banner photo of Idaho and Brian Farnsworth

The county will be indebted until 2021 with the construction of the new building. The new building will be fully paid for at the time of completion in December 2018, or January 2019.
Full-time County employees are making less than $20,000 per year. The county operates on a step-in-grade. Depending on your qualifications and experience, each employee is placed into a respective step in grade which determines their wages. At the county, wages vary depending on what department you are in and what your responsibilities are. However, full-time employees are all entitled to Persi retirement and full medical benefits which also play into wages. As Commissioner, I have worked very hard to ensure that County employee salaries are comparable to nearby counties; we've simply been losing too many trained, qualified, experienced and loyal employees to the surrounding counties and towns.
33% raise for the County Commissioners.
  • Transparency in this instance is crucial: the Commissioners received a 33% raise, for a 100% increase in time dedicated to their Commissioner duties. Calculating this out would be: $27.500 (old amount) divided by 24 meetings (two per month) is approximately $1,145.00 per meeting.
  • With the raise to $36,000 (new amount) divided by 48 meetings (4 per month) is approximately $750.00 per meeting, which equates to a 35% hourly pay cut.
  • No money can be spent, nor contracts signed without Commissioner approval. Each department was dependent on the Commissioners being able to do their job in a timely manner, and with two meetings per month, in a rapidly growing county, this was not possible. The Commmissioners committed to meet every week, rather than every other week.
  • With four meetings per month we, as Commissioners, are able to meet the needs of our growing county.
  • No budgets were cut, no taxes were raised, and no fees were initiated to fund the Commissioners raise.
  • The Commissioners' raise was the last thing initiated and would have been the first thing cut if there was not enough funding for the budget.
Commissioners only work part time.
  • The myth is that Commissioners only work part-time. Belief is that Commissioners only work one day per week, however, Commissioners put in much more time than that.
  • We are each a part of different boards. For example, I am a part of the Health Board, Cloud Seeding Committee, EISF Fair Board, Magistrate Commission, and Mental Health Board. Each of these invariably demands a lot of time.
  • We attend various meetings within the State of Idaho for continued education on how to better lead and manage the County, as well as be assured we are aware of all new laws and regulations.
  • I have made myself available to everybody - County employees and citizens - and spend approximately 30 hours per week outside of the Monday meeting dealing with the issues that come through this open door.
  • The responsibilities and duties of the Commissioners far exceed one meeting per week. Trust me on this one, the taxpayers are getting their money's worth!
The new building was a wasteful spend. In order to create a more unified and efficient county government, the decision was made to add on to the courthouse. Every department will be able to benefit from this new building. Our goal was not to spend $4 million dollars solely to save $30,000 dollars in rent per year, but was to create a stronger and more efficient infrastructure, and to facilitate efficient operations and coordination amongst County departments. The decision was made in order to relieve the overburdened and undersized courthouse for the expanding county.

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