With the latest revelations about the infamous “Hole” at 8th and Idaho, the GUARDIAN concludes it is time to dissolve the CCDC.
In a front page piece Thursday, Statesman reporter Joe Estrella tells readers that Charterhouse Development is in default on a $2.6 million loan to finance the acquisition of the hole. Furthermore, financing looks very doubtful for what was to be a 31 story skyscraper and the CCDC is powerless to act because they foolishly gave up all oversight when they inked the deal.
We can’t blame just the developer who snookered the CCDC. They were willing dupes in what has become a sad joke in the annals of our city. The inept bungling on the part of Boise’s urban renewal agency is a direct result of poor (or no?) oversight by the Mayor and Council.
Greed on the part of all concerned leads to grandiose plans that cannot be fulfilled or financed. The CCDC figures the bigger the project, the more they get in diverted tax revenues. Common sense modest projects are often rejected in favor of the dream towers.
The CCDC (Capitol City Development Corp.) sucks tax dollars away from the city with the avowed purpose of aiding development downtown. We taxpayers make up the difference to fund the police, fire, and other services demanded by the rich developers who own the heart of our town.
The GUARDIAN thinks a forensic audit is in order at the very least. If it goes the way we expect, the obvious choice will be to disband the CCDC.
Here are some points to ponder in what we believe to be the tip of the iceberg:
–CCDC Chairman Cheryl Larabee worked for Colliers International–the real estate broker for BoDo and Mark Rivers while serving on the CCDC board.
–City Councilor Elaine Clegg’s private special interest group “Smart Growth” solicited and received public money from the CCDC.
–CCDC paid for the membership of Director Phil Kushlan in the exclusive private Arid Club.
–Despite dire warnings from fire department, city council approved a change in building standards to allow wooden “stick frame” construction downtown to aid CCDC projects.
–Mark Rivers’ so-called library project has received exemptions from rules requiring affordable housing units.
–Charterhouse was given exemption from rules requiring oversight of the Hole project.
–City councilors summarily voted out of office by citizens are allowed to remain on the CCDC board until terms expire.
–Several board members have financial interests or represent those with financial interest in CCDC activities.
The agency is legally under direct control of the Boise City Council and it is time they–and Team Dave–step up to the plate and clean house. Since this is an election year, they may have more incentive to do the right thing.
The past record has certainly NOT been the right thing.
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