Add the Commishes of Canyon County to the list of elected officials who won’t take “NO” for an answer.
Voters turned down a bond proposal May 23, in the amount of $72.5 million for a new jail. It was to be located on a 25 acre parcel of land between Nampa and Caldwell on the Boulevard at Homedale Road.
The deal has been cut for some time. It allows the county to lease the land until the death of the owner (he was 97). Canyon County then has a year to exercise an option to purchase the land.
So far, they probably haven’t broken any laws, but they will have wasted the lease money if they are not able to make the purchase. The only CLEAN way to “gitter done” is to go back to the voters, hats in hand, and ask them to PLEASE allow their taxes to be spent for a new jail. Play fair and they will approve it.
Without consent of the voters we see little room for any sort of bond, lease, judicial confirmation, or rent that will allow Canyon County to ultimately OWN a new jail or justice center without voter approval. The Idaho Supremes ruled April 11 that local governments cannot use “judicial confirmation” as a means to go around the voters–unless there is a matter so urgent it cannot wait until the next election.
A group of Canyon citizens represented by attorney Richard Harris is contesting the way the commishes are structuring their deal. Harris is citing the April 11 Supreme Court BOISE CITY vs FRAZIER as the basis for potential legal action.
A Blaine County judge recently stopped a similar proposal based on that case. Local governments statewide have failed to understand their revenues and permission to go into long term debt come from the voters and without consent of the voters, long term debt–no matter how it is disguised–is still long term.
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