The council wants to educate us so cleverly
By spending 60K of our public money
So I will take my truth
To the ballot booth
To oust Shealy, Clegg, Jordan and Eberle!
On a 4 to 1 vote Tuesday evening the Boise City Council approved a deal with a public relations firm to fund an “educational outreach” so voters will know the “unbiased truth” about why they should vote for a constitutional amendment that will deny their right to approve future debt for airport projects.
Only TJ Thomson voted against the measure and even his vote was couched in economic rather than philosophical terms.
Councilor Alan Shealy berated the Idaho Statesman, certain individuals and groups for spreading “disinformation.” He said the expenditure was not from tax funds, but from airport funds paid by airlines and rental car companies. He failed to mention that by every legal definition those funds are PUBLIC MONIES.
Councilor David Eberle talked of the “economic vitality” created by the airport while Councilor Maryanne Jordan bemoaned the current constitutional provisions–the ones that allow citizen oversight–“hampered economic development in the past.”
The unvarnished truth is through their public statements and prior actions the Boise City Council and Mayor favor eliminating the constitutional provision that cities must seek voter assent for debt at airports–or anywhere else. Based on the Supreme Court ruling in Ameritel Inns vs Greater Boise Auditorium District and an Idaho Attorney General’s opinion the city is clearly on thin ice and probably outside the law spending public money for a PR firm once a measure is on the ballot as is this statewide measure.
Six years ago GUARDIAN editor Dave Frazier sued the city over a proposed second parking garage after they allowed him three minutes to explain his concerns. Even then the city said it was on firm legal ground. The Idaho Supreme Court was better informed about the constitution and rendered a decision which pretty well carved in stone the right of citizens in Idaho to approve local public debt–regardless the source of revenues. Ever since their sound legal defeat, city officials have spent tens of thousands of tax dollars proposing legislation and constitutional amendments aimed at circumventing the voters.
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