First Rounds Fired In Mayor Race

City Councilor and mayor candidate Jim Tibbs is learning a poker lesson in the early days of the mayoral campaign–DON’T SHOW YOUR CARDS UNTIL YOU PLAY ‘EM.

The GUARDIAN on April 12 called for an audit and eventual dissolution of the CCDC (Capital City Development Corp.) following a news story published in the Statesman and the Business Review which revealed financial problems with the infamous “hole in the ground” at 8th and Main.

Tibbs made it known to others on the council that he planned to call for an audit of CCDC, based in part on issues raised in the GUARDIAN posting. By Friday the 13th, Councilor David Eberle had joined the GUARDIAN quest for a CCDC audit. Both Eberle and the GUARDIAN editor appeared on camera calling for a full review of the finances and other practices of the CCDC. It was tacitly agreed that Eberle would call for the audit. The interviews were aired on KBCI TV2 News by reporter Gemma Gaudet.

By Monday, Team Dave issued a memorandum to the City Council and the media asking the Councilors to, “direct the city of Boise’s Office of Internal Audit to provide an assessment of the CCDC’s long term viability, and reporting procedures, which will assist us in our discussions regarding the agency’s operations.”

He also asked for a Blue Ribbon Committee to review the CCDC goals and strategies to determine if they are appropriate and effective for the future.

Mayor Bieter and the rest of team Dave were successful in taking the wind out of Councilor Tibbs’ sails. Ironically, all this political maneuvering has the potential of benefitting the citizens. It now looks like almost unanimous agreement from City Hall that CCDC is in doo doo, perhaps deeper than the hole in the ground.

The next move in our opinion would be to dissolve the CCDC board with an ordinance that will designate the City Council as the urban renewal agency.

The City Council work session at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday should be interesting.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Be careful what you wish for. The Council was the CCDC for a while in the early 80’s. Nothing happened until private citizens were appointed. This may be a case of the wrong private citizens or a lack of oversight or the wrong director. I don’t think putting the Boise City Council back as the CCDC will get us anywhere. After all 2 of them are on the board now and look what’s happened.

    EDITOR NOTE–Those two are up for re-election and with elected CCDC members (council or otherwise) the citizens can oust them if needed. You do make a good point and if memory serves, those councilors and mayor got voted out of office.

  2. The problem with Dave Bieter’s audit, he signs the paychecks for the Office of Internal Audit. A third party audit would provide a better sense of the financial picture as well as recommendations for action. Tibbs could still one up Bieter on the political front.

    EDITOR NOTE–The audit needs to be in the nature of “performance” to examine conflicts, backroom deals, etc. not just where the money goes–they alrady have a third party audit on finances.

  3. BrianTheDog
    Apr 17, 2007, 8:44 am

    I have heard the State Controllers Office will perform the audit for free. Unknown if that is true but I have been told all the city needs to do is ask.

  4. Sara wrote: “Be careful what you wish for. The Council was the CCDC for a while in the early 80’s. Nothing happened until private citizens were appointed.”

    Nothing happened…? And this would be bad, WHY?! 🙂

  5. Tibbs is a really nice guy who is being sold a bill of goods in the form of viability.

    He will continue to show that he can’t hang in there with the tough guys and be left holding the bag for some people who just won’t be there for the long haul.

    Has everyone forgotten what Team Dave had to deal with when they got in????

  6. Sharon, what is meant by nothing happened is this. Millions of dollars were spent and not one building was renovated or constructed. There were empty graveled parking lots where now buildings house businesses and offices, landscaping looks lovely etc. That’s “why”.

  7. In response to Clancy: The city’s audit office reports to the council, not the mayor. Council was very specific about that when they formed the office after Coles. So the mayor can ask the council to order the audit, but he can’t do it himself.
    As for the point about having the state controller do the audit for free, there was some todo about that when the council spent big money (I don’t remember how much) to hire private forensic auditors to dig into Coles/Lyman. People suggested the council was wasting money by hiring Jefferson Wells when the state would do it free. Then the state controller acknowledged his office didn’t have the expertise to do that kind of audit or the manpower to do it quickly. Might be a similar issue here. Besides, the city has the office. Why not use it?

  8. Choose today’s meaning for CCDC: (1) Committee Controlling Dollars of Citizens; (2) Citizens’ Cavernously Deep Crater; (3) Corrupt Committee Depriving Citizens; Committee Comprised of (mayor) Dave’s Cronies. Choose wisely. They don’t!

  9. This situation calls for a n independent,third party audit,possibly by an out of state ,federal auditing official.As for the mayor appointing his own blue-ribbon committee to look into CCDC’s games …. That’s a good way for Team dave to cover for his buddies on CCDC. Again a third party committee, perhaps out of state that specializes in urban planning and spending would be more objective. Jim Tibbs has not been upstaged by the Mayor or Eberle… He’s simply smart enough to let the mayor and friends hang themselves with their hypocritical efforts to investigate CCDC.After all it was Jim Tibbs who first wanted an audit and I might say he has been first on other issues ( a better bus system) and a de-tox center for the city. As I said before if Jim wants to be mayor,all he has to do is run… after all he’s proved his committment to the People of this city over the years!

  10. Sorry Mr. Mayor – – – the only reason you “called for the audit” was because Tibbs did and you cannot stand to be left behind….too late you’re already there.

  11. So just read the KTVB website (being a Boisean in D.C. can’t really watch the broadcast) and noticed in the article about this issue they questioned what brought about the city council’s decision yesterday to audit the CCDC. Nowhere in the article was the Guardian mentioned for first questioning the CCDC’s role much less pushing the issue to get it finally done. Thankfully it is finally getting done, but dang KTVB, lets give some credit where it is due.

  12. It was painfully obvious in yesterdays council “work session” that team Dave’s goal is to widen the area of impact of the CCDC to outlying areas of the city. So, with the tax diverting policies of the CCDC, Bieter will be able to get his very own light rail system by just having the CCDC write a check for it!

  13. Pat- calling for an audit doesn’t just happen over night. You should give the office of the Mayor it’s due credit and respect.

  14. Oh, but Judy, I think that is exactly how long it takes. You come into the office in the morning, you find out that the CCDC is a little “fishy” on the parking revenues, and you find out that they gave away control over the biggest eyesore in the city, and if you are the leader you purport to be, you call them and say “send me the books”.

    What you DON’T do is wait to find out on a Thursday that someone else on the council is going to call for an audit, and then Friday afternoon announce that you were going to ask for one long ago. If Team dave wants respect, let them earn it!

  15. My fear is that the audit will be little more than white wash. They will go over the books, pick up a few small things, like the payment to the Arid Club, say harsh things to a couple of sacrificial staffers, and then proclaim everything to be well and good.

    Unfortunately, the audit is unlikely to do the things that most need to be done. For instance, the audit is unlikely to investigate whether or not CCDC should perpetually be expanding its boundaries, and thus transferring ever more and more of the tax burden away from city center businesses and onto business and residential tax payers further out.

    The audit is unlikely to look at the makeup of CCDC’s board and suggest a broader membership.

    More to the point, the audit will almost certainly not investigate whether or not CCDC should or should not exist.

    If the coming mayoral race is to be anything more than a beauty pageant, one of the candidates needs to do something substantial. Calling for this audit might have qualified if they had done it without the Guardian making the first call, but they didn’t.

    One of the best things I can think of to separate a candidate from the status quo is for one of them to go beyond the audit do what it takes to put CCDC’s future on the ballot. Let the people decide which they prefer, CCDC or a tax cut.

  16. I’d invite you to read my blog entry “STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION”, where I provide a specific vision for the fate of the CCDC and other political fiefdoms in Boise.

    EDITOR NOTE–We endorse no candidates for political office. However in the spirit of political discourse, we will honor links as long as they add to the discussion.

  17. Mr. Jones,

    The audit is just the first step. Team Dave has proposed a citizens committee that would examine the operational aspects of the CCDC and present suggestions/recommendations regarding how the agency operates. That may not satisisy the scorched-earth policy of the Guardian, but it’s clearly a prudent step in the right direction.

    EDITOR NOTE–Nick, the auditor works for the COUNCIL, not the mayor. THEY are the blue ribbon committee.

    The entire thrust of the audit process enacted by the council was to take it–and any debate or decisions AWAY from the mayor (any mayor). That sir, is not scorched earth, it is good government and those elected must be held accountable for their actions or inactions.

  18. Kudos to the editor for initiating public concern about the CCDC. Where did KTVB get a lead on the story?

    That’s right! You read it here first folks. It is disheartening to realize that CCDC continues on, wanting to expand it’s circle of influence and tax receipt fleecing beyond its original boundaries– onto the bench and West Boise.

    As Kate Smith would sing it ” from the foothills, to the desert, to West Boise, let us roam !! God bless C – C -D -Ceee, your taxes home!!!! God Bless C – C – D – Ceeeeee, your taxes home!! ” Yes friends, you too can own this stirring and patriotic rendition-just send your tax receipts to Blue Ribbon Productions. Again, that’s Blue Ribbon Productions. CCDC operators are standing by.

  19. Editor,

    You’ve made it very clear that you believe it’s time for the CCDC to be dismantled. The overwhelming evidence is that, overall, CCDC has been good for downtown Boise. Meanwhile, the Mayor and Council seem to believe that the benefits of CCDC far outweigh the negatives. However, it’s clear that they also believe it’s time to re-evaluate the mission and role of CCDC. The audit is the logical first step. Second, there needs to be input on what should happen to CCDC. Would you really be content if it was only the Council and Mayor who decides the future of CCDC? Wouldn’t you feel better if there were also stakeholders from all walks of life involved? Your belief that the final decision should be made by the Council based solely on an audit without citizen input seems illogical when–on the very same blog page–you’re calling for a public vote on the logistics of a new police station.

    EDITOR NOTE–Nick, if you are suggesting a vote of the public on the issue (perhaps including the tax increment financing scheme) I would certainly welcome that. If you are in favor of a committee hand picked by the mayor, I oppose that. Given your logic you must endorse my 20 year plea to have police and fire commission(s).

  20. shealyisnottheantichrist
    Apr 19, 2007, 8:48 am

    My thanks to the Boise Guardian for working to bring greater accountabilty to elected and appointed officials and to educate the public on this and other issues without the whacko element that usually accompanies such jargon. I sound sappy, but our community really needs you.

  21. Mr. Adams,

    I agree with you that an audit is a good first step in sorting out some of the problems associated with CCDC.

    I also like the idea of a citizens committee having the final say on the agency’s future. The difference between you and me is that, instead of a rubber stamp committee hand picked by the council, I prefer the conclusions of a much more elite citizens committee. Namely, the opinion of the general population as measured by the ballot box.

    As to the evidence that CCDC has been good for downtown Boise, it is at best underwhelming. By CCDC’s own estimation they were a failure under their original incarnation. (See

    They claim to be a great success under their revised vision. However, if they actually have a visioin and mission statement that guides their actions, I am at a loss to find it on their web site. The closest I could find is they seem to want Boise to be, “traditional urban style, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented”. Exactly how that differs from the Boise of decades past is a mystery to me. And, couldn’t that goal simply be rolled into the city’s comp plan at a tremendous reduction in cost?

    The thing that CCDC does for absolute certainty, is subsidize businesses in CCDC’s ever-increasing territory at the expense of tax payers with businesses and residences outside their area. If the mayor and the council are as sure of CCDC’s benefit to the area as their rhetoric indicates they are, they should welcome the vindication that a referendum on the subject would provide.

  22. Matt Roetter
    Apr 21, 2007, 7:11 am

    My research concludes that URD increment value is not exempt from paying local school district board or voter approved tax levies. Therefore, the CCDC owes all school districts within its’ boundaries for all past levy taxes. In the past the school districts received a levy rate of .003, then .004 and currently 0.00. All three rates were not board approved or voter approved ballot levies. Hence, Boise school districts within the CCDC have been shortchanged since the URD was formed. That tax money should be returned to the school districts with interest.

    Additionally, all school district tax levy ballots must disclose all taxes imposed by each taxing entity. Meaning the ballot must read the school district is asking for a specific budget and the CCDC will receive a percentage of that budget as a result of the ballot passage. The reason for the ballot is for voters to impose specific taxes on themselves to specific taxing districts. Full ballot disclosure must be demanded else the passage could be invalid.

    Voters must be made aware of the tax impact of all URDs. An audit of the CCDC must identify the amount of tax dollars owed to Boise school districts.

    EDITOR NOTE–The law changed with the shift in some school taxes to the sales tax increase in November as a result of the special legislative session.

  23. Matt R. – there is only one school district in the CCDC area and that is the Boise School District. The other taxing entities which forgo the tax increment are the City of Boise, Ada County and the incompetent and corrupt Ada County Highway District.

  24. Sara, one of the problems people get into with posting on blogs, is that some have a tendancy to speak out of school. If you are going to call the ACHD incompetent, that’s one thing. Before you call them “corrupt” maybe you would like to share with the group your evidence. Tsk, Tsk.

    EDITOR NOTE–We missed the “corrupt” ref. All citizens have an obligation to reveal corruption in government if they have knowledge of same. The GUARDIAN doesn’t mind sharing facts, we hope others will do the same.

  25. Hang tough Sara.

    In my dictionary, there is some latitude in the definition of corrupt.

    I don’t think many people will disagree with the statement that ACHD’s decision to use taxpayer money to fund the $20 million East Parkcenter Bridge is a corrupt version of the original plan that required it to be paid for by the Harris Ranch developer.

    Sara may have other issues in mind but the preceding example is enough to make her point.

  26. Matt Roetter
    Apr 22, 2007, 10:44 pm


    Thanks for your post which identifies only the Boise School District located within the CCDC boundaries. In the past, did the Boise SD seek voter approval for any type of school district levy, most likely yes? Did the ballot disclose the fact that the CCDC receives tax money as a result of the passage of the levy election? My understanding is that levy election ballots must have full disclosure of all taxes and taxing district for the ballot to be valid.

    Additionally, did the CCDC produce a Financial Impact Statement for the Boise SD which must include the full life of the URD? See if you can obtain a copy of the statement which it is shocking the impact the URD has on the school district.

    The president of the NEA is quoted as stating that TIFs shortchange school districts.

  27. Thanks Pfffft. And Cyclops when I say corrupt I mean the definition of “changed from a sound condition to an unsound one”, also “lacking integrity”.

    Some examples of our corrupt ACHD:

    An ACHD commissioner who uses her position to further a feud with a neighbhor.

    An ACHD commissioner who when presented with information on growth in the Overland/Eagle area and a potential lawsuit says ” I don’t care about that just tell me how many impact fees we get”.

    A commission who continually denied the City of Eagle info on revenues/expenses relative to their City and who had their main spokesmouth Quintana say they didn’t have info like that. Turns out it was a lie since a study just like that was done in 2003.

    That self same study does not account for around $50,000,000 (yep that’s million) in an 8 year period. No wonder the study has not been updated.

    Need I say more?

  28. Nope! You need to say no more. What you DO need to do is take that evidence and go straight to the County prosecutors office! You appear to have just accused an elected body of ” losing?” 50 MILLION Dollars!

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