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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bujak Mess ...Please Make It Stop!

The County is still battling Bujak issues and they have not won a single court case to date.  The cost of litigation in all of this has cost Canyon County Taxpayers an astounding $480,000! 

THE GUARDIAN has to ask;  just what "THE COUNTY" expects to gain with all the court battles.?

It is time to put a stop to all this insanity and waste of taxpayer dollars.  Mr. Bujak has lost his job, gone bankrupt, has been publicly humiliated and the public whipping post via the courts continues.
It is way past time to put a stop to all this waste of time and taxpayer dollars.  Both sides need to declare victory and stop the bleeding. 

Taxpayers need to let the Commissioners know enough is enough.  Here's the phone number to reach the Commishes if you want to be heard on this issue 454-7300.

Here's a link to the Idaho Press Tribune article in today's paper.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Taxpayers should have say on costly projects

The following is a letter to the editor of the local newspaper submitted by Bob Gaddis and is reprinted here with Mr. Gaddis' permission on March 14th, 2013

Taxpayers should have a say on costly projects

"Mayor Tom Dale and City Council members Pam White and Martin Thorne have voted in favor of spending $350,000 of our money on the renovation of the old Mercy Hospital and yes, urban renewal money is property tax money.  The only one at the previous meeting speaking in favor of this expensive project was the private developer, although 12 taxpayers objected.

Councilman Thorne commented several times that he couldn't understand why people are opposed to urban renewal.  Perhaps I can answer his question.

The taxpayers of Nampa will soon be over $100,000,000 in debt without taxpayer approval on any of the projects.  The cost of the public safety building, with interest, is $31,500,000.  The estimated cost of the new library is $55,990,774. To upgrade the sewer treatment plant will cost $17,00,000 (passed by judicial approval).  The total is over $104,000,000.

We have subsidized the Idaho Center more than $1.5 million in 2012 alone and will continue to indefinitely. (note: Mr. Gaddis says the total here should be $1.775,000 when the cost of a new roof is added to the Idaho Center costs to Nampa taxpayers.)

City Attorney Terry White stated that normally they would need voter approval for the sewer project but because of time constraints, they had no choice.  We have known about this since the early 80's but had to pass this immediately. 

Over $100,000 of our tax money was spent on attorney fees to prevent the taxpayers from voting on the public safety building.

The disagreement has never been about whether or not these projects should be built but whether the taxpayers should have to opportunity to say yes or no.

Please contact Mayor Dale and the council members if you agree that we as taxpayers have the right to have more input than just to pay the taxes.  You might also want to ask why our taxes are double those in Meridian and are the highest in the state."

Bob Gaddis
Nampa, Idaho

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Boise Valley Chamber Exits Valley for Junket to S.V.

Valley Taxpayers To Fund Chamber Of Commerce Junket
by David R. Frazier (Boise Guardian)

For the 20th year citizens of Treasure Valley will be asked to fund a SUN VALLEY JUNKET for various elected officials and government staffers to learn about making Boise and the surrounding area more appealing to businesses and tourists.

The Chamber of Commerce website post says:
This year’s theme will be: “Building Livable Cities in the Boise Valley.” And what better location to begin the building process than 180 miles away in Sun Valley? Interesting how many folks follow each other to the “leadership” conference.

Sun Valley has benefited financially over the years as local officials leave their home territory to listen to a menu of speakers selected by the Chamber. They never seem to be able to have it in Boise, Nampa, or Meridian.

For years the GUARDIAN has written about the absurdity of leaving town in order to plan methods of promoting our towns. The event is funded by taxpayers, but taxpayers are generally frozen out of attendance by the $450 admission fee, $300 lodging, and transportation to get there. Such luxury is only affordable by executives, public servants, and those who own their own businesses.

The standard excuse for spending Boise area tax dollars in Sun Valley is to “gather leaders in an area where they won’t be tempted to leave or be distracted by other business.” That translates to kidnapping the deciders who hold the purse strings without having to account to the masses.

Another benefit of going so far away is the almost total lack of public scrutiny. Not only are citizens effectively priced out of attendance, the media outlets generally ignore the event as “not newsworthy,” especially as they struggle for financial survival.
Editor Note: It will be interesting to note how many Canyon County politicos will be attending this event on the local taxpayer dime.  THE GUARDIAN will be checking to see who will be attending from Canyon County on the taxpayer dime.

1. Mayor Tom Dale will indeed be attending this event.  So far the Canyon Commishes are not scheduled to attend.
2. Mayor Garrett Nancolas is currently out of town in Washinton DC attending the National League of Cities junket. His scheduled is noting he will be out of the office on the dates of the Sun Valley Junket.  More on this when the Mayor's Secretary returns to work.
3. None of the Canyon County Commissioners will be attending this meeting.
4. Email from Mayor Nancolas stated he is not going on this trip out of town.  3/26/13.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Thoughts on Food Stamp Program by Wayne Hoffman

The following is offered by permission from Mr. Hoffman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation and first appeared in the Idaho Press Tribune March 4, 2013 

The last thing Idaho should be doing is finding new ways to make poverty more convenient.

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee, which previously advanced a bill to allow food stamp benefits to be distributed multiple times per month, changed its mind and killed the measure over cost concerns. That means food stamp benefits will continue to go out on the first of each month, resulting in continued long lines at the grocery store and spoiled food left by shoppers who gave up on making a purchase on food stamp distribution day.

Some lawmakers said the multi-day distribution idea ignores the bigger problems with food stamps. Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, has long been frustrated by the visual of poor Idahoans buying grocery carts full of junk food on their government entitlement.

“We need a committee that is willing to keep emotions out of this and find ways to help people stretch their food dollars,” Lodge said. “The food stamp program is supposed to be supplemental nutrition, and we need to get people to stop buying cookies, energy drinks, soft drinks and such. We need to encourage them to buy potatoes instead of a bag of potato chips. Simply issuing food stamps for 10 days instead of one doesn’t ensure that people are stretching their food budgets in nutritious ways. I cannot support this bill.”

I will add to what Lodge said: If the food stamp program is “improved,” it will eliminate the need to truly fix the program.

Right now, program users — food stamp recipients and grocers alike — have reason to improve the safety net for people in poverty. They’re united in the disdain for how the program works and the impact on Idaho citizens.

When I talk to groups about government entitlements, not a single person has disagreed with me that food stamps reflect badly on compassionate impulses, on our desire to help our neighbors who are struggling.

The committee’s action came as the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force announced the results of a study finding that 15.4 percent of households in the state had an “inability to afford enough food.”

“It is unacceptable that so many people across Idaho are struggling and cannot afford enough food to provide for their families,” said Kathy Gardner, director of the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force in a news release. “These numbers show us that we must make our nation’s safety net stronger, not weaker. We can’t afford to leave these vulnerable people behind.”

It will be shocking for some to read this, but she’s right. The food stamp program is clearly broken, and all the money the government keeps throwing at poverty and hunger doesn’t seem to be working.

However, Gardner wants more money for the program. I don’t.

And Lodge is right; we need a different kind of discussion, one that results in improved nutrition and greater accountability, one that connects people to private charity, families, churches and communities — groups that will find ways to help lift people up from poverty, not provide a resource that keeps them there.