Tuesday, December 30, 2008
THE GUARDIAN attended the special city council meeting today regarding an offer on property for the "downtown catalyst project". The site is the old car dealership at 6th and Blaine in downtown Caldwell.
Mayor Nancolas called the meeting to order and immediately made a motion to go into Executive Session to discuss the terms of the offer with Caldwell City Attorney Mark Hilty. Everyone else, (that would be me and a student from Greenleaf Friends Academy) were excused from the meeting room. It appeared to be a simple straight forward real estate transaction and why the public was excused was explained by Mayor Nancolas as attorney client privilege.
Councilmen Rob Oates and Bob Sobba were not in attendance for this meeting. However, the ones who were there wisely did not approve this transaction. The purchase offer was $435,000 with an additional $129,000 due at closing. The total offer was $564,000 for the land,improvements and additional amount at closing as stated in the contract.
It would appear the Oppenheimer Group is negotiating purchase prices for property and the Mayor and City Council are the principals in the actual real estate purchase agreements. According to sources The Guardian knows and respects this is common practice all over the state.
If and when the land purchase deals are finally approved the block for the new city hall and retail complex will be well over $1 million just to acquire the land for this project unless falling real estate market prices take hold in downtown.
Something is clearly up with the downtown catalyst project, just exactly what remains a mystery to unfold with the passage of time. A city councilor I called gave me assurances that the Oppenheimer Group has not pulled out of the project for downtown Caldwell.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 2:47 PM
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Written by David Frazier
The new College of Western Idaho, set to open January 20, joins a long list of ventures that glibly blame “the soft economy” for failing to meet predictions. It looks like the long awaited opening will fall two-thirds short of predicted enrollment.
We fear the bill of goods sold to voters was overly optimistic and a bit simplistic. When folks–including the GUARDIAN–pointed out there were plenty of educational opportunities already available, they were shouted down. We are particularly concerned with the scheme being put forth by the city of Caldwell to build facilities for the Oregon based Treasure Valley Community College, in direct competition with CWI.
Officials at TVCC, CWI, and BSU have all claimed “there is plenty of need” go go around. Apparently that is simply not the truth. Truth is, the institutions all compete with one another for student dollars and government funding. All too often educational institutions view students as sources of revenue instead of minds to educate.
There is really a lot more involved in most of these “risky businesses” than a soft housing market, banking crises, stock market crash, demise of the auto industry etc. GROWTHOPHOBES need to unite and demand that proponents of ANYTHING impacting society “Show us the money.”
Remember Tamarack was claiming all sorts of huge sales–which were really nothing more than EARNEST MONEY AGREEMENTS. Those agreements didn’t translate into cash and they blamed a crooked stock broker in Paris. Right!
Micron gets all sorts of tax breaks, will never pay corporate income tax and remains the largest non-profit corporation in Idaho. Meanwhile businessmen who run a tight ship, pay their staff and don’t run off to Asia have to pay nearly double their unemployment tax rate to care for unemployed workers.
Today’s Daily Paper reports that growthophile developers are scamming to bring in more California companies to populate the foothills near Eagle. Meanwhile Idaho Power is quietly aiming–if we understand the P.U.C. filings correctly–to increase rates for those of us already paying for power so they can service new customers.
Easy to blame “the economy,” but most of these projects are ill conceived and are a house of cards waiting to fall. Whether it is dishonest lenders and borrowers or developer/promoters lobbying governments to give them breaks, the solution is NOT putting more individuals and businesses into deeper debt to “stimulate the economy.”
If you don't think post High School education facilities aren't in competition, then you have failed to notice all the TV advertisements on the tube. We are seriously oversupplied for the population base with higher education options in this valley.
If we build there are no assurances they will come.
"The very first law in advertising is to avoid the concrete promise and cultivate the delightfully vague." by Bill Cosby
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 2:59 PM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Let's Make a Deal worked out well for our County Commissioner David Ferdinand. The first jury trial resulted in a "hung jury" and a new trial was scheduled. The below press release is from the Boise City Attorney's website.
"On August 28, 2008, Canyon County Commissioner David Ferdinand’s pending misdemeanor case went to jury trial. After two days of testimony, the six-person jury deliberated and was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Consequently, the matter was set for a new jury trial.
As a result of significant discussion between the Boise City Attorney’s Office and Commissioner Ferdinand’s legal counsel, David Leroy, a negotiated resolution has been reached in this case. The agreement was for the Commissioner to plead to an amended misdemeanor charge of “Obstructing a Public Way” under Boise City Code § 6-17-02.
Both parties carefully weighed and considered the resources required to re-try the matter. Based upon each party’s reflection and vigorous negotiation, this resolution has been reached to avoid a lengthy re-trial and to avoid the uncertainty which trials inevitably pose.
To accomplish this, the City of Boise has dismissed its appeal and amended the Complaint to allege a violation of Boise City Code § 6-17-02, “Obstructing a Public Way”; Commissioner Ferdinand has entered an Alford plea of guilty to this non-firearm related charge; and Magistrate Daniel Steckel, upon the recommendation and urging of the parties, imposed a fine of $50 and court costs of $72.50."
Commissioner Ferdinand also had to fork over $1500.00 to the Feds in this case so maybe this was taken into account.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 2:07 PM
Saturday, December 20, 2008
We have all heard of the many things Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona has applied to make jail a less inviting place. The latest in his "innovations" is to charge inmates for their meals.
A GUARDIAN reader sent clippings from the ARIZONA REPUBLIC newspaper with articles about the move to start charging inmates for their meals. Charging for meals will start in January of 2009 if all goes according to plan.
Inmates with money on their accounts will pay for meals before any commissary candy and extras are obtained. Inmates without funds will not be charged for meals if they can't pay but a "tab" of expenses for meals will be kept on each inmate. Should any money be put on their books meal costs will be deducted. Maricopa County bean counters contend meals run an average of $1.11 for each meal served to inmates. The Sheriff is going to charge inmates $1.25/day for meal costs.
The policy of charging inmates for food was authorized by Arizona Legislature in the late 1990's, but Arpaio said he stopped requiring them to pay when he started charging for visits to medical professionals. With the economy down there is a countywide edict to cut 20% from department budgets. Arpaio predicts this effort will trim about 5% from his office's annual meal expenditures. The savings is expected to amount to $900,000 per year off a meal budget of $16 million dollars.
Note: Idaho has a daily charge of $25/day for jail time up to a maximum of $400 for a 20 day sentence. The percentage actually collected is unknown. The amount noted is several years ago and may have changed with the passage of time.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 12:49 PM
Thursday, December 18, 2008
THE GUARDIAN had a very productive meeting with Mayor Nancolas today along with the City Finance Director and Mayor's Assistant Maggie Colwell. A lot of issues were discussed but the main event is the TVCC revenue bonding will be put up for a vote of the people. I asked post meeting to be able to write the question posed for the ballot but was turned down on this offer by the City Finance Director.
As long as it is made clear the financial obligation to satisfy the bonding comes from property taxes THE GUARDIAN will abide by the pledge to remain neutral when this is put up for a vote of the people.
Urban Renewal has been a sore spot with your humble writer and I had the genuine feeling positive progress was made in a mutual understanding of the Mayor's as well as my sides of this issue. And in no small part I would like to think the Editorial Board of the local paper may have had a positive impact as well.
Final thought on this is why have a non-binding advisory vote when you could have a REAL VOTE for actual bonding. The Mayor and Finance Director said it would take a super majority to issue revenue bonds for the TVCC project.
THE GUARDIAN volunteered to write the question for the ballot but this offer was declined. Somehow my pledge to remain neutral is perceived as a conflict in this matter.
We anxiously await to see how this election effort moves forward for the good people of Calwell and the clarity of the question posed for the elction as well.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 4:53 PM
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Team Garret and his merry men and women on the Caldwell Urban Renewal Board are going to ring in the new year with a plea to a judge to increase your property taxes next year to fund a $8.5 million building for TVCC. They are deeming this a "ordinary and necessary expense" for all of us to bear. The RAISE part comes from the easy pay part of their plan via tax anticipation bonding.
Property tax payers of Caldwell and all of Canyon County are going to get to fund two community colleges. There will be no voting on this so don't ask. Urban Renewal is once again abusing county property taxpayers without their permission.
All property taxpayers in Canyon County will fund this with their property taxes one way or another due to the funds siphoned off by urban renewal (increment taxes). It is a PONZI scheme most people do not understand. Urban renewal laws are quite simply a vehicle to circumvent the voters for big dollar spending projects. It's called THE PLAN.
In a discussion on Thursday (12-18) with the Mayor and the Finance Director, they want to keep the debt revenue ratio to 40% or less. This means they are comfortable borrwoing against 40% of anticipated property tax increment revenue for urban renewal projects. They are ready to leverage in the form of payments and carrying charges $2.4 million a year against the $6 million a year they already receive for Urban Renewal.
Urban renewal is funded with property taxes and not federal government money as most people would like to think. Urban renewal laws were set up by the state legislature to deal with urban blight. To date, very little of the urban renewal property taxes collected in Caldwell have gone to improve or renew blighted areas. Pork projects have dominated urban renewal spending. It is called "The Plan".
THE GUARDIAN learned today the City of Caldwell East Urban Renewal District is moving forward to issue $8.5 million in revenue bonds to fund TVCC in the Sky Ranch business park. This bonding will be in addition to $8 million in revenue bonds issued to subsidize water and sewer projects for developers. Bonds are like credit cards to these folks. Buy now and pay more later via the interst on the bonds.
The urban renewal board meeting will be this Thursday at 12:00 Noon at city hall to approve this next measure of property taxpayer abuse. The mayor and his finance director steadfastly have refused to put this up for a vote of the people.
The last meeting in early Dcember was attended by all the talking heads in favor of putting more debt on the already overburdened Caldwell and Canyon County property tax payers. It sparked a very enligtening editorial piece by the Idaho Press Tribune questioning why these matters are not put up for a vote of the people. This meeting will seal the deal and move it forward for a judge to approve their move without your approval. They are calling the TVCC project "ordinary and necessary". Most people paying their property taxes this week would disagree.
Urban renewal is the modern day equivalent of "TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION". And the bad news is most people have acquiesced in their opposition and rights to object to this abuse of taxpayers. State legislators know the abuses of urban renewal but continue to allow the abuses and pork spending of property tax dollars to continue.
See Don't Worry Be Happy Posting for Mayor Comments.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 7:14 PM
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Well it looks like "jail planning" may have entered the Commishes vocabulary as well as their wish list for 2009 now that money is tight. They are now ready to spend near$10k to get a fix on the cost of building a new and improved 650 bed jail. All the usual suspects and threats abound with this latest effort. The ACLU, Idaho Sheriff's Standards and there may be more we are not yet aware of in the offing. ICRMP says they will continue to insure the county so that threat is off the table. Maybe they could set up a few buckets where the roof may be leaking as well.
The people we hired as leaders of the county are prepared to abandon $1.5 million in engineering studies for the 2,000 bed jail city and the 250 bed warehouse jail. Let's also not forget the false start on the Jerome property 825 bed jail project. Then there is the study done by Rocky Mountain Corrections a few years back that cost us all money. It will be interesting to see how they intend to market the concept of increased property taxes in this economy. The recent editorial the Commishes wrote in the local paper has not helped their cause on this at all. You can check that tome out on the IPT editor blog page.
Their first toss out to the taxpayers was $72.5 million for the Jerrome project. The 2,000 bed jail city was around $80 million for a good start on their second effort. The warehouse jail was pegged at $3.5 million before property and utility costs making this one around $10-15 million was a low-ball effort number three. Now we are getting the soft sell for $35-40 million for this latest attempt at a new jail to house 650 inmates.
The one question not getting answered is how much it will cost to staff, maintain and operate this new facility. If Canyon County is like anywhere USA the annual cost will be around $20 Million, The bond amortization and underwriting will be in the neighborhood of $4 million a year. So we have to come up with around $25 million a year to keep this jail project afloat.
The citizens committee that worked on the Hwy. 20/26 jail site was not given the whole truth when they made their selection for that site. The old saw about the ACLU, ICRMP insurance, Sheriff's Jail Standards etc. was bandied about by the Commishes and the Chief Civil Prosecutor and a short time line to get this jail project started or face some ill defined lawsuit threats. They used deceit to move the committee to their thinking on a jail site. In short, the process was nothing short of a sham per comments from several of the committee members.
If you want to see how good intentions can really go sour, type in Wapato Jail in your search engine and see the mess Portland, Oregon has created. Almost $60 million spent so far on a 550 bed jail and they don't have the money to operate it. I haven't checked lately but to date it has cost the sheriff his job, several commissioners their jobs and the public is really ticked off. Nobody has occupied it except a group of Boy Scouts because the don't have the cash to staff maintain and operate their new jail completed in 2004. Here is the link http://www.co.multnomah.or.us/dcj/oregon_live_wapato-prisonerofpolitics030608.pdf
The good news here is they have finally figured out they will need to ask permission to spend our money. This is a welcome change in attitude by our County Deciders. They ask and we get to decide ... finally!
Again, I am offering space to anyone who feels I am factually incorrect on any of this space to express their thoughts on this issue.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 9:22 AM
Friday, December 12, 2008
George Will writes The Last Word regularly for Newsweek. This week is a particularly good article and I wanted to share some of Mr. Will's insights with you.
Emma Goldman (1869-1940) An American radical (yeah, they had them back in the day) said that if elections changed anything, they would be illegal.
John Mueller, an Ohio State political scientist in his book "Capitalism, Democracy & Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery" celebrates "the ascendancy, the curious and unexhilarating triumph, of the pretty good over the ideal. A pretty good institution "can function adequately when people are rarely, if ever, asked to rise above the ignorance and selfishness with which they have been so richly endowed by their creator".
"Democracy, is a from of government in which people are left (equally) free to become politically unequal." "Democracy functions not so much by rule by the majority as by minority rule with majority acquiescence."
James Madison wrote in Federalist paper 45 .."The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal government are few and defined." So, in 1887, President Grover Cleveland vetoed the Texas Seed Bill, which appropriated $10,000 to purchase seed grain for drought-stricken farmers. Cleveland said: "I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution."
Calvin Coolidge wrote in the 1930's.. "We save our money and take no chances in its investment. Yet in our political actions we go in an opposite direction."
"As usual. people are saying we must end 'politics as usual.' And as usual, few wonder why such politics are usual."
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 3:59 PM
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Commissioner Steve Rule is receiving a lesson in manners and why he should not use the county computer against what the written policy is for the worker bees. The Guardian has a copy of the email sent around on the county computer by the Commish for your review. Moreover, instead of standing out front and taking the heat on this deal, Commissioner Rule went into hiding and had the County Talking Head speak for him. We did not elect a spokesperson to do your talking Mr. Rule. We expect you to look us in the eye and tell us the facts eyeball to eyeball.
Meanwhile, pistol packin Commish Ferdinand awaits trial on a concealed weapons charge. And we have Commissioner Beebe and his racist comments on the help used by his contractor to build his new digs out in Parma.
Our elected County Deciders are working overtime to give Canyon County a black eye.
Also,noteworthy two longtimem female Sheriff's employees were terminated for alleged use of the county cell phone for personal use. THE GUARDIAN knows these two people and has always held them and their work in very high esteem. They are known by most people at the department for their professionalism in how they carry out their assignments. The real issue is they got sideways of Gary Deulen,the Chief Deputy under Sheriff Smith. Smith was called in on more than once and forced to pay for cell phone time he abused under Sheriff Nourse.
The email forwarded by Mr. Rule reads: (emphasis, punctuation and capitalization reproduced exactly):
The Black Widow….
This spider, one of only a few poisonous spiders in the USA, can be found all over the states of Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
The spider release a neurotoxin into the victim that, if not treated, can cause death!
The Black widow hooks-up with the male then sucks the very life out of him after mating!
She’s very easy to spot…
The female has a very wide backside is Black, and has a red hour glass shaped marking on her belly…
You can find this spider in:
THE WHITE HOUSE!!!!!!
Note to Mr. Rule, you need to follow your own policy on the transmittal of emails that do not have anything to do with your job or running our county. You guys need to work on building consensus with your constituents and quit trying to circumvent voters on your big dollar jail project. This email does nothing to build a reputation as a community leader.
We now have one Commish with "foot in mouth disease" and one up on a concealed weapons charge. Just another "low water mark" for Canyon County politicos and how they carry out their elected duties.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 9:23 AM
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
By David R. Frazier
While the world is pointing fingers at a “tradition of corruption” in Illinois politics, the GUARDIAN takes a different SLANT on the news and offers a positive view–at least Illinois politicos get prosecuted for their misdeeds.
The FBI arrested Illinois Guv. Rod Blagojevich Tuesday. We would like to see a division of either the Idaho State Police or the Attorney General’s office devoted to monitoring and investigating OFFICIAL CRIMES. The FBI has a history of going after high profile offenders, so Idaho wouldn’t likely get much attention, hence the need for a state agency.
Idaho laws provide no easy mechanism to investigate OFFICIAL crimes. In fact, we have trouble defining an “official.” Authority to chase official crime in Idaho rests with the local county prosecutor. They habitually “conflict out” cases to the Idaho Attorney General, who has a meager investigator staff and is forced to ignore minor offenses.
For government at any level to claim they don’t have political corruption is the ultimate in naivety and denial. It’s like saying, “our citizens are all law abiding, so we don’t need coppers.”
We have coppers sitting along the road and in school zones watching for “potential and possible” speed violators. We have bank auditors and accountants looking for fraud. There are “security cameras” in every retail outlet to catch shoplifters. Yet, we have no oversight of government officials.
With priests and scout leaders preying on young boys, teachers engaging in sex with students, it certainly is not inappropriate to be ever vigilant when it comes to elected officials in cities, counties, and states everywhere–including the Gem state
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 2:22 PM
Saturday, December 6, 2008
THE GUARDIAN received the cartoon in this post from a friend and wanted to share it with you. People are starting to question what is going on with their money. The IPT had an excellent Our View editorial piece on Urban Renewal and no voting on big dollar projects in their Sunday Edition. The following are my humble observations and opinions on Caldwell City Government. Thirty-one years of living here gives me license to make these comments and observations. Opposing views are welcomed.
We all know there are many aspects and problems in the daily operations of a city like Caldwell and for that matter any city or county. The point of this cartoon is no matter how dark it may appear to you or your personal finances right now city leaders are looking to the future and how they can spend all the cash they get without much thought or worry about paying future bills.
Caldwell has 21 subdivisions at a total stand still with give or take 12,000 empty lots or ground to accomodate this many lots for sale and no takers at any price. Three of them are in foreclosure and three of them are in bankruptcy. Mayor Nancolas and Team Garret spin this as an excellent position for our fair city when the economy turns around at some undefined point in the future. Cheap dirt will be the catalyst for the next gold rush in land and home values in the valley.
Meanwhile, Caldwell East Urban Renewal crew(Team Garret in disguise) don't get enough money to spend via our property taxes and other revenue streams and now want to sign us up for the EASY PAY PLAN. Urban Renewal is moving at warp speed to issue $8.5 million in revenue bonds for TVCC. Urban Renewal now rakes in $6 million a year in property tax money from Caldwell citizens. This is not nearly enough to fund all the big dollar goodies they want. (Six million a year will only go so far and their list is bloated with pork.) The list can be changed modified or anything they want under urban renewal laws.
It looks like a city hall project may have taken a back seat to TVCC given all the maneuvering by the Mayor and City Finance Director. City hall price tag is anyones guess depending on the meeting you attend. Figures from a high of $30 million (Oppenheimer Group number this past spring) down to $8 million (Caldwell budget hearings in August) and everything in between have been thrown out for public consumption.
Add to the city hall laundry list, (word is) they (Oppenheimer Group and the city) do not yet own all the property to start construction of a new city hall project as described at town hall meetings.
Mayor Garret has stated repeatedly in public meetings FEMA is the hold up for a new city hall project. The obvious question not getting answered is how can the good people doing the new D. L. Evans Bank project move forward at Blaine and 10th sans approvals from FEMA and City Hall is at all stop at Blaine and 7th? Team Garret and his merry men need to resolve this mystery for those of us who are more than a little confused.
Meanwhile, DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY as we move forward to our bright future and city deciders attempt spend our way into prosperity with your tax dollars.
The word on the street is NO MONEY for a new city hall at this point in time. THE GUARDIAN has attended almost every meeting on downtown and FEMA flood mapping has been the mantra of city politicos on this deal. Maps, PowerPoint presentations and words continue to flow from the downtown TEAM. Meanwhile downtown Caldwell has a very nice five block addition to the park system along Indian Creek and not much else to bring any economic activity to our city center area.
In the no money category, we must add both a new Caldwell Airport terminal building and police/fire substations that have been promised for over four years. This set of value added infrastructure projects have taken a back seat to funding TVCC and other goodies with urban renewal property tax dollars.
Another bit of bad news for downtown Caldwell has surfaced. The South West District Health Dept. offices will be moving out of town and taking 75 jobs with them when they leave. The previous director found it difficult to deal with Team Garret and he facilitated the purchased seven acres for new digs at Karcher Rd. and Florida Ave. (The mayor calls this moving from Caldwell to Caldwell.) The jobs leaving town will exacerbate the erosion of what little economic base that remains in downtown Caldwell. It may take a while to make the official move in this economy but there isn't any amount damage control that can be done to keep SWDH downtown Caldwell.
Mayor Namcolas rather pointedly said to a person close to THE GUARDIAN that "downtown Caldwell will never be a top priority". With all the stuff leaving downtown, will the last person out please turn out the lights. It looks like it will be the Sky Ranch area for the nerve center of "New Caldwell" envisioned by Team Garret and the Urban Renewal crew.
A tally of urban renewal money spent on downtown and blight removal in Caldwell has been a very minor amount of total urban renewal dollars spent to date. The bulk of urban renewl funds have been spent in areas that could hardly be considered blighted or in need of "renewal".
Last rants in this post are:
The matching streetscape money promised Mayor Garret at the Indian Creek dedication in April of this year is a rant with downtown property owners. While Mayor Garret verbally fantasized about the smell of fresh baked bread wafting along the banks of Indian Creek, downtown property owners have tried to cash in on his offer of matching money. Guess what? There is no money, nor does anyone on Team Garret know any thing about the mayors offer of matching funds to upgrade streetscapes and store fronts.
Finally, there is the long talked about bike trail from downtown to the YMCA. The bike trail seems to be in financial limbo as well.
DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY.
THE GUARDIAN is offering space to anyone on Team Garret who cares to explain anything not perceived as factual in this posting.
Dear City of Caldwell Citizens:
I am taking the Guardian author, Paul Alldredge, up on his offer to respond to many inaccurate and erroneous claims made by him in a recent blog entry. The City of Caldwell is dedicated to providing the truth to the citizens of Caldwell and we appreciate any opportunity to clarify falsehoods and educate the public on our many projects and priorities. I strongly encourage anyone interested in learning more about city issues to contact us at City Hall or view our website at www.cityofcaldwell.org. I will make myself or the appropriate city official available to speak with you. We are never too busy to provide information to those we serve. As we see it, the “Caldwell Guardian” blog represents the view of one private citizen with an obvious axe to grind and therefore, this will be the last time we waste taxpayer dollars and employee resources to respond to personal attacks and claims made without any basis in reality. We will outline on our website, paragraph for paragraph, the truth behind the allegations made by Mr. Alldredge and hope that his readers will take the time to research fact versus fiction. Please contact me at 455-3011 if I can be of assistance to you. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you and yours!
Mayor Garret Nancolas
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 5:30 PM
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
by David Frazier
At a time when the economy is tanking and wasteful spending needs to be curbed, Team Dave at the office of Mayor Dave Bieter and the folks at the urban renewal agency are ready to spend $25,000 in public money for a Street Car Salesman!
In an effort to build public support, the CCDC (Capital City Development Corp.) and the City of Boise are joining forces to hire a public relations firm to get their one sided message out. Here is an excerpt from their request:
“The City of Boise and CCDC are collaborating to study the financial feasibility and to design and build the first phase of a streetcar in downtown Boise. CCDC is working closely with the office of Mayor Bieter in this effort, along with other agencies, elected officials, streetcar task force and others. CCDC is the primary client and principal to the contract.”
There must be something in the air at City Hall causing mayors to fall in love with trains and street cars. Brent Coles flitted around the globe and even acted as the point man for a German company wishing to sell Boise a “Regio Sprinter.” Ironically, Bieter recently signed a letter protesting Spanish/German firm even bidding on locomotives for Boston. For more details, revisit the GUARDIAN TRAIN STORY.
Street cars and trolleys are nothing more than novelty items for places like Boise. We don’t have the masses of people needed for MASS TRANSIT. The most recent proposal is for a “circulator” in the downtown area.
Team Dave wants to plant steel rails in the ACHD streets to ”encourage development.” All that will do is cost taxpayers millions of dollars for a downtown novelty ride. It will NOT decrease auto traffic or move people.
The GUARDIAN has offered up a simple bus route GRID MAP which has been ignored by officialdom at all levels. Even if we had a train from Caldwell to Boise, how do you get people to their destination? A decent bus system needs to be implemented before any rails are planted in our streets.
Editor note: Just when we all thought Caldwell and Nampa had cornered the market on urban renewal abuse. This one takes the grand prize.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 8:09 PM
A recent court decision handed down in district court green lighting Nampa Urban Renewal to issue revenue bonds without a vote of the people is headed for appeal.
First step in the process will be a "motion for reconsideration". The motion for reconsideration will be filed in Third District Court no later than Thursday of this week.
If the motion for reconsideration is denied by Justice Trout it will clear the path for appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court.
The estimated time for the appeal process is 1-2 years to wind all of this through the legal process.
Urban renewal law allows cites to issue revenue bonds without a vote of the people and is in direct conflict with the Idaho State Constitution Article 8 sec 3. Most people do not understand where the money comes from to fund urban renewal. It comes directly from all county citizens property taxes by taxing districts handing over their tax increment to urban renewal.
Urban renewal districts are essentially "taxation without representation" when you clear away all the clutter surrounding the debate for or against.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 5:36 PM