City and County officials from across the Treasure Valley are poised to meet with “Business Leaders” and the Chamber of Commerce for an annual gathering which gives attendees exclusive access to elected officials.
This group of cheerleaders strives for economic vitality in the Boise area. They have economic development teams, they push tourism and convention business, they work to attract businesses to locate in the area.
So WHY we ask, do they have their meeting at SUN VALLEY LODGE? It just doesn’t seem right to the GUARDIAN to boost the economy of Blaine County and Sun Valley when organizations like the Idaho Association of Assessors was able to meet at the Hilton in Eagle, and Boise is screaming for convention business.
The Ada County Commissioners took some lumps for going to Hawaii last year and it would seem awkward for ANY officials to weekend at the scenic mountain resort and schmooze with business leaders for three days.
This year’s conference theme is: “The Power of Choice; charting our economic, education and environment futures.” The meeting is set for April 30 for three days.
Promotions for the event claim to have “ several national and regional speakers who will review the choices we need to consider for our region in the future.”
It would seem to us that something as important as economy, education, and environment should be attended by as many local citizens as possible instead of holding it 150 miles away at a plush resort. But then again, it could cut face time between business LEADERS and government LEADERS if there were too many FOLLOWERS in the way.
This statement from Boise Mayor Dave Bieter’s office arrived after the story was posted.
“Mayor Bieter plans to attend the conference, as do four Council members (Jordan, Clegg, Eberle and Tibbs). Generally some City department heads also attend some or all of the conference.
It should be noted that this is not a City of Boise event; it is scheduled, planned and run by the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, which invites local elected officials and others. The Mayor has found the conference to be quite productive. The Blueprint for Good Growth got its launch at the meeting two years ago.
Although the practice of conducting off-site retreats is standard in organizations of all sizes, Mayor Bieter does believe there’s merit to the idea of holding this meeting closer to home. Although planning for this year’s conference is done, the mayor intends to discuss the possibilities with Chamber leadership as they organize future conferences.
NOTE–Click on COMMENTS below for a view from a former Ada County Commissioner.
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Mar 7, 2006, 3:59 pm
Thank you, GUARDIAN, for pointing out to your growing readership this ridiculous waste of public funds! As you mentioned, this is an ANNUAL event. These folks go to Sun Valley for this conference EVERY year!
If this conference were held in the local area, it would cost a lot less money, local area businesses could benefit, and regular citizens could actually attend. As the GUARDIAN points out, though, that’s the problem. These folks don’t want regular people to be there. This is a conference of “important” people. I think they have forgotten that the voters are still their bosses.
Please do your readers another service, GUARDIAN: after the conference, post the names of all elected officials who attended. For good measure, you can throw in the names of the other wealthy, powerful people who had almost exclusive access to the politicians.
Let’s start now, by taking a look at who is sponsoring this year’s event:
Saint Alphonsus Regional
Givens Pursley, LLP (The University Place attorneys)
Blue Cross of Idaho
Hawley Troxell Ennis
& Hawley LLP
Idaho Power Company
Saint Luke’s Regional
SunCor Idaho, LLC (developers of recently approved AVIMOR project on Hwy 55)
Washington Trust Bank
If you want to see who attended the Sun Valley conference in 2005, go to this link: http://www.boisechamber.org/gov/2005%20Leadership%20Conference%20Summary%207-22-05.pdf
To see who attended in 2004, go here: http://www.boisechamber.org/gov/Leadership%20Conference%20Summary%202004.pdf
Thanks again to the GUARDIAN for having this website and making it so worthwhile!
Mar 7, 2006, 6:13 pm
It is all about BUYING influence! Our “leaders” would never want to be seen this close to this gang of “buyers” while in downtown Boise.
If you dig deep enough you can find a “connection” with every “buyer” …. from the city council’s farvorite developers’ laywers to those trying to get the city insurance business.
It is all about the money and the power. Keep digging Guardian.
Mar 7, 2006, 10:32 pm
Thanks, Sharon, for keeping track of the nonsense done by our government officials. This is the wonder of the Internet…we can all stay informed without waiting for the “newspaper, i.e. the Statesman” to do any investigative reporting.
Mar 8, 2006, 10:19 am
Sun Valley? Oh, what FUN! It beats a little old meeting down at the Club time after time… A little break, a little working vacation would spice up the pot indeed!
Not that anyone would notice, much less care too much. People get used to such frolic. Ho, hum.