A few thoughts on a few, somewhat random, topics...
Ammon mayor could be stepping down. One of the most rapidly growing communities in eastern Idaho is Ammon, adjacent to Idaho Falls. The current mayor is Sean Coletti. His time in that position could be limited. Coletti is an attorney and has applied to take the district court position vacated by new Idaho Supreme Court Justice Greg Moeller.
If chosen he would be required to move to Madison County, requiring him to step down as Ammon mayor.
HP/IBE study will shape future Idaho education. Hewlett Packard and Idaho Business for Education have teamed up to do a study evaluating the suitability of Idaho’s education system in training Idaho’s future workforce. A report is due by June and will likely play a key role in directing future Idaho workforce education efforts.
More importantly, it will give Idaho policymakers data to build effective education programs that will help students find jobs and provide employers with the specific skills they need. This is worth keeping a close eye on.
A few overlooked pieces of legislation. Some bills have been introduced in the Legislature that caught my attention:
- S1007 – This measure updates the licensing process for collection agencies and debt collectors in Idaho. More interestingly, it creates a Collection Agency Recovery Fund which provides a source of funds for those who recover in court against such an entity. Currently such are required to post a bond.
- H0002-H0010 – Gov. Little last year required a host of Idaho occupational licensing entities to review and simplify any unnecessary barriers to joining a particular industry. These bills appear to be the first fruits of that effort with proposals to update licensing of counselors, midwifery, chiropractors and more.
Public embezzlement. The Teton School District in December reported that $784,833.71 in funds for a contractor payment had been diverted to a fraudulent account. According to news reports roughly $484,000 has been recovered.
A former College of Southern Idaho employee was recently denied relief from sentencing concerning embezzlement of $530,000. The money was apparently used to gamble.
It may be time for the Legislature to enhance the consequences of stealing public funds.
Feedback on instant runoff voting. A couple of weeks ago I suggested Idaho repeal the option of runoff elections for Idaho cities and towns and substitute a system of instant runoffs where voters would rank candidates and then allocate those preferences until a candidate has majority support.
Some have argued that instant runoff voting leads to manipulation of the voting process. The example given is Oakland, Calif., where a candidate focused on being the second choice of enough voters to defeat a candidate who focused on being voters’ first choice. Others have referenced the recent Maine congressional election where a Democrat slipped past a Republican incumbent.
I still stand by my key point that the current December runoff option is flawed. The configuration of a replacement system is worthy of debate.