In an election eve development Monday afternoon, Ada County Clerk Chris Rich as decided to “spoil” all 50 of the ballots sent to M3 headquarters in Arizona.
However, M3 has come up with a local “authorized rep” in Ada County who will be allowed to cast a single ballot, bringing the number of voters to 6 deciding the fate of $781 million in bonds and interest. Five of the voters are renting property within the Community Infrastructure District. The M3 rep does not live within the district, but is being considered a “property owner” for purposes of voting.
Ada County Clerk Chris Rich told the GUARDIAN Monday that 50 ballots from the M3 development owner north of Eagle would not be counted in tomorrow’s bond election after both the Idaho Attorney General and Ada County Prosecutor determined only residents of Idaho and the district could vote.
That leaves the fate of $325 million in bonds with a value of about $781 million after interest, in the hands of five voters in two families. Both families rent homes in the Community Infrastructure Development (CID) which seeks approval in order to finance 7,000 residential lots and provide sewer, water, irrigation, and roads.
Future property owners would be left to pay off the cost of the development bonds through liens on their property.
LETTER FROM PROSECUTOR follows: Continue reading here…
Boise’s city fathers and mothers are once again grappling with how to “get the bums off the streets.” (no political correct notes please)
Tuesday the councilors will discuss three proposed ordinances which are wrought with definitions and circumstances bound to cause confrontation, diverse interpretation and enforcement.
Aggressive Solicitation Ordinance: prohibiting solicitation of money from motorists on a roadway, soliciting from persons who are eating and drinking at sidewalk cafes or standing in service lines, soliciting outside entrances to banks or near ATMs, solicitation within 20 feet of bus stops or taxi stands or solicitation within 20 feet of any parking payment station or within any public parking garage. Violation would be a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.
Would firefighters still be able to fill the boot? And just WHERE can those sad folks holding creative pasteboard signs stand? And more importantly, where does the beggar come up with the cash to pay a $1,000 fine?
Civil Sidewalks Ordinance: prohibiting sitting on or lying on a publicly owned infrastructure not designed for sitting, such as planters, trash receptacles or utility boxes, in building entrances or exits, in driveways or loading docks. Violators would be issued a warning before any citation is written. If a citation is written, it would be an infraction costing $61.50. A subsequent violation within 24 hours would be a misdemeanor. The ordinance includes exceptions for medical emergencies, wheelcahirs and strollers, special events and parade viewing.
Are we really asking coppers to accost “decent people” propped up against a planter or doorway chatting about a new baseball park because the object wasn’t designed for sitting? Equal protection under the law!
Public Placement Ordinance: requiring a permit for erecting a tent, stage or placing tables or chairs on public property. The ordinance exempts personal property such as bikes and other temporary items used while visiting a park, attending a picnic, sporting event or parade. Violations would be a misdemeanor.
It would appear those entrepreneurial kids with lemonade stands face the $1,000 and six months in jail as well!
Note to city mothers and fathers: FAGETTABOUTIT! There are already enough laws on the books to cover disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, obstructing traffic, etc. When a law is aimed at a specific segment of society, if the trigger is pulled it can backfire.
The GUARDIAN has had numerous inquiries of “Who should I vote for in the GBAD election?”
The big issue is what to do with a $13 million nest egg from the hotel room tax burning a hole in the collective pocket of the candidates. Some want a publicly funded baseball park. Others want a bigger convention center jammed into an already crowded downtown. No candidate has suggested locations outside the downtown core which would provide easy freeway access or at the fairgrounds where parking is not an issue and a ballpark already exists.
We don’t endorse candidates, but in this election we think the best advice is to keep the board balanced–or off balance–to prevent a strong majority for either the Mayor Dave Bieter pro baseball park camp or the incumbent “expand the convention center group.”
The conservative slate includes Peter Oliver, Stephanie Astorquia, and Rob Perez.
Those in the Team Dave takeover group include George Tway, Jim Walker, and Steve Berch.
The Bieter/takeover group all have Demo leanings and the support of chairman Hy Kloc who also is a state rep. We oppose allowing officials to hold more than one elective office. Kloc has proven it doesn’t work as he missed several Greater Boise Auditorium District meetings during the legislative session.
The DAILY PAPER did an admirable job Sunday of Q & A with the candidates.
When a mere five electors cast their ballots in the May 21 election, they will determine one of the biggest financial decisions in Idaho history, totaling $781 MILLION dollars.
At stake is a proposed 7,000 unit housing development north of Eagle encompassing more than 5,600 acres using a law passed by the legislature several years ago called a “Community Infrastructure District.”
The Spring Valley CID was created by the city of Eagle at the behest of M3 Development. At the time, October of 2011, the GUARDIAN pointed out nobody lived in the district. The developer paid big bucks for some homes off Idaho Highway 16 which were annexed into the CID. Only two of the homes are occupied–3 people in one and 2 in the other. They appear to be the only legal voters.
Meanwhile the Ada County Election Office is sending 50 ballots–one for each parcel of land owned by M3–to the authorized agent at the developer’s Phoenix, Arizona headquarters. Clerk Chris Rich told the GUARDIAN he will keep those 50 ballots apart from the other five until the legal issues surrounding electors have been resolved by the various attorneys and perhaps a judge.
The GUARDIAN was concerned about the constitutional aspects of the election process which is an official government election conducted under the consolidated election process by the Ada County Clerk. We contacted state Senator Branden Durst with our concerns about exactly WHO can be an elector and vote. He sought an opinion from the office of Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. We have circulated that opinion to all concerned.
The informal opinion referred to the constitutional mandate that only citizens of Idaho and residents of the county are allowed to vote. That position seems to be in conflict with the CID law. The law was lobbied by the Suncor (Avimor) developers.
In short, the law allows developers to sell revenue and general obligation bonds on the open market to be repaid by future homeowners. That way the developer doesn’t have to get loans or otherwise fund streets, sewer, water, etc. Each new home sold would have a lien for the cost of development in addition to the costs of taxes, construction, insurance, interest etc.
While there would be virtually no security for bond investors, we were concerned that it would be very easy to market the project as, “Approved by the voters of the district created by the local governing authority.” When in fact, no property owners can vote because they don’t live in the state and the approval–if it comes–was at the whim of 5 renters.
The AG opinion letter to Sen. Durst follows: Continue reading here…
…is a fun, factual, informed and opinionated look at current news and events in and around Boise, Idaho. The Guardian was born of necessity.