A Chamber of Commerce-sponsored junket to Sun Valley April 21-23 for Boise Valley politicos has the potential of creating a challenge to Idaho’s Open Meeting law and opening the private conference to all comers.
The GUARDIAN has learned a quorum of Boise’s City Councilors–four members–have filed with the clerk to receive $885 in tax money to make the trip. Under the open meeting rules, if members meet to decide issues or gather information which could later be voted upon, the meeting is a PUBLIC meeting.
It would seem logical these “leadership” presentations orchestrated by the Chamber would have information which could later be voted upon by councilors. Otherwise, why the heck are they attending en masse at public expense? Mayor Dave Bieter is even one of the featured speakers and he has a proven record of presenting ideas to the council.
Eight Boise officials will attend. In Addition to Councilors Maryanne Jordan, ELaine Clegg, Ben Quintana, and Lauren McClean, the mayor, two of his staffers, and a planning staffer have filed for the $885 to travel.
We see the gathering as a chance to isolate politicos from the distractions of citizens they serve and give bankers, lobbyists, contractors, and other moneyed folks a chance for face time with those they make a living from. About 200 are expected to attend, many from local governments including Meridian, Nampa, Ada County, Boise Auditorium District, etc., spending tens of thousands in public funds in Sun Valley to learn how to bring prosperity to the Boise Valley.
Admission for “civilians” is $400, rooms go for $99 a night and mileage to get there from Boise has been calculated at $174. Politicos get a $100 discount for admission and in the case of Boise they calculated an $85 per diem, despite meals being included in the cost of admission.
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Apr 11, 2013, 8:46 am
The bottom line is these politicians have crossed the inevitable line that results from being in office for too long. It is a common human condition that all of us can succumb to in different areas. We just lose sight of the honor and responsibilities that come from serving the public.
Apr 11, 2013, 8:54 am
How much per diem do they get for golf and other perks at tax payer expence and howmuch time do they actualy spend in the meetings? Seems like one or two persons could go and bring back info to the city workers.
Happy I don’t live in Boise.
Apr 11, 2013, 11:54 am
@ Editor: When will you learn whether or not these junket meetings will admit the unpaid public? If they don’t do it, there will be no accountability on how
many of them attended while hashing out the agenda, and how many of them dorked off to play golf.
Apr 11, 2013, 3:46 pm
I’m no golfer – my only exposure is at the courses with the little windmills and gaping clown mouths, and watching “Caddyshack” every couple years. But – I believe April is mighty early for golfing in the high country. Is there golf in Sun Valley in mid-April? (To their credit, the rates for lodging are probably their cheapest this time of year.)
Perhaps everything about this thing is on the up-and-up, but when you’re a politician, PERCEPTION is probably more important than reality. They’re probably hoping most of their constituents are too busy watching “Dancing with the Stars” to pay attention… but they should realize that those who ARE paying attention have questions and doubts that should be addressed.
Apr 11, 2013, 7:27 pm
They apparently have their own little club happening up there.
In March (8th & 9th)2013 it was World Class Defenders & World Class Skiing @ Sun Valley Inn.
Apr 11, 2013, 8:07 pm
You are correct, but lets not forget it’s not only the elected who missuse their power.
Apr 12, 2013, 8:20 am
Meetings should be here and open to public to LISTEN to the discussion if there is a quorum of any elected body in attendance. The Chamber should make the list of attendees available to the press or anyone else hat wants it maybe post it on the Chamber website. Waste of our taxes even if the room rates are cheap.
Jun 5, 2013, 7:14 am
Hi Editor! Any follow up on the meeting ?