Thursday, July 24, 2008
The County Commishes finally sealed the deal on the Jerome property. This must be a big relief for our County Deciders in a short cash year. The real thanks need to go to the folks who brought forward the law suit to stop a $80 Million dollar jail/justice center from going in on that parcel. Given all the financial woes the Commishes are in this year with 10% budget cuts for all departments, personnel hiring freezes and other pain they are dealing out. A new mega-jail construction project would have been a disaster for the taxpayers of Canyon County.
The good news is this "albatross" is off the collective necks of the commissioners and we are moving forward with a bare bones budget this year. The Guardian is wondering if the warehouse jail project out on Hwy. 20/26 is going to move forward in a tight budget year? We went to the Caldwell City Council workshop on water and sewer expansions and there are no water, sewer or gas lines out to the new jail site
Another law suit is moving forward on the current jail construction project. Problem is the commissioners did not learn from the first law suit. They failed to seek Judicial Confirmation on the expendatures in the absence of a voter approved bond election. The jail project is creating a multi-year liability for the taxpayers as it crawls forward. Former Idaho Supreme Court Justice Linda Copple-Trout will be deciding this case in September.
Word on the street is the Commishes have to cut another $5.5 Million dollars to bring the budget in balanced with expected revenues.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 11:20 AM
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The prognosticators are already out in force and telling anyone that will listen that the BOOMER generation is in deep financial trouble. Problem is we are going to live too long. In short, we all have a 60% chance of outliving our money and the ability to pay for the cost of staying alive.
Already, we are getting the first wave of the vultures that want to pick us clean before we hit the other side of the lawn. Reverse mortgages, long term care policies, annuities, along with a multitude of things to scare the pants off of us and the change out of our pockets.
Not many boomers have planned for the fact they will soon be too old to be gainfully employed at the level they currently enjoy. Nor did they plan for getting old. Defined retirement plans started falling by the wayside in the early 80's. Those who did not figure out this was a cheaper way for employers to make workers responsible for their old age will be facing some difficult choices in the near term. Those who planned and invested, have recently witnessed the free falling value of their retirement nest eggs via the financial markets.
The years ahead will prove out who what the smartest. The ones that planned and invested or the ones who lived in the moment. Sixty percent of the boomers living on the "dole" gives me visions of dog and cat food wrappers and containers in the trash cans of Americas elderly.
"Damn the torpedo's and full speed ahead" as the boomers move toward the other side of the lawn.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 2:23 PM
Thursday, July 10, 2008
"Team Tom" and his trusty followers have gone into the property acquisition business big time. They just recently approved spending $5 million for new library site. Now they have spent another $385,000 for the old gas station behind the Nampa Court Annex.
Mayor Tom and his "team players" are letting the cat out of the bag one leg at a time on all the new Nampa city government building projects.
The big plans call for a new library, new police building, and now comes the new city hall. The price tag for the library and police building is $68 million. The price tag on the new city hall complex is $45 million. Total for all this is $113 million. Bond underwriting and interest charges could make it closer to $200 million by the time debts are retired.
The really rotten part of this scheme is voters will have no say in the bonding if "Team Tom" can get judicial confirmation his projects. Add to that, all Canyon County property taxpayers will help pay for these projects. It is all tucked nicely in the Urban Renewal District plans. Increases in assessed valuations of properties inside the urban renewal district and taxes generated from increased valuations go to the district to spend as they choose. All of this is getting challenged locally as well as in Rexburg. The Nampa urban renewal case is going to be decided this month in district court. The Rexburg case is headed to the Idaho Supreme Court.
Elected officials of all stripes seem to have a lot of difficulty with the notion that citizens have the right to vote up or down these high dollar projects. And they use every means on the books to try and circumvent any voter involvement in their pet projects. They have become addicted to the "easy payment plan" for everything from fac machines to monolithinc legacy buildings.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 8:20 AM
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
THE GUARDIAN just stumbled upon the best description of the media he has seen in quite a while. The 10 Questions section in the July 14th copy of TIME MAGAZINE has printed a unique response by Arianna Huffington.
"The problem with the media is not that they're veering to the left or to the right but that they have an addiction to presenting two sides to every issue, even when the truth lies on one side or the other. I'd much rather we make our preferences and points of view transparent than pretend we don't have them."
This is about the best observation regarding the media at all levels THE GUARDIAN has seen or read in quite a while.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 12:59 PM