City Government

Beware Of Library Paybacks

As he left office, President Dwight Eisenhower warned of the “Military-Industrial Complex” that was getting a grip on our nation in the late 1950’s.
library sign.jpg

Today, after reading that businesses paid 95% of the funds raised to support the library bond, the GUARDIAN warns of the “Boise City-Developer Complex.” These are all folks who benefit from more city employees and growth through approval of annexations, subdivisions, and big building projects. City officials are obviously partners with business over being partners with citizens.

Mayor Bieter told the Statesman, “you go where the money is and that is where it is.” Can’t argue with the good mayor on that. So far, less than $4,000 of the $73,000 raised has come from the “grassroots” individual donors.

The list of big donors includes banks, building contractors, utilities and city councilor campaign funds.

Regence Blue Shield–who would love to have the City’s insurance contract–ponied up nearly three times as much as all of the private donors combined with $10,000.

Chamber of Commerce president Nancy Vannorsdel authored a gushy pro library bond opinion story in the Statesman.

Meanwhile Jim Auld’s “Friends of Ada County Property Owners” have raised $5,676 for mailers and radio ads against the bond.

Based on what we have seen so far it appears there is no broad hue and cry for branch libraries. There seems to be a move on the part of Boise City to pass a bond and they are getting their friends in business to fund the effort.

Next Tuesday’s election will provide the answer. From our perspective we see the political effort on the part of the City as inappropriate. We favor libraries, we favor bond elections, but we oppose attempts on the part of elected officials to influence the election results. Improved library service is a good cause, but this isn’t the way to do it.

Schedule an election and stay out of it! No staffers on leave to push it, no campgain fund donations from mayor and council, no arm twisting of businesses with city ties. The mayor and council’s ovezlealous desire to push an admirable cause has tainted the dignity of their offices.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Please Guardian… What have you got against homeless people! They need a place to hang out during the day. I sure hope they add a little more money onto the bond so that they can have showers in the library. You know how hard it is to take baths in those small sinks in the men’s room (and womens)!

    And don’t forget this is going to help the economy because we will need to hire more police around the Riverside Grade school to keep watch on our kids, and mothers will be picking their kids up rather than letting them walk home. And don’t forget about all the new computers that we are going to need so the homeless can “surf the net” during the day.

    Come on Guardian have a little community spirit! It’s only taxpayers money.

  2. I agree with GUARDIAN 100%. With all of government (federal, state,
    country, city), plus banks, building contractors, utilities and city
    councilor campaign funds saying they agree with costly branch libraries,
    it’s as if we’re only here to wash their laundry and pay all costs. Seems
    as though our landlord gives out free passes (tax exempt, tax breaks,
    discounts of all kinds) to those who want to branch out, hire more, sell
    more, profit greatly — leaving us peons to pay the bills. I already
    expressed my feelings: I mailed in an absentee ballot, saying no-way Jose!

  3. lib.Redneck
    Feb 1, 2006, 9:33 am

    Seems Idaho is following the national model of a police state supported by business.

    Be afraid. Isn’t that the theme of the 21st century?

  4. Hi:
    Rats, just when I had made up my mind to vote in favor of the Boise Library bond, I spied the Reader’s View by the president of the Chamber of Commerce in the Daily Rag, telling us we should vote for the damned thing, because “it will help economic development”. Uh oh… That is exactly what I don’t want. More companies coming in, more people moving here, more traffic jams, more increases in property taxes, more of my play spots discovered by newcomers… Uggghhh! I am somewhat conflicted though. I do like books and the services libraries provide… So, I do believe Boise ought to have more than just one library with inadequate parking… Hell, Terre Haute, Indiana, a city of about 72,000, where we lived during the early ‘70’s had 5 branch libraries. On the other hand, Corpus Christi, TX, where we stayed for 4 months in 1986, a city of 260,000, had only one library, with only on-street parking in a crowded downtown location… I guess I’ll have to flip a coin, come Tuesday…

    Actually, why don’t we remodel some of those dilapidated schools, so they can serve as libraries and neighborhood centers? That would kill two birds with one stone. It would negate the need for an expensive school bond (in March) to pay for refurbishing schools we really no longer need because of a diminishing student population. And it would provide branch libraries. Maybe not the posh, archtiect-designed monuments to learning that this bond would provide at millions of dollars per location, but adequate places containing books, i.e. libraries.

  5. What folks need to think about is that it really makes little difference which way they vote on any bond issue.
    If the “yes” votes win, the money is on its way to being spent. If the “no” votes win, the proponents will simply schedule another try later. If the vote is “no” again, the election will reappear again — and again, and again …. until the “yes” votes win.
    Voters can turn a project down three or four or four hundred times, and it doesn’t matter. So, if the vote is “no” four hundred times, and then “yes” just once, the “yeses” win.
    Hmmmm 400 to one against, but the 400 don’t count.
    Real fair, huh?

  6. Once again, the boise guardian hit’s the nail on the head. The last paragraph of the guardian’s story say’s it all, “Let the People , the Voter’s, those who are already paying outrageous taxes, make the choice in the ballot box.” All politicians and their business campaign supporters have a responsibility to ” Stay out of it!”

    I have filed release of information requests on the funding used by City officials for their pro- library bond push with the city clerk 8 days ago. So far I have not received answers to my questions. I kept a copy of my original request for anyone to view it.
    The mayor is telling us the Bond is for $ 38 Million and three libraries. We don’t need three libraries. One at a time , Mr. Mayor will be fine. Over a period of 30 years the $ 38 million dollar with Interest will more than double in cost( as will all the other bonds our politicians are pushing on us) the taxpayers.

    The Good People of boise and Idaho demand property tax relief for all homeowners now and will vote down all unnecessary and excessive bond issues until they get that relief.

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