NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodBoise Bench


Meet the candidates for Ada County Commissioner District 3

Posted at 6:23 PM, May 17, 2024
  • There are four Republican candidates on the primary ballot for District 3 County Commissioner.
  • Election day takes place on Tuesday, May 21st. The elected commissioner will then be on the ballot in November.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

Budgeting and growth are two things County Commissioners have to handle. In Ada County, four candidates are running for District 3.

Heather Luther works for Ada County and says she wants to look at how the agency can cut costs.

“Are we over budgeting in certain areas? Of course it happens, but we always try to budget a little higher for growth and inflation but are we going even above that,” says Luther.

Opponent Branden Durst agrees with a need to tighten the county's budget.

"What I think we need to do is go through lean management assessment to see where we can cut and then we need to partner with our nonprofit and faith-based organizations in places where it's appropriate to make sure we can do that,” says Branden Durst.

Candidate Sharon Ullmanon the other hand says, each year the budget should start at zero, creating a clean slate.

Ullman says, “You say you got a need let's talk about it and why you have that need but start at the ground up. Start with zero this year and don't start with the prior year's budget and assume everything in it was necessary.”

Incumbent Tom Dayleyagrees with the zero-base budgeting process and says during his two-year tenure the commission has challenged departments to look at what they need and what costs they can cut.

Incumbent Tom Dayley says, "Look at ways that they can reduce their budget and reduce their personnel just as an example in my one year of budgeting we've reduced the personnel in Ada County by 23 people.”

Growth is another hot topic for commissioners, so I asked how they'd approach a rise in county population.

"We can work with developers because the private sector is an important part that's the energy system of our government,” says Incumbent Tom Dayley.

Branden Durst says, "We can grow in Southeast Boise towards Elmore County. There are places like Mayfield Orchard Flats, those are areas that we can grow. Those already have access to infrastructure that we can utilize and that would actually reduce the strain on infrastructure like our roads.”

Pertaining to growth, Heather Luther says it's important to consider how infrastructure impacts the community.

Luther says, “The last thing you want is for people to feel like they can't be happy and fulfill their life in their home area anymore.”

"We can ensure that we aren't using government dollars tax dollars to bring people here to recruit people here,” says Ullman.