After years of bungled attempts at giving Boise’s finest a new cop shop, it looks like the first positive steps have been taken.
Top Cop Mike Masterson wants to split the department into thirds and notes about 55% of the population lives in what will be the new “West Division.” That division and a headquarters for both police and fire administration will be located in a business park off Emerald between Maple Grove and Five Mile. GOOD COP.
In future years he plans to have “East and North Divisions.”
The GUARDIAN broke the story about the NEW HEADQUARTERS April 16, but no one in city government would confirm the fact they were planning to acquire the old HP facility. Negotiations were done in secret with no consultation of citizens who pay the bills. BAD COP.
In a note to the GUARDIAN, Masterson acknowledged overlooking the people who pay the bills:
“I do like the suggestion of involving a greater number of citizens in our strategic planning process and will see we extend invitations to citizens to serve on subcomittees like technology, facilities, problem solving and community policing.” GOOD COP.
The new facility is the culmination of a calculated move on the part of Team Dave and the councilors to go around the voters. Their position is, “We saved up and paid $10 million cash.” True, but they overtaxed us for about 4 years to create the slush fund and never held a bond election. BAD COP
We question the legality of “saving” in advance of spending over multiple year budgets. It is just another way to subvert the right of citizens to vote on long term debt. Regardless of what they call it, collecting taxes over multiple years to pay for a capital expense is long term debt. The council cannot obligate a future council to follow their “earmarks.”
Despite their devious methods, we will have a new city cop shop and the Law Enforcement building on Barrister will become the sole property of Ada County.
EDITOR NOTE–David R. Frazier, editor of the GUARDIAN, won a historic decision in 4th District Court in 2002. Judge Cheri Copsey ruled in a 27 page decision a proposed new police building at 2900 Fairview must have voter approval for the long term debt. The city never had an election for a police building and later challenged the right of citizens to approve long term debt for an airport parking garage.
The legal issues were the same, but the city proceeded. They lost at the Idaho Supreme Court, costing taxpayers more than $23,000 in legal fees, not including what they spent defending their position.
Had Boise prevailed 5 years ago, Masterson would have been saddled with a facility costing several million dollars more than this new one and little chance of implementing his plan to bring the cop shops closer to the people.
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