While there were no surprises with the incumbents keeping their Boise City Council seats, we were surprised to see Bill Jarocki come in third in the race against TJ Thomson who was also challenged by Jill G. Humble.
The big news was the defeat of both bond debt proposals which would have cost taxpayers more than $50 million. Proposal #1 was for “fire safety” and #2 would have gone to parks and open space.
Supporters–many included corporations and the medical industry doing business with the city–spent more than $200,000 to garner votes, but their investment came up short. The fire question got 64% and the parks got 61%, but they needed 66 and 2/3 to pass.
If the perceived needs are real, it will be time for the city council to reach out to voters seeking advice rather than campaigning to MARKET debt. Here are some ideas from the GUARDIAN:
–Since the mayor declared extra annual expenses “are in the budget” to provide extra firefighters and equipment, those funds should be shifted to rehabbing existing facilities to extend their service.
–A citizen “public safety” board could serve much like boards for parks, airport, planning and zoning, etc. We currently have no voice in operation of police and fire departments which eat up nearly half the entire city budget.
–Rather than remodeling 20 stations to accommodate female firefighters, look at assigning the females to newer stations which considered gender issues when constructed. Same is true for “ADA requirements.” Common sense dictates city facilities should be handicap accessible, but only in “public areas.”
–Training facilities should be combined with Meridian, Eagle and other county departments. They have agreed on various medical protocol and mutual responses. Training facilities should also be combined.
–Taxpayers turned down a $38 million bond for libraries. We weren’t opposed to libraries, only the $38 million. Since that failed election the city has built three new library facilities and declared as surplus valuable real estate adjoining the downtown main library in favor of commercial business.
–We have said and will repeat: Boise is currently debt free. If the city officials needed more cash than tax revenues brought in, they were living beyond their means. Like credit cards, if you can’t afford to pay cash, you are buying too much and interest only increases the cost.
–A two year serial levy for parks would cost much less than a 20 year debt and it would require only a simple majority. However, the split between Northenders and The Bench will only widen if citizens aren’t treated equally.
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