City Government

Voters Say “NO” to Library Scheme

The Boise library bond failed for only one reason–not enough people voted for it!

As a cobbled together proposal with plenty of meddling by the Boise mayor and council, it was doomed from the beginning. And the timing couldn’t have been worse with taxpayers outraged at government in general and a bigger school bond looming in about a month.

Using a city employe on a leave of absence from the mayor’s office and twisting the arms of businesses to donate 95% of the campaign costs didn’t set well with voters either.

There will be cries to change the law and require only a simple majority, but that would just give even more REPRESENTATION WITHOUT TAXATION. That’s right, read on. In the old days only property owners of record could vote–outlawed by the courts years ago.

Since only those who own property pay for the increase in taxes, the two-thirds majority protects those who own property, but cannot vote–like businesses and anyone who lives outside the city. With nearly HALF the valuation of all property in Boise not represented at the polls, the super majority makes sense.

The GUARDIAN would suggest Boise City Councilors wipe the slate clean and let the citizens have a significant role in the next proposal–don’t limit participation to only “friends of the library” which implies those who voted NO are not friends.

Here are the simple steps toward new branch libraries:

–Reduce the bond amount and the scope of the proposals. Offer them up one at a time. We simply don’t trust the city to budget four years out.

–Forget about the current land parcels that were acquired by a developer from another developer who got a commission for his secret negotiations on behalf of the previous administration. Federal Way near the Post Office would seem a wiser choice than Bown Crossing at the end of Park Center if you really want to serve the public.

–Coordinate with Boise schools. They are talking about a recreation center within a stone’s throw of the Ustick-Cole location which also touted plans for a rec center.

–Explore converting a school that is set to be closed into a library.

–Be specific about a “police presence” in the proposed libraries. We know from experience all those “mini-cop shops” at Albertson’s and in the Vista neighborhood faded from glory and are now a dim reminder of past plans.

There was one good thing that came out of the entire process. The City officials need a pat on the back for allowing us to vote. It would have been a travesty to spend the money through devious means knowing the voters wouldn’t OK the process at the polls.

County Commishes should have done that on their “justice center.”

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