In a surprise move Saturday, Mayor Dave Bieter did an about face over using $100,000 of hard-earned taxpayer dollars to hire a promoter to attract the F-35.
In a prepared statement, Team Dave told the GUARDIAN, “After careful consideration we decided to leave the money in the city treasury. While the F-35 seems like a good deal for the local economy, the quality of life for the Vista, Borah, South Cole, Bench-Depot, and Hillcrest neighborhoods is of a much higher value.”
The good mayor noted the Republican dominated legislature overwhelmingly approved $100,000 from the Idaho Department of Commerce for Gov. Butch Otter to use as a slush fund. “I have to admit, once the guv and both houses of the legislature started pumping money into public relations schemes, I got caught up in the frenzy,” said Bieter.
Bieter went on to reflect about his changing political philosophy saying, “Spring break afforded me the opportunity to spend time with my family and I came to the realization that Coach Dan Hawkins is right: bigger isn’t better. Better is better. Instead of trying to grow Boise to death, I truly want to make it the most livable city in America.” He harkened back to his youth, recalling the days of high school football rivalries that were not played out in venues created by developers using public funds to sell private condos.
With five neighborhood associations opposed to the noisy F-35 fighters being based at Gowen Field, city hall insiders voiced agreement with their boss. One department head told us, “we all were rather ashamed when he screwed the folks on the Bench and joined up with the Chamber of Commerce planning on moves to get around citizen noise concerns through the use of professional public opinion manipulators.”
An airport staffer confided that attracting C-130 firefighting planes to work with the Interagency Fire Center across the runway made more sense than bringing in the F-35. Even if the F-35 ended up at Mountain Home, the cost of buses would be less than displacing citizens who have lived in their homes for decades.
We asked political scientist and former BSU political science professor Jim Weatherby for comment on Bieter’s turn around and he said, “If you believe this GUARDIAN blog you’re nothing but an April Fool!”
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