The GUARDIAN offers kudos to Ada Commishes Ryan Davidson and Rod Beck for not endorsing a plan by previous commissioners to subvert the Idaho Constitutional mandate to seek voter approval for debt to build a jail expansion.
Margaret Carmel at BOISEDEV has a detailed account.
Under former Commish Dianna Lachiondo, a plan was hatched to create a financial product called “certificates of participation” to finance jail construction. The newly elected commishes will either save up some cash or go to the voters–as the Idaho Constitution requires for permission to go into debt.
Lawyers claim the Idaho Supreme Court “blessed” the so-called certificate scheme in a ruling against Guardian editor David R. Frazier in favor of the Greater Boise Auditorium District.
The GBAD and jail issues are not at all similar. The auditorium expansion is owned by the CCDC urban redevelopment agency and leased back to the GBAD. CCDC is authorized to sell bonds without voter approval.
Under the plan nixed by the new commishes, the jail would have been a debt secured by taxpayer assets with no citizen approval.
Ironically, local governments keep approving new construction and attracting more businesses and population all the while complaining about overcrowding at the county jail, schools, and highways.
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