NO Means NO, Not Maybe, Or Later

CWI_Logo_FacebookThe election of Donald Trump pointed out the fact politicos at all levels of government simply are ignoring the will of the people, hence the surprise victory.

Some of these elected officials feel they are acting for the “greater good,” and voter/citizens just don’t know what they need. No doubt a many Dems feel that way when it comes to the election of Trump.

A couple of recent examples in the Boise area come to mind. The College of Western Idaho promoted passage of a bond using the same sort of deception car dealers have employed for years: “DRIVE A NEW BUGGY FOR ONLY $199 A MONTH!”

In the case of CWI, they claimed the (failed) $180 million bond (read that mortgage) would cost only, “$1.86 a month per $100,000 taxable value.” They forgot to mention the median cost of a home is nearly DOUBLE the $100,000 value ($180,000) and the tax would mean the median home would be paying an amount north of $1,000 TOTAL! They also never mentioned that it would cost owners of commercial property worth $1 million a cool $5,500 over the course of the loan. Those commercial owners don’t get a vote, that’s why we have the safeguard of a 2/3 majority requirement.

After the voters failed to approve the bond, they made the front page of the local paper discussing their “alternatives.” ALTERNATIVES? The people decisively said NO. Had it passed, the voters wouldn’t be allowed to come back in a few months and rescind their decision.

The bond required a 2/3 majority and barely cleared a simple majority. That’s the law, those are the rules, but the trustees won’t take NO for an answer. They are plotting to come up with another run at voters, and alternative financing methods. We feel only a new board should be able to bring a proposal to voters.

One of those alternatives came to light with the recent Idaho Supreme Court ruling which allowed the Greater Boise Auditorium District to skirt the voters. GBAD spent about $750,000 just in legal fees to come up with a scheme to call the long term debt an annual lease renewed for 20 years. The only reason GBAD went around the voters was to avoid being told NO.

In the past, Idaho voters have passed term limits only to have the legislature repeal the law before it ever came into effect.

We strongly favor public education–even free education–but when institutions employ marketing and public relations staffs to create demand for their product, we question the need for more institutions of higher learning.

Disclaimer: Editor David R. Frazier challenged the GBAD financial scheme and lost.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I don’t think it was a coincidence that I got a large slick color card (apporox 6 by 9) from CWI on the day before the election. The card wasn’t geared toward students.. but straight at voters. I don’t appreciate it when an entity funded by my tax dollars spends those dollars on advertising to get me to vote for more. Further, there is a tv ad with business people talking about how important CWI is to the community. Again.. not aimed at prospective students.

  2. Brian Vermilion
    Nov 15, 2016, 6:29 am

    Bulls eye, amen, ditto, hell yeah. The issues you point out seethes up inside me every election. CWI even has to break down the amount into monthly amounts instead of annually so as to make the amount sound even more trivial. Why not do the math and advertise the daily amount of “only 6 cents per day”? Canyon counties jail vote failures was the first entity to refuse to hear the voice of the voters and now they are eating themselves internally. Good article Dave.

  3. Bieter Begone
    Nov 15, 2016, 8:08 am

    My issue with the CWI bond was it seemed gold plated And excessive. Plus, that land next to the river should not be used for a tax exempt building. It would have high value as taxable.

    The whole endeavor seemed incredibly hubristic. It’s quite shocking that so many people voted for it. Sometimes I think people don’t actually think.

  4. Do you feel the same way about charter schools, which also employ marketing and public relations departments?

  5. Yossarian_22
    Nov 15, 2016, 8:45 am

    Glad I voted no to this one.

    I really hate tax policy in this country. Any tax regime that needs big thick books to dictate a taxing mechanism is ripe for corruption and it always falls on those who can’t afford the tax lawyers to deflect them. And, we are taxing the wrong pool of money. I hate property taxes. Their existence ultimately means you will NEVER really own your home or land or business.

    I’m all for public services. I want a top rate educational opportunity for all. Finland provides the best comprehensive education for much cheaper than we do. And they don’t indoctrinate with a one-size-fits-all model. They experiment with great success.

    In the USA, I feel like most of our taxes are being thrown away to police the world and spy on citizens and keep fat cats happy. I’m hoping that will change soon.

  6. “government simply are ignoring the will of the people”

    The will of the people?
    What exactly is that Guardian?

    Florida and 1 other swing state could have changed the results.
    Trump 4,605,515
    Clinton 4,485,745
    A difference of 120,000 people out 9.3million Florida voters.??????
    Michigan and NH are so close, a recount is expected.

    As of yesterday, Clinton was leading the popular vote according the AP.

    So what is the will of the people?

    The fact is, “the will of the people” is split pretty evenly.
    Let’s see if we can all understand that, and accept it with respect and love for everyone.

  7. I’m all for increased educational opportunities and quality schools. However, trying to hit 2 counties for $180M bond is just stupid. I think CWI officials should take some remedial courses in financing, economics. Afterall both Ada and Canyon counties schools are struggling to pass bonds for k-12 almost annually. CWI is a college and funding should be at the state level. 2nd they should also try to find deals on property rather purchasing the most expensive, attractive dirt in the valley. I wrote in “reality check” for each of the CWI candidates on last week’s ballot. The CWI Board needs smelling salts and wake up to reality.

  8. That's not the whole problem
    Nov 15, 2016, 11:30 am

    With much well earned respect to the editor:

    I would like to think the people elected Trump out of some intelligent thought process. However the possibility exists Trump was simply the most fun to support. Or the best of two bad choices. Hillary was an incredibly weak dirty candidate. If one has a wobbly old flat tire almost any replacement will do. Trump had better perform or the muslim congressman from Minneapolis will be POTUS #46.

    The dishonest government self interest problem you so accurately highlight, editor, is allowed oxygen because the most important institution in America is an almost total failure. The institution is the Mass Media. The failed function is to be watchdog for the people.

    The core of the problem is the overwhelming majority of those in the Mass Media being socialists, communist, pro globalist, pro big government. They now see their core mission as one of disinformation and manipulation of the voter. The media takes great pride in creatively telling outright lies. No wonder government has become their most important advertiser. And many a pretend reporter goes on to be a highly paid spokesperson for the government they were suppose to report on, but didn’t. Fix this institution and it will fix America.

    Trump is the last reprieve from the red tide. Thank goodness he will result in a balanced Supreme Court for the remainder of my life.

    Vote Counts: I do think there was some vote fraud. Dems want to make it easy and Reps want ID laws. Full electronic voting will make fraud very easy with no paper trail for recount.

  9. I agree with you, Dave Kangas. This should be funded on the state level, and I don’t understand why it can’t be paid for out of the Permanent Building Fund like all the other college buildings are. Legislators are always talking about the value of professional/technical education, and CWI is at capacity. How are they supposed to provide more education using only expensive leased spaces?

    ISTR this “incredibly desirable” property sat vacant for years.

  10. chicago sam
    Nov 15, 2016, 2:53 pm

    In March the CWI board authorized the spending of $370,000 for recruitment, advertising and general self promotion. of which according to the Idaho Freedom Foundation $326,000 has already been spent. Included in the expenditure was a mailer just before the election which cost $31,000.
    You have to be a special brand of deplorable to think these expenditures were not all tied in with promotion of the bond issue–which nay be border line illegal. So what will they try now since they have spent $9 million for the postage stamp in Boise and already blown their advertising budget?
    Whineing at the Legislature may be even more difficult since they have mis-appropriated so much money already.

  11. Rod in SE Boise
    Nov 15, 2016, 4:23 pm

    There is a lot of resistance in this country to spending for education, and as we have seen, even more resistance to education itself.

  12. I voted for Clinton and the bond. The results are the results and that is it. I believe that Trump will be a disaster and the Democrats need to move solidly to the left and embrace Bernie and Elizabeth Warren’s positions. Then the choices will be clear.

    Anyway, the election is over, it is all in the past. I’ll hug your elephant if you kiss my…

    As for the bond, let the school resize the package and run it again. For better or worse, Jr colleges are set up as districts and funded as such. Jerome and TF support CSI and other counties pay partial tuition for their residents attending the school. It is a great system and should be embraced. The payback to the communities are tremendous.

    BTW, tax dollars were not used to send out the flashy mailers. That issue was settled years ago.

  13. So the folks that live in Payette, Gem, Elmore, Washington and Boise counties and attend CWI get a free ride.

  14. So what non tax money was used to send the mailers?….prove it!

  15. Common Sense
    Nov 15, 2016, 10:33 pm

    We have a great editor here raising a subject that should have everybody seething. Can I go out and buy a piece of $85 million dollar land (or whatever it was) with no intention of paying for it myself. Get it on a ballot to tax the people to pay for it? That is what happened here, right?
    I compiled all the traffic studies performed in that area and we are already exceeding expected traffic counts. The connector, Chinden, I184 and I-84 are already parking lots during rush hour…so,let’s put a new college right in the middle of the mix. I presented the traffic studies at the public meetings which was ignored.
    Then, where do you think Quinn’s pond came from? Remember when they built the connector and dug the big hole to use the dirt, what happened? Duh! It filled up with water! What is going to happen when the pile driver starts driving steel for these gargantuan buildings? How many more kamillions are they going to spend pumping water?
    Also, that piece of property should not have a college on it, period! I like the open space, personally, or add more traffic lanes to get people out of town. We need more lanes of traffic, not a college and add to the 100,000 cars passing through already.
    Where will the money they want end? Sell the property. They ar so arrogant that this college was going to happen they already have the construction fencing all around the property. This is a blatant travistry.

  16. It will be reported on campaign finance disclosures. Look them up.

  17. On a somewhat related note: reports that CCDC spent $70000 on a new “brand” for parking garages. “Branding” is on the list of terms I could do without ever hearing again.

  18. Aggrieved Party
    Nov 17, 2016, 11:59 am

    It is said that Democrats are “tax and spenders” while the Republicans are “borrow and spenders”.
    Either way we wound up with mountains of debt…no big surprise.
    Regardless of who controlled Congress, Congress has been have been kicking the “national debt can” down the road since at least the year 2000.

    One only has to look as far as Nampa to see the same mountains of debt caused by past experiments into pet projects like the Idaho Center, Public Library and a “Public Safety” building. (There is an oxymoron for you!)

    The same basic mindset seems to also populate both the Trustees of CWI.
    I question whether expansion of colleges like CWI are justified at any level regardless of who pays for their brick and mortar dreams.

    Is a two year “college” education sufficient to raise the overall capacity for graduates to actually secure and hold a job with a living wage?

    It is always sad to see a student dedicate years of their lives to a purpose and then find they are left with only student loan debt and no marketable skill.

    It appears to me that the CWI Trustees are working in an echo chamber where “Damn the torpedoes..FULL speed ahead” is the only mantra being heard.

    For years I have watched the self assigned elitest charlatans of our Valley repeatedly marginalize the loyal voices of dissent from taxpayers.

    The reasoning is always the same. “We” know what is best for you and you do not.
    They simply see no reason to listen to anyone who isn’t wholly supportive of their plans.
    Pragmatically speaking, behind closed doors protected by “executive session” rules, just about every idea (both good and bad) is hatched.

    This fact badly tilts the playing field in favor of any “idea” proponents giving ample lead time to buff out their plans in secret.

    Those in opposition are all too often left with very short timeframes to accomplish the task of mounting effective countermeasures.
    As we have seen, timing is everything when it comes to nudging the needle of public support one way or the other.

    The timely production of glossy fliers mass mailed to likely voters is nothing new…only this time I question the wisdom of using CWI funds to pay for such self-serving one sided propaganda.
    IMO, non-profit boards tend to attract power hungry people who think the world needs their opinions (and they find a readymade venue to do just that).

    The lack of personal accountability only further encourages them polish their hubris.
    Between TIF financing and the latest iteration of the “end run around the voters”, borrowing and debt will continue to be our future.

    For many of us who have worked to close these pork barrel spending venues, the only reeal answers are at the legislative level. Unfortunately, the matrix of next year’s legislature will once again be focused on just about everything else but TIF reform. I am not even sure there is a path to address the “long term loan which isn’t a loan” scam via the legislative process.
    Comments Dave?

  19. Common sense
    Nov 19, 2016, 10:20 pm

    Rec’d my tax bill in the mail. CWI is already in our pockets from the last BOND ISSUE at a District Levy Rate of
    .000159508. Call 208-562-3299 tax amount = $26.47.

  20. Bieter Begone
    Nov 22, 2016, 12:56 pm

    To Common Sense. I’ve always thought the tax bills and assessments should go out BEFORE the primary and general. But I know why they don’t.

  21. Surprise victory… the only surprise was the media didn’t make people vote for billery…

  22. This is what I did not like about new CWI bond. The previous one has not been paid off yet, it is on my tax bill.
    And they were asking for more. When would that end?

  23. To Inna:

    The CWI line on your property tax bill (Canyon or Ada counties) isn’t a bond. It’s their regular annual property tax billing, just like school districts, city and county governments, fire and EMS districts, etc.

    The cost of being a citizen. Educated or otherwise.

  24. That's not the whole problem
    Nov 29, 2016, 11:16 am

    CWI is all the stuff that BSU and ISU and U-I didn’t want on their campus.

    CWI is also a direct result of the failure of K-12, and failure of parenting, to produce a student who can be successful at BSU… or in life. BSU is really really easy people! So we are in deep if we need this crop of idiots to pay our bills when we get old. Funding their unemployment while they go to a college for a ditch digger profession is just stupid on our part. Stupid. They leave this school with $$ debt and the ability to earn how much?

  25. That’s not the whole problem is partially correct: BSU and UI want to be ‘research’ institutions, which doesn’t help the regular student LEARN. It only helps the schools get more federal research grants.

    And K-12 in Idaho continues to send out people who can’t read, write, or cipher. Amazing.

  26. Aggrieved Party
    Dec 3, 2016, 8:56 am

    New information regarding CWI expenditures in support of new bonding:.

    “CWI $370,000 ad blitz: Beach balls, baked goods and high-priced consultants”

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