Boise Mayor Dave Bieter has joined forces with those wishing to go around the will of the voters who have twice turned down a convention center.
Like his pals at G-BAD Bieter will not take “no” for an answer. After Judge Cheri Copsey declared it was up to voters to approve long term debt(for a police station), Bieter and the council pushed for a parking garage at the airport without voter approval. After spending tens of thousands of Boise taxpayer dollars pushing their illegal effort to go around the voters, city attorneys lost in the Idaho Supreme Court. That decision was issued April 13.
Now, Bieter is quoted in the daily paper saying, “I will push CCDC to to help with financing.” He reportedly has already asked the Capitol City Development Corp.–the city urban renewal agency–to explore plans to issue bonds for a convention center, similar to the plan used to finance the Ada County Courthouse.
The Ada Courthouse deal has been subject of ongoing criminal investigations. It is one of the most complex deals ever perpetrated on the citizens of Idaho. Lawyers have been disgraced, a university president ousted, and after four years, ground floor space designated as income producing commercial area remains vacant.
G-BAD(Greater Boise Auditorium District) has been turned down by voters twice and again by a private developer on plans to shoehorn a convention center into a vacant block of downtown between the entrance and terminus of the I-184 connector. Their latest attempt is a plan to build a convention center piece meal over a 10 year period. G-BAD board member Mike Wilson calls the idea “the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”
G-BAD lawyers erroneously advised the board it was legal to use public tax money to advocate one side of an election, despite pleas to the from citizens to the contrary. Like Boise City, they spent public money defending their illegal cause until the Supreme Court ruled against them earlier this year.
No surprise, but behind-the-scenes maneuvering involves the J.R. Simplot family. They own most of the land in the area and have a “buy back” provision on the G-BAD land where voters have rejected a convention center. Even among the Simplots there is not a consensus for what or where development should take place.
The sad reality is Boise Citizens have been ill served by local government. In their zeal to “build something” Boise City government has demonstrated a lack of direction, understanding, and integrity. ANYTHING built will yield NO REVENUES to the city of Boise–all the property tax on improvements goes to the CCDC which offers unfair subsidy to businesses downtown. In short the GUARDIAN and many others have lost confidence in the ability of these agencies to act on behalf of the citizens.
It is time to disband the CCDC and let the free market prevail. Boise is not a “big city” and shouldn’t aspire to be one. The “small town feel” is what makes our city so appealing. The Grove Hotel encroaches on our public sidewalk, unfairly deprives motorists the use of our street as they permanently block a traffic lane of Capitol Boulevard. The Quest Arena events cause increased demand on public services–like police–but they pay NOTHING for police services…or any other city services.
Meanwhile, Bieter and his Team Dave have asked Ada Commishes to expand the city area of impact into the desert south of town so sprawl can continue to ruin what was once a really neat place.
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