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.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.
Dec 10, 2006, 4:16 pm
Does mayor/lawyer Bieter and current Council ( along with the huge city legal staff) really care about what the Idaho constitution says?
Don’t kid yourself folks, it’s too easy to evade the law as any local lawyer will assure you ( after a hefty charge for their services!) Why not just pay for both fire stations Mayor Bieter and thus observe the law while you serve the community. Our city does not need to be in the hands of unknown individuals… that’s why we elected you! Boise deserves the best fire protection, police and ems services! Will you assist us, Mr. Mayor?
Dec 10, 2006, 8:09 pm
So what has happeded is that Dave and the Council have INFLATED our taxes and OVER TAXED us just to build a slush fund they can use to get around us.
Some might think that having a “rainy day fund” is ok but this goes FAR past that….it amounts to OVER TAXING via PROPERTY taxes and then 7 people get to go play with the money. And the way these guys play is SCAREY!!!!!
They will likely play some shell game with some developer friend as well – again with our money and city property.
EDITOR NOTE–Dear Over, you are certainly correct as it applies to the police station slush. The rest of it is result of growth, good economy and several years of hold backs on needed M&O.
Team Dave is not intellectually honest when they refer to capital projects as being “returned to the citizens.” They are actually unbudgeted end of year spending.
Dec 14, 2006, 5:08 pm
I heard mention that Dave Beiter wants to use some of this extra tax money to build his libraries and cicumvent the voters. Isn’t a library system a long term debt expense ? Maybe the mayor being a lawyer he likes defending his actions in court against his own citizens!
Dec 14, 2006, 8:57 pm
So if two of the fire stations are long term leases. What is the new station on Five Mile. Does the City own it or is it being leased in the same manner?
EDITOR NOTE–The FD told the council they would build it as a joint venture with Whitney and Ada EMS. It is outside the city. EMS backed out, there was no formal agreement, and now they need $372,000 extra to finish it with half from Boise. They called it a “savings acount” project after budgeting a slush fund for a couple of years to pay cash to avoid the vote and long term debt issue.
Typical Boise finance deal which isn’t clean, but we can’t go after everything.
Dec 17, 2006, 2:29 pm
No wonder the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle also pays for both the rich and the poor. Anyone for a revolution?