Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has withdrawn his support for a controversial Land Board decision to own and operate a commercial storage business.
The GUARDIAN revealed the state ownership–which competes directly with the private sector–in an EXCLUSIVE story last November.
Otter told the IDAHO REPORTER his support of the decision to invest in the private retail storage business was a mistake. The state of Idaho purchased Affordable Storage on Maple Grove last August and run it as a commercial enterprise.
“I think that was a mistake. But, I’m the first to admit it. I sat right there and asked a bunch of questions about it. And, it’s not a mistake we’re ever likely to make again.” At the time of the decision the Guv’s office issued a STATEMENT defending the decision, noting it was made at a public meeting. They just forgot to tell us it “slipped by.”
Otter also told the REPORTER that he now prefers the state stay out of “direct competition” with the private sector, such as with the storage unit. “You know, that was just one that slipped by. Because I’ve heard from enough, I’m not going to tell you which board members, but I’ve heard from enough others that just said, ‘You know that was a mistake, we shouldn’t have done that.’”
While the GUARDIAN agrees with the Guv and others who think government should keep out of private business activities, it will be interesting to see how they spin this latest development. Otter says there are others on the Land Board who share his views.
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