other stuff) Discussed at City Council Meeting/Workshop

THE GUARDIAN attended the Caldwell City Council meeting/workshop last night as there were subjects of interest on the meeting agenda. 

Bill Deal along with two other people from the State Insurance Dept. who discussed the oversight the state has with self insured cities and other public entities that fall under their oversight.  City of Caldwell is self insured for claims up to $75k and then their insurance policy kicks in for city employee health, dental and other insurance claims. 

Next subject of interest is what to do with cash that will flow to taxing districts from the urban renewal.  Will it be retained by the urban renewal agency or will the taxing district claim the money and use it to spend or reduce property tax burdens.

There was a lively discussion about downtown and how $1.3 million of unencumbered URA money will be spent from 2015 to 2022 tax years.  The lack of sidewalks in Caldwell was discussed and the safety issues this presents to school children walking to and from school.  There was a lack of consensus on this matter and little input from the city council noted.

Members of the URA board made a motion to get bids for demolition of the King's Building eyesore in downtown back in  December 2013 URA Board meeting. To date there have been no solicitation of bids has been done for this project.   URA Board Chairman Eljay Waite stated he was busy with audit issues but would have the biding process completed and perhaps the demolition of the King's building done  by April 1, 2014. 

There were several downtown business owners there to discuss the plight and blight of downtown and how to improve on the $2-5.00 lease rates that are now the norm for renting space in downtown.  Obstacles like sprinkler systems, ADA compliance issues and lack of investment by the URA in downtown were discussed.  Another issue brought up was the previous efforts to get the King's building land area converted to a plaza and the plans presented to both Mayor Nancolas and URA Chairman Eljay Waite at previous URA board meetings.  Both Mayor Nancolas and URA Chairman Eljay Waite declined to give any hint on the preferred plaza location at this meeting. 

One business owner spoke to the lack of interest he has seen from members of the City Council and the Mayor.  He has not seen Mayor Nancolas and only one City Council member since he opened for business across from the Post Office.  Nor has there been any press releases from the city or the chamber of commerce on his new business in downtown Caldwell.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Canyon County Jail Expansion

THE GUARDIAN has learned about a jail expansion project of late.  The plan will cost an estimated $12MM and will come from tax dollars flowing to the County General Fund.  Increased assessed values along with not spending all the cash flowing to the county has put a load of cash in the coffers.
A recent audit pointed out the need to spend the money or lower taxes.  Commishes have held the line on taxes as noted by a Guardian friend who lives in the county.  He stated his taxes did not go up this year when asked about this.  Bottom line is the Sheriff will get a new jail addition to the existing Dale Haile Jail.  It will be paid for without a bond election. The number of beds and other details are not known at this time.

The new jail addition will start construction some time after the new admin. building is completed and courtrooms constructed to accommodate new judges assigned to Canyon County.  Sheriff Donahue can now quit whining about a new jail.  That won't happen but he will get additional beds when the new addition to the existing jail is completed. The new jail addition will extend into the existing jail parking lot on the north side of Dale Haile Jail and extend outward toward Chicago St.

Oddly enough, this is the very plan put forth by former Sheriff George Nourse.  Let's hope they also put a basement in this new structure so the jail has adequate storage needs that are in a secure area that was advocated by Nourse.

Also planned in all of this is to close the Nampa Court Annex building and bring all that back to the main courthouse.  The Nampa Annex will be sold to the city of Nampa and turned into a parking lot if plans go according to what was related to the Guardian.

NOTE: I ran the afore mentioned blog post info past Comm. Steve Rule and he sent me an email that all of this is "conceptual" at this point in time and has not been formally discussed by the full BOCC.  And as a conceptual deal all of it is subject to a lot more discussion by all the stakeholders.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Police and Fire Pay, Nampa, Caldwell, Boise

We got this information from a Nampa Guardian Reader and thought it worth sharing with you.  The information comes from "ACCOUNTABLE IDAHO"

Average police pay:
Nampa 2012......  $65,585    Caldwell..... $48,744       Boise..... $72,295
Nampa 2011......  $66,446
Nampa 2010......  $66,562

Nampa Sgt. Tim Randall whose retirement is announced in today's IPT:
2011.... $89,566   2012....  $88.339

Fire Dept. average pay:
Nampa 2012... $71,640   Caldwell.... $66,890   Boise.... $81,845

All of the above  have added benefits which in Nampa's case includes over $12,000 in health insurance, PERSI retirement and a smorgasbord of other fringe benefits.

Update, January 7, 2013:  A commenter wanted to know Sheriff Dept. avg pay and here it is:

Average pay for Ada County Sheriff officers  2012  $50,612
Average pay for Canyon County Sheriff officers 2012  $42,451
I have no way of knowing if any of the info I have sent you include
desk people but I would assume it does. Information taken from Accountable Idaho website. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mayor Nancolas Resolves More Time At Disneyland

All of the leaders of Canyon County were polled for their resolutions for 2014. 

We plucked this gem from the pages of the local paper for Mayor Nancolas' resolutions for this next year.  THE GUARDIAN will leave the following for readers to enjoy:

"Spend every precious moment I possibly can with those whom I cherish and treasure the most.
P.S. Go to Disneyland more often! — Garret Nancolas, Caldwell mayor"

*Cartoon courtesy of a local artist.
The shirt button says "Ask Eljay"