Tracking code caldwell guardian

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Citizen Rights In Jeopardy

Got this from Dave Frazier at the Boise Guardian..

If a proposed amendment to Idaho's Constitution passes, citizens will be denied the right to approve certain long term debts. The constitution MANDATES that local government ask permission of voters.

The cities and counties have steadfastly refused to take ANY bond issues to the voters since this decision. I believe BLAINE County passed a bond for a new jail facility after the so-called FRAZIER DECISION came down from the supremes, but locals don't want to risk a "no" vote on pet projects.

For the advocates of the amendment to call it, "CLARIFICATION OF ORDINARY AND NECESSARY" is simply spin.

The proposal is nothing more than an end run around the voters and a blatant attempt to limit the rights of citizens to control the purse strings of government..... rights already mandated by the Idaho Constitution.

One of their arguments is that since PROPERTY taxes are not impacted, citizens have no right to approve.... or disapprove... multimillion dollar projects. If these amendments (amendment?) were to pass, it would allow local governments to literally go into business "SELLING" everything from hospital medical care to jail cells .... with no voter oversight.

(Canyon County wants to build and rent jail cells to the state, there is a county hospital issue in Pocatello that I am aware of at present which deserves citizen scrutiny. Also, Nampa is attempting to build a multimillion dollar police station and library project calling it urban renewal and get a judge to "confirm" it as an ORDINARY AND NECESSARY expense.)

All the local government folks need to do is ASK PERMISSION FROM THE VOTERS. It is the constitutional requirement and it is the law of our great state.

Important to note that I advocate only protecting the citizen's right to vote on long term debts by local government. I make no judgement on any individual projects or the need for them...the local citizens have the right and responsibility to do so.

Finally, I would be astounded and dismayed if 2/3 of our legislators chose to deny the citizens the right to vote on long term debts on the part of local governments...regardless of the revenue source.

If the legislators were to show such disregard for existing citizen constitutional rights, I can't believe the citizens of the state would pass..... by simple majority .... an amendment that takes away their right to approve major debt incurred by their local officials.

by David Frazier March 8, 2008


  1. On Thursday 3/6/2008 the City of Nampa filed in Third Judicial District Court their petition for Judicial Confirmation (reads no voter approvals) to float $15.5 million in revenue bonds for the police station and library land acquistions.

    The legal work is being handled by White Peterson,P.A. The Case# is CV-2008-0002431-C. Intersted parties have 30 days to file any objections to this sleight of hand operation against the taxpayers of Canyon County.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. The legislative action on changing "ordinary and necessary" and your constitutional right to vote up or down long term debt is SJR 106 and SB 106.

    This resolution, if passed will remove citizen oversight of the debt process.


A public discourse on the issues of the day makes the world a better place.

We welcome comments but they will be moderated and edited if too long or do not have anything to do with the post.
Agree or disagree just do it without profanity or it won't get posted. Try to keep your comments to no more than 300 words. Too long and I will try to edit it down or simply delete the comment. The whole idea is to get people to read your comment. Don't use 10 words when one will do the job.

It's OK to have a difference of opinion but keep it civil. I have used the "delete" feature on myself at times.

The ANONYMOUS feature for comments seems to be the most user friendly. People have commented they have difficulty with the other methods of posting comments.