After being turned down several times and losing a court fight over an illegal financing scheme for a new jail, Blaine County officials are ready to start construction–after getting permission from the voters.
Voters Tuesday approved a county sheriff’s office, consolidated dispatch center and county jail. About 76 percent of the voters supported the bond while 24 percent-opposed it. Passage required support from two-thirds (67%) of voters.
According to Blaine County Clerk Jolynn Drage, 12 percent of the county’s 11,632 registered voters participated in the election.
The Idaho constitution mandates that cities and counties get permission from voters to go into long term debt. It is a great system and prevents local officials from imposing their will on the public without permission.
Boise and Ada County have gotten into trouble with attempts at getting around the law at the expense of taxpayers and the rule of law. They haven’t played fair. The Blaine vote is a good example of democracy in action.
Boise is currently holding secret meetings about acquiring a police station. The courts previously blocked attempts at illegal financing, so now they are quietly overtaxing citizens under the guise of “saving.”
A tip of the GUARDIAN hat to both the officials and the voters of Blaine County!
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Feb 8, 2007, 1:14 pm
A tip of the hat to the Blaine officials? Hey, they did the right thing — but only after the court forced them to.
I’d say a tip of the hat to the court for upholding the law and taxpayers’ rights, and a nyah, nyah, nyah to the county for getting nailed on its attempt at illegal spending.
Feb 8, 2007, 4:38 pm
The need for “voter approval” implies that our City Fathers might not know what’s best for us. We should just TRUST Mayor Dave. And Councilman Shealy… he gots book-learnin’, you know!(/sarcasm)
The Blaine vote also demonstrates Voter Power! Think about it – if 67 percent of 12 percent of the voters thought a new jail was a good idea, that means roughly 7% of the total voters may have prevailed. (It really doesn’t matter what the 88% of voters who stayed home think, since they elected not to make their voices heard.)
Feb 8, 2007, 5:15 pm
Score one for Blaine county for demonstrating that ” The American way, a product of Common Sense, is the best way. Paine might have been a financial disaster but he put American freedoms into words of gold!
Feb 9, 2007, 3:01 pm
There has to be a better way to vote and get everyone’s input.
Feb 12, 2007, 4:58 pm
Exactly what I as the Boise Police Union President have LONG asked our leaders to do with our police headquarters! There is no doubt we need a new one but geez…quit trying to go around the voters and just explain the situation and ask for the money Mayor Dave!…Tricky financing schemes, court approval, etc. only avoid the taxpayers (whose money it is, or did they forget that). Congrats to Blaine County for EVENTUALLY doing the right thing.