Looks like the GUARDIAN isn’t the only one with whom Boise officials can’t get along.
The STATESMAN ran an enlightening piece Saturday by reporter Cynthia Sewell about the ongoing rift between Boise City and Ada County over the issue of who pays to provide magistrate court facilities. Ada Commishes are backing out of various financial deals with the city unless the city pays up.
We are totally out of control when it comes to governments billing each other–let alone departments within government. They all talk of “running government like a business.” Names like GM, Qwest, Enron, WorldCom, Bernie Madoff, and Chrysler come to mind immediately…at least some of those leaders went to jail.
Boise SELLS police service to BSU, legal advice to Meridian, and perhaps other deals, but they don’t want to PAY for court space.
Prior to the creation of the Magistrate system cities had “MUNICIPAL COURTS” and rural areas had “JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.” When court reform passed, the system was streamlined creating Magistrate and District Courts only–a good move. Most of the magistrates are now lawyers…many of the JPs were not.
Boise City was the 900 pound gorilla in Ada County and agreed in writing to provide traffic/misdemeanor court as part of the city-county cop shop. Meridian had only two or three coppers at the time and Garden City had six. Eagle and Star weren’t even incorporated.
When the new courthouse was built–without voter approval for the funding–the city was ordered to pay for the magistrate court and has fought the order over since. They have violated court orders and continue to feud with the county.
Folks, its all about money period! Boise gets the bulk of the “penal fines” from city tickets and misdemeanor convictions and the county wants them to pay for the space and staff. Crime DOES pay. There is an argument to be made by the city about “double taxation,” but the city agreed to provide court space. One option is to move out of the courthouse and return to their own version of “Municipal Court” and we won’t be surprised if Boise tries to sell Meridian, Garden City, Star and Eagle on joining them–as long as they pay rent! But even the cities can’t agree with each other.
Local governments at all levels continue to squander our tax money with regional planning, cooperative agreements, visions for the future, blue prints for growth, private/public partnerships, Valley Transit, COMPASS, and they are all EXPENSIVE miserable failures. Only when the citizens have direct influence over local issues (and the purse strings) will we see responsive local government.
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