City Government

Bieter Splits Bond, Follows Guardian Advice

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter has taken the free advice from the GUARDIAN and split a bond debt proposal into two portions, allowing citizens to have a say over both park and fire department expenditures.

A downtown police station was removed from the debt package because the specifics were not ready to be considered. Bieter shaved a few dollars off the proposal which now stands to cost taxpayers $240 per $180,000 of assessed valuation (median value of residence) over a 20 year period. Total cost is projected to be $32.43 million.

The GUARDIAN has to offer a shout out for putting the measures on the November 5 ballot. The council will get a proposed ballot language next week. After a history of avoiding citizen approval for debt, it is a welcome move to allow us all a chance to vote.

However, the bond debt is akin to having your kids spend their lunch money on toys, knowing you won’t let them go hungry.

While ignoring routine maintenance and replacement of fire stations, Boise’s councilors have annexed rural areas–creating urban sprawl–which demands new fire stations. These stations were funded from the general revenue budgets, leaving the existing facilities in need of repair and replacement.

We also feel a joint training facility funded by all the departments in the county would be more appropriate than squeezing cash out of just Boise taxpayers.

In the case of parks, budgeted revenues have gone toward getting parks north of the river on line. At least one was created through donations of well to do developers. Nice to get the gift, but it shouldn’t have been at the expense of SW residents.

We would like to see open space funds dedicated for areas south of the river. Ditch banks agricultural enclaves, wetlands, etc. would be great investments to provide riparian habitat for the hordes of deer, fox, and other wildlife otherwise displaced by development. The Foothills serial levy worked well, now its time to take care of all those Southwest Boise acres annexed over the past 15-20 years.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. In my highly prejudiced opinion, the firefighters can just make do. I know many very upwardly mobile professionals who have nothing near the cushy benefit package and work schedule that these folks enjoy. And the country club fire station built at Harris Ranch is a slap in the face of every hard working business owner who is slashing budgets, loosing income, cutting employees wages and benefits and paying ever increasing taxes in this miserable economy. Oh, and there’s the re-landscaping of our perfectly adequate neighborhood fire station. No doubt spending thousands …..which accomplished absolutely nothing. Just bureaucrats throwing other peoples money away -just because they can. I’m fed up with it. Glad we can vote this time. Until the cold day in hell arrives that convinces me our “leaders” are prudently and judiciously looking after our tax dollars – I’ll be voting an emphatic hell no on all counts.

  2. Let us not forget those intrepid firefighters using a honking big fire truck for their food runs. For you see, unlike every other person in America who has to bring their food to work, firefighters get to do their shopping on company time in a company vehicle using company fuel.

    You are right Casmir. Let them make do. If need be, we can spring for a few new recliners and call it good.

  3. Casmir and Nan-then become a firefighter! My gut tells me you could NOT handle a sliver of endurance both physically and emotionally that a firefighter does…EVERY SINGLE DAY! The physical condition they need to be in and the emotional burden they carry is wayyyy beyond what you two would ever encounter in both your lives.
    Next time you are in an emergency…who are you going to call? My 2 cents: firefighters, policemen, teachers and military should be paid “lots” of money.
    BTW-when you see them shopping for meals…its out of their pocket and they are not “clocked out” but on call. A happy fireman is a dependable fireman.

  4. For once I have agree with the guardian. Boise has done a tremendous job of taking care of Boise North of the River. While the ridge to river trail system is a real gem for Boise, I doubt very many in SW Boise make the cross town journey to enjoy them. It is time to purchase more open space but in the southern hinderlands.IMHO….

  5. The teachers should get more pay that’s true as they have the education for the same. The other occupations don’t require anything beyond a HS diploma.

    Asking the firefighters to just make do with a station that is 62-years old (Station 5) and was last remodeled in the 1980’s is pushing it. You wouldn’t let your home go that long without some serious work (okay, yes you would) fire stations are the homes of the firefighters for 24-hours each shift.

  6. How does annexing already developed land create urban sprawl? Besides, many if not most new annexations are the result of a new development that would be going in whether the city annexed the property or not.

    A big thumbs up to Ivan. I doubt very much those upwardly mobile “professionals” would be willing to run into a burning building to pull your loved ones out. Not just anyone will.

    EDITOR NOTE–Wrong on this one Joe. No subdivisions allowed less than 5 acres unless they had sewer. Boise provides the sewer in the “area of impact” and then annexes. Without the city sewer, no development. Developers ASK to get into the city so they can divide those farms into 1/4 acre plots.

  7. Dearest Ivan.

    I hope to heck the’re at least paying for their own food. Which, they could, like every other person in America, bring from home after having shopped on their day off (actually 4 days off in a row). But they use a tax funded fire truck, on tax funded time with tax funded fuel.

    You know Ivan, if the job is too much “emotionally” for you or your fellow fire people, you could always get different jobs. It’s not like there aren’t 100’s of applicants for every opening. Maybe humility also ought to be part of the final hiring process.

  8. Bieter should put you on the payroll, Dave.

  9. Branden Durst
    Sep 6, 2013, 6:40 pm

    At this point I’ll be supporting the public safety bond measure, but not the park bond measure.

    Providing safety is a primary role of government and I think this is an extension of that fact. We can debate whether or not this should have been prioritized differently in the budget to avoid the need for a levy. That is fair game, but its not the current situation.

    As to the park bond measure, I think that given some recent decisions by the park commission, I can not support the measure. They have ignored citizens and done as they please. One situation had a direct impact in my district. Until the issue is corrected, I’ll be opposing the park bond and hope others do the same.

  10. This is a vote about facilities, not firefighter pay or their duty requirements-stay on topic!

    I think splitting the bond issues is smart. First they should as they are different issues. Secondly, the city probably realized that one of these has a chance of failing, so no need to chance the others.

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