What Citizens And Candidates Should Know

Each election cycle, the GUARDIAN tries to stimulate interest in the local Boise City election with a posting about issues, budget, etc. Here is the current attempt–10 days before the filing deadline for council and mayor races.

Issues of concern to candidates and citizens alike:

–Fire department has taken over the North Ada County Fire district, absorbed their firefighters on the city payroll, but closed a station and gets about $1 million less than promised at the start of the contract.

–Transit station is set for downtown with no assurance the property owner will sell. Is this the place for a parking garage and bus station? How about building the facility at Eagle Road and the freeway to keep cars out of downtown?

–Hawks Stadium. Do these ball players need a “state of the art clubhouse” and new stadium at taxpayer expense?

–Should the city be in the business of “attracting business” when in the past the biggest issue was growth?

–Trolley will cost millions and be used by few. Why no major investment or push for a decent bus system?

–City has spent many thousands on PR programs aimed at influencing public opinion. F-35, numerous surveys, trolley study, the constitutional amendments, ball park. Are these all needed?

–Should the city continue to use a 500 person telephone marketing survey to set buget priorities when the results are always in favor of police, fire, transit, and parks?

–Depot is closed to the public and has been for at least 8 years. Would you open it to the public daily in the summer and on weekends during off season?

–State historical society has done some improvements to Table Rock Vista Point. Would you favor partnering with the state to increase the access to this spectacular view of the city and valley?

–CCDC owns much of downtown Boise and acts as an “Independent Body Corporate and Politic” apart from city government. Property taxes on improvements and appreciation within their districts goes to this private agency and is diverted from the city revenue stream for police, fire, schools, etc. Would you continue and expand this unregulated authority?

–Boise PD has 310 sworn coppers with a total staff of 388. They have 317 vehicles and a $48,000,000 budget.

–Police offricers drive about 150 cars home every day…most of them are unmarked. There are coppers with the rank of patrolman making as much as $139,000 thanks to overtime and many coppers earn in excess of $100,000. One who just involuntarily left the force was making $120,000.

–Boise Fire has 251 firefighters in 19 stations with a total staff of 289 and a budget of $45,000,000

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. You show all these annual budgets and numbers of employees. So, why does it matter how much some police officers allegedly make, but yet, don’t say squat about what some firefighters may make. If you are going to be a cop basher, at least spread the wealth and bash them a bit too!! Or, even look at a few other offices in the city, ie the Ombudsmans office, see the amount of work they have done for what they have a budget for.

    EDITOR NOTE–No bashing, just sharing what readers have gleaned from public records. If you know some firefighters and drivers making $139,000 please share.
    The overtime could well be justified as we noted.

  2. You forgot the Boise Hole!! (A declared Council candidate has the “hole” as his #1 priority – he’s ready to seize it through eminent domain, if necessary.)

    Props to you, Mr. Guardian, for your efforts to make the upcoming election interesting. I’d guess that local politicians have more sway on our everyday quality of life, than the far-off (comparatively speaking) “public servants” at the Statehouse or D.C.

    (I didn’t perceive your points about cops and firefighters to be “bashing” in any way. Those are two HUGE components of the city budget, and people should be thinking about it, and questioning how their dollars are being spent.)

    I’d like every candidate to be very clear on fiscal issues – services the city is currently providing and shouldn’t be, and services the city is NOT providing, and should be.

    Thank you!

  3. I think the best thing to to with the hole is to push it full of dirt and make a parking lot for the UPS truck which is now preventing everyone else from parking on 8th street. If there was anything viable which could be done with it, it would have been done by now.

    PS: Did ya know that UPS/FedEx gets lots of parking tickets all over the country. It’s just part of the business cost. I love them anyway and would like them to replace the post office.

    EDITOR NOTE–Fed-X carries most of the U.S. first class mail between destinations.

  4. Georgia Marshall
    Sep 1, 2011, 6:27 pm

    2011 is the seventh year since the Depot has been closed, not “for at least 8 years.”
    EDITOR NOTE–We stand corrected from the one who previously kept it open!

  5. 7 years, 8 years, 2 years! It’s still a shame that the city fails to open the damn place!!!

  6. Rod in SE Boise
    Sep 2, 2011, 7:20 pm

    We have a Cadillac (gold standard, world class, or whatever you want to call it) PD. Do we really need that? Side issue: They waste a lot of time and effort enforcing stupid laws – consider that.

    Is our FD a Cadillac FD? I don’t know, but maybe it should be.

    We have a really good city park system. Thats nice.

    Bottom line, if you want stuff, you have to pay for it.

  7. Rod, big government peoples like you is how we got the overpriced out of control local government to begin with… do you pay sticker prices for cars? Leave a 35% tip? Then why not control spending just a little?

    I agree with you on “stupid laws” This happens mostly because people don’t settle minor issues on their own. I wonder how many times a week some norender calls to report the neighbor’s trash can is still visible from the sidewalk etc. Or poop in the park. Just for fun walk around the parks with a dog leash, but leave the dog at home. My oh my all the norenders with their cell phones at the ready?

  8. Eye on Numbers
    Sep 5, 2011, 8:44 pm

    We have what I call disregard for where tax dollars come from and an unquenchable thirst on the part of elected officials to spend money when it is not cost justified. Taxpayers are guilty of letting these people get away with all this unnecessary spending of our money.

    New toys and trinkets of little or no value to taxpayers continue to get funded even when we are broke. How many times have you heard “its a great time to build a new_____________, with the depressed economy we can get this _____________ done on the cheap for only XXXXX million dollars we don’t have. How these grifters continue to get away with it amazes me.

  9. We need to pay overtime to the cops. The kids keep smoking pot!Look at the money the cops make. It actually is an investment in job growth. Cops are job creators. They bust the kids, and support the court system and keep lawyers in business. This is a perfect example of why we need to support our job creators in America. No job creators should have to pay taxes because they create so many jobs.

    I think cops should be able to make as much money as they want so we can be safe from pot smokers.
    Next time you talk to a cop, thank him for keeping us safe and creating jobs.

  10. “EDITOR NOTE–Fed-X carries most of the U.S. first class mail between destinations.”
    Ah yes–no wonder the USPS is going broke.

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