Risky Business In Local Government

Wild projections of economic boom, be they for convention centers, a trolly, retailers in a court house, airport users, condo buyers, or golfers have a tendency to fall short.

The weekend Wall Street Journal has a great example in story about funding woes for a golf course in CARLSBAD, CA. Substitute “GOLF” for parking, airport, swimming pool, sports facility, or trolly and citizens stand to get stuck for something they don’t wish to pay for.

The Idaho Constitution currently protects citizens from being forced to pony up cash for the dreams of politicos because local governments have to ask our permission before going into debt.

Fred Woods, a legislator from Burley, wants to change that and take away the right of citizens to vote on debt for “revenue generating” projects. He is sponsoring an amendment to the constitution that would exempt “revenue generating facilities” from voter approval of the financing.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. $70,000,000.00 for a golf course in a city of 100,000 people! What were these fools thinking? “If we build it, they will come”.

    This is exactly the reason we do not need to grant carte blanche to governenment to circumvent voters on revenue generating facilities.

    I am astounded how any why this got past taxpayers in Carlsbad, CA.

  2. From Twin Falls
    Apr 4, 2009, 1:16 pm

    Maybe we should have an amendment that would allow voters to remove legislators without a vote.

  3. I’m willing to live by a vote, which will be required for a constitutional amendment. However, this move is yet another move by the Idaho Republican Party, through its elected leaders, that alienates its traditional base even more. I will be voting against it, and I will be watching the votes of my legislators on the measure.

  4. From Twin Falls says: “Maybe we should have an amendment that would allow voters to remove legislators without a vote.”

    Yeah! Hmmm … just how would be do it? (Lynching’s illegal, I think.)

  5. What I fail to understand is all the entities that want to change the Idaho Consitution have been able to operate and get their work done since the “Frazier Decision” was handed down in the Spring of 2006.

    They have been able to do this for three long years why is this a problem mandating a consitutional change now? The simple answer is they do not want any citizen oversight on anything they want to spend money.

    We as citizens need to hang onto our voting rights with all the tenacity we can muster against this assault on our constitution.

  6. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I didn’t think Suncor owned the property but rather has a development agreement with the McCloud family. Did I miss something?

    EDITOR NOTE–You got it right. Even with future owners paying for infrastructure, no actual purchase of the land (Spring Valley Ranch), no highway overpass, they can’t make a profit. Now that the GUARDIAN has brought this issue to Idaho media attention, they are scrambling to report. My guess is the legacy media will probably offer up more on this “developing story.”

  7. Like Drunks With a Stolen Credit Card
    Apr 6, 2009, 2:14 pm

    It is a curious phenomenon.

    Real developers, like them or loath them, make their money developing things like housing projects, retail projects, commercial buildings, ski areas, etc.

    Then there is a diverse group that become developers when their law practices, farms, retail stores, metamucil franchises, whatever., fail to pan out. They aren’t developers exactly, they are politicians that “think” they are developers. In the process they typically fail at politics and development, and in the process waste the public’s money as well, for the simple reason that they don’t know shinola about development.

    Note to mayors, councilmen, commissioners, et al, take care of the roads and bridges. That is your job, and it is enough. Leave development to the developers.

  8. Why do Republicans call themselves fiscal conservatives yet use every opportunity to line their pockets with taxpayer money? It is interesting that most of the Obama bailout money for infrastructure will go directly into the pockets of big Republican party supporting construction corporations. This is a new twist on trickle down economics.

  9. There are also two kinds developers: Developers that own property and don’t debt finance, and developers who debt finance and are in a rush to get things done.

  10. Revenue generating facility!! Holy cow G-Man. That means the city could build a new “Fun Spot” in the park at tax payer expense since it would genrerate “fun-ds”.

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