The GUARDIAN attended a joint meeting of the City Club of Boise and the Association of Idaho Cities Friday to hear national commentator David Gergen’s words of wisdom on the national political scene.
He said the usual stuff about the need for a national energy solution, solve the Iraq problem, and improve education…we cannot argue with any of that.
We found more significance in the maze of commercial booths one had to pass to get a seat. Engineering firms, real estate folks, drug testing companies and more paid big bucks to have their wares and services displayed to officials of nearly every city in Idaho.
You want to sell to a city, just pay the Association and you can have access.
Above Gergan’s podium was a 20 foot banner featuring ZIONS bank in bold letters. The bank paid for Gergen’s keynote address, but more importantly they are one of the big financial players in municipal finance.
They have been active behind the scenes trying to find ways to loan money to cities without the citizen’s having a vote in long term debt. The bank–along with others–has long been profiting from multi-year debt agreements disguised as “LEASES.”
The Idaho Supreme Court has declared the practice illegal and the GUARDIAN editor has been active defending the constitution and allowing citizens to approve municipal debt as the law mandates.
We can’t afford to make the payoffs to cities through the Association, which lobbies on behalf of politicos to change the constitution…they never listen anyway.
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