Greedy Growth

Growth is costing us not only additional taxes, but it is destroying our quality of life.

Whether you are a “money grubbing capitalist” or a “tree hugging greenie” growth in the Treasure Valley is costing you. We constantly hear people say, “growth is inevitable and you can’t stop it.”

Perhaps, but there is no need to work so hard to create and stimulate growth. On one hand we have the Chamber of Commerce working hand-in-glove with local governments and “business leaders” to attract jobs and people to the Boise area. They all get together in Sun Valley each year (Boise is not a good place to meet apparently) and plan their attack.
Mall parking.jpg

On the other hand we have skyrocketing taxes, school bonds, library bonds, GARVEE bonds, developers working to displace wildlife, developers working to get around zoning laws to build tall buildings which are illegal, developers scamming us with holes in the ground, and a power company working to put an electricity generator on taxpayer property. We also have local highways and intersections which can’t handle any more traffic–they are simply maxed out.

Then we read an op-ed piece e in the Statesman by Steve Johnson of Washington Group calling on the Big Spenders in the area to pony up about $5 million to attract even more people to the valley! He cites “board rooms and executive suites” as places where people are stepping up to say “yes” to the growth madness. The sick part of Johnson’s message is using Idaho’s “quality of life” as a point to attract more businesses to the area.

The GUARDIAN can remember businesses like Albertson, Boise Cascade, Morrison-Knudsen. Only with the “new business model” did those companies face dissolution, CEO’s raping the shareholders, and bankruptcy.

Let’s spend the $5 million advertising budget dealing with the growth we have already seen at an alarming rate.

The message to those contemplating a move to Boise should be: “We welcome you with open arms if you wish to pay your fair share of taxes, pay good wages, don’t pollute, and compensate us for adverse impacts on sewers, streets, air, schools, and crime.”

The GUARDIAN challenges the growth advocates. Put a simple question on an advisory ballot or as a poll question on the media websites: “DO YOU FAVOR EFFORTS TO ATTRACT MORE BUSINESSES AND WORKERS TO THE BOISE AREA? Yes or No.” No slanted qualifiers of prosperity and no doomsday messages. Dare you to hear from someplace outside the executive suites, board rooms, and council chambers.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Boise, and idaho, for many of us, is a haven from the violence, pollution, and every day “rat race ” of America’s cities. It’s a great place to raise children because of this and there is still a pleasant rural aspect to the area , what with the greenbelt and the view of snow-covered foothills in the distance and the park system.

    When developer’s say “progress” what many of them mean is ” greed” and the citizens of Boise and of Idaho do not want it. In the six years I have lived in the downtown area These same developers have turned what was still a quaint downtown setting into a huge, noisy polluted Parking lot. We need our city and local govts. to enact legislation that will put “responsibility caps” on the type of new buildings going up in our town so only the citizen and environmentally friendly projects are allowed.

    I would like to challenge the mayor, city council and all developer’s on this issue… Start a city tour at ” the huge hole in the ground” at 8th and main and then observe the large number of unfinished construction sites, vacant buildings and parking lots within a mile either direction of it! That’s not progress, that’s urban blight!

  2. My husband and I are part of the dying breed of “natives.” We are so sick of the “growth at any cost” mantra that we are looking to move somewhere else for our golden years. I am a retired person but expect Ada County to start resembling Los Angeles before I die of old age. Is that what our leaders want? We are also sick of having to fund this growth through our property taxes. Although we paid off our mortgage we are still renting our property from Ada County at the current rate of about $200.00 per month…more than my first mortgage payment which included principal, interest, taxes and fire insurance. We can no longer afford to take a short vacation to Valley County because the rich folks have taken over. We are just disgusted with what has happened to Idaho. Thanks a lot Dirk, Mayor Beiter, Mayor Merrill, etc.,and the Ada County Commissioners.

  3. Movin to Twin Falls
    Feb 26, 2006, 9:11 pm

    Steve Johnson does not have a clue. Nor do our city “leaders”. All they know how to do is pander to developers and raise taxes and spend, spend, spend. And ACHD is even worse – if that is possible.

    Boise’s Blueprint For “Goofy” Growth is nothing more than an effort to shove the already decided plan down our throats. It is a classic example of a “plan” already decided and they just need a stack of paper to “justify” it and have something to hand to the media that they will not question or investigate.

    The only solution I have found is to move my business and my family to Twin Falls and hope they have more brains there.

  4. Here’s the secret. Idaho needs bad press. We need a media rebirth of militia-men and more Aryan Nation Camps throughout the state. We won’t actually support these groups, only we’ll put the message out that we have more of them. Also, we need to stage parades and send images of hatred and separatist messages throughout the nation. We need to have the crazy Idahoan image again. Sell more bumper stickers-“Welcome to Idaho, Now Go Home” “Save Idaho, Spay and Neuter Anti-Hunters” “Earth First, We’ll log the other planets later.” Idahoans need to go hunting and come back into town with animals hanging and bleeding on the hood. People come here because they think its safe. We need to keep it safe, but maintain some uncomfortable intimidation for the newbies.

    Elected officials and unknowing citizens; Do not confuse growth and progress.

  5. I thought about the “bad press” idea and used to joke that it keeps the riff raff out. I have come to the opposite conclusion, it attracts the kooks who seek like minded people to live amongst and repels the vast majority of those looking only for a vacation and thereby damaging our vibrant tourism industry.

    We should feel blessed that we live in an area that has growth as a problem. By the same token I don’t think its necessary to troll to attract more people to live here. We need to manage existing growth and plan for additional growth. Resources should be devoted to managing and planning. We should let places with depressed economies devote thier resources to attracting more people away from choosing Idaho as a new home rather than actively discouraging them.

    On a tangent to liberal redneck’s post, will Idaho have to take down all the “Idaho is too great to hate” signs if the gay marriage amendment bill passes?

  6. D. H. Lawrence said (in the 1930’s):

    There are too many people on earth
    insipid, unsalted, rabbity, endlessly hopping.
    They nibble the face of the earth to a desert.

    Rod said (in 2006): It’s all about the money. Transferring money from the middle class to the rich, that is.

  7. I guess the facts that we have: Corruption in local govt.; an Anti-gay marriage legislature; a commmissioner in Canyon County trying to make English the official language and purge the illegals; the remnants of a North Idaho neo-nazi mentality; a meth problem that costs each resident thousands of dollars a year; a governor who doesn’t understand property tax dynamics; ditto for the legislature; no way to repair schools except through bond elections…isn’t enough to stave off the onslaught. I don’t think dead animals dripping blood on car hoods will help.

  8. Let’s say we have an “advisory ballot” such as the Guardian proposes and the majority votes no. Then what? We close the border? Can’t and won’t happen. For such a tax miser, I’m surprised the Guardian even proposes such an “advisory ballot.” Won’t that cost money?

    The first time I read the above post by the Guardian, I thought he was making a big statement about the problems of growth. From the comments, it seems others took it that way also. After reading it a few more times, I think the Guardian is only saying “let’s not spend any tax money on promoting metro Boise as a place to relocate.” Simple and fair enough, but why the demogoguery?

    If it was an anti-growth diatribe, the Guardian doesn’t offer any input as to how growth should pay it’s way and for good reason, because that would mean advocating impact fees. Impact fees (for you non-library types) is another word for TAXES. I guess taxes are fine as long as they’re someone else’s taxes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for impact fees, but I don’t have the knowledge to address the issue reasonably. One thing I do know is urban planning is a very complex issue.

    Regarding urban planning, I suggest you all study up on the “Portland Model.” It’s the antithesis of the “Boise model.” Portland for many years, IIRC, from 1973 until recently, has had the strictest growth controls in the nation. Recently, means Oregon voters recently voted for Prop 7 which demands compensation to rural landowners who have been “downzoned” and thus incurred losses via reduced value of their land. I may have my facts wrong here and I don’t feel like taking the time to provide the links, but they’re there. Google “Oregonians in Action.”

    The point is, the anti-anti-growth movement in Oregon is gaining momentum because the very same problems The Guardian mentions about unchecked growth here are evident in the growth control capital of Portland.

    Ed Note–Everyone is correct! GUARDIAN was saying we have a lot of problems caused by growth, so why do we want spend money to create even MORE growth? BTW Cynic, you got more space than the original posting!

  9. One good thing is that if you put out an ad to hire someone, the Californians surface to bite like carp in a shallow pond. They will atrophy with the small wages and the need to keep up a “quality of life” that is better than the next guy. They will have blown their wad of profit from a home sale on Ford Phalic 150’s and dinners out with the misses.

  10. Hey Luddite I think your on to something. Idaho should lower the minimum wage. Paradise won’t look so good if you’re starving.

  11. Gee that’s funny just about 3 weeks ago to a month ago you were on 67 KBOI stating that you would like to see a observation area on table rock for people to go and see the spectacular view of Boise as a attraction. I think you are nothing but a wolf in sheep’s clothing…………..

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