Idaho Statesman’s Joe Estrella had a well written story in Sunday’s paper about the dilemma faced by Boise City officials and Boise School District on the issue of “urban flight.”
“Urban flight” really means people don’t like living in Boise and they are following the advice of old time newspaper publisher Horace Greeley–”Go West young man, go west!” Boise houses are expensive, taxes are high, and places like Meridian, Kuna, Nampa, Middleton and Star are more attractive.
One of the plans to stop the flight is to create more “infill developments” and increase population density. The schools are even considering closing some schools and offering the land to developers of “affordable housing” to attract more kids–which means more state revenues. The GUARDIAN thinks that’s a recipe for disaster and lends itself to “instant ghetto.”
Sort of like saying, “everyone is heading out of town for fine dining at affordable prices so we are going to build a bunch of fast food joints to keep the restaurant industry afloat.” Disregarding a newly created obesity crises with accompanying government programs and treatments.
All we can say is LISTEN TO THE MESSAGE! Nobody wants to be 10 feet closer to their neighbor or have 10 more kids in the classroom or more cars in the Costco parking lot.
These people are craving a slower pace, a quiet lifestyle, less stress, more voice in their government, and a perceived sense of safety and security. THAT is why all those Californians come to Idaho in the first place. They don’t come for a diverse population, big freeways paved with GARVEE bonds, homeless shelters, detox centers, low income housing or any of the other “benefits” of big city life.
The schools regard students as sources of revenue rather than minds to educate. The teacher’s union sees the urban flight as potential job loss. The GUARDIAN sees government as a “zero sum” enterprise…fewer residents mean fewer tax dollars, but also means fewer people to serve.
The only benefactors of “infill development” will be the slumlords who provide subsidized housing for the people too poor to flee to Meridian or Nampa. Meanwhile within a few years those municipalities will create what their residents fled in Boise.
Estrella’s story actually makes note of the Vista neighborhood which has become a repository for an unwanted trailer park, tiny infill houses, massive apartment complexes with low cost units, and a city-owned motel for poor people at Canal and Vista–none of which would be tolerated in more affluent areas of the city.
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