Slow News, Some Points To Ponder

Our apologies for not offering up much lately. Old age, lack of motivation, and travel are the reasons. Unlike the city and state politicos, we will offer up some topics your can vote upon and comment.

–BSU annual survey which has often been used by Boise and Team Dave to justify trolley spending, cops, fire, and open space. This year something like 70% of folks are concerned with the rampant growth. We ask, “Why so much effort to encourage growth and cut deals with developers?”

–A recent BOISE DEV story mentioned that STRATEGIES 360 is the PR firm representing Greenstone and the ball park proponents…they also hold a contract with Boise City. Sound like “collusion?” A GUARDIAN reader also revealed the PR Flaks had been paid to write “op-ed” pieces in support of the F-35.

–Lots of jet noise lately from Gowen Field. We are told it comes from F-15 Air Force and F-18 Navy planes. Look for a lot more F-18 noise this summer. How about an official NOISE ABATEMENT order from the Air Guard and BOI airport folks?

–Boise City is cutting a deal on purchasing the old Franklin School site at Orchard and Franklin. What are the details.

–News reports claim Tree Fort dumped $10 million into the Boise economy. Will we see a $600,000 hike in sales tax receipts? Where did all that cash go?

–Library petition and legislation to allow citizen vote on debt are still active.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Here is a topic I would be interested in seeing comments on.

    Dare I say it at this time while the legislature is in session wanting to limit the ability of Idaho residents to even be able to get a proposition on the ballot?

    How would be people in Idaho feel about a Proposition 13 (I think that is the number) like California has in limiting property tax? It seems every year the taxing districts are all fleecing property owners the maximum 3% increase in spite of the boom in commercial development taxes? Since we get very little benefit from increased traffic, loss of open space and quality of life it would be nice if we could get some benefit other than being ignored by city government at public hearings.

    EDITOR NOTE–Geo, been there done that. In 1978 we the people passed a 1% property tax limit which the legislature abolished. “Voters approved 1% Initiative limiting property taxes to 1% of 1978 market value, requiring two-thirds vote in the legislature to increase rate of property taxes and two-thirds vote of people to impose special taxes.”

    They have since amended, repealed and exempted the property tax laws so much they are nearly impossible to interpret. Here is a property tax history for Idaho


  2. Thank you sir for your note. The only way change is going to happen is if Idaho residents finally decide they want a change in the status quo and finally throw these guys out on the street and elect people to office who really care about what the voters want. The current debate about propositions and medical coverage is just several examples of our current bunch of elected officials.

  3. Spud of Boise
    Mar 23, 2019, 11:21 am

    Large open blocks of land are very infrequent in Boise. The Boise School District created two when they tore down both the Franklin and Cole Schools several years ago. I am sure that they anticipated huge injections of cash from developers.
    If I recall correctly, both of these properties were deed restricted that they would revert to the original grantor if not used for a school. Thus, why the land is still fallow.

    Has the School District found a Title Company to insure the title for a new owner or have they gone to court to force the issue? Probably a public relations nightmare of big school district not giving the land back to the families.

    My grandfather donated deed restricted land to a rural school district in the 1920s. My father went to school there. When it was consolidated when the former Meridian School District was created, the land reverted to the family and they farmed it for another 60 years.

    Any idea on the former Cole and Frankin properties?

  4. Losing our initiative rights
    Mar 23, 2019, 12:42 pm

    Yes to further taking away initiative rights (constitutional right): What do they believe? Perhaps control of the opinion of their associates?

    Sens. Kelly Anthon, R-Burley; Attorney; Mormon

    Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot; Farmer/rancher; Mormon

    Van Burtenshaw, R-Terreton; Farmer/rancher; Mormon

    Don Cheatham, R-Post Falls; Cop; Homeland Security; Californian

    Scott Grow, R-Eagle; Accountant; Mormon

    Mark Harris, R-Soda Springs; Rancher

    Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls; Flooring company; Mormon

    Brent Hill, R-Rexburg; Accountant\banker; Mormon

    Todd Lakey, R-Nampa; Lawyer; Mormon

    Abby Lee, R-Fruitland; Mormon

    Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston; Educator\vineyard pres.; Catholic

    Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls; Construction mgt.; Mormon

    Jim Patrick, R-Twin Falls; Farmer

    Jim Rice, R-Nampa; Lawyer; Mormon

    Mary Souza, R-Coeur d’Alene; Retired Nurse; event coordinator; Lutheran(?)

    Steven Thayn, R-Emmett; Educator\farmer

    Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens; Home remodeler

    Chuck Winder, R-Boise; Real estate developer.

    EDITOR NOTE–We allowed the “Mormon” reference here because it was brought up during public debate on the floor. It in no way indicates the GUARDIAN sentiments, only an identification placed by the commenter.

  5. Glad to see significant resident interest in STEMMING growth. I thought it was much lower.

    I will also be interested in realized tax receipts of TreeFort injection. We’ll see if it’s Fake News from City side.

    Eyesores at Franklin and Cole sites tell us that projections for growth might be short of mark. Silver lining? Not enough kiddies to build more schools. South Jr HS is half the size of the old building. Many fams fled to Meridian when they could to escape taxes and higher cost of living. I just heard from a local real estate agent that a small Northend home that’s not very impressive is selling for $400K. Bubble machine pricing. Thanks Woodrow Wilson, we soooooo appreciate the FED octopus you brought us.

    Yes, I see and hear the F-15s and F-18s. The upside is that they are not F-35 money pits. Part time visits are way better than permanent based.

    Leg session almost done. Some good and bad, as always.

  6. Regarding several topics in your article: Since we now know that City contracts with consultants to Draft Op-Eds, I suggest that the Idaho Press and Statesman “vet” some of the gungho Hooray for F-35s 24-7 Op-Eds that may appear when the F-35 Draft EIS Is issued. And I think citizens need to brace themselves for an onslaught of City propaganda (likely a lot of it run through consultants) related to the Library and Stadium if these measures get on the ballot.

    And on another matter: I thought the Grove Plaza was now owned by the City. However, I was collecting signatures for ballot initiatives down there today, and an “Events Manager” came out and told me NOT to get signatures from anyone waiting in line at the ticket booth. She said she did not want people “bothered”.

  7. E.B. Schofield
    Mar 25, 2019, 1:33 am

    Katie & citizen ballot issue: The event center manager needs to freshen up on understanding public property classifications as well as public freedoms. Collecting signatures for a citizen driven ballot initiative is a compliant use of public property as well as your right to free speech.

    The Plaza area and the Boise Center are both public properties, as shown on their websites. Plus each property owner listed on the Ada County Assessor website shows these publicly funded government bodies. The following 2 text blocks with asterisks are directly from CCDC and GBAD websites:

    * THE GROVE PLAZA: This property was owned by CCDC as an urban public park. CCDC transferred The Grove Plaza to the City of Boise after the Central District Sunset.

    * The District is a public or governmental entity. In 1959, the Idaho Legislature passed legislation allowing for the creation of auditorium districts in Idaho. Upon passage of the legislation, a district was formed in Boise for the purpose of building a civic facility for the community.

    The Plaza officially transferred hands at the end of 2018, but was always publicly owned, and the improvements made to this area were funded through tax increment financing.

    GBAD accomplished its purpose of building a civic facility in 1990 without a direct vote of the citizens. Recently a three-part $47.5 million major expansion has been completed, with a portion of the $29.5 million phase 1 cost being funded through lease financing, as the means to avoid the Constitutional debt limitation and a vote. Citizens should be asking why they are being made to pay for another civic facility, as part of the main library/civic center project, again without a vote.

  8. Boise Model
    Mar 25, 2019, 3:52 pm

    A developer recently announced plans to develop 300 condo on vacant land near Albertson Park. Obviously the City has known for some months of these plans since the developer was far enough along in the process to be ready for a P&Z meeting before summer.

    The site of this development just happens to be in the recently formed Shoreline Redevelopment District (January 2019) that won’t expire for another 20 years. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that this parcel south of the River was included in that new district. Given all the development the by “free market” in Garden City near the River one has to ask if a redevelopment district was necessary for this condo project to go forward? or is it nothing more than the City‘s Model for diverting about $35 million of property taxes from the Schools, the County and the City’s general fund into the CCDC’s stadium fund?

    Assuming a market value of $450,000 per condo the property tax revenue for this project will be around $2,050,000 per year ($450,000 times 300 condos times the 2018 tax rate of .015183%) or ~$35 million over 17 years.

    The fast action by the City results in the School District losing out on $10.6 million in property taxes, ACHD loses $2 million, Ada County loses $6.6 million and the City’s general Fund loses $15 million in property taxes plus the $4 million the City plans to donate to the CCDC’s Stadium Fund.

  9. Attendance might help
    Mar 25, 2019, 10:38 pm

    The Greater Boise Auditorium District will hold a Regular Board Meeting on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 2:30 p.m.
    Boise Centre West
    Room 200

    Join them for a good time.

  10. E.B. Schofield wrote:

    “GBAD accomplished its purpose of building a civic facility in 1990 without a direct vote of the citizens. Recently a three-part $47.5 million major expansion has been completed, with a portion of the $29.5 million phase 1 cost being funded through lease financing, as the means to avoid the Constitutional debt limitation and a vote. Citizens should be asking why they are being made to pay for another civic facility, as part of the main library/civic center project, again without a vote.”

    I’d like to remind everyone it’s GBAD’s job to build public facilities. If they don’t, then they’re NOT doing the job voters voted for them to do. Remember back in 1959 when an overwhelming majority of Ada County voters voted to create GBAD? Probably not, or you disingenuously leave out that part.

    You don’t like GBAD? Then start a county wide initiative to forever disband it. Good luck with that when your peers in the state legislature are trying their best to eliminate that freedom.

  11. E.B. Schofield
    Mar 28, 2019, 12:24 am


    I did not express that I did not like GBAD, so please do not assume that with your questioning. I am simply trying to both inform myself these days, and engage with others to learn more and share what I have learned. Sometimes issues and discussions lead to asking different questions, or asking questions in different ways. I try hard to make it a point to stay focused on the facts (when they are made transparent), show how public funds are used, the process, the overlap, etc., so that discussions such as this can occur and citizens can learn from each other, not accuse and slam one another.

    I pulled the exact text from the GBAD website and did not intentionally, nor disingenuously, leave anything out. This is how THEY described their origination in 1959, which says nothing about a vote of the citizens being required. Maybe they need to add this to their own website description, as well as include the actual percent for what you describe as “an overwhelming majority” of voter approval. Plus their own website says their purpose was for “a civic facility” – this means one, which they have done.

    What your comments (with a touch of accusation) did make clear is this: Boise City having CCDC help fund the library/event center, means that CCDC is actually now doing the job of GBAD.

    Which is exactly what House Bill 217 is trying to correct. “This bill is narrowly tailored so the votes happen when the votes were intended to happen and urban renewal is used for its primary purpose, and that is for the infrastructure,” Rice told the Senate.

    I will ask this, can you explain what you mean by “my peers” in the state legislature in your comment directed at me – are they not your peers as well? Or simply the State legislature?

  12. Slow News, Fast Trucks
    May 6, 2019, 10:53 am

    Nearly every time I travel the road around the south-west side of the airport (Orchard? Gowen? roads) a loaded gravel truck speeds through one of the three stoplights. The one by the bus depot is most common.

    Yes 100,000lbs. of speeding red light runners several times an hour. Not a cop in sight ever. Probably forbidden by the mayor to issue tickets to gravel trucks.

    Guardian should shoot video. Legacy media won’t do it.

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