For the second time in seven months a Fourth District Judge has denied the Greater Boise Auditorium District permission to go around the voters to finance expansion. The action was brought by GUARDIAN editor David R. Frazier.
Article VIII, Sec. 3 of the Idaho Constitution requires local governments to seek permission of voters to go into debt. The court ruling says the Petition for Judicial Confirmation violates the Constitution.
Judge Lynn Norton told GBAD, in an order “Denying Petition For Judicial Confirmation” issued Monday, they can either pay for new facilities up front, or submit the long term liabilities to the qualified voters of the District. “But the Court will not confirm the lease agreement as currently presented to the Court.”
At issue was a convoluted financial arrangement which proposed GBAD would purchase a condominium unit in a new Gardner Development on The Grove in downtown Boise. The space would have housed a ballroom and kitchen. Calling the proposed $21.2 million long debt a “lease,” GBAD would have used the Capital City Development Corp. (CCDC) as some sort of “pass through” of funds from Wells Fargo Bank—all without seeking permission of voters as mandated by the Idaho Constitution.
Frazier testified repeatedly before the board, but his pleas for voter approval were ignored twice, despite the recent decision which also denied the attempt. In the previous case, Judge Melissa Moody said, “Pay cash; otherwise, go to the people.”
“While I am gratified that my legal staff headed by John Runft has prevailed once again, I am concerned that members of the Auditorium District Board continue to spend large sums of public money in efforts to deny citizens a vote on the auditorium expansion plans,” said Frazier.
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