Guardian Top Stories

Whaddya Want At Fair Grounds?

Ada County officials are doing yet another opinion poll on what folks want at the Fair Grounds (Western Idaho Fair, Les Bois Race Track) at Chinden and Glenwood.

They are seeking COMMENTS on the county website where there is a banner announcement.

The GUARDIAN has made no secret of our idea of an AGRICULTURE HERITAGE PARK with some version of a working farm, horse drawn rides, concessions to include a restaurant with Idaho menu featuring all sorts of potato dishes, beef, trout, wine, etc.

It should be a cross of destination theme park and educational historic venue for Idaho school kids.

To Whack Or Not To Whack

Recent video from a Florida elementary school showing a six-year-old girl being swatted three times and viciously scolded by a school principal has triggered national debate.

ABC NEWS reports that spanking kids is legal in 19 states, but not in the Florida county where the video was made.

The GUARDIAN listened Wednesday to callers on the KBOI radio talk show and the overwhelming majority seemed to favor use of corporal punishment in schools–it is apparently legal in Idaho.

The GUARDIAN suggests that similar punishment would be in order for teachers who chew gum, put their feet on desks, are late for work or leave early. No doubt teachers would not violate the rules if they were bent over and smacked on the butt by the principal.

UPDATE 5/9/21–Florida coppers and prosecutor havre “cleared” the principal of any wrongdoing, saying mom was present and authorized the whacks.

Former BPD Chief’s Ideas Could Include Police Commission

Former Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson holds the record for serving as chief longer than any other copper and has established a national reputation among local government leaders.

In an article he co-authored for the August 2020 journal of the International City/County Management Association, Masterson advocated “regular conversations between police chiefs and city leaders. He suggests: There are at least four rationales for regular, structured conversations:

1. To ensure fair and equitable treatment for all residents.

2. To safeguard the rights and justice for victims of crime and discrimination and of those who are most vulnerable.

3. To maintain that ever-fragile trust and confidence in policing placed in us by those we serve. One can argue that confidence in police shapes confidence in local government in general. The police are the most visible symbols of government.

4. Most importantly, to the extent that our policies reflect critical value judgments, they should receive input from and approval by the chief administrator of the city and, in some cases, the city’s legislative body. This is a democracy. The police chief, who is not an elected official, should not be making what can be life-and-death policies for a community without democratic guidance.

When we think about regular conversations between chiefs and their bosses, we do not envision superficial chats but, rather, dialogues that lend insight into how and why policies and procedures exist with the goal of ensuring your office provides the highest level of guidance and direction. Undoubtedly, one reality that needs to be addressed up-front is awkwardness. Local government managers may feel uncomfortable about engaging in these conversations for fear of appearing ignorant about what the police really do or not being able to carry their side of the conversation. Don’t be. Chiefs will be just as nervous about the questions you’ll ask, and both parties will gain comfort over time.

The GUARDIAN suggests that idea can easily be accomplished through a police commission comprised of a cross section of citizens. The commission could be structured to include an office of police oversight as well.

Read the complete article HERE.

Boise STILL Needs A Police Commission

Each time there is a rash of high profile incidents involving police–either in Boise or nationally–there is a scramble to have some sort of oversight of the coppers.

Back in the 1990s when Boise had a rash of officer involved shootings, a citizens group called for oversight and paid for a city councilor to attend a national citizen oversight conference in Oakland. She came back convinced of the need, but then-mayor Brent Coles came up with his own version which was an ombudsman.

The first person they selected to act as a representative for the public was a woman whose first statement was that “all things being equal, I would side with the police.” That was also her last day on the job. Candidate #2 was offered the job and turned down the offer. Pierce Murphy finally became Boise’s first ombudsman and he set the standard for police oversight, but with no authority and little influence among coppers, he eventually headed to Seattle in an attempt to help that troubled department.

Former Mayor Dave Bieter reduced the office to a mere token and made the oversight duty a part time job. It was a vacant position for about two years. For more than 30 years GUARDIAN eitor Dave Frazier has advocated a police commission.

The proposal would work like the citizen boards at Planning and Zoning, Parks, and the Airport. The board would have a strong advisory position with ultimate authority held by the city council. As it is now, citizens have no voice in the operation of the biggest city agency when it comes to budget, policy, and management. As we see it, the oversight model would work under a commission which would work in concert with the chief to determine fiscal needs, staffing policy, training, etc.

The city council has failed–by their own admission–in creating a workable oversight system. If they had truly created a workable system, there would be no need to rehash the position, create another “nationwide search” and hire another outsider to be a toothless watchdog.

Here is what we wrote nearly eight years ago:
Another attempt:

The latest ordinance redefining the oversight role follows.
Continue reading here…

Points To Ponder

Apologies to all for not posting any topics of late. Frankly, there isn’t much outside of shootings and COVID that are already covered by the legacy media or the prolific blogs.

Here are some items to comment upon:

–Gov Little failed the citizens by not using his veto stamp on SB1110 which makes it nearly impossible for the voice of the citizens to be heard on initiatives.

–He did veto two bills which would have diminished gubernatorial power during emergencies.

–Recent local crimes include child found deceased in Emmett. Suicide in Meridian following Canyon copper chase. Boise coppers stop pipe-wielding northlander who allegedly smacked police dog. Stabbing suicide on Federal way. Garden City coppers shoot man in domestic incident.

–Trucker crossed median near Nampa and hit another semi head-on resulting in fatality. ISP wants witness info on the east bounder’s driving prior to crash.

(Feel free to offer up your own topics of debate or comment as well)

The Boise Guardian

…is a fun, factual, informed and opinionated look at current news and events in and around Boise, Idaho. The Guardian was born of necessity.

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