EDITOR NOTE–We hate to keep beating this Trolley Horse, but the politicos and press just won’t let it die.
Team Dave Just won’t quit
Pushing this streetcar bit
There is no way they can
Cover this crazy plan
They’ll just put a LID on it!
Both the DAILY PAPER and the BOISE WEEKLY have published stories about the Desire Named Street Car and plans by Team Dave to keep voters out of the decision process.
Boise wants to spend $60 million on a novelty ride running in a circle downtown. $40 million MAY come from the feds with the remaining $20 million financed locally–present plans preclude a vote of citizens on any portion of the project, favoring a Local Improvement District (LID) which requires only three council votes and the mayor to impose $20 million in taxes on 900 property owners without their consent.
The Statesman’s Cynthia Sewell got the legislative angle covered with the convervative voices of House Majority Leader Mike Moyle of Star and his neighboring rep, Raul Labrador of Eagle.
Moyle and Labrador favor a bill requiring a vote of property owners on any city-initiated local improvement district that levies an assessment to pay off $1 million or more in bonds.
All they really need is to do is simply insure that Idaho’s constitution is properly enforced. Article VIII, sec. 3 says in summary, “Any debt exceeding a single year’s revenues has to be approved by the voters.”
A simple “catch all” statute requiring a vote of citizens on ALL debt by any ANY local agency would eliminate all the laundering through urban renewal districts, phony lease-purchases, and local improvement district (LID) financing schemes.
Boise City Councilor David Eberele told the GUARDIAN there is no need for the people to vote on a street car–it is up to the “beneficiaries” through a LID. No doubt it is easier to convince 900 property owners than follow the constitutional mandate of a 2/3 voter approval.
Demo rep Branden Durst of Boise told the Daily, “It’s not our job to be constraining city government. It is our job to be empowering city government. We need to stand up for our city governments because city governments get stepped on a lot, especially when certain legislators try and use state law to hamstring people trying to do their jobs. I think that is disheartening and disingenuous.”
Rep Durst seems favor Team Dave’s concept of leaving the citizens out of the loop. There is a fair number of citizens who think THEY are the ones getting stepped on–especially when their voices are ignored repeatedly at hearings and the local politicos won’t let them vote on profound public projects.
“The way the process works today, the people who are paying the taxes don’t have a say, and that needs to be fixed,” said Moyle adding, he wants to give taxpayers the authority.
Rep Moyle is no doubt one of those “certain legislators” mentioned by Durst and says he does not want to take away cities’ authority; he wants to give taxpayers authority. “We still want to allow cities to use the tool, but we want to limit them from abusing it.”
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