Sharon Ullman gave Dave Case a respectable challenge for his seat on the Ada County Board of Commissioners, but it wasn’t enough to return the favor to the incumbent who ousted her four years ago.
Barring the unexpected, Case has an unobstructed path to a second term on the board — this one a two-year stint — because no Democrat is running for that seat in the November general election. Case could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Blame-casting over taxes and the county’s costly flirtation with Dynamis Energy dominated this year’s campaign between Case and Ullman.
When she was on the board of commissioners, Sharon Ullman was a vocal supporter of Dynamis, which proposed building a garbage-to-energy plant at the Ada County Landfill. With her help, the county gave Dynamis $2 million to help pay for the plant’s design.
But the project fell through, and the county never recovered its money. In late March, the county settled a related case by paying $2.2 million to Fortistar, which converts methane at the landfill to electricity.
Case said the Dynamis mess, with Ullman’s help, dealt Ada County a blow from which it is only now recovering.
Ullman said Case had it all wrong. She said Case’s constant bad-mouthing of Dynamis when he was running to unseat her in 2012 soured the county’s relationship with the company so badly that it ruined any chances of the plant being built.
Ullman also pointed out that taxes have gone up in Case’s time on the board of commissioners. She said the board is simply too lenient with its department heads.
Case said the county had no choice but to raise taxes, partly to pay for items left unattended during Ullman’s tenure, and partly to pay for a new 911 dispatch center. He pointed out that he voted against this year’s budget proposal, which reclaimed $6 million worth of tax increases the county had forgone in years past.
ADA COMMISSIONER, DISTRICT 2
In terms of margin of victory, Boise City Councilman TJ Thomson’s victory over Stanley Johnson in the Democratic primary for Ada County commission, District 2, was the most impressive.
Thomson will face Republican Rick Visser, a retired attorney, in November’s general election. Visser easily dispatched Teri Murrison, administrator for the Idaho Soil and Water Conservation Commission and a former member of the board of supervisors for a Northern California county.
Visser recognized that in Thomson he’ll face an opponent with substantial name recognition and familiarity around the county.
“But I’ve been in the Valley for 40 years and I have four generations of my family here and I’ve got a pretty clear platform that I want to do, with responsible growth and responsible spending,” he said. “And I’m just going to stick to that, keep it simple and keep it strong.”
Thomson pointed out that he had strong support across the county, not just in a few areas. He said he’ll try to build on that for the general election, enlisting the support of community leaders in each area.
“Tomorrow morning we start working hard to take the vision that I have for Ada County across to all the citizens in the different cities,” Thomson said.