City Government

G-BAD Treasurer Stiffs Visitor Bureau

President Obama and the Washington Republicans don’t have an exclusive when it comes to spending public money and political brinkmanship.

According to reports reaching the GUARDIAN today, the controversial payment of Greater Boise Auditorium cash to the Boise Convention and Visitor’s Bureau in the amount of $24,500 was held up for lack of a signature.

G-BAD treasurer Stephanie Astorquia signed a batch of routine checks Wednesday, but apparently didn’t sign the $24,5000 destined for Bobbie Patterson’s non-profit agency which has become the center point of a political row with the new G-BAD board. Three board members obviously attempted to circumvent the Idaho bidding law with the $24,500 appropriation. The law has a threshold of $25,000 which requires a bidding process.

At issue is a legal ruling from a Pocatello Court which prohibited that area’s auditorium district from spending tax money for promotions other than on behalf of the auditorium district (convention center). The BCVB seeks the G-BAD funds as part of its tourist promotion for the Boise area.

The G-BAD check was to have been a matching revenue source to qualify the BCVB for state Travel Council funds. Astorquia is the only board member insured, bonded and authorized to sign checks over $5,000 on behalf of G-BAD, according to sources. She has previously gone on record against the expenditure, stating she felt it was not within the law.

Astorquia reportedly left town soon after signing the routine checks and is unavailable for comment.

UPDATE 11/14–We were informed that while indeed no check was signed, it is not clear if Astorquia will sign next week or not, given her philosophical opposition to the expenditure. Mixed reports to the GUARDIAN indicate timing of the request for payment may have come AFTER she signed other checks. Most checks are issued on Tuesday.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. This upstanding lady will no doubt receive a poor performance review from her superiors over doing the right thing. You know all the usual crap about not being a “TEAM PLAYER”, not getting along with others,etc.

    I say we need to make her one of Boise’s outstanding public servants. It is refreshing to know there are people who will not sell their souls to the devil masters they work for. She drew a line in the dirt and would not cross it. I am heartened over this turn of events.

  2. Paul, I believe she is an elected official. If so, she is doing exactly what the citizens want and ,personally, I would give her a “superior” rating!!

    EDITOR NOTE–She is indeed an elected board member.

  3. Astorquia for Mayor, Astorquia for Governor. I hope this will put an end to the never-ending corruption of the BCVB, Hy Kloc, Mike Fitzgerald, Gail May, and the rest of the May clan. I hope they all go to jail. Hy Kloc will go down in infamy as the first politician to be thrown out of office in just two months. I want to see the headline, “KLOC GETS CLOCKED”. Astorquia is giving us hope that other politicians will follow suit.

  4. Great news, an elected official with integrity and an ethical conscious. I admire her stance and would vote for her in any election based purely on this demonstration of principled behavior.

    Protecting public money as if it were her own is something all political officials should recognize as job #1.

  5. Mike Murphy
    Jul 14, 2011, 7:47 am

    The Few… The Proud… The Ethical!

    P.S. Met with GBAD Executive Director Pat Rice yesterday afternoon, and he – like Board Chairman Hy Kloc – is very receptive to the idea of streaming and archiving GBAD’s meetings. So much so, he indicated he is going to ask their I.T. Person to speak with City Hall’s to see how they do it [ http://www.cityofboise.org/city_clerk/councilvideo ], though I know it can be accomplished less expensively than City Hall.

    They join City Council Members TJ Thomson and Lauren McLean in supporting open and transparent governance amongst Boise’s various “Sub Political” and “Quasi Governmental” entities.

    Still no word from the Capital City Development Corporation (CCDC), the “Must Join” Downtown Boise Association (DBA), the de facto quasi governmental Capital City Public Market or the rest [ http://www.cityofboise.org/Departments/Mayor/BoardsAndCommissions/page902.aspx ]

  6. Eye on Numbers
    Jul 14, 2011, 11:25 am

    If Ms. Astorquia is an elected board member as are so many other board members of various public entities my interest in wny Urban Renewal Board members are not elected.

    CCDC and other urban renewal agencies have sway over nearly $52 million taxpayer dollars in Idaho. Why then are these board members not accountable to taxpayers… the short answer is the Legislature gets all weak in the knees when it comes to Urban Renewal and accountability to property taxpayers. They keep kicking the can down the road on this taxation without representation issue.

  7. Nate McIntyre
    Jul 14, 2011, 12:03 pm

    Stop the playground antics GBAD. The REAL servants are the BCVB who have been working for the good of Boise for free. Remember the Idaho Special Olympics and the Ironman that have brought thousands of dollars into the city of Boise and the state of Idaho. It sure as hell wasn’t the GBAD that brought them, it was the BCVB!

  8. WOW! Nate. BCVB had nothing SUBSTANTIVE to offer either of the two groups you mentioned! But then, I believe there is an ulterior motive in your post. So I guess you may fabricate things to support it.

  9. It’s all about the koolaide isn’t it Nate. I started to type a response, then realized if you are a BCVB supporter you have lost the ability to think rationally and are consumed with emotion. Servants? Really!

  10. An elected official, who having voted on the losing side but has a position, like Treasurer, where he/she has to carry out the consequences of the vote, is not being a good public servant by doing what this creepazoid did.

    She should have signed the check. That was her job. That’s what the vote of the majority voted to do. She should be ashamed of herself and the next meeting, the majority should strip her of her Treasurer’s position.

    EDITOR NOTE–Not sure of the sequence of events at this stage, but if she felt her signing would be for an illegal act, she was within her rights and duties. Just like soldiers are not obligated to carry out an illegal order. Stay tuned.

  11. Eye on Numbers
    Jul 14, 2011, 4:09 pm

    I would be curious to know if the Special Olympics actually ended in the BLACK or if it was yet another well intended event that cost way more than it returned to the community. Is there some place to find out the bottom line?

    Again, I know all about building community and all that rationale but just what were the costs against revenue for Boise as a whole?

  12. Pish Dave. Surely this act to approve the contract on the part of the majority was okayed by legal counsel.

    This creepazoid didn’t like the outcome of the vote so she decided not to do her job by signing the check. She’s learned a lot from Judy Peavey Derr- don’t like the way things turn out, take your cookies and go home.

    As I said, I’m sure at the next meeting, they’ll have a new Treasurer. If they don’t, then they deserve to be punked by the punk(s).

  13. So, Nanee, You are on a jury where the majority votes for the death sentence. You are vehemently opposed, but the majority has spoken. By your logic, you would feel just fine with carrying out the sentence!! I didn’t think so. It is easy to take “pot-shots” when the other person doesn’t do what you want!!!! “creepazoid??” Where in the hell do you get off with that????

  14. Nate, while you’re drinking your koolaid, chew on this. The BCVB was illegally getting $1.3 million from GBAD. The Boise average daily hotel room rate has been around $75 for quite some time. (it has gone up a little lately) That equals to $3.75 in room tax. Divide $3.75 into $1.3 million you get 346,666. The point, the BCVB would have to bring 346,666 guests to Boise every year just to break even. The BCVB has always been nothing more than a corrupt money pit.

  15. I wonder is Nate Mcintyre is on the payroll? Sounds like it.

  16. Eye on Numbers
    Jul 15, 2011, 12:26 pm

    Lisa,
    Good on you for the math exercise.

    I wish I could make 5% on every hotel room for doing nothing. These cretins like to say it is just a little bit and we do so much for the community. HOGWASH! They are little more than symbiotic parasites having nothing invested but lay claim to more than most businesses net after all the bills are paid.

  17. Cyclops. Bad analogy. Jurors don’t have to carry out the sentences. And regarding the death penalty, it has to be all 12 to make that happen.

    The Treasurer of this organization has a duty to follow what the majority has voted for. She doesn’t get to substitute her judgment for the majority’s -period. She hasn’t done her duty.

    Would you prefer Cretin or parasite like Eye on Numbers? Let me know what the proper term of contempt is.

  18. The proper term is “Madame Board Member”, but if you insist on being nasty with someone who truly believes that the action is illegal,I guess you could call her “nan emouse”! You have promoted the “team dave” reaction to the public’s disgust with elected official’s actions. Just try to crucify those that don’t agree with you! Call them all sorts of names and try to “belittle” them. You must have forgotten that I have the t-shirt and have retired the trophy on name calling elected officials. You are just acting like the “rookie” you are!!! So have a great evening and have pleasant thoughts!!!!

  19. Nan- So, if the majority votes that the treasurer should rob a bank, then the treasurer “doesn’t get to substitute her judgment for the majority’s -period”. Correct? See the problem here? The Treasurer has an Attorney General opinion that tells this Board that the action itself is illegal. The other 3 (Mike, Gail, Hy) are saying, “let someone sue us if they want to”. Doesn’t sound like good reasoning to me.

    Why the name calling anyway? I don’t condone your behaviour or that of “Eye”.

    Do you have any reply to Lisa’s comments? Maybe you would like to add some legitimate conversation to the rolls here. Or, are you simply drinking the koolaide and getting emotional as well?

  20. To say that the BCVB took credit for events they had nothing to do with is a colossal understatement. Each employee had a market segment. Their bonuses were set up so if any event in their segment came to town, they would get credit. They spent hours every week calling the hotels and the Grove to find out who was in their buildings so they could get a bonus for it. If the event came back year after year, they would get a bonus for it year after year. Even better than that….. the Executive Director of the BCVB was getting a bonus from their bonuses.

  21. This would be so much more fun if we could settle it with a food fight or mud wrestling match. How about beer pong?

  22. To say that BCVB had anything substantive to do with bringing the special olympics to Boise is just, flat, false! The only thing they did do was to point out what hotel rooms were available to house the athletes. The Special Olympics happened as a result of countless hours by a group of dedicated volunteers to bring it to fruition. For the BCVB to take credit for it is ludicrous! I don’t care what kind of bonus they were paid, they aren’t worth the powder to blow them to #@%$!
    And let’s not lose sight of the court ruling that clearly states the BGAD cannot pay the BCVB any money from tax income!

  23. Hey Cyclops, What’s new, the Republicans blame Obama for the economy.

  24. This is certainly off topic dog, but just a quick question. The republicans certainly screwed up the economy, with a tremendous amount of help from Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. But he has been president for three years! What has he done to fix anything?
    (sorry Guardian, I couldn’t resist)

  25. It’s great that there are so many people so well informed on this issue. What section of Justice Horton’s ruling in Ameritel Inns, Inc. v. the Pocatello-Chubbuck Auditorium or Community Center District do you all think was the real nail in the coffin for the BCVB?

  26. EYE ON NUMBERS: You call the BCVB cretins and symbiotic parasites? Shame on you for talking this way. The BCVB is an outstanding group of people. They have done nothing but help the city of Boise and try to make it through this tough time. Stephanie Astorquia needs to do her job and sign the check.

    CYCLOPS: Your analogy does not coincide with this argument. Death sentence to funding for BCVB? Stephanie Astorquia had a job to sign the check and she didn’t do it. She should be taken down from her position of Treasurer.

  27. CYCLOPS: I can guarantee you that without the BCVB the Special Olympics would not have been successful. Were you there to witness them hard at work? Highly doubtful you were. The BCVB was hard at work to bring groups in and get them a place to stay.

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