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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Nampa Annex Slated for Closure

This is my first post after taking a long summer break well into Indian Summer. 

I would like to report Guardian readers Nampa Court Annex will cease operations in January of 2015.  It was previously reported is has been costing county taxpayers an estimated $900K/yr. to keep this facility open.  Closure and consolidation will come on the heels of opening the new County Administration Building.

In addition to closure of the Nampa Annex; the Public Defender will be relocated to the Canyon County Courthouse Campus.  This move has been estimated to save taxpayers an additional $2MM a year.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

College Debt, The Financial Obligation of a Lifetime

Congratulations to the class of 2014.  You will all be paying for your college debt for a good long while and the bankers thank you for this obligation you created for yourselves.

I can't open a newspaper or a magazine that there isn't some boo-hoo article about college debts and how will kids pay for all this.  Well, I have to look no further than Mom and Dad for not saving for their kids education and not giving them better council on what to get their degree in while they were in school.  I also can't say enough about the choice of schools either.  What were they thinking when they went to a school with $50k/yr. tuition?  And to top it off they got degrees in History or English or some other field without a prayer of making a decent income for all that expense and effort.

I was aghast at finding a friend of mine had managed to rack up $140K in college debts.  What are these folks thinking when they sign on the dotted line.  The average graduate these days comes out with about $25K in college debt.  The media is making a big deal about this and I have to ask why?   People routine sign on the dotted line for a new car and all they are concerned about is the monthly payment.  They quickly forget it is for 60-72 months and they have a worn out piece of rust when it is finally paid off.

Parents have the obligation to help their kids pay for college and at the same time direct them to a course of study that has a job waiting at the end of four years.  They also need not get all gushy about which school their kids attend.  Not once was I ever asked where I went to college.  Employers are more concerned about putting your kid in a room with his sheep skin and can he or she solve a problem.  Critical thinking and problem solving are more important to employers than where junior went to school.

The idea that grants and free money from the government will be there when a kid graduates from high school is a myth.  Start saving for their education the day they exit the birth canal and send them to a state supported school in-state for their undergraduate degree work. Grad school is another matter but in-state is still better than a place that will place a financial burden on the family or the student. 

Make them take 15 units or more each semester and get the hell out of college as quickly as they can.  This means advance placement in high school and they can be out in a little over three years or less. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

New Changes To Caldwell General Regulations

Caldwell Planning and Zoning Regulations are once again acting as the "good taste police" in downtown Caldwell.  Changes will require Tobacco shops and Secondhand Stores to get a special use permit.  Also noted in the ordinance changes is the requirements for "drinking establishments" to get a special use permit if they want music in their establishments.
All of this comes on the heels of a long and thorough effort back in the 2005-07 effort to make downtown an eclectic collection of a wide range of business enterprises and to make it easy for people to start a new business in downtown.

THE GUARDIAN is concerned the good taste police are overstepping and creating more red tape in a city known to be difficult to do business.

If this goes through it is important to note the downtown area is defined as 12th avenue to Paynter and from Grant Street to the RR tracks. The "downtown zone" is in no way the same as that defined by the urban renewal agency.  That zone goes from Dearborn to the RR tracks and from Simplot Blvd to 10th Ave., if I remember it correctly.

These proposed changes will go before the Caldwell City Council on July 7th at the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting.  These changes come on the heels of the ordinance changes to prohibit Pay-Day Loans in Caldwell.  The short title of this is 2014 Zoning Ordinance Modifications.

Update:  I got a call from P&Z Director, Brian Billingsley and upon reflection he wants to take another look at what was put together and run it by some folks for their review along with a group of citizens before the final effort goes before the City Council.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bergdahl Should Be Court Martialed Under UCMJ

THE GUARDIAN IS A VIETNAM era veteran and finds it hard to believe Mr. Bergdahl is anything but a deserter at worst and AWOL at the least.  He should stand for a Court Martial under the Uniform Court of Military Justice, (UCMJ).  Mr. Bergdahl put his unit at risk, six other members of the Army died in the search for him and now we find his return a cause to celebrate? 

What makes this even more disturbing is, Mr. Bergdahl signed in as a volunteer in the Army. He was not drafted like most of those who served in my generation.  He could have used any number of avenues to get out of the Army.  The simple and quick way is to refuse direct orders. He would have been court martialed, given a dishonorable discharge and returned home. 

Anything less than a UCMJ Court Martial for what he did is an affront to everyone of us who served with HONOR. Any celebration of his release and return is disrespectful to everyone who has served in the various branches of the military.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Assessor Mails out Sticker Shock Assessments

You should have received your new and improved property valuation done by the County Assessor.  The new valuations are up about 40-70% in my Guardian informal poll.  The question everyone needs to ask before they scream foul is: Would you sell your property for the value assigned for tax purposes. 

If you find the value too low, then keep quiet and hope for the best again next year.  If you feel the value is too high, then file a protest with the Assessor.  The process is pretty straight forward once your file your protest.  An appraiser from the Assessor's office will contact you and try to discuss how they arrived at the value.  You, for your part need to come up with documentation that the appraisal is not correct with comparable values on like property.  If the value is out of line, generally the appraiser will lower the value.  If you have nothing to support your claim then the value stands.

City and County budgets can rise by 3% each year and they can go back and claim foregone increases for a specified number of years spelled out in the Idaho Code.  They also get all the new construction tax base and that does not figure into the magic 3% increases. 

The time limit for protesting property tax assessed values is the fourth Monday in June.  This is the 23rd for the exact date this year.

Don' forget about how urban renewal is impacting your property taxes.. between Nampa and Caldwell that is a number in excess of $10 million that has to be made up with higher taxes for everyone outside the UR District boundaries.

Sunday, May 18, 2014



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tom Dale and Pinnochio

THE GUARDIAN would like to present some fact checking in what former Mayor Tom Dale presented at the candidate forum covered in the local paper today.  Mayor Dale represented $38 million spent on the Nampa Police building and the Library now under construction as projects Nampa Urban Renewal (NDC) was done with the approval of the people of Nampa. 

The records says otherwise when you consider not a single person spoke in favor of another urban renewal agency in Nampa after the foul taste in everyone's mouth over the Idaho Center disaster.  (Citizens voted to take that agency down.)  What they did not realize is, URA money kept flowing to a "secret account" and it kept the red ink to a minimum at the Idaho Center.

Mayor Dale and his rubber stamp city council (except for Mr. Kren) went through the motions of a public hearing and after the 15 day waiting period City Council members of Nampa approved the current Urban Renewal Agency ( NDC ).  Again, not a single person spoke in favor of financing the police building nor the library with out a vote of the people. 

Tom Dale and his hand picked NDC Board members went full speed ahead without a vote of the
people on these projects.  Once board member openly stated if they had put those projects up for a vote the people of Nampa would never have approved them. 

Nampa citizens gave their approval in a bond election for the GO Bond election and even the naysayers on urban renewal helped to get $38 MM in general obligation bods approved with the full faith and credit of the people of Nampa.  Urban Renewal  did not seek the approval of Nampa citizens and Mayor Dale saying the people of Nampa came together and agreed on the police and library projects is a pure untruth when the facts of the situation are researched.

Mayor Dale and his rubber stamp city council went back and captured foregone property taxes and hit Nampa property owners with a whopping 5% increase in the middle of a recession several years ago.  His memory of this seems to have faded and THE GUARDIAN is pleased to remind him of this event.  His attitude was a gimme the money and I don't care how much the Great Recession hit folks in Nampa.  He kept the wheels of Nampa city government will oiled while taxpayers had to come up with more cash. ( City and County budgets are allowed by law to increase at a rate of 3% each year on top of all the new growth taxation going to the city and URA budgets.)

Mayor Dale does not deserve to represent the people of Canyon County as a Commissioner as he does not listen to those he gleefully sticks with paying the bills for projects that would never pass muster with voters.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Brian Bishop Write-In Candidate for Idaho District 10-B

I took the time to meet with write-in candidate for District 10B (Darrell Bolz seat) and as usual I post candidate information to help with anyone willing to run for public office.  Mr. Bishop missed the filing deadline due to the birth of a new member of his family.  He is very interested in representing the people of District 10.  Mr. Bishop is a Harvard educated lawyer who specializes in Finance Law.
This is a very unusual election and Mr. Bishop is asking for your Write-In Vote this election cycle.

"Greg Chaney, the candidate whose name is on the ballot for the Republican nomination in District
10B, has suspended his campaign efforts and announced that he will not accept the nomination.
I am running as a write-in candidate to make sure we have a strong Republican candidate in District 10B for the general election. I believe I have the right combination of conservative values, professional experience and educational background to hit the ground running and be a strong advocate in the legislature.
I am both fiscally and socially conservative—I favor limited government, individual liberty, lower taxes, and smarter, reduced regulation to lessen the burdens on individuals and businesses in the state. I am also strongly pro-life, oppose same-sex marriage and support the traditional family and will fight to protect the individual right to bear arms. I am very willing to consider innovative ideas, such as charter schools, to help our community and government function better, but I will always test them against my deeply held conservative principles.

Here are a few facts about me:
  • Third-generation Idahoan, born and raised in the Nampa area
  • Grew up on my grandfather's dairy farm
  • Graduate of Vallivue High School, first in class (tied)
  • Graduate of Brigham Young University in Linguistics, summa cum laude
  • Graduate of Harvard Law School with a degree in law
  • Graduate of Tufts University with a master's degree in international relations
  • Attorney for nearly ten years with a corporate finance practice
  • Practiced law with a large international law firm for approximately five years in London and New York
  • Moved to Caldwell in 2008
  • My wife Kamber and I have four children (8, 6, 3, and two months!)
I invite you to look at my website——for more information about me and my positions on the issues.  I’m also happy to respond to any questions.  I can be reached at and at 972-2797."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Downtown Business People Meet With Mayor Nancolas

A group of downtown business people met with Mayor Nancolas and City Attorney Mark Hilty regarding urban renewal investments in downtown Caldwell.  The citizen group in attendance was Joe Lombardo of Joe's Emporium, Glenn Koch, former Canyon County Commissioner and downtown property owner, Gina Lujack, a downtown property owner and Caldwell Realtor, Dustin Rose who is a downtown Realtor and myself.  The meeting lasted about 90 minutes.

The main subject was a resolution presented to the Mayor and City Council earlier this month asking:
1.  Dissolution of the current Urban Renewal board and and move this function to the City Council just as was done in Nampa earlier this year.

2.  That remaining UR funds be directed to downtown projects.

3.  That a committee of downtown business and property owners be formed to determine what UR money will be spent on from now to the sunset of the agency and beyond to administer funds that will continue to flow to the city until 2022.

Mayor Nancolas was receptive but also indicated he can't make the decision on the second two items because the city council is the city legislative body but would certainly bring this forward as an agenda item for the Mayor and City Council to take over the functions of the urban renewal board.

Also, discussed was making downtown a quiet zone with the train horns as trains travel through Caldwell.  Mayor Nancolas stated that he has already instructed staff to pursue this option.  The cost for this several years ago was in the $200k area to make the necessary improvements to the RR crossings in Caldwell prescribed by the railroad.

Next item discussed was how various codes and ordinances are interpreted by city staff and officials and how this is an impediment to business development downtown.  Urban Renewal board members not listening to downtown business owners along with purchasing businesses and getting certain uses out of downtown was also discussed along with the need to demolish a good number of structures in downtown.  Open space opportunity for business development was the point of this part of the meeting.

Everyone felt the Mayor had listened to the issues and problems presented and they will carry the message back to their downtown coalition members.  The coalition meets every Tuesday evening at 6:00 PM at Maddy's Plaza, near the corner of Main and Kimball.  Their next meeting will be held on April 29th.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

TVCC Enrollments Decline to 591 Students

Once again THE GUARDIAN feels vindicated in the need for voter approvals in capital projects.  TVCC has reported a decline in enrollments to a mere 591 students or a 22% decline in enrollments. 

THE GUARDIAN asked Mayor Nancolas and his Finance Director Eljay Waite repeatedly to let voters weigh in on this project with a simple advisory vote and was rebuffed each time.  The fear was the vote would be a resounding NO and it would kill the project.  TVCC may have been the first community college to locate in Caldwell but it was hit with the reality of voter supported College of Western Idaho. 

Nobody knows the real costs to taxpayers for TVCC but the building cost $6MM, the furnishings cost another $1MM, the snack bar cost an additional $110k (two operators could not make a go of it), they are occupying the building on a half rent cost with additional money funneled to them for maintenance and upkeep to the tune of something north of $20k/year along with other perks from Caldwell Urban Renewal.  When does this financial failure stop bleeding Caldwell taxpayers?

It has been reported to THE GUARDIAN, Caldwell Canyon Economic Development Director, Steve Fultz has been directed by Mayor
Nancolas and Mr. Waite to help market and boost enrollments at TVCC.  How can Mr. Fultz be held accountable to keep this ship afloat? 

The only question is:   What will the building be used for when TVCC finally pulls the plug on this very bad decision by our Mayor and Finance Director, Mr. Waite.  We can only wait and see how Mayor Nancolas spins this into a success story for Caldwell.

THE GUARDIAN has been a long suffering critic of how urban renewal agencies in both Caldwell and Nampa, they have run rough-shod over property taxpayers in both cities.  Caldwell now has TVCC as a millstone around the necks of Caldwell residents and Nampa has the Idaho Center and the yet to be completed Library Project under construction by Gardner Company who recently pulled out of the private part of the much heralded public private partnership in Nampa.

In summary:  Why has one man, Eljay Waite, been allowed to punish the city of Caldwell?  He has been allowed to operate CEURA with impunity and virtually no oversight for the last 15 years.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Caldwell Business and Property Owners Present Resolution to Caldwell City Coucil.

Here is a copy of the RESOLUTION submitted to Mayor Garret Nancolas and his City Council at their meeting last night(April 7, 2014).  The seeds of discontent have been festering since an earlier meeting at the Caldwell Train Depot on February 28th.

"RESOLUTION No.____________________________________________

Submitted to Mayor Garret Nancolas and The Honorable City Council of Caldwell, Idaho

Urban Renewal in Caldwell has spent in excess of $60 million, with little proven tangible results to be of any benefit to the citizens of Caldwell, its downtown, its businesses, and its property owners. Additionally, any input from those business and property owners have fallen on deaf ears by Chairman Eljay Waite and the board members of Caldwell East Urban Renewal Agency.

In the interest of all the Citizens of Caldwell, we the undersigned Downtown Caldwell business
and property owners request for immediate Caldwell City Council consideration the following:

1. Immediate dissolution of Caldwell East Urban Renewal Board, and its functions to be taken
over by the Mayor and City Council, ensuring a direct line of accountability in all matters of
urban renewal to the voters of Caldwell.

2. The remaining “Urban Renewal Increment” money, with exception to monies currently
required to pay current obligations and revenue bonding debt obligations, to be redirected
to the betterment of Downtown Caldwell.

3. Facilitation, via select committee, as to how to appropriate any remaining unencumbered
funds flowing to urban renewal. Any recommendations brought forth by this committee
shall be subject to approval by City Council of Caldwell.

Respectfully submitted by the citizens, business owners, and property owners of downtown Caldwell."

The above resolution was presented to the Mayor and City Council by former County Commissioner Glenn Koch.  It was reported to THE GUARDIAN there were about 35 business and property owners at this city council meeting.

Additionally, there was an Ordinance document presented to dismantle Caldwell East Urban Renewal Agency and put all their functions under the Mayor and City Council.  This would put some degree of direct accountability to voters and taxpayers.  Currently, urban renewal laws written by the Idaho Legislature give wide powers of spending and no accountability in all financial matters conducted by urban renewal boards in Idaho.

Oddly, there was no date defined for when the group wanted an answer back from the Mayor and City Council.  Perhaps this will come out as the group moves forward. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Gardner Company Wimps Out on Library Office/Retail in New Nampa Library Project

Gardner Company sent Nampa Development Corporation (Urban Renewal) a letter backing out of the retail/office part of the Nampa Library Project.  They said;

 "We have reached this determination after diligent efforts to pre-lease the buildings on the parcels and to finance construction,"

Translation to all this is there were no takers, no matter the price for this grandiose project in downtown Nampa.  Mayor Tom Dale and his URA board failed to see and learn what happened at the Ada County Courthouse retail part of that project, it was a huge flop.

Nampa Officials may very well have another "IDAHO CENTER" financial flop on their hands and it will have to be fed property tax dollars until the building site is re purposed.  When you hear the words "PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP", become very nervous.  It is a game of they win and taxpayers lose.

THE GUARDIAN tried to get Nampa officials to back off and let the people vote on this project by taking legal action but had to back off when faced with the possibility of paying NDC legal fees.  NDC spent $108,000.00 to fed off THE GUARDIAN the only issue was to let the people of Nampa vote via a bond election for the library and the police building.  THE GUARDIAN now feels vindicated in efforts to head off this boondoggle project.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Big Brother Is Watching and Violating Your Constitutional Rights

March 31, 2014

Idaho Police Sued in Federal Court for ‘License Plate Profiling’

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 7:43 am
idaho-state-police-trooper-marijuana-license-plate-profiling-640x344A civil lawsuit has been filed in Idaho Federal District Court by plaintiff Darien E. Roseen alleging that several defendant Idaho law enforcement agencies including the Idaho State Police, the Fruitland City Police Department, and the Payette County Sheriff’s Office committed acts under the color of law which deprived Roseen of protected rights, privileges, and immunities secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States.
Specifically, the lawsuit alleges the ISP and other law enforcement agencies target vehicles traveling in Idaho and bearing license plates from states such as Washington and Colorado which have legalized the possession of marijuana.  It implies that when necessary, the ISP and others have used pretexts to stop vehicles and then intimidate vehicle operators to give consent to search vehicles without sufficient probable cause.
The lawsuit was reported in the Denver Post online article dated March 29, 2014, and headlined Colorado man sues Idaho police over “license plate profiling” in marijuana case.  It was also reported on the website on March 28, 2014, in a post entitled Troopers ‘License Plate Profiling’ in Idaho for Marijuana.
The 25-page civil complaint supporting the allegation was filed in the Federal District Court of Idaho on March 26, 2014.
Nothing illegal was found during the search of Roseen’s vehicle

This post came from OPEN CDA Blog run by Bill McCrory there are several links on his blog you might find of interest:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Downtown Caldwell Business and Property Owners and Urban Renewal

THE GUARDIAN attended the last two meetings of the Affiliation of Business and Property Owners of Caldwell and the message headed to city hall is they are not happy after a decade and a half of "urban renewal".  Downtown Caldwell is worse off today than it was before current Mayor Garret Nancolas took office and Caldwell East Urban Renewal got its start.  (Downtown Caldwell was initially left out of the URA boundaries but was added to the district boundaries in 2001.) 

Caldwell East Urban Renewal Agency's bonding of projects will sunset the end of this year. Downtown Caldwell business and property owners have awakened to the reality what they now see is all they may get when the agency sunsets.  Their concerns are they have paid nearly three to four times the property taxes they had in 2001 and what have they received to enhance business and rental incomes in downtown.  Their answer is a resounding "not much"!

Property owners are faced with the reality of low rental income against all the tax  increases caused by Caldwell East Urban Renewal.  Property taxes took off like a shot when CEURA made more than a dozen property purchases and as a result the County Assessor raised assessed values to reflect his mandate to assess properties at 100% of full market value. 

Downtown property owners have paid millions more in property taxes over the last 13 years gone directly to CEURA and they have had near zero input on urban renewal money spent in downtown.  Money spent by CEURA has also had near zero benefit to businesses, rent incomes and there are more closed up storefronts today than ever before.  Right now there is a palpable sense of being cheated out of any input or participation in how CEURA funds got spent in downtown.  Additionally, the property owners who would like to sell can't because of high property taxes and exceedingly low rents.  Downtown property is at best a questionable investment.

"Increment URA Property Taxes" will continue to flow to CEURA for the next eight years and it is this money and how it gets spent that is on the collective minds of business and property owners in downtown Caldwell.  A storm is brewing and headed toward Mayor Nancolas and the City Council.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

DBSI and What You Might Find Interesting

DBSI is nothing short of Idaho's version of a Madoff Ponzi Scheme.  It has robbed investors in Idaho and around the world of money.  The end game was to declare bankruptcy leaving investors holding the bag.  They sold unregistered securities with returns that were not realistic nor were they sustainable.  Yet people sunk their life's earnings in this Idaho fraud company. 

Here's a link to KTVB and their investigation into DBSI:

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Property Taxes Predicted Up by 23% This Year

THE GUARDIAN did some quick calculations on expected property taxes this year in Caldwell and guess what?  Up by 23% this year due to increased assessed values, school levy costs and because they can do it to us is the best answer. 

I took the time to look up my own home and it went up by nearly 25% over last years value.  Now figure in the exemption for homeowners (a feel good tax shift that has to be made up elsewhere) of 50% of $90,000.  And add it all together and our overlords of spending as much as they can as fast as they can and voila I come up with a 23% increase in my property taxes this year.

 We can all wait to see what the new and improved values will be  and that bit of the puzzle will come out in late May or early June.. always after the elections.  Then we get the actual bills late November as an early Christmas present.  The election season will bring forth a long list of those preaching their smaller government, lower tax mantra in the hopes of garnering our votes.  The reality is a super minority will be doing the picking of the princes of government as we move into the May primary vote.

In theory as the assessed values go up the levy rate should go down but the reality is it probably won't.  The beasts who spends our tax dollars have an insatiable thirst for more and more money from all of us.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Can't We All Just Get Along, King's Building, Optimists, And Plaza in Downtown

The Caldwell East Urban Renewal Agency met today to once again resolve the issue to demolish or not demolish the King's building in downtown.  All those at the meeting got ample time to get the issues and opportunities out on the table and here is what was decided:

1.  The Optimists Club boxing program can use the building but agreed to vacate the building if given as little as a week notice to vacate once the demolition permit has been issued.  Also, the Optimists were advised to see if the old Catholic Church gymnasium could be used for their program v. spending any money on the old King's building and pouring money into a building destined for demolition.  The Optimists have been pouring all the profit from their rodeo booth into their boxing program and rent and utilities have drained their finances.

2. CEURA Chairman, Eljay Waite will get City Engineer Brent Orton to advertise for demolition permits immediately. This was a unanimous decision by the board.  ( we will see if this gets done by next month)

3.  There was discontent voiced from two downtown property owners; Joe Lombardo and Bob Carpenter and myself over the visuals vacant and boarded up buildings present to the outside world. What they don't do to promote Caldwell as a "going concern" to investors when they come to town.  Sky Ranch Business Park looks fine but when they take a look at downtown it is not a place they want to bring their family to live work and play.  It presents a picture of benign neglect and is ultimately a deterrent to investors, jobs and investment by others in our community.

4.  A 7000 sq, ft. steel building has been donated to the Optimists for their boxing program and the site is the property across the street from the Municipal Pool and Tennis Courts.  Parks and Rec. have about $300k in their savings account for this project. They will also use the building for all their various programs and will terminate using the YMCA for this effort. Parks and Rec. now pay the Y about $600/month rent to use the YMCA.  The total cost to fill the gap is about $100k and City Finance Director Eljay Waite and Councilman Rob Hopper were unwilling to commit city funds from the LGIP to fill this gap or any urban renewal money. 

Oddly, THE GUARDIAN had a conversation with Mayor Nancolas about using this very parcel as the site for a skateboard park prior to the one out in Sky Ranch got built.  I was told it could not be done due to deed restrictions. It leaves us all to wonder if the deed restrictions will accommodate  this new use.

5. Chairman Eljay Waite made a point of "forgiveness" of THE GUARDIAN for all the things written about the Chairman and the Agency over the years.  THE GUARDIAN is pleased to receive these kind words of absolution for perceived wrongs directed to the Chairman and the Agency. 

If any errors have been written about the Chairman or the agency I stand ready to correct them.

Monday, March 10, 2014

What Is Sen. McKinzie's Address

THE GUARDIAN received a reminder via email today that questions where Idaho State Senator  McKinzie actually lives.  It is a big question mark that needs to be resolved for voters in McKinzie's district.

Senator McKinzie lists his address in the Legislative Directory as 412 W. Franklin St., Boise, Idaho 83702.  His address when running for Sentor is on Candlewood St. in Nampa.  The question around this address is who is actually living there; Sen. McKinzie or his ex-wife?

Voters may want to get a clear answer to the residence question for these two Legislators.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Councilman Mike Pollard's RANT on Downtown Meeting

The following rant email was forwarded to THE GUARDIAN from Joe Lombardo of JOE'S EMPORIUM in downtown Caldwell.  Messer's Lombardo and Carpenter put the meeting together so downtown blight issues could be presented.  The following is the email response from Caldwell City Councilman Mike Pollard:

"Bob and  Joe - you should be ASHAMED at what happened at the Caldwell Train Depot last week.  You embarrassed yourselves!  Joe, you know how you threatened my life a. few years ago with MANY witnesses. Bob you also knows the lies you told about me.  If you continue this crucifixion of our city leaders I will happily let everyone know your true colors.  Neither of you are qualified to lead this city!  BTW feel free to share this with the press because I have proof of everything I said."

Mike Pollard
208 402-4624 Voice
208  249-4417 Text

Within the hour Councilman Pollard added the following email sent to the spouse of Bob Carpenter at 9:54PM on March 4, 2014:

"Bob and Joe- I'm sending this again to make sure you understand my position.  If you or your buddies Joe Lombardo or Paul Aldridge (sic) continue to spread lies about me or Mayor Nancolas you will hear from my legal representation at the Huntley Law Firm in Boise.  I'm not going to tolerate your stupidity any longer!"

Mike Pollard
(208) 402-4624 Voice
(2080 249-4417 Text

There just isn't much anyone can add to the rants from Councilman Pollard except that he takes issue with the rights of citizens to meet with and question city leaders.  Apparently he has made similar threats to other citizens during his meanderings around downtown.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Caldwell School District Levy Information Meeting On March 6th

Community Presentation Regarding Supplemental Levy
The superintendent will make a presentation to the public regarding the approaching March 11 supplemental levy election.  Parents and patrons are encouraged to attend.
These informational presentations will take place at the following location:

Thursday, March 6, Wilson Elementary School

Meeting will be from 7 p.m.-8 p.m.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


THE GUARDIAN has learned there will be a meeting with Mayor Nancolas this Friday 2/28 with downtown merchants and property owners over the lack of city efforts in the downtown core.  This meeting will be held at the Old Train Depot starting at 12:00 Noon.

Caldwell's downtown remains a place that attracts very few residents, rents are too low to afford any improvements to properties and then there is all the blight and vacant buildings. This situation has reached a point where people vested in downtown have reached a significant level of dissatisfaction with Mayor Nancolas and want to know what his plans are for downtown Caldwell.  (there are at least 4 plans in the file cabinets at city hall, costing taxpayers over $300,000.00)

Also, reported is TVCC is not making the ambitious numbers for enrollment and their ability to pay their rent that is about to increase is a problem.  City officials are ruminating about taking city funds and redirecting the funds to TVCC.  A sleight of hand transfer of funds is in the offing.

CEDC Director, Steve Fultz has been ordered to come up with a marketing plan to help boost enrollment numbers for Caldwell TVCC.  Right now TVCC pays half rent but occupies all of the building.  The marketing plan will no doubt take funds and time away from Mr. Fultz's normal duties.

The Friday meeting at the train depot is open to the public.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tom Dale May Run for County Commissioner

It has been reported to THE GUARDIAN, former mayor of Nampa, Tom Dale may be considering a run for Canyon County Commissioner.  We have heard it from several sources but Mr. Dale has not made any formal announcements. 

If he does run it will be against Commissioner Kathy Alder. 

Commissioner Steve Rule has Mr. Sid Freeman challenging him this time around.  Mr. Freeman has made a formal announcement.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Early Voting for School Bond Elections Going on Now.

You can early and absentee vote for all the various school bond elections until the actual polling date of March 11, 2014.  The County Elections Office is located at the corner of Chicago and 11th Avenue in Caldwell.  You can reach the Elections Office at 454-7562 if you have any questions about hours of operation or other information about where your polling place will be come election day.

Be advised the County Elections Office will closed next week on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 25-26, for elections training.

Millions of your property tax dollars are up for a vote. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Nampa City Council Dissolves URA Board

Nampa City Council voted to dissolve the Nampa Development Board and take over as the URA board functions and responsibilities.  Voters will now have a direct line of ability to hold elected officials responsible for how URA funds are spent. 

The make-up of the city council in Nampa has taken a complete reversal of how they want to fund capital projects in Nampa.  It is a far more conservative board with Councilman Paul Raymond stating his thoughts on revenue bonds v. general obligation bonds: 

" You borrow money and take it out of the tax base, removing the tax base from the city to the urban renewal agency and selling bonds, Raymond said, To me it is a debt.  And that separates the public taxpayers from  the urban renewal agency."

All the existing projects currently in the works will remain unchanged and will still be debts paid for with URA funds.  All of this is a huge step in the right direction and is the second time Urban Renewal has left a sour taste in the collective palate of Nampa property taxpayers.  Various estimates of outstanding debt to be repaid have put the total repayment at nearly $100 million with debts still outstanding on the Idaho Center and the latest additions are for the Police Building and the new Library. 

All of these debts were incurred by Nampa Urban Renewal agencies. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Urban Renewal Chairman Eljay Waite Dishonest With URA Board, City Council and Citizens of Caldwell

The latest in a  series of capers by URA Board Chairman,  Eljay Waite involves the King's Building in Downtown Caldwell.  Mr. Waite was instructed by his URA board to seek demolition bids for the Kings Building in December of 2013. 

In a public "workshop" with  Caldwell City Council, Mayor Nancolas and interested members of the public in January 2014 Mr. Waite was asked by THE GUARDIAN if the URA board had authorized him to seek demolition bids.  Mr.Waite said yes but he was too busy to work on demolition bids due to an audit he was working on.  THE GUARDIAN  asked if he could get the demolition bids by April 1, 2014 and he said yes but was clearly irritated by GUARDIAN questioning about the bids.

URA Chairman Waite was less than honest with his answer to the Mayor, City Council and members
Eljay Waite
of the public at the "workshop" in January.  He was unilaterally agreeing to let the Caldwell Optimist Club Youth Boxing program use the King's building in defiance of his URA Board to get the demolition permits.  The issue of not getting the demolition permits was an issue of heated discussion between Mr. Waite and board member Scott Syme at the February 4, 2014 Caldwell East Urban Renewal board meeting.  Mr. Waite outright refused to get the demolition permits without the board rescinding the motion made in December of 2013.

Mr. Waite has given the Caldwell Optimists a "green light" to occupy the old King's building and it appears the term of occupancy is open ended.  There will be a "round table" meeting to discuss what code requirements will have to be addressed to get a certificate of occupancy for the Youth Boxing program. In a meeting held with the Optimists in mid-January a minimal list of issues were discussed and that they would not have to comply with all the code requirements anyone else would have to comply with given this is a change of use.  A change of use would normally require the building be brought up to ALL current code requirements.

A public records request was submitted for the meeting minutes and notes for the January meeting and the response was there were no minutes or notes from this meeting.  Another public records request was made to find out what the code would require for a change of occupancy like the Optimists are seeking to no avail.  Another request was made to know when the latest round table meeting would be held with the date, place and time of the meeting.  Phone calls to Planning and Zoning and Building Department along with email correspondence got no response.  One of THE GUARDIAN'S public records requests for the February 13th meeting place and time was forwarded to City Attorney Mark Hilty.

Meanwhile, Mr. Waite has scheduled the March 4th meeting of the URA board to hash out the issue of demolition permits, his dishonesty with answers to his board, the city council and the public regarding the demolition permits along with GURARDIAN emails on this matter.

The Optimists have been given a new metal building for their boxing program by R&M Steel and land across the street from the city swimming pool as a location for the building but they have not actively been able to come up with the cash to construct the building.  Use of the King's building on an open-ended no charge lease gives them no incentive to act on the previous mentioned gifts of the building and land for the building.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Grumpy Guardian Government Gripes

Its silly season with the legislature in town making us all proud to live in Idaho and see these folks for what they are.
Here are some recent gripes:

–Senators were spiteful and fool hearted when the voted to change their rules for one day, just to keep former Senator Nicole LeFavour off the floor. LeFavour didn’t even know she was allowed on the floor.

—-We have no complaint about citing the gay protesters who blocked the senate entrance. No different than any group blocking a sidewalk or roadway. State police should be applauded for the manner in which they handled the arrests. No push and shove or pepper spray. No handcuffs. They merely asked each protester to go upstairs where they were issued a ticket.

–Some legislator wants to make it legal to discriminate under the false guise of “religious freedom.” Basically the bill would allow people to not follow the law if it was for religious reasons.

–Then there is the candidate for Guv who wants to allow college kids to carry guns on the campus. However, they can’t take them into the dorms or facilities seating more than 1,000.

–Another legislator wants to change the constitution to knock the Attorney General from the state Land Board.

–Meanwhile the state controller fritters away $27 million with questionable investments from cities which were commingled with state funds and they want him to be a member of the Land Board.
And not to be outdone…

–The State Land Board, Jerome County Commishes, and Twin Falls City Councilors are all in a pissing contest about how many and which current daredevils should be licensed to celebrate Evel Kneveil’s crash into the Snake River. That story was as big as Chobani selling poisoned Yogurt.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Coppers and Crows

Caldwell Coppers and Crows are causing PETA problems.  These pesky fowl are guilty of white-washing just about everything under the trees where they roost.  Downtown trees are gone and now they are out at WALMART looking to sully the parking lot with their calling cards. 

THE GUARDIAN spoke with a friend in Nampa who helped with this problem back in the day.  Frustrated city officials got in touch with the folks who liked to shoot clay pigeons out at the Caldwell Trap Range.  The wing-shooters came to town and had the blessing of city fathers to shoot the crows on sight in the downtown area of Caldwell.  They shot the crows until they moved out of town and cleaned up the mess for the sheer fun of shooting them.  The early morning hours were the choice time with daylight just starting to light up their targets. 

We can only wonder why this same approach isn't used today v. using Coppers who are on the clock.  The gun club guys could do the same job and Walmart  might even chip in with some Winchester AA shot shells for doing this service. 

We saw some of the stuff suggested short of killing the crows suggested by the faint of heart folks who thought shooting these pests was just not right.  As a kid growing up in Southern Indiana I can attest there is no shortage of crows.  They would blacken the sky when they left farmers fields looking for a place to roost for the night. 

Former Nampa City Councilor Sentenced to 12 Yrs.

(Boise) – Robert J. Schmidt, a resident of Nampa and former Nampa City Council member, was sentenced today for insurance fraud, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said.  Third District Judge George Southworth sentenced Schmidt to up to 12 years in prison, ordered him to pay $47,639 in restitution and to take a behavior modification class.  The court suspended the prison term and ordered Schmidt to serve 90 days in jail, placed him on probation for 12 years and ordered him to start making restitution payments of $500 per month on June 1, 2014.  The judge also issued a no contact order preventing Schmidt from contacting any of his victims in Ada or Canyon County.
Schmidt, 54, a former Treasure Valley insurance agent, pleaded guilty on November 21, 2013, to one count of insurance fraud.  By pleading guilty, Schmidt admitted that he diverted more than $47,600 in insurance premiums for his personal use from the following:
  • Safe Ride Solutions - $25,192
  • Multi-Home Care Services - $9,000
  • Rocketchun Holden - $8,735
  • Nampa Babe Ruth League - $3,821; and
  • Lenny Chow - $889
Insurance fraud is a felony that impacts all Idahoans.  Anyone who witnesses or suspects insurance fraud is encouraged to contact the Idaho Department of Insurance at
The case was investigated by the Idaho Department of Insurance and prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Rondee Blessing of the Attorney General’s Insurance Crimes Unit.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Carnige Library Will Become Veterans Memorial Hall With Your Help

The city of Caldwell has purchased the old Carnige Library from Caldwell School District and has handed it over to local veterans organizations.  It will become VETERANS MEMORIAL HALL once renovations have been completed.  It will serve as a meeting place for Post 35 of the American Legion, Post 3886  of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Caldwell Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans.  The building needs work to make it a proper place for our Veterans and also make it accessible for all. 

THE GUARDIAN received a flier in our water bill this month.  Construction and improvement costs for the old library building are estimated to be $170,000.  The flier suggested and hoped every household will make a one time donation of $10.00.  That amount seems very small given what all our vets did for all of us.  THE GUARDIAN is a Vietnam Veteran and my donation went out today.  Please consider making a one time gift toward this worthy effort.

The address to make your tax deductible gift is:

Caldwell DAV
PO BOX 1362
Caldwell, Idaho 83606-1362

State Treas. Ron Crane Loses $27Million In Bad Investments

THE GUARDIAN has learned today after a read of the Idaho Legislative Audit Division's audit report to the Idaho Legislature and Gov. Otter $27MM has evaporated into the electronic cosmos of Wall Street investments.  State Treasurer, Ron Crane invested taxpayer money in all manner of investments that were outside the fiduciary responsibility of his office.  Mr. Crane invested taxpayer money in derivatives, securities rated at less than AAA and in AAA securities that did not have both the rating of AAA by Moody's and Standard and Poor's investment ratings agencies.

In short, it appears Sec. Crane was playing fast and loose with taxpayer money and doing so in the absence of any oversight on investments. 

The audit was conducted by the Idaho Legislative Audit Division and was signed by Ms. April Renfro, CPA who heads up the Audit Division. Below is a link to the audit and it is a very straight forward document most people can easily understand.  It will be interesting to see how the layers of this onion get peeled away going forward with all the political finger pointing that is sure to follow this document.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Reality of Teachers and Turnover Losses

We are reprinting this with permission from Shari Webster of Nampa.  This was originally a letter to the editor and appeared this past week in the Idaho Statesman:

National estimates reveal that one-third of all new teachers leave the profession after three years.  46% depart within five.  What day-to-day experiences have so many headed for the door?

  • In the midst of crisis, Nampa's dedicated teachers (equipped with personal funds) formed a line at an office supply's self serve photocopier.

  • Report cards were printed on the blank side of used paper.

  • A first-year teacher received access to a long neglected classroom 13 days before opening day.  After expending 12-16 hours a day and $1,500.00, she transformed the space into one suitable for instruction.

  • District policy mandated that designated employee complete all laminating processes.  Because the sole worker became contractually available four days prior to opening day, a trip to a local office supply became necessary--as did another out-of-pocket expense.

  • A non-working printer accompanied by a technician's growing waitlist necessitated documents being emailed to teachers' personal accounts for home printing.

  • Utilizing a single workbook, teachers awaited turns at a solitary photocopies to produce student copies.  Added frustration?  A limit on pages!

  • Traditional classrooms became occupied by 35 plus students, some void of English speaking ability.
Upon arrival of 2014, we honor these teachers, whose sacrifices are worthy of front-page headlines.

Shari Webster, President on behalf of Chi Chapter
Delta Kappa Gamma Society International

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

King's Bldg., Downtown Caldwell (and other stuff) Discussed at City Council Meeting/Workshop

THE GUARDIAN attended the Caldwell City Council meeting/workshop last night as there were subjects of interest on the meeting agenda. 

Bill Deal along with two other people from the State Insurance Dept. who discussed the oversight the state has with self insured cities and other public entities that fall under their oversight.  City of Caldwell is self insured for claims up to $75k and then their insurance policy kicks in for city employee health, dental and other insurance claims. 

Next subject of interest is what to do with cash that will flow to taxing districts from the urban renewal.  Will it be retained by the urban renewal agency or will the taxing district claim the money and use it to spend or reduce property tax burdens.

There was a lively discussion about downtown and how $1.3 million of unencumbered URA money will be spent from 2015 to 2022 tax years.  The lack of sidewalks in Caldwell was discussed and the safety issues this presents to school children walking to and from school.  There was a lack of consensus on this matter and little input from the city council noted.

Members of the URA board made a motion to get bids for demolition of the King's Building eyesore in downtown back in  December 2013 URA Board meeting. To date there have been no solicitation of bids has been done for this project.   URA Board Chairman Eljay Waite stated he was busy with audit issues but would have the biding process completed and perhaps the demolition of the King's building done  by April 1, 2014. 

There were several downtown business owners there to discuss the plight and blight of downtown and how to improve on the $2-5.00 lease rates that are now the norm for renting space in downtown.  Obstacles like sprinkler systems, ADA compliance issues and lack of investment by the URA in downtown were discussed.  Another issue brought up was the previous efforts to get the King's building land area converted to a plaza and the plans presented to both Mayor Nancolas and URA Chairman Eljay Waite at previous URA board meetings.  Both Mayor Nancolas and URA Chairman Eljay Waite declined to give any hint on the preferred plaza location at this meeting. 

One business owner spoke to the lack of interest he has seen from members of the City Council and the Mayor.  He has not seen Mayor Nancolas and only one City Council member since he opened for business across from the Post Office.  Nor has there been any press releases from the city or the chamber of commerce on his new business in downtown Caldwell.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Canyon County Jail Expansion

THE GUARDIAN has learned about a jail expansion project of late.  The plan will cost an estimated $12MM and will come from tax dollars flowing to the County General Fund.  Increased assessed values along with not spending all the cash flowing to the county has put a load of cash in the coffers.
A recent audit pointed out the need to spend the money or lower taxes.  Commishes have held the line on taxes as noted by a Guardian friend who lives in the county.  He stated his taxes did not go up this year when asked about this.  Bottom line is the Sheriff will get a new jail addition to the existing Dale Haile Jail.  It will be paid for without a bond election. The number of beds and other details are not known at this time.

The new jail addition will start construction some time after the new admin. building is completed and courtrooms constructed to accommodate new judges assigned to Canyon County.  Sheriff Donahue can now quit whining about a new jail.  That won't happen but he will get additional beds when the new addition to the existing jail is completed. The new jail addition will extend into the existing jail parking lot on the north side of Dale Haile Jail and extend outward toward Chicago St.

Oddly enough, this is the very plan put forth by former Sheriff George Nourse.  Let's hope they also put a basement in this new structure so the jail has adequate storage needs that are in a secure area that was advocated by Nourse.

Also planned in all of this is to close the Nampa Court Annex building and bring all that back to the main courthouse.  The Nampa Annex will be sold to the city of Nampa and turned into a parking lot if plans go according to what was related to the Guardian.

NOTE: I ran the afore mentioned blog post info past Comm. Steve Rule and he sent me an email that all of this is "conceptual" at this point in time and has not been formally discussed by the full BOCC.  And as a conceptual deal all of it is subject to a lot more discussion by all the stakeholders.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Police and Fire Pay, Nampa, Caldwell, Boise

We got this information from a Nampa Guardian Reader and thought it worth sharing with you.  The information comes from "ACCOUNTABLE IDAHO"

Average police pay:
Nampa 2012......  $65,585    Caldwell..... $48,744       Boise..... $72,295
Nampa 2011......  $66,446
Nampa 2010......  $66,562

Nampa Sgt. Tim Randall whose retirement is announced in today's IPT:
2011.... $89,566   2012....  $88.339

Fire Dept. average pay:
Nampa 2012... $71,640   Caldwell.... $66,890   Boise.... $81,845

All of the above  have added benefits which in Nampa's case includes over $12,000 in health insurance, PERSI retirement and a smorgasbord of other fringe benefits.

Update, January 7, 2013:  A commenter wanted to know Sheriff Dept. avg pay and here it is:

Average pay for Ada County Sheriff officers  2012  $50,612
Average pay for Canyon County Sheriff officers 2012  $42,451
I have no way of knowing if any of the info I have sent you include
desk people but I would assume it does. Information taken from Accountable Idaho website. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mayor Nancolas Resolves More Time At Disneyland

All of the leaders of Canyon County were polled for their resolutions for 2014. 

We plucked this gem from the pages of the local paper for Mayor Nancolas' resolutions for this next year.  THE GUARDIAN will leave the following for readers to enjoy:

"Spend every precious moment I possibly can with those whom I cherish and treasure the most.
P.S. Go to Disneyland more often! — Garret Nancolas, Caldwell mayor"

*Cartoon courtesy of a local artist.
The shirt button says "Ask Eljay"