Tracking code caldwell guardian

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.