After attending a meeting Tuesday with representatives of Idaho cities, counties, health districts, and banks we came away feeling there is a conspiracy afoot to deprive citizens of the right to vote on local debt (bonds).
In a nutshell these people want to remove voter approval for airports, parking facilities, sewer extensions and more through a constitutional amendment. Sounds innocuous on the face of it (not harmful or offensive for you non-library types), since those services are paid for with revenues from their operations.
However, in the case of the airport parking garage the lobbyist’s proposal would have meant rental car facilities furnished TAX EXEMPT. It would also eliminate the financial oversight of citizens when Boise comes forth with its plan to have huge airplanes flying over the city at all hours (24/7) and hundreds upon hundreds of trucks visiting an AIR FREIGHT HUB.
These groups have lobbyists who seek to “brief” or “educate” legislators on the need for a constitutional amendment of Article VIII, sec. 3. To their credit, the legislators told the lobbyists to chat with the GUARDIAN editor. Pretty heady stuff for us, but really disheartening when we read the language of the proposed amendment.
Just last Friday Canyon County CITIZENS PREVAILED in a case against the Commishes who refused to allow them to vote on debt.
Ever since the Idaho Supreme Court ruled in favor of the citizens and the constitution in the FRAZIER case, local governments have been scrambling to find ways to go into debt without permission from the citizens who pay that debt. In the FRAZIER case, the Supremes upheld the constitutional mandate to seek voter approval to finance a parking facility at the Boise airport.
The latest assault on the constitution by local government appears to be in Nampa where they apparently intend to filter their finance scheme for a police building through the urban renewal agency and get a judge to declare it “ordinary and necessary.”
Given the precedent set by the FRAZIER decision and the absolute declaration by the Supremes last Friday granting citizens authority to sue local government for constitutional violations, we fail to see how Nampa has a legal leg to stand on with their plan.
Public hearings are set for 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Nampa PD and 3 pm at City Hall to sell the plan. If you live in Nampa make your voice known.
The GUARDIAN seeks only to uphold the Idaho Constitution and allow citizens to approve issues which the Constitution says can be done ONLY with voter approval.
If you have any access to the legislature, urge them to keep their hands off Article VIII, Sec. 3 of the constitution.
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