Tracking code caldwell guardian

Monday, January 16, 2012

What Mayor Nancolas Failed To Mention In State Of City Address


By D. L. Maitland, Caldwell  January 16, 2012

While the YMCA is a worthwhile project it is a private entity that is being paid for at the rate of one million dollars a year with public money from taxes collected that go into the coffers of Caldwell Urban Renewal.

Mayor Nancols also forgot to mention the TVCC building. This building cost easily over six million dollars taking into consideration the cost of property and other improvements. TVCC has a lease on the building for this year for $218,000.00 for twenty thousand square feet. There is approximately thirty nine thousand square feet in the building and TVCC is using all of it. They are using these facilities at the cost of less than five dollars a square foot. Quite a bargain when you consider that normal commercial prices on a lease are ten to twelve dollars a foot.

Caldwell Urban Renewal also spent $151.000.00 in putting a coffee shop in the TVCC building that competes directly with private enterprise.

An urban renewal district is supposed to remove urban blight. Any project created by the urban renewal board until recently did not require the vote of the citizens but could be undertaken with the approval by the members of the board who are appointed by the mayor. To get an understanding of urban renewal please google the Canyon County of Idaho web site which has a very good explanation of the intended functions of urban renewal. In the case of Caldwell these funds have been spent on a lot of window dressing which is fine to some extent but did it really help the main downtown area? Cross over the bridge into main downtown area and it is almost liking walking into a ghost town on main street. As this area further deteriorates the tax revenue will go down due to the lowering of the assessed value of the properties.

I was delighted to see that MYAC (Mayors Youth Advisory Committee) is raising funds to pay for their excursions. This has not always been the case in the past. On previous occasions according to Eljay Waite, our city finance manager, funds were used from non tax property revenues of the city. These expenditures were approved by the mayor and city council. This was not the proper use of public revenue.

The city of Caldwell has a high or higher mill levy rate of any city in the Treasure Valley.There are a good deal of other items that I could mention such as that people living in Pioneer Irrigation District are paying for litigation between the city and the irrigation district in taxes and additional fees charged by the irrigation district. The attorneys are having a heyday on this one. (Editor note:  Last year Caldwell spent well over $500 thousand dollars on this litigation.)

D.L. Maitland
Caldwell, Idaho


  1. TVCC is at least a $7MM boondoggle with $6MM to Oppenheimer development for the building and another $1MM to cash strapped TVCC so they could buy furniture and a waiver of $250K or more on the lease costs.

    We do not need two competing community colleges in this valley. CWI was voted in and TVCC was shoved down our throats.

    All this tells me we are not under-taxed but rather over-spent by fools in positions of power and no common sense.

  2. This illustrates to what desperate measures Nancolas will stoop in order to have "artificial success" with yet another taxpayer funded pet project of his. It is his Idaho center. The only way to end this theft of public funds is to remove him from office either at the next election or by recall.I can just see Nancolas, Tom Dale, and Dave Bieter meeting in a smoke filled boiler room, plotting their next move in raiding the public coffers for their next fantasy success story.

  3. What I find alarming is the lengths Nancolas, Dale and Bieter will go to in their quest to keep developers happy over doing what is right and proper for taxpayers. I think they have all lost sight of the fact the median income in Idaho is around $45K for a family of four. Their willingness to spend, spend and spend for projects driven by their own desires for reelection over what is really the right thing to do with limited resources of those who ultimately pay the bills is quite remarkable.

    Nancolas and his insistence to fund TVCC and the YMCA projects, Dale and his back room efforts to build the new "public safety" building and library, Bieter with his goofy railroad to nowhere along with a $30 million parking garage at the Boise Airport are all examples of cutting voters and taxpayers out of the equation. There are no bounds or limits to their collective hypocracy.

  4. I think Mr. Nancolas is a decent guy and a good cheerleader for Caldwell but he has clearly been in office too long. He has lost sight of reality and community resources to pay for his schemes. He doesn't mind that Caldwell is by no means a high income community and is perfectly OK with the property taxes at the highest in the area.

    Commercial property owners are really feeling the weight of the tax burden in Caldwell and in this economy profitability of businesses is spotty at best. Investment in Caldwell is a high risk proposition. I don't look for anything to happen in Caldwell until the waste and spend philosophy at city hall is replaced with some fiscal responsibility and a plan for our future. Nancolas simply proclaiming everything is GREAT! does not make it so.

  5. Here are some numbers from US Census Data found at:

    Median Household income Caldwell $37,749

    People of all ages in poverty 19.3%

    Median Home Value $122,100 (probably less in 2012)

    You can copy and paste the link to find out a wealth of info about Caldwell at the above link.


  6. The state of the city address in my view is pretty much the same thing every year about how great things are. The reality is much different. I wonder how much time, effort and money went into the "free trade zone" effort. I can't envision this will bear any economic activity or jobs for Caldwell.

  7. Here is an important point to consider from Mr. Maitland's letter. If TVCC is being leased annually at $218,000 and you multiply that to 20 years that is 4.36 Million dollars. That entire project for land and building cost over $7 Million and a gift of $1 Million dollars additionally to outfit the equipment that TVCC committed to, but could not afford when it came time to move in. The root issue is not whether TVCC is good or bad, the issue is that you could have built 3 new buildings downtown with that much money or better yet partnered with developers and built up two city blocks worth of revitalization for $8 Million as a partnership. The opportunity for new tenant businesses would have been excellent and greatly improved downtown. But I have to say with all the downtown lights shining bright it is hard to see all the blight behind it. What should be next is a big canvas painting of a nice downtown.

  8. Back in the days when I was working in the glass trade union, business agents got 5.5 days pay of a journeyman glazier. It was perceived as a fair deal by every dues paying member of Glaziers and Glass Workers Local 632. Business agents put in a lot of hours and ran the brunt of a lot of push back both internal and external to the union local.

    The question I keep asking myself is how did public servant pay get so out of whack with what prevailing wages are in our communities? We put them in office and we exercise no control over their wages and fringe benefits packages. Six figure or ne that level seem to be the norm for elected and appointed people in our communities and this just seems to be out of sync with the reality of most working people.


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