Rather than jump at every stupid move by government, we have been reluctant to post much in the way of comments on recent political events…”no news if good news” reasoning.
Contrary to popular belief among some politicos, the GUARDIAN does NOT like to have a negative slant on every topic that comes along. However, we haven’t seen much to feel optimistic of late. Here are just a few of the reasons we are depressed.
–Legislators in the Idaho house in an attempt to get around that pesky Idaho constitution passed a measure that will give a tax CREDIT to folks who donate to private charter schools. What that means is if someone gives $1,000 to a private school, that amount is cut from their tax bill. In short, the $1,000 otherwise destined to the state general fund would would go to the private school at the expense of public education.
–Star City had concocted a deal to take over the debt for the Star Fire District and the lease back the station and fire engines. They glibly thought it was OK because it was an, “intergovernment transfer.” Truth is, the only way to dispose of public property is to hold hearings and have the governing body vote to declare the property as “surplus property, not used for a public purpose.” In short, you can’t sell public buildings out from under the public.
–Legislature didn’t like the pesky citizens voting down the three school measures at the election. Citizens gathered the requisite number of signatures to get the question on the ballot and citizens won. Legislators have now passed a new law that will make it all but impossible to get referendums before the voters. They want at least 6% of registered voters in rural counties to sign before the majority of citizens can vote. It would be nice if we had the same rules for state wide candidates to get on the ballot.
–Heavy trucks will be allowed on highways statewide despite opinions of truckers that highways in the northern part of Idaho will be damaged.
–Boise’s P&Z commission has pissed off the legislature over a parking garage so badly that a move is afoot to exempt the state from any scrutiny by the city.
–Boise’s Mayor Dave Bieter has appointed himself to the Capitol City Development Corp. (CCDC) to push his own agenda for development. They always claim the CCDC is not an “alter ego” of the city government–something which is getting more difficult to argue as Team Dave goes after more spending authority outside the local government arena. Seems that in a city of 220,000 there would have been at least one citizen worthy of consideration. (several readers have asked for comment on this)
–Despite repeated requests from the GUARDIAN, Team Dave will not reveal how many city elected officials and staff will be attending the Chamber of Commerce special interest lobbying session at Sun Valley in April. We estimate it will cost nearly $1,000 per attendee to spend citizen taxes in Sun Valley to learn how to attract visitors and business to the Boise Valley. Would these officials dedicate several days and thousands in public money to hear from the fire department unions, teachers, the Sierra Club, or–God forbid–citizens!
–If the average Joe has a beef with city hall in Boise, the best he can hope for is 10 minutes of face time with the mayor on a random Saturday. If you lobby for big business, hospital, or other interests, just pay your way to a gathering of politicos and they are yours for several days.
–Meanwhile in Washington the U.S. Senate stayed in session all night in some sort of maneuver they all admit will never be passed in the house, but it was a good political move.
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