Guardian Top Stories

ACHD Under Cyber Attack

If you have tried to contact the Ada County Highway District the past couple of days and experienced problems, it is because the agency was victim of a massive cyber attack.

Some high level investigative agencies including those of the Federal Government are working to find the source of the “serious attack.”

ACHD has been forced to shut down much of its on-line computer system to prevent further encroachment and damage.

UPDATE 4 p.m. Tuesday
System seems to be restored, investigation continues.

Political Pandemic Plagues Boise

In March we questioned the functionality of local government, noting all levels viewed citizens as an adversary. Turns out the politicos don’t like each other either!

Monday saw the political poop hitting the proverbial fan at a record rate.

–Reacting to a citizen petition drive and a new law, Boise’s CCDC urban renewal agency pulled $2.6 million in funds earmarked for a proposed megastructure library from the City of Boise.

–The Planning and Zoning Commission voted against a rezone of the library and surrounding area near Capital and the Boise River.

–Former Mayor Brent Coles testified against that rezone, noting a warehouse adjoining the library was purchased for the expressed purpose of expanding the library. Current council and mayor tied it up with a private business for 45 years.

–We also note the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) has asked the City of Boise to stop expanding urban renewal areas and diverting tax money away from highways.

City hall must feel like it is under siege: Boise City vs Legislature; P&Z vs Library Foundation, Mayor and Council; CCDC vs Boise City; ACHD vs Boise.

It would be a safe bet to say the proposed library project is on shaky ground at this point. Mayor Dave Bieter and “Team Dave” have signed contracts, spent millions for an architect and tens of thousands on public relations people and consultants trying to justify their ill conceived plans and sell the public on something they may not want. Citizens stand to suffer major losses at the hands of current politicos.

Team Dave has worked hard to avoid an election on the library issue. The good news in all this is the city election is looming. There is time for some viable candidates to step up, get elected and take charge.

We are constantly amazed that otherwise well-intentioned and decent people can make such inept decisions when it comes to spending someone else’s money.

Brent Coles Tells P&Z Not To Rezone Library

Don Day at BOISEDEV reports that former Boise Mayor Brent Coles testified before the Planning and Zoning Commission Monday against a rezone of the area near the library and the Log Cabin Literary Center.

Coles and about 10 others opposed the rezone. Commissioners agreed and turned down the application to rezone the area which included a proposed parking facility.

Coles left office nearly 20 years ago under a cloud after a group of citizens gathered signatures on a recall petition. It was nice to see him speak out publicly on behalf of citizens and offer some “institutional memory” on the purchase of the warehouse currently leased from the city by BioMark.

BOISEDEV quoted Coles saying, “I was stunned to hear a lease was given,” Coles said. “Back in 2002 we acquired that land for expansion of a library.”

CCDC Pulls Out Of Library Project

Thanks to the Idaho Legislature and perhaps the Working Together group, financial support for the proposed $85 to $120 million Boise library project is waning.

Monday the Capital City Development Corp. (CCDC) board voted unanimously to withdraw $2.6 million earmarked for the project.

The legislature passed a law requiring a citizen vote for major projects using urban renewal or any source of public financing and the grassroots group gathered more than 7,000 petition signatures demanding a vote.

Margaret Carmel at the IDAHOPRESSposted a detailed account of the meeting as did Don Day at BOISEDEV

Urban Renewal Takes Aim At Vista Neighbors

City of Boise official map of proposed Vista “ASSAULT WEAPON” Urban Renewal District.

After Tuesday’s City Council meeting which saw councilors accept the “eligibility report” to form an urban renewal district along Vista Avenue, the GUARDIAN made a startling discovery.

Boise City officials are conspiring with the urban renewal agency, the CCDC (Capital City Development Corp.) to map out an assault weapon-shaped attack and commercial property on Vista is the bull’s eye of their plan.

The image above is the EXACT DOCUMENT which details the area of the Vista Neighborhood targeted for redevelopment. There was no alteration of the map and frankly we think it sends a frightening message: Vista is in the sights of urban renewal despite a history of progress.

Boise’s planning department sent out a letter Thursday to “stakeholders” which read in part, “What this means for parts of your neighborhood is that it has been found to be eligible for urban renewal and, if a district were to be created there, could receive public infrastructure investments such as sidewalks and bike lanes, as well as give the community a tool to encourage more diverse housing and mobility options.”

What the planners say is true…sort of. They don’t explain that with a few exceptions, only the commercial property along Vista is being considered for inclusion in the URD. They talk of sidewalks, etc., but CCDC is prevented by law from spending money outside an urban renewal district. Nearly ALL of the residential area in the Vista neighborhood would be OUTSIDE the proposed district, hence not eligible for improvement funds.

CCDC uses funds diverted from the tax on improvements and appreciated value of property within a district that otherwise would go to schools, ACHD, the city (police and fire) and Ada County.

We posted a story recently asserting there is NO NEED FOR VISTA URBAN RENEWAL.

UPDATE 5/10/19—

While the rifle shaped district proposal is a novelty, we learned today the Ada County Highway District returned fire with a lengthy letter to Boise’s Team Dave challenging their authority to divert taxes through the so-called Tax Increment Financing scheme used by the CCDC urban renewal agency.

In the letter, ACHD claimed they lose more than $1 million in diverted tax revenues each year to CCDC urban renewal districts. They cite the proposed Boise Bench projects as clearly “gerrymandering” to follow major highway routes.

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