COMPASS To Provide “Hosted Bar” to Legislators

COMPASS, the Community Planning Association funded by local city and county governments throughout Ada and Canyon Counties has scheduled a 2009 Legislative Reception Thursday to include free booze.

Each city and county pays dues to COMPASS which supposedly acts as a regional planning agency for things like Transit.

Just in case anyone in the unwashed masses is concerned about lobbying efforts to influence the state lawmakers, take notice there will be free booze provided to one and all at taxpayer expense.

The invitation sent to the board members says in part: “We will have heavy hors d’oeuvres and a hosted bar.” The meeting is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. below Berry Hill and Bank of the Cascades in the Gernika Room at Plaza 121 near 9th and Idaho. For you non-drinkers, a “no host bar” means you pay for your own drinks. A “hosted bar” is free to guests.

Considering the legislators did not give themselves a raise this session due to hard economic times, they may need to drown their sorrows in taxpayer-provided alcohol.

Now that the GUARDIAN has posted this, it will be interesting to see who ultimately pays the bar tab or if a contractor who does consulting, engineering design, or construction steps up to the bar with cash to gain favor of those who control the public purse strings.

With so many public officials meeting at taxpayer expense, it would seem that COMPASS would be hard pressed to prohibit members of the public from attending the meeting and tipping a few. A “private party” at public expense doesn’t sound very ethical.

Might also be a good opportunity to talk with lawmakers and let them know what you think of giving away a bus, the proposed downtown trolley to nowhere, the rush to spend grant money they have had since 2006, and of course local option taxes to be administered by those on the COMPASS board.

We note the latest entry on the Sara BAKER BLOGsays the ACHD will be reducing dues to payments to the likes of COMPASS…the decision was made before the party invitation.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Boy you never miss a chance to ruin a good boondoggle do ya? Note to self: Find out which photo conventions Dave attends, create controversy by implying impropriety on the part of one of the sponsors…maybe something about “the government is behind the switch from traditional film to digital and paying company X directly”. Sit back and watch Dave pay for his own vodka tonic.

  2. Just a bunch of GOOD OLD BOYS having fun trying to figure out how to waste that billion dollars the State might get. Will be interesting to see if they create jobs or just blow it on there favorite program. Oh there made up of Rebulicans. They will blow it.

  3. Don’t forget that COMPASS also receives gobs of federal tax dollars.

  4. Nice try Jon! BIG difference between what private industry does and public agencies! I don’t want MY tax dollars spent to liquor up a bunch of legislators when they don’t seem to be able to make very good decisions when they are sober!
    Given Sara Baker reports on her blog that payments to organization such as COMPASS will be curtailed due to budget shortfalls, I wonder where they will get the dollars for a bunch of “hooch”? Besides, I don’t want the liquor! It’s those HEAVY horsdeevorreez that interest me!

  5. Get’em drunk then get’em to vote on local option taxes and disreguard the state constitution….great strategy.

  6. Has COMPASS done anything besides creating a bunch of reports that sit on shelves and collect dust?

    I am really confused as to what work product this organization does for the taxpayers besides spend money.

  7. Grumpy ole guy
    Feb 16, 2009, 9:16 pm

    “Heavy” hors d’oeuvres Not too heavy to lift, I hope. Is this anything like a “light meal”? Oh, so many questions about how the other half lives. Maybe while they are meeting and noshing something will get accomplished, who knows. Now, about my portion of the cost of the free booze and food, I’d like some . . . .

    Now Dave, when you go to conventions and pay your membership fee(s) and registration fee(s) I certainly hope that it gets you an invite to the no-host bar. Comeon Jon, think before you leap.

  8. Serendipity
    Feb 16, 2009, 9:17 pm

    Can I be a lobbyist for the SRA?

  9. Yeah, I want to know about those “heavy” hors d’oeuvres. Ya reckon maybe they’re whole roast pigs, like at a luau?

    As far as paying for the booze — I think maybe I’d rather they spend my taxes on booze than on more of their idiotic projects. As for legislators getting drunk — I doubt they could do any worse drunk than they do sober (and that’s giving them the benefit of the doubt about whether they’re sober the rest of the time).

    So is The Guardian going to go, to see whether they will let him (representing the public) in?

    Hmmm … we’ll all be eager to learn what happens.

  10. All this is small potatoes compared to the weekend party Wells Fargo, who gets federal bailout bucks, had planned for employees in Vegas. So how much did this booze and eats event cost the taxpayers? That part is missing from your story. Keep up the good work

  11. Gordon,

    I’ve often said that “drunk, stoned and TRYING to, I don’t think I could muck things up any worse.” I originally said it very tongue-in-cheek; but it’s increasingly looking like it might actually be true!

    I rarely-if-ever pass on an opportunity to skewer our elected officials when they force us all to suspend disbelief; but there’s no sport in it when they make it as easy as they have as of late.

    One can only hope the Shadow Government finally wraps its head around “Performance Bonds” on this project, regardless of its locale. Though receiving State (Idaho § 54-1927) and Federal (40 U.S.C. Section 3131 to 3134) cash may force them to.

  12. This must be one of the rooms we never get to visit where all the decisions are made.

    What I found out, with very little digging, is an outfit by the name of HDR, Boise Office, is the host of this event for COMPASS. Guess what they specialize in …Rail Transit projects! I can smell the stimulus pork getting served up already.

    So much for violation of public meeting laws. Its a party, not a public meeting and that is how things get decided in the Great State of Idaho where we ranked 44th in governmental integrity in a recent report seen in the local papers.

  13. I don’t believe “heavy hors d’oeuvres” is anything as elaborate as a roasted pig with all the trimmings. I believe “light hors d’oeuvres” are fancy little fu-fu sammiches with bread just on the bottom, and “heavy hors d’oeuvres” have the traditional 2 slices of bread.

  14. Grumpy, et al.:

    Who stole your sense of humor. I think that Dave can take a little good natured jabbing. Maybe you should follow his example before YOU “leap”.

  15. Dave doesn’t drink……I mean he really doesn’t drink. I’m a government employee in another State and City. Our policy on public spending is soooo tight the City won’t even contribute to a retirement celebration for 40 year employees,(booze or no booze). It’s actually a Federal Law that unless the “celebration is a general community event, like a 4th of July parade, it is misuse of public funds let alone a violation of the public trust, for anyone to use public money for the benefit of a select few.

  16. “it is misuse of public funds let alone a violation of the public trust, for anyone to use public money for the benefit of a select few.”

    Wow! There’s a law I bet none of our city, county, state and shadow-gov officials never heard of!

    Hmmm … would this apply to the private use of the public’s Depot, Guardian? Sis? Anybody?

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