We got a strange press release from Boise City touting the bond rating of the airport of all things. Team Dave was proud of an A+ bond rating from Fitch Rating. That rating is rather moderate, considering there are four higher ratings with AAA the highest. CHART
Not unlike President Bush’s famous “You’re doing a heckuva job Brownie” quote about the FEMA director’s Katrina relief efforts (before he was fired), Mayor Dave Bieter said of the fifth level rating acquired by airport director Richard McConnell, “This favorable bond rating underscores how well our airport is managed and how valuable it is to our entire region.” Yup.
The Daily paper ran the release without question or explanation. The airport is prohibited from selling bonds without permission of two-thirds of those voting for any proposed sale of bonds.
With regard to airports, the Idaho Constitution says:
…any city may own, purchase, construct, extend, or equip, within and without the corporate limits of such city, off street parking facilities, public recreation facilities, and air navigation facilities, and for the purpose of paying the cost thereof may, without regard to any limitation herein imposed, with the assent of two-thirds of the qualified electors voting at an election to be held for that purpose, issue revenue bonds therefor, the principal and interest of which to be paid solely from revenue derived from rates and charges for the use of, and the service rendered by, such facilities…
While the airport claimed several years ago there was a “public safety issue” in not having a new parking facility, the city has steadfastly avoided seeking the permission of citizens to build a parking structure, as required by the constitution. The Idaho Supreme Court has ruled rather unambiguously they must seek permission of voters to sell bonds–as specified in the constitution.
Unless the airport is about to seek permission from citizens to enter into long term debt, we can’t see why they even bothered with a press release about a FIFTH LEVEL bond rating. While long term debt must be repaid by revenues from the airport operation, we citizens get to decide if any proposal is in the best interests of the city.
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Mar 29, 2009, 4:51 pm
Let’s get that inland freight hub up and running! Then we can all stay up and listen to all the old 747’s, 727’s etc lumber in all night long. Then we can put up with even more big trucks on the Interstate tearing up the road with all the freight from Idaho’s new Air Freight Hub.
Think of all the new low paying jobs this will create. Their only challenge is to get this by the voters all wrapped up in the Flag and apple pie.
I can already smell the JP-5 and jet exhaust.
Mar 29, 2009, 5:53 pm
I got that release also, and it struck me as preemptive too.
Odd rail / land acquisitions.
Hmm… I think we got the makings of a full court press to fulfill some’s “Regional Hub” desires.
I was growing tired of the Skybus’, A10s and C130s anyway. I want me a sky full of FedEx, UPS and USPS contracted jumbo jets! And can I have them at all hours too, please?
Absolutely. That’ll fix everything. Mmm, Hm. And it’ll go along way to insuring that Boise remains “The Most Livable City in America”.
Grumble, grumble, grumble… I need a Guinness!
Mar 29, 2009, 6:45 pm
Given the recent revelations on wall street, I am left to wonder how much we paid for this wonderful rating. And, the Mayor and council must be wondering how much they should have paid for a really good rating.
Mar 29, 2009, 8:43 pm
You deride the A+ rating as fifth level, but fail to mention that A+ is 5th out of 22 potential ratings. I’m sure that there are a number of taxing entitites who’d be thrilled with an A+ rating.
Shoddy and biased reporting at best. I realize you’ve got an axe to grind over the airport, but this post seems only to serve your interests, not the public’s.
Mar 29, 2009, 9:22 pm
Nick, speaking of biased…it seems LOGICAL that the rating is pretty much as described by the G-man. Moderate.
That rating is only 5 notches above “highly speculative non-investment grade.”
As to shoddy reporting, it was the G-Man who offered the link to the rating system, not your highly respected Daily or the PR people at the city. A+ sounds great to those who don’t know better.
Mar 30, 2009, 10:43 am
I’m quite sure they put out the press release just to get at Dave… 🙂
Mar 30, 2009, 11:56 am
That “AAA” rating must be like the “Distinguished Student” Poindexter-types who have a 4.32GPA, when a 4.00GPA is mathematically the highest GPA you can get, huh?
(I know, I know… they have that special “accelerated” super-math that’s beyond us types who can barely balance our checkbook, let alone fill out the 1040 Form. They could ‘splain it to me, but I wouldn’t understand.)
Sorry… I digress.
Mar 30, 2009, 12:43 pm
I guess nobody has caught any of the congressional hearings associated with our current financial system’s implosion; but one of the points made at one, was what a load of K-Rap most of those ratings are.
They’re issued by private firms with their own agendas and are – like most business plans – so much alchemy.
A pig with lipstick is still a pig!
Mar 30, 2009, 6:55 pm
Note to BIKE BOY, the fair city of Caldwell enjoys a AAA bond rating!
You can look this up on the state website listing bond ratings for cities and counties all over the Great State of Idaho.
The “gold card easy credit junkies” can’t wait to spend more money than they have.
Wonder if the bond rating people know about the nosedive Micron just took and all the layoffs. Heck they may even end up at BBB or lower.
Mar 31, 2009, 11:15 am
AIG had AAA bond rating just before the implosion. How can anyone believe these morons? Oh… I forgot we’re for Idaho.
Mar 31, 2009, 11:20 am
Note to Paul… the fair city of Caldwell also has a publically-displayed Ten Commandments monument! I’m jealous of both!
(If Boise had a trolley our bond rating would likely go up. Having a trolley is MONEY IN THE BANK!)