WinCo Insider Trades At City Hall

Gotta Hand it to Team Dave. When it comes to manipulating the media and public they do a darn good job.

We groused (among other things) about spending money on the city owned railroad to nowhere in a CAMPAIGN ISSUES posting June 25 which turned into a defense of a kayak park. Turns out any work on the railroad with the $113,000 in tax money stands to directly benefit WinCo.

At the “Live Aid” fund raiser for the Chamber last month, Dave Bieter announced that Winco would build an 800,000 square foot distribution warehouse across the freeway “Near Micron.” We were told that “council leadership” was informed of the dealings with WinCo. With only six councilors it would seem appropriate to share the news with all six–unless one just happens to be a political opponent. We fail to see why the City needed to deal in secret over WinCo’s plans to build a wrehouse.

The GUARDIAN did some checking and found Team Dave had worked for “many months” luring the warehouse to town. The more precise location is “adjacent to Boise City land” which was declared surplus and must be sold at public auction to the highest bidder…unless they pull a fast one on the citizens as Team Dave has done with at least three other parcels of public land.

The private Rock Climbing wall and the soon to be built private hospital at 27th and Fairview both have been provided long term leases on PUBLIC LAND which was ordered by the City Council to be sold at auction, but it never happened. Team Dave also cut a deal with the folks wanting a gas fired electricity generator on City land. They offered them a lease at below market rates. We don’t know the status of that scheme.

They offer leases because the law requires auctions and bids to SELL public land, but the politicos can LEASE our land without our consent and get around the bid laws to favor businesses.

We need to keep an eye on these elected real estate speculators. All this land is the same land they tell us will fund new libraries and other city services, but it never seems to happen.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. When Dave Bieter says that Jim Tibbs “just doesn’t understand the operation of the city” he is absolutely right!

    Tibbs wouldn’t, in a million years, think to declare city property surplus and announce the proceeds will pay for libraries that the citizens voted down,and then lease it to someone longterm at below market value. And then purposely keep that information from at least two members of the city council! When will Boise wake up and realize that Bieter is not only not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he seems to be rapidly approaching the line of total dishonesty.
    Isn’t Bieter the guy that has always talked about city government being “transparent??”

    EDITOR NOTE–Cyclops has previously disclosed he is a “Tibbs guy.”

  2. Actually I think the Winco deal is a great one for the City. It provides good paying jobs for our citizens. This is precisely the kind of thing that a Mayor is supposed to do and it’s kind of refreshing that Bieter has finally figured that out.

    Now renting out city property that should be sold is something different. Get that property back on the tax rolls and maybe just maybe our taxes can go down a little.

    And as regards not informing Council members (read Tibbs) maybe he did discuss it with them either at dinner or at an executive session and that was one of the many that Tibbs blew off.

  3. Sara, you have now thrown down the “gauntlet”! Yes, I am a Tibbs man, everyone knows that. You,however,are hiding behind your little moniker casting doubt on honorable people.

    Tibbs and Bisterfeldt were specifically kept out of the loop on the Winco thing so “Davey” could use it in the campaign. Tibbs hasn’t “blown off” any dinners or executive sessions! He has been systematically and purposely excluded by the council leadership because he beat their buddy Jerome. I am really getting quite tired of the “elitist, snobby” attitude displayed by the council.

    Now as to why I am a Tibbs man. Yes, I respect him and consider him afriend, but most importantly, I believe that Dave Bieter is a complete joke as a mayor. If we don’t do something about him, we will all be walking and going to the bathroom in outhouses. Jim Tibbs is the best bet for cleaning up and re-directing this city and he will make a great mayor.

    Any statements that I may make here are my own and in no way reflect the official views of the Tibbs campaign. You see Sara, I am also a citizen in this community and I am really tired of Bieter “screwing it up!!”

    I am continually amazed by the comments that are made (hyped by the Bieter camp) that the only reason Tibbs is running is because Bieter didn’t make him chief. I have been included in EVERY strategy and campaign meeting with regard to Tibbs’ council and mayoral campaigns and that subject has NEVER, NEVER been brought up and discussed as a reason, or strategy by any memeber of the team.

    Whether or not the Winco deal is a good one remains to be seen. But do you, or anyone else, honestly believe that they decided to put a distribution center here because of Dave Bieter and all the work he has done. If so, my friend, you really should share whatever coupons they offer! They decided to open a center here because it was a SOUND BUSINESS DECISION!! period!

  4. shealyisnottheantichrist
    Oct 7, 2007, 10:47 pm

    You can hear Mayor Bieter and Councilman Tibbs at the City Club luncheon, Monday at 11:45 at the Grove Hotel. It will be interesting.

  5. The WinCo deal is yet another example of how Bieter has turned things around and put Boise back on the right track. After years of scandal in City Hall, he’s turned things around. He’s restored faith in Boise’s government and made Boise a great place to live and raise a family.

    He’s balanced the budget while expanding city services. He’s building new libraries and recreational centers. He doubled the neighborhood grant program. He went door-to-door for the Community College effort. He’s made the city greener and more environmentally-friendly. He’s added more than 100 acres of parks. He’s protected open space and stood up to sprawl. Crime is down. Downtown is thriving. His efforts led to Ada County to give more planning authority to cities and to ACHD bringing in ULI and working toward a higher standard when it comes to traffic.

    Bieter has earned another four years.

  6. Grumpy old Guy
    Oct 8, 2007, 7:59 pm

    Community access television (TVTV) broadcasts the Boise City Council Meetings on Channel 98 Tuesday evenings at 6pm so we can all enjoy the fun and games from the comforts of home.

  7. Colleen Fellows
    Oct 9, 2007, 1:26 am

    Guardian seems to be a tad ruffled by the news of the WinCo distribution center opening in Boise saying that it will only add to unwanted growth in the area. I’m happy to hear about the WinCo deal.

    Just because it will be new to Boise, with 200 “new jobs” does not in and of itself equate to additional population growth. What Guardian overlooks is that Micron just laid off around 1,200 people, who will most likely not see their jobs at Micron return any time soon, if ever. What are they supposed to do? What happens to the other businesses in the area that rely on the money these former Micron employees spend in our local economy? I think it is quite reasonable to figure that a large number of people already residing in Boise will take those jobs. I also think it is reasonable to suppose that others in Boise making less than necessary to support their families will look to WinCo for a better opportunity to provide a sound living for themselves and their families.

    This in turn will help to assure that secondary economic impacts do not take other businesses down with Micron’s fall. If you look at it in the economic sense, we are still at a net loss for jobs and the vitality they bring to our economy.

    Now lets look at it from the environmental standpoint. Yes, more cheat grass will fall to the wayside for a distribution center near Micron. Yes, I know there is more there than cheat grass, but let me assure you there are no endangered species in that area (if there were, I’d be one of the first to say “no way”). Secondly, warehouses generally don’t use huge amounts of water like other forms of industry. Studies conducted by the Idaho Department of Water Resources, with the help of the Bureau of Reclamation, have shown that while we in Boise do live in an arid climate, there is enough water in the Upper Treasure Valley area for the foreseeable future. Thirdly, undoubtedly any business will add to traffic, but if this warehouse is able to make use of a rail access point, it will not put as severe a strain on vehicular traffic in the area as a warehouse without rail access. Lastly, in terms of dealing with the issue “in secret,” why would an entity in the market to buy anything, car, house, land, stock, whatever, want to publicize it? That would only start a bidding war, drive up the price and send them elsewhere. Goodness knows the last time I bought a car, the last thing I wanted the dealer to know was his car was the one I wanted, or my bargaining power would have expired on the spot.

    In terms of the fact that some of this land is going to lease rather than surplus-to-sell, in the big picture, it is a Very Small amount. That is what the budget workshop said last June. By far, the majority of surplus land is in the pipeline to the auction block. In our form of government, the City Council sets policy. The Mayor is more like a CEO that caries out the policies set forth by the Council. If a business were to approach the City Council with an offer to lease a piece of land, the City Council would vote on the issue and if passed, the property would be removed from auction and a least contract written.

    This is not merely a means to circumvent the voter and act as speculators. While it may not be drawing property tax, it is drawing revenue monthly in the form of rent that is used for ongoing expenditures.

    Lastly, I’ve attended different community functions, and as far as I could tell, the various Council members, Vern, Maryanne, Elaine, David, Alan and the Mayor, despite the obvious differences, still get along. At Council meetings, they are able to discuss issues they may not agree on, but are polite, ask questions and respond respectfully.

    Maybe Jim should speak up a bit more, ask more questions if he isn’t sure what the issues or implications are, get clarification and voice his concerns rather than simply saying no one will let him participate. Jim Tibbs wasn’t the only new member to join the Council the night he was elected, but somehow he feels he was the odd man out from day one. I think in his case, it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  8. Dearest Colleen–
    You covered as much ground as the 700,000 square foot warehouse. Nice you have such faith and trust in government. Can we assume you feel the same trust in our national leaders who are “protecting us” from terrorists. The FBI only tramples on a few of the many rights we have in their war on terror and drugs.

    The G-man has a problem with the government acting in secret, NOT WinCo. Would you advocate the police purchasing cars with no bids to get a better price as you mentioned?

    No one has a problem with WinCo, it is the city involvement. If indeed they are planning to lease public land, how are they going to finance the things Team Dave keeps saying they will finance through sale of surplus land (libraries, police buildings, etc.)?

    This could be a boost to the economy, especially for the driving schools that teach those engineers to handle forklifts and trucks!

  9. Colleen:
    I wish my kids would behave as well as you do and not question my authority! You sound like a very nice girl.

  10. Colleen Fellows
    Oct 9, 2007, 9:11 am

    I certainly question authority, and by all means so do my kids. The thing is, I also look to more than one source for answers to see that the stories mesh. “Trust but verify” is a very famous motto I think we should all live by.

    Check out how much land is in the surplus-to-sell pipeline. Truly, the amount for lease we are all talking about here is miniscule in the big picture. You can find the numbers. They are out there if you ask.

    As for a “boost to the economy, especially for the driving schools that teach those engineers to handle forklifts and trucks!” I think those that are currently in need of work would look differently at the situation, driving a forklift offers a better living than jobs many in the valley. At least this is one type of employment that they can’t ship to China. Concerning the long-winded response, it’s hard to address all issues in life with a simplistic 30-second sound bite.

  11. Actually Colleen, Tibbs was the only newcomer on the Council when he was elected. Bisterfeldt and Maryanne Jordan were re-elected.

  12. Colleen, maybe you would share just how the city council decides on these issues as presented by the “CEO” Davey boy, when the information is kept from at least two of the members.

    Does any one believe that the jobs in a WINCO warehouse will compare to the jobs lost at MICRON?
    Logic would tell you if Davey boy gets credit for the 200 warehouse jobs HE brought to Boise, then HE needs to take the blame for the 1200 jobs lost at Micron! Doesn’t sound quite so good now does it? The bottom line here is that Davey boy would take credit for the sun rising over Aldape summit if he thought for a second he could get away with it.

  13. Colleen Fellows
    Oct 9, 2007, 6:13 pm

    You know Sara,
    I thought about that right after I hit “send.” I had forgotten that Jordan had run in ’03 after she was appointed and that the last election wasn’t her first. I blame it on fatigue and allergy medicine. I thought Guardian would have entered an editorial note on that one. Let me offer my mea culpa.

    As to the jobs WinCo is bringing in, they won’t match the salaries of the engineers, but Micron also let folks go that worked the line.

  14. I for one support the Win-Co distribution center.
    It means more cheap food for me. As my buying power goes down due to inflation and my wages staing stagnant in this Republican war economy, I need all the help I can get to feed my family.

    Perhaps Win-co will work with local food growers so we can buy local food at a price we can afford. Local apples at Albertsons get shipped to Ogden, UT and back to Idaho stores. Not to mention the other stuff like eggs and milk. Food distribution will be a critical issue in the future.

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