Deal Between Ada County and Boise Over Magistrate Services


The City of Boise and Ada County have ironed out a long-standing dispute over magistrate court services.

Under a new agreement that will be voted on by Ada County Commissioners and Boise City Council Tuesday, the county will continue to provide court services for Boise for an annual payment from the city of $1 million. The payment will be partially offset by an estimated $250,000, which the city receives in fines and fees collected by the county for the city's magistrate cases. If approved by both Ada County and Boise City officials, the agreement will begin Oct. 1, the start of Fiscal Year 2012.

Vern Bisterfeldt, who served as Boise City Council member and currently serves as an Ada County commissioner, is happy with the deal.

"I've seen this issue from both sides of the table now," said Bisterfeldt. "And they say true compromise means everyone, in the end, must give a little. I believe the proposal we will consider tomorrow captures that sentiment, and I am encouraged by the progress that has been made."

But Commissioner Sharon Ullman disagrees.

"It is not in the best interest of Ada County taxpayers—even those within the City of Boise—for Ada County taxpayers to heavily subsidize the provision of Magistrate Court facilities and services," said Ullman.

Ullman claimed that the City of Boise collects more than $2.1 million in fines and fees.

"Let me reiterate: The City of Boise collects adequate revenue from Magistrate Court fines and fees to cover the full cost of the provision by the county of facilities and services related to those cases," she said.