The late Senator Frank Church once told the GUARDIAN that basic foreign policy could be determined by most citizens. However, it takes experts to implement that policy.
Those words of wisdom from the man who was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee apply to many aspects of public life. The words came to mind in light of news reports about all the “outsiders” involved in selling Boise City and Ada County elected officials a bill of goods surrounding a “Blueprint for Good Growth.”
To put it bluntly: everything is assbackwards. Instead of the Chamber of Commerce, land developers, and “consultants” controlling the fate of our community–”We The People” need to come forth with our needs, desires, and demands and THEN hire experts to implement the will of the citizens.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and many other elected officials have been co-opted by the Chamber and its business members. They are dancing with the wrong partner. You will never see those same officials devote several days of face time to the neighborhood associations and travel 160 miles to Sun Valley to waltz with ordinary citizens–most of whom cannot afford to rent resort facilities to attract local officials. The Chamber sponsored such a dance this spring.
You won’t see local government pony up hundreds of thousands of OUR tax dollars to get a “Citizens Blueprint.” However, Bieter has agreed to be president of a group of elected officials, developers, and outside sales sharks with a goal of telling us what we need. Whatever they come up with in the way of plans will not be binding. Even if adopted you can figure on an endless series of rezoning, variances, and exceptions to the rules.
Just ask the fire marshall how the department feels about stick construction of downtown multistory buildings. Ask the Depot Neighborhood folks how they like an apartment complex in their midst. Ask Fish & Game if the eagle population has increased with more houses along the river. Ask commuters on I-84 and Eagle Road how they like “planned development.” They know the rules are made to be broken and changed.
Blueprint for Growth, Ada Planning Association, COMPASS, Valley Ride, CCDC, Smart Growth, are all gimmicks aimed at creating more houses, apartments, traffic, and demands for services. No where has there been any discussion of limiting growth, following zoning laws already adopted, and protecting those citizens who love this fair city.
As long as government caters to big business interests and not the taxpayer-citizens, those who pay the taxes are in for a rough ride. The GUARDIAN
would like to see a “Neighborhood Association Association” formed to offer a strong (threatening, powerful, loud) voice the Boise Mayor and Council cannot afford to ignore.
We all have something more valuable than all the money spent for political payoffs and that is our vote…common sense and courtesy dictate that you dance with the one who brung ya!
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