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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.