Growthophobes Surface At The Polls

Any way your cut it, GROWTH is is costly and not what the citizens of Southwest Idaho want to see. GROWTHOPHOBES have sent their message.

Amid cries from overzealous local politicos that “A two-thirds approval is an impossible bar to pass,” we are seeing voters adamantly reject bonds with a two-thirds DISapproval!

Canyon County’s jail bond is a perfect example. The 2C voters came out 66% against and only 34% in favor or a $187 million jail bond. Rather than listen to citizens, the commishes spent public money with a public relations firm in an effort to “sell” their expensive jail plan.

As an outsider, the GUARDIAN believes the voters inn Canyon are reasonable, decent folks who understand the need for expanded jail facilities. These citizens are NOT the enemy. They just don’t want to buy more than they need based on some consultant’s idea or the dream of the politicos. There is a long history of the commishes ignoring the will of the people.

A recent survey conducted by Boise State University indicated that rapid growth was a top concern of citizens. That same survey has previously been used by politicos to justify various pet projects and spending. Transportation, public safety, education, etc. were often cited.

Meridian narrowly passed a library bond and Kuna soundly defeated a library bond. The only take away on either election should be the will of the people. We note Boise officials are doing everything within their grasp to prevent an election over funding a new library.

In November Ada County voters rejected unfair vehicle tax which was strongly supported by the development community.

There IS a solution. Cities, counties and even the state of Idaho need to stop spending public money to encourage growth. They offer assorted “tax incentives,” economic development grants, promises of cheap real estate and much more in their efforts to increase the population density and create the need for more jails, schools, highways, and scream about the need for clean air and water.

Caldwell’s urban renewal agency awarded $200,000 to a company last week to encourage it to expand and create up to 50 new jobs. That, in the face of a huge proposed tax hike to cover the jail bond.

While it may be impossible to stop growth, it sure as heck is possible to stop advertising to encourage growth. Making developers pay up front for the damage they inflict on society while turning farmland into asphalt jungles will have less appeal.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Boisean Since Forever
    May 22, 2019, 10:35 am

    It’s really pretty simple. More growth pushes real estate values higher, increasing tax revenue without “raising taxes.” More people require more (newer) schools, jails, libraries, public transit, and high-paid consultants. Everything on the local leaders’ wish lists is now a necessity, and by golly, they knew best all along, didn’t they?

  2. Near me the farmland turned into a field of apartment complexes, a field of greenbacks for unknown to us investors. New residents park on the side of the road, like in New York!

  3. We, the voters of 2C, are sick and tired of jail mismanagement and the Sheriff / Commishes who treat us with contempt and an open pocket book.

    If you attended one of the open houses you were treated with contempt and arrogance on their part and neither Tom Dale or Pam White (from Nampa) could be bothered to to attend the open house in Nampa.

    Seniors and others on fixed incomes who know their property tax burden was going to increase were essentially ignored. 2C residents already have the highest taxes in Idaho and now they want more.

    With the new jail it will also be further for a Nampa city officer to drive for an arrested individual thus adding a burden to the city for overtime and vehicle maintenance, etc.

    Last I heard from Sheriff Donahue was his jail is at 75-80% capacity and considers that overcrowded, but you have lots of open space for a dayroom. It’s Jail, not a retirement home, well maybe for politicians, but I digress. Oh and stop locking people up because you are mad at them, or they offended your entitled sense of well, whatever.

  4. I totally concur. Canyon County voters still understand the Framers’ intent. They detected the extra markup for a shiny bauble and rejected it. They DO need improvements for their jail. They DON’T need a “F-35” like solution.

    I surely hope that Ada voters smell the rat of expansionist gravy train addicts in our City Council agenda. This city has plenty of growth generating value in its own right. It does NOT need artificial means to grow faster. Team Dave is trying to build a Lefty voting base to supplant Idaho pragmatism. They want a Portland right here and now.

    This goes way beyond greasing palms and short term profits. This is about individual freedom being threatened. Go read today’s headlines about China’s Social Control System. If you don’t think that is headed for US, then you are fooling yourself. Team Dave et al will be more than happy to invite such a system, in the form of Facebook and Twitter platforms, geared toward promoting THEIR policies. Be Nice will be their mantra. Be Nice just means don’t oppose City Hall.

  5. Eamonn Harter
    May 22, 2019, 1:00 pm

    Boise Dev did an interesting piece on a Brookings Institute study which looked in depth at Boise’s economy along with several other high growth cities in the U.S. Most of the growth in recent years has come from service-related businesses (health care, hospitality, government) and not from tradeable goods production which brings in income from outside of the area. The “prime movers” of the Boise economy like Micron and HP-Boise employ a fraction of the number of people they have in the past; HP-Boise is down to less than 1,500 and Micron at 6,000. Boise risks dis-investment as these companies shrink and no new production business are started or move in.

    What this boils down to is we can only employ so many lawyers, waiters, realtors, landscapers, nurses, and bureaucrats (which only circulate funds within the local area) before we experience a decline in general prosperity and economic complexity. There are a few things that are concerning in the report like a rise in poverty from 2007-2017 and a 6.3% decline in aggregate earnings despite a rise in population.

    My opinion is that the growth we have experienced has aspects of a Ponzi-scheme built on debt which enriches only a few and is not sustainable over the long term. For example, land developers make a one time windfall on a building project and then they have to continue to develop or else they go out of business. There are limits to this. Compare this to an industrial manufacturer which may build a plant and provide jobs and generate income and tax revenue for decades. This Ponzi growth may come to a screeching halt after the boom ends and people leave the area for employment elsewhere.

    EDITOR NOTE–For years we have lamented having an economy based on growth. Like a cake walk, when the music stops someone will be the loser.

  6. The jail bond failed for several reasons in my mind:
    1. Too big and too expensive
    3. Is designed as a maximum security prison v. a jail. Ratio of 93% cells and 7% dorm beds
    4. Jail should be on the current courthouse campus not out of town on the Notus Hwy.
    5. They didn’t seek more than one option for jail needs. DLR was the be all and end all in options and we all know there are many ways to solve any problem.
    6. The Sheriff and Commissioners didn’t bring those in opposition to a new jail to the table to discuss various options. AND they even ignored options presented to them from the CCCC group.

    Lastly, they once again proved it takes no talent to spend other peoples money.

  7. This is best explanation of the problem. “For years we have lamented having an economy based on growth. Like a cake walk, when the music stops someone will be the loser.” -BG

  8. I just read “Popular Boise Facebook Group Bans Anti-California Content” on another site. Well I’ve got a couple of questions for the Growthophobes. When things get really bad in the greater Boise area how will you know it’s gone to far for you? Where I live in southern California, my 2nd amendment right has been taken away. I don’t feel like my politicians represent me anymore. I feel over taxed and I don’t qualify for any government programs. There are constant break-ins where I work. Too many laws, fees, and regulations to be competitive. Housing is 2-3 times the cost of what Boise offers. Half of our customers don’t even speak English. You can’t leave any doors unlocked or it will be your fault why someone else stole something from you.
    Is this a good reason to leave the place where you were born?
    If you do leave, do you realize you will then be part of the new growth?

  9. Eamonn Harter
    May 24, 2019, 11:02 am

    For a little bit of good news this Friday, Willowbrook Development is withdrawing their application to develop 1,500 acres and 3,000 houses in Star. I predict we will hear more stories just like this as Housing Bubble 2.0 pops.

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