Tracking code caldwell guardian

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

US Will Be Net Fuel Exporter This Year

THE GUARDIAN learned via the Wall Street Journal today the USA will be a net fuel exporter this year for the first time in 62 years.  The US sent abroad 753.4 million barrels from gasoline to jet fuel and everything else you can burn for fuel while it imported 689.4 million barrels of fuel stocks.

The US is currently exporting 919,000 barrels of oil per day.  Gasoline and low sulfur diesel are the highest items for export customers.  The increases in supply are from North Dakota and Texas.  North Dakota is producing 424,000 barrels per day.  The US is expected to remain a net exporter throughout this decade.

Growing domestic output means refineries are producing much more than domestic demand can absorb hence sales to other countries like Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Peru and others.  Export demand is boosting profits for Exxon-Mobil, Royal Dutch-Shell and refineries Valero Energy Corporation and Marathon Petroleum Corporation.

Here is the link to the Wall Street Journal article, you have to be a subscriber to read all of it,

Here's another link to SLATE and you can

Monday, November 28, 2011

Is Privatizing Liquor Sales Effective

The following is a guest opinion written by Elaine Hirsh, November 28, 2011:

It is not uncommon in the American liquor industry to hear phrases like "big brother" being thrown around in reference to state controlled liquor sales.  In states where liquor has been totally privatized, and when they can sell liquor.  However, opponents of privatized liquor cite a wide range of real and perceived consequences to the notion of removing state control from the liquor industry.

The argument over the legitimacy of private v. public liquor sales is nothing new; the argument between public/private sales is covered in every Masters Degree in Economics curriculum link .  Many American states and Canadian Provinces that have switched over to private liquor regulation and sales have actually felt the sting of complaints from within the industry.  Notably in 2006 when Connect Logistics, a liquor distributor, suffered some setbacks with retailers complaining they had empty shelves and were not receiving their stocks on time.  This resulted in legal action   in drastic changes in pricing regulations.

In the United States, most states still have some laws regarding which alcoholic beverages and containers can be sold and a majority specify spirits with a high alcohol content can only be sold in liquor stores and other specific venues.  In eighteen states liquor stores can only be legally owned and operated by the state government.

For example, Idaho law limits alcohol sales to 16% ABV.  Any beverages with more than 16% ABV must be sold in a state-run liquor store.  In Mississippi,  privately owned liquor stores must have a state contract.  In Minnesota, various cities have their own laws, some allowing totally privatized liquor sales and others only allowing city-owned stores to sell liquor.

According to and independent study, Pennsylvania Governor, Thomas Corbett announced the state would realize an estimated $1.5 billion if the state were to privatize liquor sales..  The article goes on to advocate for regulation due to alcohols negative societal effects but the numbers speak for themselves.  During a time when municipal governments are running huge deficits, privatizing liquor sales could provide the boost they need to dig themselves out of an ever deeper hole.

Roughly one fourth of the US population lives in states where the government controls or has an outright monopoly on liquor sales.  Manny critics suggest this is, in fact, taking a toll on both the economy and the small businessman in states like New Hampshire, where independence and personal freedom are highly valued.  

In states like Michigan where the government is holding a monopoly on the liquor market, liquor prices are usually higher due to lack of competition, licensing fees, and alcohol taxation.  States such as Wisconsin have privatized liquor sales and clearly demonstrated it's possible to have regulated (21+) alcohol sales without the state regulating the substance.  It is understandable the powers be would want to maintain control of the alcohol market but the call for independent alcohol sales is being made loud and clear all over the United States.  

Here are some links related to the above story:

for "master's degree in economics":">master's degree in economics">Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Misdemeanor Prosecutions, Caldwell Takes High Bid

THE GUARDIAN is always thinking about the costs to taxpayers for all manner of things done by government at the local level.  The costs for misdemeanor prosecutions came up and a public records request was made to the City of Caldwell for the costs of private legal services v. services from the local Canyon County Prosecutor.  THE GUARDIAN interviewed Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney Brian Taylor, Tuesday of this week about the costs.  Mr. Taylor indicated he made an offer of $250,000 to prosecute misdemeanor and infraction issue for the city of Caldwell per year regardless of what the numbers of prosecutions came to over the course of the contract.

A public records request was made to Caldwell City for the RFQ's submitted by Canyon County and the current private law firm of Hamilton, Michaelson, Hilty Law Office.  Bids were: $250K/year from Canyon County and $297K from HMH.   We then used historical data of 3292 prosecutions in the HMH RFQ to figure the costs of each prosecution effort.  Canyon County came in at $76/ prosecution effort and HMH came in at $90/prosecution.  The fair City of Caldwell chose the HMH prosecution services at a elevated cost of nearly 18.5% or $47,000.00 more.

We have known Mr. Taylor for a number of years and consider him to be a learned man of the law as well as a very efficient Prosecutor.  Why the City of Caldwell would not opt to save Caldwell Taxpayers $47K on these services is baffling to THE GUARDIAN.

Editor Note:  RFQ = Request for Quotation...  Felony prosecutions automatically go to the Canyon County Prosecutor unless they are conflicted out to another county.

Dynamis Project At Boise Landfill Equals Higher Idaho Power Rates

The following is a guest opinion by our friend Hubert Osborne.  It is important to note the amount paid to Dynamis by Idaho Power for electricity is over three times the spot market rate for electricity at $27/mwhr.  Also, the land fills in the area have a life of over 100 years.  Natural gas today is more than 25% cheaper than it was twenty years ago due to the new technology of getting it out of the ground.  Why are rate payers being asked by Idaho Power and Dynamis to fund a costly experiment?

On Wed, Nov 23, 2011 at 8:05 AM, Hlclosborne  wrote:

Good morning Paul,
The energy agreement between Dynamis and Idaho Power which was reported in the Statesman yesterday and Press-Tribune this
morning presents us with both challenges and opportunity's.
A challenge because if not confronted agreement and all the repercussions will be saddled on the public for many years.
Not just here but nationally and internationally where Dynamis has made presentations.
An opportunity because delay, delay, delay and even defeat of their proposal would be good for everyone except Dynamis
Buried in the back of Case No. IPC-E-11-25 which can be downloaded from the IPUC site is a request for modified procedure
and I quote  " Idaho Power believes that a hearing is not necessary to consider the issues presented herein and respectfully requests that this application be processed
under Modified Procedure; i.e., by written submissions rather than by hearing. RP 201 et seq. If, however, the commission determines that
a technical hearing is required, the Company stands ready to prepare and present its testimony in such hearing."
I happen to think this is worth fighting and as Paul knows if sufficiently motivated I am willing to put up some bucks to get the best
representation available.
My questions to each of you are
1. Are you with me on this
2. Do you know a good attorney versed in PUC proceedings
3. Do any of you have access to the PUC members or staff to get an inside feel of how they will rule.
4. Any other comments as to how to fight this would be helpful

Here's the challenge we can all just take this laying down or we can get it together and take this thing on in the Courts before we hit the point of no return.  Paul

Monday, November 21, 2011

Geezer Group Talks Turkey Over Raising Rates

By David R. Frazier November 21, 2011

Taking advantage of the paucity of news during the holiday week, the old timers at ARRP have issued a press release aimed at the electricity and water providers who want more cash for their current.

With Thanksgiving just days away, AARP Idaho has released the hotly anticipated winners of this first annual Gem State Turkey  Award - and the winners are Idaho Power, Rocky Mountain Power and United Water.  The utility companies were cited for their attempts to press through a combined $122 million in rate hikes on Idaho consumers, as many , including the state's 50+ year old people struggle in a difficult economy.

"We couldn't find better recipients for the first annual Gem State Turkey Award - asking consumers to keep paying more in this economy is move worthy of recognition." said Jim Wordelman, State Director of AARP in Idaho.  "These  rate hike proposals are in real turkeys in this Thanksgiving, and AARP is  calling on the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to ensure they don't fly."

The Turkey Award "winners" - Idaho Power is looking to sock state consumers with $83MM in rate hikes, resulting in the average residential consumer's bill skyrocketing by nearly 9% in addition to a $1/month  increase in customer's service charge (bringing in an additional $500k to the company).   A non-binding settlement agreement between the company and the interevenues (none representing residential consumers) in the rate hike case, currently before the Idaho PUC, still calls for $34 million in rate hikes,, hitting the typical residential consumer with a 4.19 higher monthly energy bills.

- Mountain Power  has a $32.7 MM    rate hike before the PUC, which will mean Idaho consumers would see their monthly power bills climb by 7.2%, their non-binding settlement agreement with groups again facing a residential consumers voice, provides the company with a $34 million in rate hikes over two years, hammering consumers with an 11.23 hike in their monthly bills.

- United Water is turning to the PUC for approval of  $7.6 million in rate hikes with an alarming 20 increase in monthly bills.

"I'm betting the overwhelming majority of Idahoans didn't  get a 7%, 9% or 20% raise or cost of living increase last year, and neither should the utility companies", said Wordelman.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

County Commishes Not Reading Tea Leaves Regarding PIO

Canyon County Commishes are  once again trying to convince citizens of the need for a Public Information Officer despite every indication the public is saying NO.  Add to this the cavalier attitude of spending over $80,000/year to fund this position flies in the face of taxpayers. IPT Opinion Piece

We live in an age where everyone wants instant access or response to the most trivial of questions.  THE GUARDIAN has watched the endorsements for the need of this position dribble out from various elected officials in the attempt to sway public opinion in this matter. The local paper did a poll and respondents to the poll said NO to the PIO idea.  Today we have a guest opinion from the Canyon County Commishes telling us how useful this person would be to their efforts at transparency and how hard it is to respond to the media effectively without someone in this position.

THE GUARDIAN would like to suggest the Commishes video tape every meeting and they make it available via YOUTUBE or some other online service.  They could also have a media press conference block of time set aside each day to make one of the three as well as any other elected official available to the media with that session also available on video access.

The Jumbo Shrimp oxymoron of the day has to be: "County PIO shouldn't add expense".  The cash meter for taxpayers starts the minute this position is filled. It will add expense to the county.  Just because they have the position budgeted does not mean they should spend our money.

Without a serious analysis of the cost v. benefit we think Auditor Clerk Chris Yamamoto is 100% correct in his vocal non support of having a County PIO.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Industrial Revenue Bonds Explained

Photo of Ktech Corporation buildingWhy offer an IRB Most states and many local governments offer industrial revenue bonds (IRB) as a way to encourage relocations and expansions of companies that provide jobs and expand economic opportunities for residents and the community. IRBs are an incentive to encourage a company to invest in Albuquerque.
What is an IRB? 
An Industrial Revenue Bond, or IRB, is a loan to a company from a private financing entity to build or buy a facility or buy land and/or equipment. IRBs are one way local governments can provide tax abatements to encourage relocation and expansion of companies.
How do they work?
The city issues the bonds but is not making the loan. The investor buying the bond makes the loan. The company must find its own bond purchaser. It can also buy its own IRBs. The city technically owns title to the facility built with IRBs and leases it to the company for up to 20 years. At the end of the term, title is transferred to the company.
Here’s an example: Company X wants to build a $15 million plant and buy $20 million in equipment. The city issues a $35 million bond for 20 years. During this period the company will repay the bond. The company gets a break on property taxes for land of $4.3 million over 20 years and a break on equipment property taxes of $1.15 million over 7 years. It’s not correct to say the company is getting $35 million in tax breaks. The $35 million represents the amount of money the company will invest in our community.
Do IRBs affect the city’s credit ratings?
No. Since the city is not responsible for the loan, the IRB does not have an impact on the city’s credit rating.

THE GUARDIAN thought the explanation of how IRB's work was cut short in the IPT today.  The above explanation came from the City of Albuquerque, NM. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Urban Renewal In Boise, Hawks New Stadium, City Council On Deck

Once again the WHACK A MOLE game of trying to throw money at pop up targets is well underway in Boise.  This time around it looms large Boise Urban Renewal may step up to home plate and throw $23.7 million of property taxpayer money at a new stadium for the Boise Hawks.  Here is a section lifted from the article in the Idaho Statesman today:

"• Option 1: Urban renewal area — Tax increment financing — paying for public improvements by capturing the increase in property taxes that improvements generate — can be used within a designated urban renewal area such as Boise is considering creating around 30th Street .
Who approves it: The City Council would decide."

Read more:

Mavens of the BETTER BOISE COALITION and no doubt baseball fans are trying to figure out how to download the cost of this project onto the backs of Boise property taxpayers.  By way of a tax shift if this gets approved all Ada County property taxpayers will get stuck paying for this project.  The smooth talk of TAX INCREMENT FINANCING has begun.  Most taxpayers have no clue how urban renewal works and the good people at the BETTER BOISE COALITION will do nothing to help educate property owners in this matter.

The soft sell is this will be a "multi-sport complex.  Is there a new foot ball venue in the works?

No vote of the people in this matter if Urban Renewal is used it will fall to the the Boise City Council to make the decision if urban renewal will be the financing instrument for this project.  Voters countywide should be given the opportunity to make this decision, not a few baseball fans who want a new stadium.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

If Each New Job Creates 3-5 Other New Jobs, Does Each Job Lost Create 3-5 Added Losses?

The news from the J.R. Simplot Wednesday is bad any way you look at it. Loss of up to 1,000 jobs and closure of potato processing plants in Aberdeen and Nampa is not anyone’s idea of holiday cheer.
It’s even worse if you use any of the gushingly optimistic estimates about “job creation” related to the new Greek Yogurt plant about to be built at Twin Falls. Here is an excerpt from a Twin Falls Times-News newspaper editorial:
“And before you know it, the 7.57 multiplier similar to that of a cheese manufacturer can parlay the economic benefit of 400 new jobs into a number closer to 3,000.”
Even if a potato processing plant has only a 5.0 multiplier, it would be reasonable to conclude the closure of the Simplot spud processing plants would put another 4,000 Idaho workers on unemployment–this at a time when the head labor guy wants to put an end to extending unemployment bennies.
Our point is this: New businesses seldom live up to its projected benefits. Likewise, while closures are never good, they are seldom as bad as projected. Prior to the Simplot announcement, Gov. Butch Otter told a radio audience the yogurt plant was worth an additional 3-4 jobs. A former Simplot executive and family member himself, Guv Butch will have a hard time defending claims that loss of 1,000 jobs at the plants won’t mean 3,000-4000 additional job losses.
Simplot simply can’t sell all the french fries (a style of fried potato, not really from France) it has the capacity to produce. Tastes are changing. Greek yogurt (a style of yogurt, not really from Greece) is all the rage among certain cultures.
It has taken an act of congress to get potatoes back on the school lunch menu approved by the U.S. Government. Our famous potato is being maligned by health enthusiasts.

State of Washington Kills State Liquor Dispensaries State Will Make $80 Million More

Yesterday, voters in Washington State voted to do away with their state liquor dispensaries.  The new law also allows wholesale purchasers to go around local distributors and this tore down yet another law on their books.

Starting in June of 2012 the numbers of places where you can buy liquor by the bottle will go from 328 to 1,428. Prices are expected to fall while revenue to the state will go up by nearly $80 Million.

THE GUARDIAN has long been an advocate of doing away with the antiquated liquor dispensary system in Idaho.  In Washington it will mean more than 900 state employees will lose their jobs,  Liquor prices are expected to drop but not to the levels of California.  Washington will hang onto high levels of sin-taxation.

Costco was the main contributor in the effort to overturn Washington's liquor law regarding state run dispensaries.  Costco ponied up a cool  $22.5 Million of the total of $22.7 Million spent to pass Initiative 1183 in Washington.  It will be interesting to see if Costco sees an opportunity to go after states like Idaho with antiquated liquor sales models and expensive delivery overhead.  Here's a link for more info  .

Nampa and Caldwell Election Results, Apathy Wins Again With Very Low Turnout

THE GUARDIAN is posting the election results for those of you who don't take the paper or missed them for one reason or another.  It was another example of disinterest in local elections by voters.  Nampa and Caldwell numbers are screaming apathy in these elections

Vote For  1
 Stephen A. Kren  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   2,441   54.98   
 Lance R. McGrath .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   1,999   45.02   

Vote For  1
 Curtis Homer  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   1,566   35.17   
 Bob Henry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   2,181   48.98   
 Justin T. Harrison  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     406    9.12   
 Charles Harris, Jr. .  .  .  .  .  .  .     300    6.74   

                                           VOTES   PERCENT


Vote For  1

 Shannon Ozuna .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     878   39.80    

 Erik Constantine Makrush  .  .  .  .  .     732   33.18    

 Kent A. Marmon.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     596   27.02    


Vote For  1

 Jim Blacker.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   1,062   48.23    

 Rem Fox .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     732   33.24    

 Jerry Kilbourne  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     408   18.53    


Vote For  1

 Jeremy Feucht .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     772   36.97    

 David B. Clark.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   1,316   63.03

Monday, November 7, 2011

Storm Water Fees Ruled Unconstitutional By Idaho Supreme Court

The following is a conclusion of law rendered today by the Idaho Supreme Court stating the storm water fees imposed by Nampa and contemplated by Caldwell are indeed an unauthorized tax under Idaho Law.  Here's the link to the Idaho Supreme Court decision.

This Court finds that the first step of the analysis leads to the conclusion that the 
assessment is a tax, not a regulatory fee.  As per the second step, it is clear that the revenue to be 
collected from the storm water utility fee has no rational relationship to a regulatory purpose
because the storm water fee is a tax.  The storm water fee is used to generate funds for the non regulatory function of repairing, maintaining, and expanding the City’s preexisting storm water 
system and streets under Brewster. Ordinance 4512 is, therefore, an unauthorized tax intended to 
free-up the City’s general revenues.  It is for the Idaho Legislature to authorize such a tax.  
The judgment of the district court is affirmed with costs awarded to the Entities.  Neither side has requested attorney’s fees.

Mayor Tom Dale and Team Tom had to know about this legal challenge to Storm Water fees and instead of waiting until the case cleared the Idaho Supreme Court they said taxpayer's be damned and went full speed ahead.  It has been reported to THE GUARDIAN several business have simply shut down over this fee.  It will be interesting to see if any legal actions are taken by persons and businesses harmed by Mayor Dale and Team Tom.  Stay tuned for more....

Saturday, November 5, 2011

McKinstry Letter to Mayor Tom Dale on Trash Burner Project. Where Was The Due Diligence?

THE GUARDIAN obtained the letter in the photo from a source who wishes to remain anonymous.  It is also impossible to copy and paste it to my blog so I am doing the best I can.  The photo was taken of the actual letter and I am going to present the actual content herein:
"October 17, 2011

RE: Reduction on Phase 1 Municipal Solid Waste to Energy Feasibility Study  

Dear Mayor Dale:

Mckinstry remains committed to investigating the possibility of implementing a municipal solid waste to energy (MSWTE) facility that will provide sustainable energy and economic development for the City of Nampa and it participating partners.

Per our recent meeting, we have elected not to proceed to Phase 2 of this study, until such time that we can identify additional waste volumes that will make a larger MSWTE plant cost-effective under the recently revised PURPA power purchasing rates as set by Idaho PUC.  This investigation into additional waste volumes is being pursued at our expense.

As you know the Phase 1 report, which is now complete was to cost the City of Nampa $100,000 upon completion.  However, our technology partner, Dynamis Energy, has volunteered to absorb the costs ($40,000) that they incurred for their portion of the work to develop and implement the Phase 1 Report.  The beneficial result to the City is a decease to a total of $60,000.  In addition, McKinstry has elected to postpone invoicing the City of Nampa for this amount until we have the opportunity to investigate other waste streams further.

Thank you for your support and commitment to this project.  As the ESCO (Energy Service Company) partner to the City of Nampa, we affirm that Nampa is an example for other cities that are looking for innovative and sustainable solution in this new economy-ones that focus on integrated community partnerships and public-private cooperation.

I look forward to many years of rewarding collaboration.

Best regards,
David C. Naccarato
Business Development Manager

Cc: Cliff Long, Director-Nampa Development Corporation
       Lloyd Mahaffey, CEO-Dynamis Energy"

The above letter shows Nampa Urban Renewal is on the hook for $60K of Nampa taxpayer money down the drain for the work done by McKinstry.  This project is a very fine example of the "RUBBER STAMP" actions of Nampa City Council members.

The only sources of revenue on this project will be what they can get from Idaho Power for the electricity generated and any "Tipping charges" they can collect from waste haulers.  Current PURPA reimbursement rates authorized by Idaho PUC are $.06/KWH.  Again, it was going to be Urban Renewal issuing REVENUE bonds with no vote of the people as the financing instrument.

We find the lack of DUE DILIGENCE on the part of the people authorizing this study amazing and once again demonstrates it takes no talent to spend other people's money.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Rem Fox's Last Comments on Caldwell City Council Election

Rem Fox Last Comment on Guardian Before Tuesday's Election In Caldwell

Rem Fox is running against sitting Councilman Jim Blacker and would like to say:

I would like to encourage all citizens to get out and vote  on Tuesday November 8th.  I would also  like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout the campaign.  I appreciate your support very much.  The local elections this year are one of the most important events for Caldwell in recent years.  Throughout the United States we have major political and economic issues.  Quite frankly, people are tired of the same old politics and most of us do not see new leaders emerge that look much different than previous choices.  Optimism seems to be at an all time low.  In Caldwell, a majority of the residents I have spoken to seem to be feeling defeated when you look at all the challenges at the federal level, the state level and the city level.  A big part of these challenges is the inability to solve issues between political parties and the general public.  A lot of people are scared and angry over the entire mess.

We could spend hours discussing the complexity of the problems this country faces but that will not change our situation.  What will change our situation is something that I truly believe in; we need to look for leaders who bring different and better skills to elected positions.  There are pockets of success for a few cities that have managed to accomplish a shelter from the huge federal events that have taken place the last 5 years.  How they did this proves to me that creative solutions, innovations, and community involvement with local government are highly important factors to success.

In Idaho, we are challenged by our state's location and distance to major population centers.  This makes economic recovery harder for us and simply equates to delay for our state in the time line of prosperity in any recovery effort.  On September 15th an article from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program ranks Boise with Detroit and New Orleans as one of the biggest American cities most stuck in the economic doldrums.  The article was titled “major metro cities stuck running in place”.  I saw this article title and immediately thought this is exactly how our entire valley feels.  If Boise is running in place, where does that leave Caldwell?

We all love our way of life here in Idaho and especially in this valley.  However, to pay for this lifestyle we also need jobs.  That means we need industry, companies, science, and infrastructure.  We also have to balance this need with environmental management and smart government decisions.  We cannot expect the cities around us to fix our problems.  Waiting for that to happen is simply waiting for erosion to stop.  There are reasons Caldwell has not seen the success the other cities in the Boise Valley have seen.  I would like to work for you to enable Caldwell to find its identity and become what the citizens our city expect and deserve.

Methods used in the past will absolutely not be the methods for success in the future.  We face global competition for economic prosperity and our foreign competitors have a more aggressive effort for success against us.  They have not had Middle American comforts and they want what we have already achieved.  We are going to have to get more innovative at every level to regain a competitive advantage in the global market and sustain a new level of continuous improvement to move forward for our own security, livelihood, and a decent economic future for our children.

Those that have met me and know me as a friend can attest to this fact; I am a very driven individual.  I do not take on an executive role, volunteer role, or project role without great consideration for those who have chosen to place their faith and equity in me.  If I choose to do something, it will be with full awareness and attention to obtain what is expected of me.  You should also know that the expectations I place on myself are far and above what most people ever even consider of me.  It is part of who I am.  I am an idealist, an optimist, and tireless.  What I am not; is a career politician.

What I do have is leadership, community interest, empathy, and desire to help this community reach the potential we all recognize in Caldwell.  I have invested interests in Caldwell and in greater Idaho.  I am well educated and vastly experienced and will bring all my skills to the table.  But come Tuesday, what I need is your support to vote for me to represent this community with nothing less than my best efforts if I get elected to the Caldwell City Council.  I am running against a long time local community citizen; Jim Blacker.  Jim has dedicated many years to this community and should be thanked for his contributions. Mr. Blacker has served more than two terms on the city council.  I see a need for a generational change moving forward. We absolutely have to work smarter and at less cost to taxpayers with Urban Renewal sun-setting in two years, property values continuing to decline and tax revenues shrinking as we move forward to make Caldwell an even greater place to live and raise our kids.
Please vote for Rem Fox Seat #5, City Council, in Caldwell.

Thank you so much for your time,


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dynamis Inks Deal With Ada Commishes, What Were They Thinking?

Dynamis Inks Deal With Ada Commishes

Dynamis Energy, the outfit that got $2,000,000 of taxpayer cash to design a “trash to electricity” generating plant signed a five year agreement with Ada County Tuesday.
Commish Vern Bisterfeldt voted against the project, citing “serial meetings,” lack of a bid, no performance bond, improper loans (of public funds) and no payback as Commish Sharon Ullman had promised. The “loan” was disguised as an award to Dynamis for technical plans–with no bid–and Dynamis is to buy back the plans.
The GUARDIAN has been wary of the deal from the beginning and our view hasn’t changed. The deal to draw up the plans leaves the county holding the bag as the plans cannot be used off the landfill site and the county will not make a penny off the sale of electricity if any is ever generated through burning 408 tons of trash each day.
The DAILY PAPER has reported the story without the bias the GUARDIAN offers, but we haven’t seen any results and the claims by Dynamis have too many excuses and unanswered questions…they still have a lot of loose ends to tie up including a building permit, DEQ approval, and an agreement with Idaho Power.
Financing the $60,000,000 will also be an interesting scenario in and of itself. A similar project in Nampa was deemed to not be economical by a non partisan consulting engineering firm hired by the city.
We have also been told by several sources that low prices for natural gas make it uneconomical to build the $60 million plant.
THE GUARDIAN got a chance to tour the ALLIED/REPUBLIC Waste facilities in Ada and Canyon County yesterday and see first hand the CNG filling stations at both sites.  The topic of burning solid waste for electricity generation was also discussed.  Here's the short answer.  At $.06/KWH this project will not be economically viable.  Feed-stocks were a project killer in Nampa.  Our landfills have a remaining life of over 100 years.  And finally inflows to the land fills in Ada and Canyon Counties are down by 40% over the past several years adding to the life of the land fills.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


One thing has become clear this election cycle ..PROPERTY TAXES are way too high in Caldwell and Nampa.  The Idaho Press Tribune reported $11/$1k of net taxable value in Caldwell, $10+/$1k in the fair city of Nampa.   Meanwhile Bob Henry reports in an earlier blog comment:

"Wow, the comment posted by "anonymous" is so far out in left field that I feel compelled to reply. First off, I am not against spending. My problem with urban renewal is that tax dollars are being diverted to URD, causing tax rates to go up without voter approval. I was on the school board for 12 years in Nampa. We ran several bond elections, getting the necessary 67% approval and got the schools built. In Nampa, the URD was approved by the vote of 3 City Council members. That's wrong. Nampa's levy rate is 10.15, Boise is 6.98, Meridian is 4.75, Eagle is 2.96. If you don't think there is still fat in the budget, you just don't understand budgeting."
By Bob Henry  on 10/31/11

Tonight THE GUARDIAN attended a meeting where it was reported the numbers of employees in Caldwell have gone up 9.4% since 2006 and a whopping 13% in Nampa since 2006.  The source of this information is reliable and it was obtained via a public records request.  Despite what Mayors Nancolas and Dale say about running a tight budget the numbers for PROPERTY TAXATION along with employee head counts tell a much different story.  If you are happy with the status quo then cast your city council vote for the incumbents if not the challengers are offering a change for taxpayers.

Jerry Kilbourne Running for Caldwell City Council Last Comments

I would like to say that I am always willing to listen.  Anyone can contact me at anytime using any mode of communication they wish; I believe all opinions are valid.  Lately, there has been a lot of free press about two of the candidates.  This is one of the main reasons I decided to run in the first place.  It’s a shame that voters don’t know that they have a choice and that they do not have to settle.  The community has been led to believe that they must settle between two choices that they don’t necessarily like.  The voters need to know that they have a third choice; there are 3 candidates for seat 5.  One of the candidates has a clean record and is honest, even on Social Media sites.  One of the Candidates has just as much education as the others, so it turns out.  One of the candidates is unencumbered by business dealings, pet projects or fighting to protect his image.  I have always said that one doesn’t have to vote for the same old thing, you don’t have to settle.  On November 8th, as you enter the voting booth, ask yourself if you want four more years of the exact same thing or someone who already is forming an agenda or do you want the third choice, someone who truly cares and will bring a fresh perspective.  On November 8th ask yourself the questions and vote but remember you have choices.  Think, decide, vote.
Jerry Kilbourne, Candidate Caldwell City Council, Seat 5
facebook: Jerry Kilbourne for Caldwell City Council
Twitter: @jerry83605