City Government

Let My People Vote!

Ok. Budget news is cheaper and just as effective as Ambien when it comes to sleep aid.

That said, we need a little outrage (maybe just concern) over a budget proposal that Boise will salt away $2.5 mil a year of our tax money– “earmarked” to build a police station when the slush fund reaches about $10 mil.

They may need a new station–or even three small ones if top cop Mike Masterson’s ideas get any traction. (Can’t help it Chief you gotta be called Mike “Bat “ Masterson.”) Need is not the issue. It is all a matter of TRUST. The city council has to trust the citizens to decide what we want in the way of police facilities and what we are willing to pay.voting1.jpg

Last time around the city presented hundreds of pages of sworn testimony to the court detailing the absolute necessity of a central police facility, deteriorating public safety , the need for a $1 million indoor shooting range, a day care for kindergarten cops, etc.

They were not willing to trust the citizens to vote on the $18 million bond. When they made an end run around the voters, Judge Cherie Copsey cited them for illegal procedure after the GUARDIAN editor blew the whistle on the so-called “judicial confirmation scam.”

While it sounds great to be “saving all those interest payments by paying cash,” we come back to the trust issue: We have $2.5 in tax money sitting in the slush fund when other requests and needs go wanting. It’s a tough call: The city council doesn’t trust the citizens to vote on bonds, but they want the citizens to trust them.

One pitfall is no mandate to use the $10 million for a police building. Future councils can use it as they see fit. It is only “earmarked.” The citizens have no vote–as we would with a bond election–regarding size, number, location, or cost of any police facilities.

Whaddya think?

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I’m pleased that someone is finally talking about this issue.

    You suggested, “We have $2.5 in tax money sitting in the slush fund when other requests and needs go wanting.” Look back at the reason for the extra cash in addition to increased property tax valuations.

    Former Mayer Brent Coles requested a judicial confirmation for construction of a police station and other buildings, which Judge Cherie Copsey correctly refused to allow. During the public discussion of that proposal, Coles and the Council told the public that there would be no new taxes required to pay the payments on the new $32 Million dollars of bonds to pay for the buildings. So, where was the money coming from?

    Kent Rock, on instruction from the Mayor and Council had refinanced over $35 million in current bonds that were scheduled to be paid off in 11 years. The resulting new bond payments were around $3.5 million per year less than they had been paying, but the new bonds would not be paid off for 35+ years instead of 11. When Judge Copsey refused to allow the scheme to proceed the city now had new debt that will not be paid for 35+ years and the extra cash from the reduced annual bond payments…but no buildings.

    It’s like we the taxpayers have been paying for the new police station and library buildings ever since then. Except they were not constructed. We don’t have them. We have been scammed once again.

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