Saturday, October 31, 2009
The title of this post is also the title of a book by Mark Kleiman. More threats and less force may be the answer. A study done in High Point, North Carolina points out you can reduce crime by making credible threats, without having to lock up so many people.
To deter, a punishment must be swift,certain and severe. Of these. severity matters the least, according to Mr. Kleiman. There is a trade off when you apply severity, there are more legal safeguards that are required when severity is imposed. The costs of severity skyrocket and can cost into the millions as in the case of capital punishment for example.
Turns out that milder sanctions can be swifter and more certain with a lot less legal effort. In Hawaii, until recently, felons ignored the terms of their probation because the only punishment available was getting sent back to prison typically for five to ten years. Courts and probation officers were swamped to handle the necessary paperwork along with all the legal challenges to such harsh penalties. Violators typically got off free. Probationers thought they could misbehave with impunity. This all ended when a Judge started handing out instant sentences of a week or so behind bars. This action made most of the probationers behave.
The numbers of people in jail in the United States has quadrupled since 1980 to 2.3 million people! Many of these people make the streets safer by their absence and exposure to the general public. However, there are some 500,000 people behind bars who are non-violent drug offenders.
Prisons and jails are expensive places to keep people locked away. It costs $85/day to keep people in the Canyon County Jail. A more non-macho way of dealing with these people would be to raise alcohol taxes, start school later in the day to deter after school crime. Force probationers to wear GPS tags making probation a tough (and cheaper) alternative to prison and jail. Along with the Sheriff's inmate labor detail, community service, work release and all manner of methods that do not involve locking people up.
Voters want vengeance and Politicians are more that willing to oblige. The real objective should be to cut crimes not to make criminals suffer. You can't do the same old thing in the same old way and expect a different result. It would seem reasonably simple to cut sentence times in half to thereby doubling our current jail space and make sentences swift, certain and shorter.
The current average sentence in Canyon County is 19 days. In 1996 the average was 9 days. Jails are not rehabilitation facilities their purpose is deterence and socital retribution. The notion we are locking people up and throwing the key at our county jail is nonsense as well.
Is it worth $72million to you to build a new jail to lock up more people for an average of 19 days? Vote on Tuesday and let your voice be heard.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 5:59 PM
Thursday, October 29, 2009
THE GUARDIAN fielded a call from a reader that has some interesting implications. This reader has posed the question to the Commishes but no answer yet. The question asked was do the Canyon County Commissioners intend to reimburse the county general fund for all the money they have spent on jail land and engineering from the proceeds of the Jail Bond Election?
Put another way..are we taxpayers goning to get the opportunity to buy back land and engineering drawings we already own?
We have not heard from the Commishes on this issue regarding the jail bond election. Also inherent in this question is not only the land purchases at over $2 million there are engineering costs already paid for out of the county general fund for over $1 million. Is it the intent of the Commissioners to reimburse the county general fund all of the monies they have already spent. Or is it their intent to pillage the jail bond money to put cash back into the general fund with this bond election.
Commissioners have heretofore kept the voters out of jail expenses trying to do the project piecemeal until the economy hit the skids. Now they are asking us to retroactively approve their unauthorized expenditures with this bond election. No mea culpas on their part just write is a blank check for $46 million and we'll get'er done for ya.
We will post the answer should we get any information out of 1115 Albany on this question.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 9:28 AM
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
THE GUARDIAN got the below Canyon County Jail Booking numbers from a ticked off motorist in Nampa who had just been recently pulled over. Copper said he was "weaving and didn't signal long enough when he changed lanes". This creates probable cause to pull over someone that will stand up in court. He was not cited by the patrol officer. (Perhaps a refresher in Driver's Ed. may be the answer for this guy.)
As curious citizen he filed an FOI records request and came up with some not so surprising facts--MOST people who are in jail are bad drivers and irresponsible, but NOT criminals.
He wanted you to share with you the top ten booking numbers when people get arrested in Canyon County. The numbers came directly from the Canyon County Sheriff's Office Annual Report.
Calendar 2007 Top 10 Booking Offenses
1. Driving Without Privileges 2819
2. Probation Violation (Misdemeanor) 2698
3. Ada County Hold 2016
4. Failure to Purchase Drivers Lic. 1913
5. DUI 1693
6. Poss. Controlled Substance 1330
7. Failure to Provide Insurance 1255
8. Poss. of Paraphernalia 1246
9. Failure to Appear (In Court) 1209
10. Immigration Hold 1137
Calendar 2008 Top 10 Booking Offenses
1. Driving Without Privileges 1975
2. Probation Violation (Misdemeanor) 1580
3. Failure to Purchase Drivers Lic. 1297
4. Failure to Provide Insurance 1016
5. Poss. Controlled Substance 903
6. Ada County Hold 798
7. Failure to Appear (In Court) 798
8. Probation Violation (Felony) 626
9. Petit Theft 589
We provide the above numbers without further comment as we head to the vote on the Jail Bond November 3rd.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 7:06 PM
Monday, October 26, 2009
THE GUARDIAN is a full fledged member of the Baby Boomer Generation. Here we are in our 60's, the beginning of our time swirling around the drain of life and the one conclusion I have come to is most Boomers are going to probably outlive their money. No matter how much we saved and planned for this period in our lives Baby Boomers are going to have a rough go to the finish line with respect to financial matters.
401K's are in a state of disarray, the dollar is getting sicker by the day and everything costs more with each passing day. Boomers are entering the fixed income part of their collective lives. Add to this Politicos who have no regard or respect for where tax dollars come nor how to spend them wisely. Their collective waste and spend attitude toward not just older people but everyone in general is particularly irritating in the current down economy.
Hardly a day goes by we don't see another project perpetrated by elected officials of all stripes to further fleece the public of cash. Their "TEAM OF EXPERTS" are all front and center to tell us how good this new widget will be for all of us. The latest in boondoggles have to be the Boise Trolley Folly that won't go anywhere for a mere $50 million, the Nampa Urban Renewal Library and Police Station projects at $68 Million and finally Caldwell wanting to support an Oregon based community college project in downtown Caldwell at around $10 Million. The TVCC project in downtown will be land locked with no ability to expand the day it is built.
All of this stuff with no vote of the people!
I remember my Economics classes from college and the limits to growth are land, labor, capital (taxes for the Politicos) and natural resources. We're not just getting used, we're getting abused by our elected officials in this valley with no end in sight. Election day is next Tuesday, November 3, 2009. Let's try and make this a day our elected officials will remember. The Beast is out of control and we need to put it back in the cage with our votes.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 1:09 PM
Sunday, October 25, 2009
THE GUARDIAN spoke with County Recorder William Hurst this past week about where to vote early in Caldwell and Nampa and here is the deal.
If you want to vote early in either Caldwell or Nampa you can vote at City Hall or at the County Elections Office at 11th Avenue and Chicago. Mr. Hurst said they will not turn away Caldwell and Nampa people if they want to vote early at the courthouse.
City residents in all the other cities in the county will have to use their local city clerk and city hall for early voting.
There is the Jail Bond Issue for all county residents and cities will have their local elections for mayor and city councilors in addition to the jail bond issue.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 2:18 PM
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Saturday, October 24th by David R. Frazier(aka Boise Guardian)
"Canyon Prosecuting Attorney John Bujak reacted quickly and properly Friday when he learned local on-duty coppers in uniform attended a rally advocating a “yes” vote for a jail bond issue on the November 3 election ballot.
Officers and chiefs from Nampa Caldwell, and the Canyon County sheriff appeared for a rally Thursday carrying signs saying “vote yes.” The BOISE GUARDIAN saw the news story and reported on the legal aspects of the action, calling attention to an Idaho Supreme Court ruling that public funds cannot be used to campaign for an issue or candidate.
Bujak told the IDAHO PRESS TRIBUNE, “You can’t use any public funds to support a side. You can’t use public funds to influence voters. If they’re (police) not taking personal leave or vacation time, they’re being paid an hourly wage on the county coffers, which is our tax dollars. It wouldn’t be any different than sending them out canvassing neighborhoods with brochures saying, ‘Remember to vote yes on the jail bond.’”
“I think they just thought they had a great idea and now people have raised some legitimate issues,” Bujak said.
We agree with the prosecutor’s statement. It is actually refreshing to see a public official not only respond quickly, but broker a deal where there is an instant remedy. According to a story in the Saturday Press Tribune, the coppers will donate some leave time to compensate the cities and county for the improper use of their time. We doubt you will see a uniformed platoon picking up trash along the freeway and the time will probably never actually be subtracted from the books (it wouldn’t be fair to punish coppers for doing what their commanders wanted them to do). The important part is the lesson.
We hope the event sends a message to other local governments throughout the state that it is improper to campaign on the taxpayer dollar. The BOISE GUARDIAN has no position on the issue of of funding a new jail. Our interest was only to insure compliance with the law."
We would like to note the BOISE GUARDIAN headline conflicts drastically with the IPT.
The IPT headline sounds like a charity action by the coppers when the truth is the got caught doing wrong and are getting spanked by Mr. Bujack.
Here is a quote from the IPT article by Caldwell Police Chief Chris Allgood:
"Caldwell Police Chief Chris Allgood said he didn't consider his department's participation in the rally unethical or a misuse of resources."
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 9:58 AM
Friday, October 23, 2009
Mayor Garret Nancolas asked Mr. Kohler to tell folks at the IPT candidate forum about his work history. Mr. Kohler was more than accommodating with the name and times of his employment for a million dollar company in Southern California prior to moving to Caldwell. (His father's age and illness brought Mr. Kohler to Caldwell so he could be near his parents at this stage of thier lives.)
THE GUARDIAN likes to check things out as well. Mr.Kohler checked out to be who he claimed to be with respect to his work history that was suspect in the manner Mr. Nancolas questioned his work history. Mr. Kohler was a professional motorcycle racer as well. The above photos are taken from a sponsor website. The local paper ran a bio of Mr. Kohler's work history in a fair amount of detail and we think the article should dispel any thoughts about him not being who he says he is.
THE GUARDIAN would like to see the local paper delve into the work history and background of our incumbent Mayor, Garret Nancolas for their readers to review. It was Mr. Nancolas who raised the issue of work histories at the election forum.
THE GUARDIAN does not endorse candidates but in this instance there is a rumor circulating in Caldwell that Mr. Kohler does not have the experience he stated he has. The IPT article has clearly indicated that Mr. Kohler indeed has the work history he stated in the public forum.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 10:56 AM
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The following GUARDIAN comment was rejected by the local paper REGARDING the ACLU article in today's paper. We are offering it as submitted for your review and comments.
Please note for clarification: There is an A budget and a B budget for the Sheriff's Department. The A budget is wages and fringes, the B budget is for maintenance and repair items in his department.
Vickie Holbrook from the local paper writes:
I’m told the commissioner oversee the maintenance budget. You need to provide proof that chris put the money into salaries. I’m OK with the rest. You’ll have to resubmit" (we did not resubmit and stand by what was originally submitted to the local paper as originally submitted)
Here is the comment as submitted to the local paper:
"The ACLU bill is the result of the Sheriff not maintaining the jail. He took his maintenance budget and gave all his people substantial pay raises and created a number of new administrative positions. The situation was further exacerbated by the lack of cooperation between the prosecutor, Dave Young and the courts to recognize the need to impose alternative sentencing, work release, community service and cite and release for low level misdemeanors. It all added up to a seriously overcrowded and poorly maintained jail.
Sheriff Smith was looking for the ACLU to tell them they needed a new jail. It didn't happen, the lawsuit told them to clean up what they had and get the numbers down where they belonged in the first place. The ACLU forced the Sheriff, Prosecutor and the Judges to figure out who really needs to be in jail and to use alternative
sentencing for all others. Now they want their legal costs and we taxpayers will have to pay for the gross mismanagment of our jail to the ACLU."
THE GUARDIAN learned today the actual amount of the billing from the ACLU is for $193,000.00! Commissioners will try to negotiate a lower settlement from the ACLU.
The Commissioner's oversee the Maintenance Department Budget for all the ancillary operations of the courthouse functions. They do not oversee the Jail Maintenance Budget, it is the responsiblity of the Sheriff.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 2:17 PM
Monday, October 19, 2009
It has been reported to THE GUARDIAN the immediate and long range prospects of the jail will be to become a REGIONAL JAIL funded at Canyon County taxpayer expense. This explains the build out design of 2,000 beds. It has also been reported to THE GUARDIAN Owyhee and Canyon Sheriff's have been engaged in talks to shut down the Owyhee County Jail when and if the new Canyon County Jail gets built. Sheriff Smith even has a opinion piece on the Idhao Sheriff's Association website stating 'now is the time to act" on the issue of regional jails.
If Canyon County voters approve the bond will other small counties be lobbied to use this facility and shutter their jails as well. Expense of operation is the main motivation moving this concept forward. Commissioner Alder weighs in at the bottom of this post offering a regional jail is not what is planned.
Payback on the jail bond will be between $3-3,600,000 a year (or around $300,00/month for those of you who like monthly payment plans) depending on the final interest rate attached to the bond. The below information is taken directly off the ballot question for voters to decide on November 3rd.
The following information is provided in accordance with Section 34-439,
QUESTION: Shall Canyon County, State of Idaho, issue and sell its general obligation bonds in an amount of up to $46,000,000 payable over a term not to exceed twenty (20) years from ad valorem taxes, for the purpose of providing for the acquisition, construction and improvement of jail and associated law enforcement facilities, and other related improvements, equipment, items and costs incidental thereto, as more fully provided for in Resolution No. 09-183 of the County adopted September 1, 2009?
YES OR NO ARE YOUR VOTING OPTIONS
The total existing general obligation indebtedness, including interest accrued as of November 3, 2009, of Canyon County, State of Idaho, is $-0-. The average coupon interest rate anticipated on the proposed general obligation bonds is five and 11/100ths percent (5.11%). The range of anticipated rates is from one and 70/100ths percent (1.70%) to five and 95/100ths percent (5.95%). The total amount to be repaid over the life of the proposed general obligation bonds, based on the above anticipated interest rate, is (a) $72,913,135.00, if issued without any federal subsidy, or (b) $60,802,224.42, if issued with anticipated federal subsidy. Commissioners remain tight lipped on this subject.
THE GUARDIAN is happy to see Canyon County voters get the opportunity to vote on the jail bonding question and hope you will exercise your opportunity to weigh in on this issue on November 3rd.
The following is from the Idaho Sheriffs Association website:
"The Idaho Association of Counties (IAC) and Idaho Sheriffs' Association (ISA) along with the Department of Correction (IDOC) were recently awarded a $137,000 grant to study Regional Offender Management Centers. This new concept will explore the regionalization of prisons/jails with shared financial and governance responsibilities. The study will include misdemeanor/felony incarceration, treatment programs, probation and parole and other offender services all located at a single regional center. A bid will be let in the near future to select a consultant. The IAC, ISA and IDOC are excited about the prospects of this ground breaking research and look forward to working together to see the reality of its implementation."
THE GUARDIAN received the following comment from Commissioner Kathy Alder today, 10-22-09:
Because jails are so expensive to run the idea of Regional jails was talked about at the IAC meetings. There is no intention of making this a regional jail. The idea of putting it out on 20/26, (Notus) is because we do need to look to the future. there is no desire to make this a 2000 bed jail until it is needed which I think is a long time away, perhaps not in my lifetime."
Saturday, October 17, 2009
THE GUARDIAN, in a previous post put forth a schedule of local Mayoral candidates to be interviewed on the KIDO AM 63 radio show, NORTHWEST LIVE. We cited the dates and times for Mayor Tom Dale and Helmut Kohler. Also we noted incumbent Mayor Garret Nancolas declined multiple opportunites to be interviewed.
Mayor Nancolas sent following email to me:
Your statement regarding KIDO radio is absolutely false. I have never refused an interview with anyone at KIDO, and if fact did an interview with Mike Sharp last Thursday at 10:00 am. Please remove your false statement from your blog.
Garret L. Nancolas, Mayor
City of Caldwell"
We were listening to KIDO this morning to NORTHWEST LIVE in an effort to become informed voters while Mr. Helmut Kohler was getting run through the mill by the hosts of the radio show Dr. Ralph Smith and Eugene Smith (not related to one another). The hosts pointed out at the end of the interview with Mr. Kohler at 10:45 AM, Mayor Nancolas was indeed offered six different dates to appear on their radio show. All offers and dates were turned down "by his appointment secretary". True as cited by Mayor Nancolas, he did not personally decline the interviews but his "appointment secretary" did decline all offers to appear on this valuable public service forum in behalf of Mayor Nancolas.
THE GUARDIAN will acknowldge Mayor Nancolas did not personally decline the offers to appear on the radio show. We would suggest Mayor Nancolas listen to the tape of the radio show and check with his "appointment secretary" and why she declined the appearance offers for the Mayor.
You get to be the judge if Mayor Nancolas declined, refused or may have had a six way scheduling confilct for his no-show on this radio forum.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 10:50 AM
Friday, October 16, 2009
The last public candidate forum was held last night at the Caldwell Police Station public meeting room and was sponsored by the Idaho Press Tribune. We will try to summarize what we got out of these forums.
1. The City of Caldwell has reneged on a promise with Caldwell Firemen to build a new fire station east of the freeway. Results of this will be insurance company ISO Fire Ratings for Caldwell will translate to a higher risk for all insurance companies. This will more than likely mean higher fire insurance premium costs in Caldwell. Too bad the Mayor and Urban Renewal board didn't figure this out and spend urban renewal funds on a new fire station. Title 50 chapter 20 of the Idaho Code under the urban renewal laws would have allowed this as it is a health and safety issue. It now takes more than 8 minutes to respond to a 911 fire call vs. 4 minutes in the past in East Caldwell. The Fire Station has been pushed back from an original completion date of 2006 to a date of 2013, if at all, with this economy.
2. There is a clear difference between the incumbents and the challengers with respect to TVCC getting built downtown. The challengers all want voter/citizen input on what will be a $10 million project funded by taxpayers and will forever change the dynamics of downtown Caldwell. Incumbents support the move sans voter/citizen input for TVCC downtown. They have referenced the ballot box as the manner in which elected officials are held accountable.
3. Incumbents defended their records and challengers raised issues about city governance and how it could be better. TVCC sends over $300,000 each year back to the State of Oregon from their Caldwell operations. Do we really need Oregon based TVCC at Caldwell taxpayer expense? Private developers have offered to build the building and lease it to TVCC on three different sites in town at no cost to taxpayers. Their offers have been rebuffed by TVCC in favor of the freebies offered by Urban Renewal.
4. Housing foreclosures from investment based purchases are going to impact property tax revenue in Caldwell. Houses that previously were purchased and rented had no tax exemptions are now getting resold to homeowners who do have exemptions, the net tax flow to the city will be cut in half when this happens. Incumbents did not have a good answer on this issue. (THE GUARDIAN would offer the levy rate will go up. City budgets are what drive the levy rate and the county assessor sets property valuations. The levy rates are then multiplied with net taxable valuations to arrive at your individual property taxes.)
5. Caldwell has the second highest levy rate in the State of Idaho, despite 15 years of unprecedented growth in tax base.
6. Two city council challengers pointed out Caldwell lost three big box stores for East Caldwell due to the cumbersome, expensive and time consuming permitting process. They contrasted it with the warp speed at which the TVCC project is getting through the permitting process. The speed of the TVCC permit process has all the trappings of political pressure related to the election and lack of economic development downtown on the parts of the incumbents.
7. A review of the questions submitted but not asked was also made available to those who attended the debate. One question in particular we noted asked why anyone should believe anything the incumbents had to say. We were promised a 300,000 sq/ft city hall complex with shops and residential condominiums. It then got shifted to a smaller city hall project and then a yet smaller city hall project with further review and finally no city hall at all. TVCC ground breaking out at Sky Ranch, TVCC downtown, TVCC built at no cost to taxpayers, TVCC at huge cost to taxpayers. Why should we believe anything based on actual performance of the incumbents.
8. The issue of critical mass downtown (people actually needing to go there) was brought out. Challengers want market driven projects that will create a need for city resident to have a reason to go downtown. Incumbents seem to think TVCC is the silver bullet for all that ails and will bring 1500 students to our downtown. Students with no money and cars to take all the available parking as rebutted by the challengers.
9. Incumbents say the only money to be spent on TVCC by Urban Renewal/City is for infrastructure. Minutes from the November Urban Renewal Agency show Oppenheimer Development wanting a letter acknowledging their part in downtown development along with acknowledgement of the costs and to be reimbursed for their costs. City Attorney, Mark Hilty, to prepare a letter of understanding per UR minutes of the October CEURA meeting.
Summary, this election will hinge on the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the status quo and the records of the incumbents. Clearly, taking on a sitting incumbent is a daunting task for the challengers. The two public forums put on by the Chamber of Commerce and the Idaho Press Tribune were very well attended and show a great deal of interest on the part of the voters this time around. We hope this will translate to an informed electorate making the effort to show up a actually vote November 3.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 10:10 AM
Saturday, October 10, 2009
THE GUARDIAN received a rather intimidating letter via CERTIFIED MAIL RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED (postage was $5.54) from the City Clerk of Caldwell today (Saturday 10-10).
In what can only be described as an attempt to limit free speech, the Caldwell city clerk has sent the CALDWELL GUARDIAN a lengthy letter apparently alleging some sort of illegal activity for sharing information about the upcoming city election. It is no secret the GUARDIAN and others are not happy with the current crop of incumbents up for reelection. While we don't advocate FOR any particular candidate, we don't advocate AGAINST any specific candidate either--we are against ALL the incumbents up for reelection. Here is the document at issue:
"THE TRUTH IS…
Current incumbents up for reelection in Caldwell have worked harder at getting along with one another than performing the due diligence for their elected responsibilities
Current incumbents have presided over MILLIONS of our dollars spent or lost on projects that offer no productive value to taxpayers:
At least three downtown studies costing nearly $400,000.00
Paid Oppenheimer Group $50,000.00
Homeland Security cell towers that don’t work $750,000.00
Construction plans for TVCC at Sky Ranch Business Park $150,000.00
Over spent on downtown property purchases to the tune of millions
Doubled county assessments for Caldwell commercial and retail property owners
$300,000.00 to the Mercado building for Oregon based TVCC
Failed to keep the Canyon County Fair in Caldwell
Caldwell has the second highest PROPERTY TAX LEVY rate in Idaho
Incumbents have actually contributed to the further demise of downtown Caldwell. We now have a net loss to downtown economic base.
One third of all property taxes collected, $6 million, is getting spent by elected officials via the Urban Renewal Agency with no voter oversight. (UR board is ELJAY WAITE, GARRET NANCOLAS, ROB HOPPER, STEVE RULE, LEONA FOUTS AND TWO ELECTED SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS)
We are being governed and our money spent by “MAYORAL PROCLAMATION” instead of a defined plan and voter oversight for millions of our property tax dollars.
THE TRUTH IS… YOU NEED TO GET INVOLVED IN CALDWELL AND VOTE NOVEMBER 3RD"
The City Clerk states "Earlier this week, it came to my attention that a particular flyer has been widely circulated with respect to the upcoming election. I contacted two individuals who were known to be reproducing and/or distributing the flyer. Since that time I have been advised that the flyer had been created by you. In reliance on that information , I am writing you to inform you of the same information provided to them." The City Clerk goes on to cite all manner of Idaho Codes.
Perhaps citing a bunch of Idaho codes can be construed by some as "educational and informative." We think it improper for the clerk to be involved in judging what is and what is NOT free speech. The city attorney or county prosecutor would be the ones to decide if laws are being broken and they would have to convince a jury that exercising rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America is somehow contrary to the sensibilities of the Caldwell City Clerk.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 1:51 PM
Friday, October 9, 2009
The Chamber of Commerce candidate forum held at the College of Idaho last night demonstrated there are differences and choices for Caldwell voters this election cycle. The issues before the voters are TVCC downtown, Urban Renewal accountability and transparency, sprawl and growth management, economic development, and the collective records of the incumbents.
The candidate forum pretty much boiled down to if are satisfied with the status quo then vote for the incumbents. If you think Caldwell needs to move in a new direction with increased transparency and accountability with our tax dollars then vote for the challengers. We won't go into the questions asked at the forum as they are covered in the local paper.
On another note, yesterday, the Canyon County Commishes got off the hook on the citizen's jail lawsuit. Prior to the decision Judge Linda Kopple-Trout was trying to determine at which point the Commishes created a point of no return on the jail project for the taxpayers. The bond election for the new jail project made the lawsuit moot per the decision handed down by Justice Trout. The case is appealable to the Supreme Court and will probably hang on the success or failure of the jail bond election. If the bond fails there will likely be an appeal to the supreme court because of the millions spent with no voter approvals and the project will have created a debt, liability or obligation extending beyond one budget cycle for taxpayers.
THE GUARDIAN hopes readers will take the time to be informed on the issues and vote on November 3rd. There are certainly clear choices and differences on the issues this election cycle.
KIDO AM 630 will have Mayor Tom Dale on from 10:00 to 11:00 AM on Saturday 10-10-09 and Helmut Kohler on the next Saturday on the 17th at the same time. Mayor Garret Nancolas has declined all offers and dates to be interviewed on the radio.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 10:38 AM
Thursday, October 8, 2009
THE GUARDIAN read with interest today the article by Mike Butts of the local paper "COUNCIL WILL INVESTIGATE CLAIM AGAINST CHAMBER". The brouhaha stems from the allegation by Scott Wallace of Copy Cats and Shipit businesses in downtown that he was put on notice by a customer that they would not be able to do business with him in the future because he was no longer a Caldwell Chamber of Commerce member. Mr. Wallace took this as a strong arm tactic by the Chamber management to force him into the fold and pay membership dues.
Here is the deal with the Chamber of Commerce. Members support members is at the core of what the chamber is all about. Their functions are for networking of members and support of their local businesses. They also set a lobby agenda for each legislative session every year. This is not NEWS! It is simply part of their mission statement and agenda where they exist.
On the local level, the fair city of Caldwell pays for memberships for the Mayor and city councilors so they can keep in touch with what is on the collective minds of chamber members. City and County elected officals attend the Chamber Governemental Affairs meetings and participate in various chamber functions. Memberships to the Chamber are paid for by taxpayers via a check from the City of Caldwell and County.
The front page headline COUNCIL WILL INVESTIGATE CLAIM AGAINST CHAMBER sounds just plain silly. The Chamber of Commerce is a 501 C-6 non-profit entity and their stuff is not public nor should it be public. Their agenda again is to support members and grow businesses in Caldwell and lobby government entities to the benefit of their membership.
The letter from Mr. Wallace to the city councilors is just plain silly when you think about it. And for the Caldwell City Council to say they are going to investigate this is even more silly. This is nothing more than crybaby posturing on the part of Mr. Wallace. It is not front page news for the local paper. And forgive me here, but who is the mystery person delivering the arm twisting from the Chamber? The local paper usually prides itself on being able to produce witnesses and statements "on the record".
Wikipedia on the Chamber of Commerce..
"A chamber of commerce (also referred to in some circles as a board of trade) is a form of business network, e.g., a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community. Local businesses are members, and they elect a board of directors or executive council to set policy for the chamber. The board or council then hires a President, CEO or Executive Director, plus staffing appropriate to size, to run the organization"
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 10:22 AM
Monday, October 5, 2009
Citizens who brought a law suit against the Commishes for spending tax dollars on a new jail project will be decided at the District Court level this Thursday at 1:30 PM. Commishes have been pumping your tax dollars into this for a couple of years sans any voter approvals.
The law suit is all about incurring a debt, liability or obligation without a vote of the people. The Commishes maintained they could do as they pleased as long as they did not go out beyond one budget cycle for what they were doing on the new jail project.
District Court Judge Linda Kopple Trout is struggling with determining when the County Commishes will have crossed the line and created a point of not return on the new jail project. It would be at this point they would have run afoul of the Idaho Constitution and will have incurred long term debt without a vote of the people.
Here we are in the Fall of 2009 and the Commishes are now attempting to pass a $46 million bond election to complete the jail at a site where they have sunk millions of taxpayer dollars. They now need the money from the bond election to complete the project. No more money has been falling from the sky in the form on unbridled growth and development.
Is this the point of no return the judge was looking for or not?
We will all get to find out this Thursday when Judge Linda Kopple-Trout renders her summary judgement. It is any ones guess how the judge will rule.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 7:58 AM