Boise City has almost $10 million in extra cash to spend, but don’t plan on getting any of it back in your Christmas stocking. Team Dave and the City Council will have no problem disposing of the citizen’s money at a December 19 meeting.
Mayor Dave Bieter has a shopping list of items for the council to consider. Most of them probably make sense, but there are some red flags popping up as bright as Rudolph the reindeer’s nose.
In an item entitled “BONDED DEBT ADJUSTMENT”, he seeks to spend $15,000 for an election of private INVESTORS who own two of Boise’s fire stations. Team Dave would be better served asking the voters of Boise for permission to BUY the stations which the previous administration illegally purchased without voter approval. There is no bonded debt according to court records provided by the City–they say it is a LEASE.
The Idaho Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that voter approval MUST be obtained with a two-thirds majority for long term debt. The GUARDIAN is concerned because the slip shod financing methods employed by the City always tend to go around the voters.
It makes good economic sense to own the stations and not be forced to pay $60,000 a year in property taxes. However it is up to the citizens of Boise to make the decision–not the holders of “certificates of participation” (bonds) which were illegally issued. Our interest is one of precedent to prevent such illegal shenanigans in the future.
If the City wishes to to pay cash (buy out the leases) for the illegally financed stations they would be within the law. However, to take title to the leased property and CONTINUE long term debt would certainly constitute a purchase without voter approval. It is prohibited by the Idaho Constitution.
Councilors need to be aware the proposal is a cover up of past council’s sins and will do nothing but add to the record of defeats for the legal department.
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