City Government

Bond Opposition Muzzled By Team Dave And Friends

The standard media statement about the upcoming bond election is along the lines of, “There is no organized opposition.”

Pretty hard to have organized opposition when the health care industry, contractor/developers, unions, and others who do business with the city pony up $137,000.

Consider the following:
–Boise’s City Council passed an ordinance and rushed to put the bond proposal on the ballot, refusing to follow the law and waived three readings which would have allowed citizen–and media–examination of the proposal before it was in place.

–When the GUARDIAN noticed Mayor Dave Bieter used the city website to ADVOCATE on behalf of the bond, we asked for his mailing list. We were refused access to the entire city workforce who get the “eMemo” as well as unknown subscribers.

–Then we asked the city to post the letter we published on the GUARDIAN disclosing the $18,000,000 interest payments and 20 year debt totaling $51,000,000. Team Dave refused again.

–The City Club of Boise suddenly scheduled an October 28 “Forum” to discuss the bond. The three panelists, include Bieter, the Yes-Yes chairman, and the The Nature Conservancy proponent of the open space. City Club refused to put the GUARDIAN on the panel, opting for the one-sided presentation.

–Boise State Public Radio airs the 1 hour City Club forum each week and refused a request for “equal time.” We may get a few minutes in a newscast, but that pales in contrast to a full hour with presentations by 3 proponents.

For the record, we want voters to consider they will be approving $51,000,000 in debt over 20 years. We currently have no debt and that’s a good thing in light of Detroit, and the near collapse of the United States economy over debt.

A fire training academy is a noble cause, but it should be used andfunded by all the departments in the Ada County.

Finally, the simplistic claim the fire department bond and parks bond combined will cost only $1 a month is deceptive at best. New stations and more parks will create demand for millions in cash to staff, maintain, and repair over a 20 year period.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. What Happened to Public Input?

    The old bait and switch has happened on capital projects in Boise. It seems like the incumbent city council members are thumbing their noses at the public.
    Their original plan was to have public input on capital projects. At least, that’s what the Mayor said. In the FY2014-15 Budget Document the Mayor’s introductory letter talks about a public process for setting priorities. I agree with that. Certainly building parks and the fire training facility are capital projects.
    But, even before the budget was implemented on October 1, there was a rush to the bonds, and as far as I know, no discussion of alternative financing. The budget PLANNED for public input on capital projects and then somehow the idea of public priority setting (that good thought) vanished.
    Here’s what the Mayor wrote:
    “Capital Fund Recommendations
    The City Council and department staff have identified a wide range of proposed or planned capital projects that ensure continued high levels of service to our citizens but which are unlikely to be funded with current or projected revenues. The Mayor’s Office is preparing to launch a public process that will review priority projects and help determine possible alternative approaches to funding and/or implementing these projects.”
    There are ways to fund capital projects without taking on debt. I have a public finance perspective — a mantra — that we should provide the best service at the least cost. Governments don’t earn, they spend. So, is bonded indebtedness the least cost? Can capital projects include revenue generation? I have an idea for funding park expansion without debt and I agree with the Boise Guardian’s view on the fire training center (to build a cooperative-use facility with other communities). I would go a step further and offer that the facility be privately built so that it provides property tax benefit and operates on a fee for service basis. And let’s make it available for departments beyond the Treasure Valley.
    Our elected officials need to seek the next best idea. In this case we have to say “no” in order to inspire them to try. They should try.

  2. Nan e mouse
    Oct 18, 2013, 8:13 am

    Keep up the good fight Dave. There’s a lot more opposition to this than one thinks. 66 2/3 is a high bar to meet and it’s more than likely they won’t.

  3. I think Team Dave members are hoping to gain favor with Team O’bamiss for future appointment to cushy posts.

  4. Interested Citizen
    Oct 18, 2013, 9:26 am

    This Boise City deal reminds me somewhat of the scurrilous attempts to pass a $70 million jail bond in Canyon County several years ago.

    Nearly every public official there, as well as all of the popo chiefs, as well as John Bujak as CCPA, as well as most of the city and county fathers, as well as all of the real estate developers, as well as the Idaho Press Trbune, as well as many public employees, as well as nearly all “law enforcement professionals”, were all desperate to pass the bond as “crucial for the public safety”, and so forth.

    It failed miserably, not once, not twice, but thrice.

    How has Canyon not been completely overrun by dangerous criminals in the over three years since the last flameout??

    Perhaps this may serve as a lesson to Boise residents.

    The thirst and hunger for more and more taxpayer monies is never satisfied

  5. Maybe you need to throw a party.
    or have a Facebook page.

    I still believe that this should be 3 separate issues. I was pleased that the city may be looking at other open space other than the foothills according to a recent Statesman article.

  6. Sure glad that I don’t live in the fiefdom of Boise, or anywhere near its greedy little impact zone.

    Those low level democrats are a real hoot, “ain’t” they?

    Y’all should go for a bit of diversity and elect some Tea Party folks or libertarians to at least try to keep them honest for a change.

  7. Just shut up and pay your taxes fool. Logic at hand: If enough free money is given to those who will never pay it back, or even contribute, we will prosper.

  8. The City Club lack of balance is a major issue.

    BSPR is funded by tax dollars. They owe you or someone like you a seat on the panel. Otherwise, the event needs to be taken off the radio dial. Period.

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