Guess What? Another Boise Survey!

Seems that City Hall in Boise is awash in cash the past few weeks. First it was stainless steel “cottonwood trees,” in the plaza redo, then hefty raises for the mayor and council, a request to spend $100,000 for a “consultant” to attract the F-35, a clean up of lead at the ill-conceived police shooting range, and now plans to spend $73,000 to see if we need another theater venue. They already have a consultant ready to go, according to the STATESMAN.

The GUARDIAN will answer the theater question for free. WE DO NOT NEED ANOTHER VENUE! The Morrison Center, Shakespeare Festival, Taco Bell Arena, Boise and Capital High auditoriums, Boise Little Theater fill the bill just fine when it comes to cultural venues.

If someone wants to build a theater with plenty of parking, pay fair wages and full rate property taxes we welcome them with open arms. If plans call for urban renewal funds, property taxes, or other subsidies, no deal!

Can’t imagine the high-paid out of town consultant coming back with a report mirroring the GUARDIAN any more than we can imagine consultants voicing opposition to a trolley, convention center, or curbing pay hikes.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. I wonder how to become a consultant for the City of Boise.
    It seems a profitable niche.

  2. Isn’t there already a theater downtown? BCT, on 9th and Fulton. As far as I know, it’s private and already fulfills the “Boise Guardian list of requirements” (as well as being generally excellent)!

    I’ll be accepting my $73,000 check anytime.

  3. The Director of Community Engagement earning her 6-figures plus PERSI. (sarc)

  4. Oh, man! You’re just getting started, building a list.

    There’s the BSU Special Events Center.
    The Egyptian Theater.
    Outlaw Field (old State Pen).
    Hawks Stadium. (Yeah, it’s in Shelbyville… er… Garden City… but hey.)
    There are other venues in other nearby communities – Meridian, Eagle, Nampa.

    If they are all occupied to capacity, then MAYBE a case could be made for another one.

    For those who pay attention to such things, Boise’s municipal spending habits certainly clarify why they need to take the maximum legal property tax increase, year after year. Us taxpayers are FLUSH with dough, and eager for the government to help us spend it!

  5. Or how about the new Fine Arts Building that BSU is readying for construction right on Capitol Boulevard? Shared facilities? Partnerships?

  6. Boise is becoming increasingly like free-spending King County, Washington. Voting doesn’t seem to be sufficiently efficacious action, so aside from writing letters of outrage or tying up city hall’s phone lines, any other ideas for registering our discontent? P. S. Esther Simplot Academy is also a nice little performance site.

  7. Brian Vermilion
    Apr 7, 2017, 8:13 pm

    The Boise folks keep electing this idiot so they have no complaint to make. Bieter undoubtedly sees himself as invincible with his numerous reelections so what does he have to worry about? I would imagine that he has made enough contacts that he will have numerous job opportunities if people ever come to their senses and elect someone else.

  8. Fran Ciarlo
    Apr 8, 2017, 8:00 am

    I beg to differ. We definitely need another decent theatre in Boise. Art groups who would use are constantly struggling to find a venue. What we DON’T need is the F35 debacle. BTW – art in public places is the only thing keeping Boise from turning into a city of really ugly big buildings and nothing else.

  9. Bieter Begone
    Apr 8, 2017, 9:35 am

    Oh Brian, you are so cute. The reason Bieter doesn’t move on to another gig is that he DOESNT have anywhere else to go. He can’t get elected to higher office and he was a failed lawyer. Contacts shmontacts. Even his democrat cronies know he’s only good to them so he can pass out tax goodies.

  10. Fran, please explain more.

    It seems like your message “struggling to find a venue” should be ‘stuggling to find a FREE or affordable venue’.

    And who are these “art groups”?

    A few examples would be nice? Then can you try to put a dollar value on those?

  11. Suzanne Troje
    Apr 8, 2017, 2:01 pm

    I noticed noone mentioned JUMP! or even El Korah!

  12. In the 15 years I’ve lived in Boise; I’ve noticed the downtown area go from a good place to shop to nothing more than a place to dine, drink and be entertained. It’s purely a “Bread and Circus” Venue. Beiter won’t be happy until it’s that and there is no auto traffic in the downtown. Head out to Meridian!

  13. western guy
    Apr 8, 2017, 4:02 pm

    how can the city already have a consultant lined up? Whatever happened to bidding? Or maybe this is a flood emergency? A flood of $$$

    EDITOR NOTE–There is apparently a loophole in current law that allows no-bid contracts for “professional services” under $100,000. For routine matters, the threshold is $25,000.

  14. This can be privately funded and built. If the market needed a theater, there would be one built. with all the theaters and event venues in town, there is not a need for another publicly funded or publicly subsidized venue. BCT, shakespeare festival, Esther Simplot Performing Arts Center, Morrison Center, Idaho Center, Taco bell Arena, Knitting Factory, New BSU fine Arts, BSU Spec Center, Boise Arts Collective, Idaho Center, BSU Amphitheater, Ann Morrison Band Shell, Knitting Factory, Revolution Center, Outlaw Field, Expo Idaho, BSU Student Union, and hundreds of tax exempt churches and schools with under-utilized auditoriums, etc

    Boise does not hire consultants to perform a true study, they hire consultants to manufacture the assumptions and report needed to support the City’s pre-determined outcome. Can you say Trolley?

    If the City wants another Theater, and thinks there is a market for it, put an RFP on the street for a entrepreneur to purchase city surplus land and build a theater. Win/Win, we get a theater and current tax-exempt land becomes a contributor to the tax base. If no one responds to the RFP, then it is proof there is not a need for another theater. No need for a consultant, just try an RFP.

    EDITOR NOTE–JJ are you going to claim the $75K for your report there is no need for another venue?

  15. local musician
    Apr 8, 2017, 5:40 pm

    I have played with the Boise Phil for several years, and I do wish we had a hall with better acoustics, as opposed to the Morrison Center, which was designed for traveling Broadway shows, but has quite a dull, dry sound for a symphony. Ideally, the Philharmonic would have its own place, like Abravanel Hall for the Utah Symphony, so we could rehearse in the same location we perform in.

    I also believe that Opera Idaho could use a better venue. They use both the Morrison Center and the Egyptian theater. The Egyptian has its charm, but its acoustics aren’t ideal, and many of the seats have visual obstructions impeding the view of the stage. I don’t think they have a lot of room backstage, either.

    Pocatello has a wonderful auditorium on the ISU campus. I like it a lot more than the MC. I wonder how they paid for that?

    All that being said, I am so sick of Mayor Bieter’s “bigger beats better” tax and spend policies. I can’t imagine that the theater he, or anyone on the city council, has in mind would actually have a proper auditorium. Can anyone tell exctly what they have in mind for this theater venue they’re looking into?

  16. John Hormaechea
    Apr 8, 2017, 7:20 pm

    It appears that the consulting group, AMS, created a similar report in 2012 for the Greater Auditorium District.

    It appears to cover many of the research points that would be needed. And nothing major has changed in the five years since that study. Will they pocket 73K and simply refresh this report over a weekend?

    As others have stated, we have a number of different facilities that can be reserved today, including with capacity in ( ): Boise Contemporary Theater (231), Boise Little Theater (366), BSU Special Events Center (435), St. Michael’s/St. John’s/Cathedral of the Rockies (500, all used for musical events today), Rose Room (600), Egyptian Theater (738), and Knitting Factory (1,000).

    Some great resources exist with a number of our schools with VERY NICE, NEW auditoriums, all which can be reserved: Timberline (865), Borah (940), South (952).

    Boise has a number of venues within Boise and beyond. If a private donor or developer wants to pursue this effort, fantastic. Otherwise, let’s use that money for more sensible efforts.

  17. chicago sam
    Apr 8, 2017, 7:23 pm

    $75,000, is a mere pittance compared to the no bid $600,000 plus expenses which Nampa City Council authorized Monday nite with Eide Bailey for consulting fees on how to improve, and impliment software which will be recommended as part of this lucrative contract. City Finance Director says no bid is needed–It is a personal services contract!!!

  18. I am happy to waive the consulting fee for my findings. I do suggest the City collaborate with Opera Idaho, Boise Philharmonic, Idaho Ballet, etc and do a review of a possible capital campaign to secure donors to build and endow the maintenance costs of a new theater or to provide improvements to one of the many existing local venues. Boise State has examined the cost to improve the Special Events Center to better accommodate music and theater events. Probably cheaper to put money into an existing facility than a new one that will only cannibalize the business of existing public venues.

  19. To Local Musician, the ISU performing arts complex ($35 mill.), was mostly funded by a single private donor. Beats the MC all to hell!! Much more beautiful and useful.

  20. Dear Local Musician,

    Move to Pocatello or Utah if that will give you better acoustics. How good does it need to be?

    Whoever said there is a loophole that needs closing is right. Start that process and it will increase accountability.

    Also, most local theaters (live) except BLT are really expensive. LA and Portland are two I have noticed have better price structures. We need another theater like we need another religious temple.

  21. Clancy Anderson
    Apr 10, 2017, 11:27 am

    Looks like this new study will just duplicate what was done by GBAD in 2012. There will be a few updates(JUMP) but largely the same.

    I have come to the conclusion that many government agencies need to hire a consultant to prior to any decision making process. I attend the Bike Advisory meetings for ACHD on semi-regular basis and found that this happens at ACHD too. There were 5 agenda topics that had updates and all the updates were the same : ” We are waiting to hear from our consultant.”

  22. Maybe ol’ Docs Tom Alquist and/or Dave Pate can donate some of their millions towards a new facility. They can call it the “Alquist-Pate Memorial Society for the Performing Doctors Center.” No tax dollars necessary.

  23. chicago sam
    Apr 11, 2017, 9:34 am

    Idaho code 67-2803 has a list of exemptions of projects or services which do not require that they be put out for bid. 67-2803(4) “procurement of personal or professional services to be performed by an independent contractor for the political subdivision.” After all, sometines your friends need a little help without any competition.

  24. Studies are done for two reasons and only two reasons:

    1. So the political group can say that the study supports their cause. Do you ever recall anyone paying for a study that said the idea was a waste of money? Not.

    2. Training and rewarding friendly consultants.

  25. local musician
    Apr 13, 2017, 8:57 am

    OK Theater…let’s tell everyone to move who makes a comment you apparently disagree with. Just like anyone who doesn’t want F-35s flying overhead should just leave.

    No, I don’t believe tax payers should fund new facility, but if it could be done privately, that would be quite a gift for the local artists in the community. Someone asked if we really needed it, and while it’s not a “need”, more like a wish, members of local arts organizations would say that the MC, Egyptian, etc., are not adequate.

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