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.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.