City Government

GUARDIAN New Year Message

Happy New Year to one and all!

We have been reflecting on the past year along with the new year and would like to share some thoughts about the GUARDIAN and what we feel and believe. I am sober (don’t drink) on this New Year’s eve and after a week in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with family it is time to get back in touch.

The GUARDIAN has worked to inform you of the “sins of government” over the past year, but with little change, improvement, or hope for the future. We are not really depressed, just realistic.

In short, one guy with a web blog can’t fight the might of government with paid spin doctors who earn thousands of dollars more than mainstream media. Ever hear of someone leaving a government PR job to work for a newspaper or TV station?

Development rules, developers are hailed by the Daily Paper, and our air, schools, and roads continue to be used beyond capacity. The only glimmer of hope seems to be the recent Idaho Transportation saber rattling over Avimor’s access to Highway 55.

In general we feel local government does a pretty poor job of responding to citizens and is too eager to judge “accomplishments” by the number of growth-related issues they approve. It is an absolute fact that much, if not MOST, of the money paid to local candidates comes from developers and those who gain from growth. It is a filthy system.

We have often said–and many readers seem to agree–Boise’s City Council seems to have little regard for voters and the rights we are afforded by state law and the constitution:
–We need a cop shop, but they won’t let us vote on a proposal.
–There is an apparent need for airport parking, but they won’t put it to the voters.
–They refused to allow a hearing or public meeting on how to spend $10 million in surplus funds.
–Legal dept. at behest of mayor and council chases futile legal issues.
–They cater to downtown, the CCDC, and developers.

At the county level the Ada commishes have little respect from citizens, despite “demands” from at least one commish to be respected. They have:
–Continued the legal battle over illegal closed meeting issue.
–Rushed to pass a poorly worded and thought out EMS ambulance ordinance.
–Enraged county workers with another rushed passage of “at will” work rules.
–Continue to encourage overpopulating our county with “planned community” developments.

Based on the anonymous e-mails we get and the number of commenters who don’t use their real names, we can only conclude most people are afraid to speak openly for fear of retaliation from employers, loved ones, or the government.

The GUARDIAN will attempt to continue to provide a forum for one and all in the coming year, but it will probably be at a reduced frequency. We are tired and disappointed. It is not supposed to be this way.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. It is difficult to give the “G” a pep talk when everything he says is so true. As we sit and ponder the year coming, I can only wonder what, or how many, really stupid things team Dave and the commishes would have rammed down our throats if this blog wasn’t here. If the Guardian kept these idiots from just one of their self serving, non-responsive decisions, then it was worth it.

    To be a watchdog of a political circus is, at best, thankless. Although it is equally true that this effort has given rise to better informed citizens and that is priceless. Thank you “G” for a job well done!

  2. Whew!
    You do sound discouraged, possibly even depressed — especially in that last paragraph!
    Re those who don’t use their real names: I’ve wondered sometimes which ones do it for necessity (perhaps they work for one of the public entities we love to dis, or know their bosses are vindictive jerks, etc.) and which ones do it just for fun, or cuz it’s what folks do on the net.

    I use my real name — although, on this blog I use only one name, but I’ll bet those who know me recognize my writing style) — and I always have. Let the bastards retaliate, if they wish.

    OK, I’m retired, so I don’t have to worry about an employer, although that never stopped me when I was employed; loved ones already know that I’m very outspoken about my beliefs, and they love me either because of that or despite that, I dunno which; and as for the government goons — hell, they’re so inept they probably couldn’t accomplish much anyway.

    Of course, if I piss the cops off, they’ll probably shoot me a dozen times or so … and use 30 or 40 or 50 shots to do it.

    Hmmm … I wonder how much of our tax money goes to buy bullets for them to blast into houses, cars, bystanders, trees, whatever? Sure would be cheaper if they’d learn to shoot straight.

    But I digress. Hang in there, Guardian. We need you. You may feel like you’re not accomplishing much, but if you drop out, you ain’t gonna accomplish nothin’. And, while we may continue electing jerks and then putting up with them, we need you to keep us informed about which jerks are doing what to us. If nothing else, you get a bunch of folks to thinking, and that’s worth a lot!!!

    EDITOR NOTE–Gordon, thanks for your comments. Not depressed, but honestly taking stock of the situation. Perhaps we can keep it going with just a few brief “starter comments” in lieu of factual “reporting.”

  3. First time poster. I felt compelled to share a different point of view than your glass is half empty post.

    You have planted a seed. A seed of discontent against business as usual by our elected officials. You have made people think, you have raised issues that need to be raised. You have shed light on the darkness of backroom deals.

    You may think that you haven’t accomplished much, but what I see is a little sprout growing from the seed you have planted. If you give up now, the sprout will whither and die as it needs constant attention against the elements. But, once it takes full root you will know when you can stop tending it as it will be self-evident. It can and will grow if you keep putting forth the effort.

    Please continue to be our gardener. We need the nourishment here in the desert.

    EDITOR NOTE–You sure know how to make things difficult for me! I truly believe in the “cause,” but I don’t know if we have a chance of winning it.

  4. I’ve said it before, and I will likely say it again, “Dave, you are my hero!”

    Yes, I know it’s tough to keep going when it seems that few things ever change. But that’s what “THEY” want! They want those of us who pay attention, ask for public records, demand open meetings, accountability and explanations, and who speak up so that more people are aware, to get discouraged and leave them alone. But what would that accomplish?!

    Rather than just looking at the negatives, how about taking stock of all the positive things the GUARDIAN has accomplished. First there were the lawsuits that have put a virtual end to local governments incurring unconstitutional long-term indebtedness. It didn’t take a website to do it, but look how many more people around the state are now aware, and are now watching their elected officials.

    Then there was the “poop farm” issue. That one made a difference in public policy, and it got people talking, too.

    I would guess that the GUARDIAN’s influence factored in to the demise of Judy Peavey-Derr’s political career, as well. We know the rest of the media reads the site, and they are influenced to keep stories going like the Open Meeting Law violation and accompanying outrageous legal fees.

    I don’t live in Boise City (yet) so I am more interested in the County stories, like the EMS ordinance, the “at will” ordinance, and Justice Center financing. But the Boise City stories about police and parking and parades and planning (or lack thereof) are all interesting too.

    Best of all, it should also give you great pleasure knowing that our local elected officials, before taking any questionable action, have to ask themselves what the repercussions on the GUARDIAN website will be!

    EDITOR NOTE–Again, thanks. While we have stopped the “judicial confirmation” scam they have found other ways to get around it.

  5. Geez, Dave, you can’t poop out on us!!! You may just be a little tired since you seem to go globe-trotting on a regular basis. Get some rest and keep up the good work. I visit your site every day, sometimes more than once, and even when I don’t post anything I am always interested in the views of others. It is also encouraging to see how many really thoughtful people are out there.

    Like Gordon, I am retired and don’t worry much about the opinions others may have of me. Having an unusual first name, I expect that some who visit your site know who I am. Hopefully some agree with my opinions, as well as yours and the many interesting people who post here.

    Hang in there Guardian. And thanks.

  6. Clippityclop
    Jan 1, 2007, 1:55 pm

    Please continue to shine your bright light. You are more valued (and read!) than you know, and this county needs you. Rest assured, you’ve done your part. And now its up to us…

    For a New Year’s resolution, I propose we readers put citizen involvement at the top of our list. This is the only way we can change the course for our community. If there’s an issue you care about, make it your goal this month to get involved, not just wring your hands. It’s not too late. Not by a long shot.

    Thanks, Guardian; continue to ask the hard questions and require truthful answers.

  7. DAVE,
    You have nailed it! city and county elected officials are not making our lives better and they use poorly managed growth as a measure of their successes.

    My feeling is like they are in charge of maintaining the “Hope Diamond” and instead of cleaning and polishing it, they are chipping it into fragments in the name of growth.

  8. Thanks for being here, and happy new year back at ya

    It can be frustrating when you look at it all, but you have made (and i am confident will continue to) make a difference, make sure you KNOW that!


  9. “EDITOR NOTE–You sure know how to make things difficult for me! I truly believe in the “cause,” but I don’t know if we have a chance of winning it.”

    Guardian: If by “winning it,” you mean totally eliminating graft, idiocy, imcompentency, apathy, bone-headedness etc. in governments, then, no, of course there’s no chance of “winning it.”

    When the Boise River overflows, we don’t try to stop the river; we sandbag and dig and do what we can to protect our homes and ourselves from the flood.

    Basically, that’s what you (and to some extent, we) are doing here — not expecting to ever stop the flood of ineptness in governments, but trying to lessen the impact.

    Each court case you’ve won, each official you’ve made pay a little more attention to the legalities (or lack thereof) in what he or she is doing, each citizen you’ve inspired to show up at the next public meeting and raise a little hell … these and so many more things are the “sandbags” that can divert some of the flood of atrocities and perhaps save a few homes and at least a shred of sanity.

    Hey, even Jesus couldn’t wipe out stupidity, sin etc. Mother Theresa couldn’t aid every poor person in India. No one person can solve all of any problem, or win any war, but each soldier who does his best is a major part of the outcome.

    OK, I’m getting carried away with analogies, but you get the drift. You’ve done a *lot* — and we’re all better off for it.

    Keep plugging away, and remind youself each day that you’ve taken one more step toward reining in some of the cascading bureacracy miscreants.

    EDITOR NOTE–We WILL continue to offer up the forum, but Gordon seems to have lost it with Mother T and the big guy.

  10. Gordon’s right in that you can’t expect the politicos to “get it.” Certainly not very quickly.

    However, all things considered, it wasn’t a bad year. On the growth front, the Guardian spotlight on traffic issues associated with The Cliffs in the east and Avimor et al to the northwest helped shove a vestige of a backbone up ITD’s kazoo and as a result may have helped save Idaho tax payers as much as $200 million.

    The guardian spotlight also exposed Ada County subsidizing The Cliff’s developer via a misapplied / fraudulent agricultural tax exemption. That will save Ada County taxpayers about $100,000 per year.

    Judy Peavey-Derr got a well-deserved, long overdue, pink slip, at least in part because of Guardian efforts. And, as more and more of Tilman and Yzaquirre’s decisions move from their desk into the courts (open meeting law violation, Avimor, probably EMS, probably The Cliffs, etc.) their political lives will become more and more tainted.

    Not a bad year at all.

    Good job Guardian.

    EDITOR NOTE–Not sure if some of these are BLAME or CREDIT. You Mr. Jones have really been out front and dedicated. Good job to you, sir.

  11. Dave ;
    You have done a tremendous job for the People of Boise by challenging some of the worst political corruption and giving all of us a better chance to fight it. Knowledge of any situation, especially when tens of thousands are enabled to share that knowledge, allows us to more effectively challenge that situation.

    I’m going to send you $20, Guardian, to be used to continue your blog effort and I would suggest to everyone of your dedicated readers who realize that depending on the local newspapers to publish the truth is a waste of time that they think about doing the same . How much is being able to see the TRUTH IN PRINT FOR ALL THE AREA AND WORLD to see? You can’t put a price on it for me and I can tell you our local political small-time crooks spit out their morning coffee every time they read about what they are really doing!

    EDITOR NOTE–Joe, you can’t buy me off like some local politico! Keep your cash for now. I will ask for donations when I need them, but thanks for the gesture.

  12. Say it ain’t so!!!! I love the guardian. I read it and pass it on everyday……what can we do to help?

    EDITOR NOTE–Help would come in the form of some good investigative researchers to handle the time consuming factual research. Thanks.

  13. Pick me!! Pick me!!!


  14. Jon Q Publique
    Jan 4, 2007, 9:15 pm

    Guardian, I would be hard pressed to offer any additional meaningfully different comments to the wonderful ones that have already been expressed. A Superman comparison might be appropriate, but phone booths are in short supply these days.

    I like Gordon’s soldier analogy. You’re like a point man on a infantry patrol though a jungle. In this case the jungle is Treasure Valley. As you make your way through the mire, constantly alert, you keep an eye out for things that seem out of place, listening for things that just don’t sound right, and passing the word along to your readers thereby raising their awareness of what’s going on.

    To say the least, being a point man can be exhausting. But we’re all grateful you are there for us.

    You’ve been willing to take on a fight with seemingly unbeatable foes, winning some battles along the way. You fight for all that is right and are willing to march into a preverbal hell for the cause. And you continue to persevere even when weary. The Valley is a better place for your efforts.

    Thank you Guardian.


  15. Wow. For a Guardian who is “tired and disappointed,” you sure are still keeping our computers (and our brains, or what passes for them) humming.
    Glad you aren’t dragging your tail too much to keep plugging away at it. (And it must be encouraging to know there are a lot of politicos, bureaucrats, etc., who are NOT at all happy that you’re still around.
    Hang in there, buddy!

  16. So, I guess by now you know how many friends and admirers you have. You are a driving force in keeping local government honest. All communities should be so lucky. Buck up and push on!!!

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