Guardian Top Stories

M3 Developers Owe City of Eagle $57,000

A public records request by the GUARDIAN has revealed the mega development in the hills north of Eagle is behind at least $57,000 in past due payments to the City for various plan reviews, attorney time, and staff time.

We checked and the Eagle has not offered any payment deferrals like Boise has done with downtown developer Gardner. In total the bill owed by M3 is more than $66,000. There is a bill for $9767 which is less than 30 days past due.

M3 has encountered numerous stumbling blocks as it attempts to populate the currently barren foothills with homes and people. Growthophobes have tried to stop the development, most recently when they revealed the state law allowing the “Community Infrastructure Development” was in conflict with the Idaho Constitution. The constitution required all voters to live in the district where they vote–there were no residents to vote to approve the district, so a quick annexation was executed and half a dozen votes were cast to create the district.

If M3 can’t come up with the cash to pay its bills to Eagle, one would question the ability of the developer to create the giant project.

Should Boise CCDC Members Live In Boise?

eberle 1We posted a brief notice last week about Boise City Councilor David Eberele moving from the North End to new digs in Garden City.

He confirmed the move in a front page story a few days later in the DAILY PAPER, saying he planned to remain on Boise’s urban renewal board–CCDC (Capital City Development Corp.).

We thank the good councilor for his service to the community, but frankly we have problems with people from outside our city serving on city boards and making decisions regarding the city. We checked the urban renewal statutes and there is nothing REQUIRING members to live within the confines of a district or the city (county) which serves as the “governing authority” of the district. Still, he was appointed by the mayor of Boise in his capacity as a Boise City Councilor. He told the Statesman it was time for change in his council seat and that philosophy probably is good advice for the CCDC board position as well.

The proper move would be to resign the CCDC post at the same time he vacates the city council seat.

We wish the Team Dave member well in his new Garden City residence where he can no doubt share his wit and wisdom with that local government.

Balukoff Wants Tight State Rules, But Don’t Impede Local Leaders Wishes On Tax Breaks

Last week we posted a piece after having a coffee chat with A.J. Balukoff, the Boise businessman who is running as a Dem for the office of Governor.
We talked about various tax breaks, including the practice of the Idaho Land Board owning businesses and leasing tax exempt state-owned buildings to commercial businesses. Balukoff suggested a “fee in lieu of taxes would be appropriate. He even said it wasn’t right for businesses to operate in tax-free buildings.

When Boise’s Team Dave subsequently confirmed the city would borrow money to fund a “build to suit” aircraft maintenance facility on behalf of SKYWEST, we wrote about the tax loss to local government
– including Boise Schools– which amounts to about $325,000 annually FOREVER. We asked for comment from the Balukoff camp since he is chairman of the school board which will forego the revenue and he is a candidate for governor as well. The state will rebate 25% of income and payroll tax to SkyWest through a Department of Commerce scheme decided by the director with advice of a “council.”

Here’s what we got Friday from Balukoff:

“I have serious concerns about current law that gives an unelected state department head the authority to decide which companies get a tax break. There should be closer scrutiny and tighter rules regarding tax breaks.

However, I do believe that cities and towns should have leeway to make local decisions about local economic development, rather than the state government exerting a heavy hand that impedes the wishes or decisions of elected local leaders. Tax policy driven by ideology, without consideration of local circumstances, just doesn’t work.

As governor, I will ensure that tax policy promotes economic development as well as providing the state with the revenue needed to properly fund education and deliver other necessary services, and I will guard against tax breaks that do not promote economic growth.”

While $350,000 given up by local governments may not be much to a politico, it amounts to about 194 years worth of taxes on the GUARDIAN’s humble abode!

Boise Top Copper Words For Newbies

Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson offered a topical commencement address to the newest class of coppers to graduate from the police academy.

There were only seven recruits in the class — the last one before Masterson retires,– but he emphasized the duty for coppers to protect human rights, citing a visit to the Anne Frank Memorial.

(Several years ago the GUARDIAN presented this photo essay of the Boise Anne Frank Memorial to World Foundation at her house in Amsterdam. It is now part of the official archives.)ANNE FRANK screen

Here is the Text of Masterson’s address:

“A Heart to Heart Talk”
Yesterday, September 11th marked an important anniversary in our nation’s History. On Sept 11, 2001 a small group of terrorists attacked structures – the twin towers, the Pentagon, commercial airliners. The terrorists were actually attacking our way of life- American freedoms and liberties.

As we all know – it didn’t work. What we saw from the events of 9- 11 was the extraordinary courage of ordinary citizens and dedicated first responders who entered burning buildings to save others and passengers aboard Flight 93 who joined together saying “let’s roll” to prevent the terrorists from taking countless other lives.

These heroes had courage and the willingness to act. The heroes of 9-11 leave a legacy for us today. It won’t likely be an event as significant as 9-11 but you too, will be faced with situations throughout your policing career when you will call upon your personal courage, both physical and moral, to guide you in important decisions you must make.
Continue reading here…

Eberle To Leave Boise Council Post?

Word on the street has it that Boise City Councilor Dave Eberle is seeking refuge in Garden City. We have it from several sources that Eberle is building a home in Garden City and his north end digs are up for sale.

This will leave yet another seat up for appointment by Team Dave’s Mayor Dave Bieter. While we can seldom get anyone to run for local office if they have to face voters, the last time there was a vacant seat up for appointment, more than 50 applied. To his credit, Eberle won on his own merits the first time around in a run off. He promptly introduced an ordinance that did away with runoff elections.

Eberle has maintained a low profile on the council and also sits on the board of CCDC, the urban renewal agency. We suspect, like former councilor Alan Shealy, Eberle is tired of endless meetings and suffering critics likes the GUARDIAN.

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