A big shout out to the STATESMAN and reporter Cynthia Sewell for once again doing lots of digging through census, budget, and other records prior to the annual Chamber of Commerce “Live Aid” speech Wednesday by the Mayor Dave Bieter which grosses up to $45,000 for the private special interest lobbying group.
We have been the squeaky wheel for so long about Team Dave shilling for the Chamber that we are nothing but annoying background noise. The GUARDIAN thinks the annual “state of the city speech” should be given either at a council meeting or as an opening act for the Food Bank, Idaho Youth Ranch, Women’s Shelter, or a Homeless group.
The DAILY notes Boise’s population has increased 11% in the past ten years, but the city budget has increased eight times as fast–a whopping 88% over the same period. With property values down and per capita income down, we find it hard to believe the city’s survey results which claims folks are happy with a city management that has consistantly increased its budget EVERY YEAR while other units of government are cutting back.
They listed the top 16 employers and the GUARDIAN notes at least 11 of them pay no taxes–nearly all are either schools, hospitals, or government agencies. Micron has been a “non-profit” for so many quarters we don’t think they pay much income tax either.
Meanwhile, here’s what they say about Boise Schools over the same time frame:
Boise School District’s annual budget is $187.4 million this year — up 8.9 percent from 2000. The district’s total enrollment decreased 4.4 percent in that time, to 25,317, and the number of certified teachers dropped 3.7 percent, to 1,420.
One figure the DAILY didn’t include in their piece was the increase in City spending for public relations, advertising, lobbyists, opinion polls, and graphics designers.
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