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Meeting Minutes
January 28, 2009

Attendees

  • Phil Bandy
  • John Bechtel
  • Tom Dale
  • Tammy de Weerd
  • John Evans
  • David Ferdinand
  • Brad Holton
  • Nate Mitchell
  • Vicki Thurber
  • Fred Tilman
  • Margie Watson

Staff and Guests

  • John Bujak
  • Kathy Coburn
  • Justin Whatcott
  • Bill Larsen – Staff

Nate Mitchell opened the meeting and welcomed everyone to Star and the new Star City Hall. There was an introduction of attendees and a large round of applause occurred when Justin Whatcott and John Bujak introduced themselves. Justin is the new SAUSA Project employee and is scheduled to start on February 23rd. John Bujak is the new Canyon County Prosecutor and has volunteered to host the SAUSA Project out of the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office.

Field of Honor

Phil Bandy introduced Kathy Coburn as a principle person involved with scheduling and hosting the Field of Honor events for the past few years. The Field of Honor event is a valley-wide event that the City of Eagle is hosting this year. The event is scheduled for May 16th through May 26th. Their website is http://colonialflagfoundation.org/staticpages/index.php/eagle

Kathy indicated the event is display of patriotism including hundreds of large U.S. flags atop 8ft poles in perfect rows on a field of green. This living display of heroism will fly as a temporary patriotic tribute to the strength and unity of Americans, and will honor all veterans and currently serving men and women who have served and are serving our nation to preserve our security and freedom.

The Field of Honor is to be held at Merrill Park. Their goal this year is to have 1,000 flags. The last two years the event has had 800 flags. Each flag is dedicated to an individual.

Kathy would like to see the leaders of the valley to view this event as a field of honor for the Treasure Valley. Sponsors fund the event, and she passed out a copy of a letter that was sent out to businesses in the valley. She asked the members for any aid they might be able to give.

Kathy mentioned that there couldn’t be any other “Field of Honor” events from the Oregon border to Mountain Home. Phil indicated that the geographic span of the event indicates this is a valley-wide opportunity and he wanted to make sure the members were aware of the event. Phil asked members to communicate the event to local Chamber’s of Commerce. He indicated that the City of Eagle’s Youth Council has taken this event on and is looking to work with the City of Meridian’s Youth Council as well.

As this event continues to grow, Phil mentioned that they are considering moving to the event to Eagle Island State Park.

Kathy stated that the flags are dedicated to an individual. Flags are then purchased and displayed. The fundraiser part of this event is the purchasing of flags. The beneficiary is the Idaho Veterans Assistance League.

David mentioned that their Kiwanas Club sponsored a flag last year. He asked what would be the cost of a flag. Kathy stated the cost to sponsor a flag is $25.00.

John asked if the flags were kept by the people/organization that sponsored, or do we donate them back to the organization? Kathy stated that the organizations encourage the sponsor’s to keep the flag after the event, especially if they do not have one.

SAUSA Project

Tom mentioned that when we first conceived of the project, we approached the Canyon and Ada County Prosecuting Attorney’s to be the host entity for the project. For varying reasons, at the time, neither office wanted to take on the project. We then recruited Owyhee County to be the host jurisdiction. The Owyhee County Prosecutor’s Office enthusiastically volunteered to be the conduit through which this SAUSA Project can be ran. However, the Owyhee County Prosecutor, Matthew Faulks did not run for reelection and the county has been encouraging the Partnership to recruit another sponsoring entity.

Last year the Partnership began discussing the possibility of moving the project to Canyon County, pending results of elections. He felt the timing of circumstances surrounding the project could not have been better. In discussions with the newly elected Canyon County Prosecutor, there was a commitment for taking on the SAUSA Project.

Tom introduced John Bujak, newly elected Canyon County Prosecutor. John thanked the Partnership. This has been a tremendous program. He was exposed the SAUSA Project throughout his campaign. He had the opportunity to ask the question why this project was not being run through Canyon County. Looking at the data, no one can argue with the success the program has had.

He tips his hat to the Partnership for making this project happen. It shows absolute initiative on the part of the Partnership for wanting to be proactive in addressing the valley’s gang problem. He thanked the Partnership for giving his office the opportunity to be involved in the project.

He introduced Justin Whatcott as the individual who has been selected by the committee to be the next SAUSA Project employee. When this position was opened up, a lot of outstanding candidates applied. He felt the cream has risen to the top. Justin has certainly has distinguished himself as a criminal prosecutor during his time at the Idaho Attorney General’s Office.

Justin stated it was a great honor to be a part of the project. Looking at the success born out by the numbers, he feels he has some big shoes to fill. He has come to know Christian Nafzger and feels that the transition will be seamless. He will continue to provide the service that Christian started. He starts on with the U.S. Attorney’s Office on February 23rd.

Justin stated he has been a prosecutor for nine years. He has prosecuted felony cases in 24 of Idaho’s counties. He is excited about taking on this position.

Tammy mentioned she had turned the list of names from the SAUSA Project report, over to her Chief to identify if there was familiarity with any of those whom have been prosecuted under this Project. She wanted to show the value of this activity to her City Council. The results were that the people on this list had links to many of our communities in the Treasure Valley and throughout the State. This position is critically important to the Partnership and the communities in the Treasure Valley.

Fred noticed that the list of those prosecuted includes individuals were arrested for reentering the U.S. illegally and some of them would be then deported. He was curious why in some cases we are deporting after they have spent time in the Federal system, and some are just deported. Sometime he wanted to have a discussion with Justin on this and is their anything that can be done regarding enforcing immigration laws. His reasons for stating this was there have some mixed signals coming from the Feds with regard to local enforcement of immigration laws.

Justin mentioned that he worked up in Blaine County on a drug task force. They commonly would indict rings of drug dealers that were in the U.S. illegally. After serving their sentence, they were deported. From talking with the ICE Agents, the individual that was deported would be back in Blaine County before the ICE Agents returned. There is a big problem on reentry.

John mentioned that none of the arrests were in Garden City. But when he gave the list to his Chief of Police, they had personal police contact with 27 of the people on the list of those prosecuted. This goes to show the tentacles of those being prosecuted go throughout the valley.

Nate asked about the breakdown of the cost analysis that was included in the meeting packet. Bill stated that over the past several meetings, there has been interest from the Partnership in continuing to be a part of the funding for the Project. He analyzed the data and has provided four different options for the Partnership piece of the Project funding. Taking the Cities of Boise, Caldwell and Nampa and the Partnership as a whole, he has separated out funding options based on population, indictment percentage a combination of the two and a straight-line percentage. The purpose was to provide options for funding the $75,000 of project costs committed to by the project by these three cities and the Partnership.

David asked if the $25,000 portion of the Project costs is still in the State Budget. Bill indicated that the $25,000 was in the ISP budget and they go before JFAC on the 4th of February.

Tom added that the purpose behind this analysis was to identify how we fund our portion of the Project. Do we continue to take it out of TVP membership dues, or do we create a separate City budget item for the Project. If we do take the SAUSA Project funding out of our dues, then we wouldn’t be able to utilize the TVP budget to fund additional projects/activities? Bill added that the total TVP budgeted income from membership dues was $67,796.

Tom mentioned that the reason the Partnership was able to take on the Sausa Project was, there were several years where the organization was collecting dues and had minimal expenses. Therefore, there was a balance on the books of around $110,000 when the project was in its development stage. Originally, the Partnership voted to cover the $75,000 portion of the SAUSA Project for two years. We will be moving into year three at the middle of February.

Fred asked where the States portion of the project has come from. Bill stated that for the past two years the State has chipped in $25,000. This has come out of the budget of the State’s AG’s Office in year one and ISP in year two. The State has included these funds in the ISP budget for this next year.

Fred said, looking at this from the perspective of the project saving money from the State Corrections Department. The real link to the State should be from the Corrections system. He would be happy to contact Brent Reinke about this. If we can make a better State Budget linkage, we might be able to get more funds out of the State.

Nate suggested we put this information on the next agenda. Tammy suggested that the officers get together and look at the budget to see if there is any way we can trim expenses any further. Bill agreed to work on getting the officers together.

Air Quality Discussion

Bill included a listing of efforts the TVP members are undertaking to have an effect on improving air quality. David apologized for not getting the information to Bill, but in one of their efforts, David has discussed with ITD the possibility of metering the freeway entrance at Garrity Blvd. One of the problems in Canyon County is driving cars onto the freeway and parking them. The idea is to meter the entrance. So as the traffic flows in, they are not allowed to access the freeway until the metering system allows for it. He added that entrances to thoroughfares are metered all over the world.

Brad Holton added that a lot of other states have timed lights on their freeway entrances. It has been shown that it works. Why can’t the TVP draft a letter to ITD and DEQ to ask why we cannot work together to get it done? If a group like the TVP represents this concern to ITD, it is possible they will listen.

Another idea is a public relations campaign to get people to stop their cars when they are idling. If we can lower our Ozone causing emissions by 10% this summer we will be in good shape in regards to non-attainment.

David asked that the TVP send a letter to the American Advertising Federation. These guys adopt a project every year. They deluge the media with a news item, and you can see their efforts are effective. We need more than us getting the information out to our constituents. If we can get people thinking about reducing their contribution to ozone by 10%, we can be effective at achieving results. Tammy asked Bill to draft a letter for review at the next meeting.

Nate asked we look at processes as a way to alter systems that might have an effect on emissions. As an example, he is still building houses and as a contractor, he has to take several trips to numerous entities to pay the fees associated with getting a building permit.

Vicki asked if any of the jurisdictions needed additional signs “We support clean air, turn off your engines”. She encouraged members to call Lonnie at DEQ and she will bring out some.

David indicated they will call Pete about the metered idea and will start talking to the local weather men about having a message delivered on those “hot” days to remind people to use common sense during those days.

Nate asked that all the members take a look at their internal processes to see if we can reduce the vehicle miles traveled to comply with regular requirements of a city/county. Every vehicle mile we can reduce, gets us close to achieving lower ozone levels.

Tom added that do have a one-stop shop for City activities and have on-line payment options for individuals. He stated that what Nate is talking about lends credibility to the long-term sustainability of the efforts we might be doing. We should not be centralizing activities. By doing this you are institutionalizing miles on the road.

There might be additional costs of having multiple access points to government activities. But reducing the miles on the road is the goal. As an example, in California, government access can often times be found in shopping centers.

Nate mentioned that one of his experiences was in their Sheriff’s contract, everywhere he went in the County he noticed Sheriff’s vehicles sitting vacant and idling. When he mentioned this, it seemed to shock the institution. The attitude has to come from us as local leaders. When we see activities that could be modified to have an institutional effect on ozone contribution, we need to speak out.

David mentioned that when he became a commissioner, he was embarrassed to find out that you could not pay for something online. Some older people still want to get in the car and go take care of municipal services. However, anything we can do online, the better.

Current Legislation

Tammy passed out some talking points on the Beer and Wine Tax legislation. She encouraged the members to talk to our law enforcement personnel. The AIC and IAC organizations are supporting this legislation.

John mentioned that Senator Bock and Tim Corder are sponsoring a statewide covered loads law. He has had numerous conversations with these individuals and has shared the Canyon County Contained Loads ordinance with them as well. John indicated that the statewide legislation is pretty comprehensive and includes the provisions that we instituted in our ordinances. He cautioned them to not have an ag exemption in their Bill or it would be DOA. Update: The bill’s language can be found in the following link. http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2009/S1055Bookmark.htm

David added that in Canyon County’s deliberations, they believed that once you take a beet truck and dumb that load at the beet dump, then you come and load a Semi full of beets, it is no longer ag. There was deliberation on the definition of ag related transport at the public hearings in Canyon County.

Tom mentioned that he feels there is a little of a glimmer of light on this session. There is an amendment drafted to modify legislation, requiring license plates on dirt bikes. He feels that the legislature appears to want to be reasonable.

John mentioned that there is also a bill to allow local jurisdictions to restrict firearms possession at certain city/county facilities.

Fred indicated that there is a movement under way to allow Cities and Counties to issue liquor licenses. Tom asked if the State Liquor license policy still based on population. Fred indicated that it is based on a population basis. His understanding is this would remain the same. Above and beyond that, Cities and Counties would be allowed to issue a liquor license to an establishment.

Tom mentioned that with the way liquor licenses were issued historically, when a City issued a license, they went by the list and issued the license. The people who got the license did not necessarily have an establishment and they did not have any intention in selling any liquor. He felt that if Cities and Counties could control this, there would probably be less liquor licenses and would be more targeted and used.

Fred mentioned that the new license would be a one shot deal for that establishment. If the establishment got sold or changed ownership, the new owner would then have to reapply for the liquor license.

Nate mentioned that the next item on the agenda was welcoming Fred Tilman as the new representative from Ada County.

John Evans moved and John Bechtel seconded to approve the minutes and financial report. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned.