Elected officials working
together to positively
manage community
growth.

Meeting Minutes
June 22, 2009

Attendees

  • Phil Bandy
  • John Bechtel
  • Tom Dale
  • Tammy de Weerd
  • John Evans
  • David Ferdinand
  • Fred Tilman
  • Margie Watson

Absent

  • Dave Bieter
  • Scott Dowdy
  • Brad Holton
  • George Hyer
  • Nate Mitchell
  • Garret Nancolas
  • Vicki Thurber

Staff and Guests

  • Representative Darrell Bolz
  • Rafael Gonzalez – U.S. Attorney's Office
  • Jason Hamilton – Boise Ad Federation
  • Tim Higgins – ID Dept. of Corr.
  • Senator Kate Kelly
  • Kevin Kemp – ID Dept. of Corr.
  • Greg Koenig – Koenig Winery
  • Jane Perlakey – The Agency Creative Ntwk
  • Pete O'Neal – TV Air Quality Council.
  • Director, Brent Reinke – ID Dept. of Corr.
  • Saundra Richartz – U.S. Attorney's Office
  • Pete Wagner – ID DEQ
  • Justin Whatcott – SAUSA Project
  • Bill Larsen - Staff

David Ferdinand welcomed everyone to the TVP meeting. There are 190,000 people in Canyon County. This is doubled from the population of 10 years ago.

He wanted make sure the members came out Hwy 55. David said this is a very nice stretch of the highway. He says it will look like this all the way up to the project to Middleton Road and Karcher. This is part of the Canyon Scenic Byway.

Air Quality Effort

David mentioned that this was an exciting day. We were excited to see the fruits of the labors of the Boise Advertising Federation on promoting a reduction in ozone causing emissions. He introduced Jason Hamilton and Jane Perlakey.

Jason stated that the Boise Ad Federation has created more platforms to help get the message out on reducing ozone emissions. They are doing this through a blog website, using Twitter and driving all of that with a television campaign. He mentioned that Jane is one of the most creative minds in the valley and has completed the TV spots.

Jane stated that there are two TV spots. This year they tried to develop a single focus message. Each of these commercials focuses on a specific activity that people need to do. People should walk away from the message with an idea on what they can be doing to reduce ozone emissions.

Jane showed the two commercials. The first commercial discusses paint fumes and the second focuses on reducing driving. The Partnership overwhelmingly applauded the TV commercial development effort.

Jason mentioned that Bill has been active at posting information to the website. The DEQ has been helping to provide information.

The blog website has a header that talks about what the air quality effort is all about. The website address is. http://treasurethevalleysair.com/. We also developed a twitter page and are active each day at posting updates on air quality and little messages on what can be done. These messages also direct people back to the website.

The other option is to set up a Facebook page.

The next step in this process is PR. Laura Herrick with the Boise Ad Federation will be developing a press release. She will be talking about the collaboration and what we can do to reduce ozone-causing emissions. Tammy asked if this would be under the cause section of Facebook. And they will be setting it up so that a twitter update, would automatically take effect on the other sites.

David asked, when these commercials will start? Jason indicated that they would go into the regular PSA rotation. The other goal they have is to create a one-sheet price list to get advertisers involved. We can tag on the back of the television spots voice and logo's. David said all the members should know of businesses in our jurisdictions that would be willing to purchase say a $1,000 worth of advertising.

The more sponsors we get, the better off we will be. He indicated that he already had a couple of people that are interested in purchasing some spots. It was mentioned, that because this is a nonprofit effort, sponsorship spots do get treated on a better basis than regular spots.

Pete O'Neal thanked the Partnership for spearheading this effort on Air Quality. He indicated the Air Quality Council has been a little dormant. Quite frankly there is no money to take on a campaign to change individual behaviors to lessen our emissions. He stated they will do whatever they can to keep this campaign going.

Tammy stated that credit needs to be given to David. He brought the Partnership the idea of approaching the Boise Ad Federation to create an air quality campaign. She added that it is good to see the members partnering with DEQ to have town-hall meeting for businesses on education about ozone. The City of Meridian's meeting was to be that evening. David mentioned that Canyon Counties is in the middle of July. Phil indicated that they will be hosting one as well.

Tom mentioned that the Caldwell City Council has been working on the vehicle emissions testing issue. It appears they will reject doing any testing. The Nampa City Council is of the same mind. This will not matter one-way or the other. The default position goes back to DEQ design a program and take responsibility for it.

Pete mentioned that they will probably try to do a joint powers agreement with Ada County. They have the rule making already done. Tom asked about the frequency of vehicle emissions tests. If Canyon County said we are going to do it every other year, could another entity come along and make us do it every year. Pete stated no. The minimum standard is in State Law and it is every other year for vehicle emissions testing.

Treasure Valley Wine Industry

David introduced Greg Koenig. Koenig wineries have been in operation since 1995. They utilize Idaho fruit in the production of their wines. They have also started making vodka out of potatoes. They began doing this about three years ago and are using a distillery out of Germany. He discussed some of the wines that are being produced in the area.

He highlighted the fact that Wineries bring in tourism dollars. On top of their production and bottling operations, tourists travel wine circuits and the State is seeing an influx of people from out-of-state that are touring the wineries in Idaho.

Wine is all about soil and climate. The Snake River Valley in Idaho has a wonderful high desert climate and conditions appear to be ripe for growing good wine grapes.

Weed and Feed Grant

Bill had asked Rafael Gonzalez to come to the Partnership and discuss the Weed and Seed funding opportunity. Weed and Seed funds come down through the U.S. Justice Dept. They are designed to address gang related issues. They can fund community oriented projects to provide education and diversion programs.

It is an alternate funding source. You have to establish that you have coordinated policing efforts and prosecution. The hardest part about Weed and Seed funding is you have to focus on a very specific geographic area. In addition, you have to find a community activist or community organization that provides the staying power to pull all the loose-knit community groups together for the purpose.

Caldwell just recently got a grant from project safe neighborhoods. The Weed and Seed funding is designed for services around a physical location. The parameters would dictate a neighborhood no more than 1.5 miles square. Also, under this grant, you must be able to show sustainability in order to get through the five years of funding.

Justin Whatcott mentioned that through the SAUSA Project and increased communication among policing authorities, the treasure valley community is in essence doing a good job under the "Weed" guidelines. The "Seed" part is a whole different animal. It goes towards prevention, education and active community based programs.

Bill stated he asked Rafael, Saundra and Justin to come and present some information on Weed and Seed. Over the last couple of months, the Partnership has been discussing what is being done on the other side of the gang equation. Rafael mentioned that there has been some Project Safe Neighborhood programs in the valley. He will get the information together for the partnership on these programs.

SAUSA Project

Representative Bolz mentioned that last fall he met with the Partnership about seeing if the State share of the Sausa Project could be increased to $50,000. Because of budget constraints, we were lucky to get $25,000 this last year. Next year, he cannot make any promises about funding. However, he is an advocate for the SAUSA. He pointed to the cost effectiveness of the SAUSA program and what it saves the State. In fact, Representative Bolz indicated that he would like to see more than one of these positions for the State.

Tammy, asked why, when we show that we are saving the state millions of dollars, why is the State only paying $25,000. Representative Bolz said the budget crunch is very, very real. He will continue to try to sell the program.

She stated that City and Counties are also under a budget crunch. She felt that if you look across the board, the State more and more pushes off responsibilities to local government.

Representative Bolz stated that the Partnership should be active in continuing to send the legislature the SAUSA Project reports.

Senator Kelly said Tammy could not be more right. There are many, many programs that they are confronted with each session and there is only so much money. Things tend to get funded that are of higher political priority. There are so many things we have done that have benefited the criminal justice system. However, it is very hard to educate through the legislative process, the value of programs such as these. When budget decisions are made, it is frequently irrational. So the more you can present your information to the legislature, the better off you are in obtaining funding.

Representative Bolz mentioned that one of the problems associated with the SAUSA Project is that it is perceived as another SW thing and it is not benefiting the rest of the State. We see in a lot of what we do, from this program, to transportation, air quality, etc., the regionalization of issues becomes a problem that affects funding.

Tom stated that the Partnership wanted to thank both Senator Kelly and Representative Bolz for their support for the SAUSA Project. Getting these guys out, has had a tremendous impact on our communities. The more we can do that, the better our communities will be. The Partnership is committed to this project. We see the dividends in the improvement of the culture of our communities. We hope that eventually the State Legislature will recognize the financial benefits to the State.

Director Brent Reinke clarified that the project costs are around $90,000 and that there are 15 that are jurisdictions splitting the remainder after the State's $25,000 contribution. When you start looking at return on investment, the Dept. of Corrections wants to do what they can to be engaged in this project.

This fall the Dept. Corrections has to have a package on Governor Otter's desk dealing with a continuum of gang related issues in the State of Idaho. Tim is heading up a subcommittee that is in process of updating the gang legislation. If we were to incorporate some of this discussion on SAUSA, into this package, we might get some distance out of that. Because there are now outcomes to look at that can be very beneficial.

From the Dept. of Corrections standpoint, Director Reinke said that we are going to do what we can to help. He will also pledge the support of ICJC in this area as well. So there is a real opportunity there.

Margie said how the Director could help would be to also address how the SAUSA Project is affecting the current prison population. We have been hearing about the gang problem in the prison. And this SAUSA Project is alleviating this problem by sending gang offenders out of State. We need to figure out how we can all work together to ensure the success of this project.

John said he took the list of SAUSA Indictments to his police department in Garden City. Of the 89 indicted, 40% of them were frequent flyers. In the last couple of years we have seen double digit decreases in major crimes. There is a correlation from the decrease in crime to this Project. Also, there are all kinds of collateral benefits to the project.

Bill added that from the perspective of the U.S. Attorney's office, the SAUSA Project frees up time from their staff. The result is that Northern and Eastern Idaho's gang activity get additional focus from their office that it normally wouldn't.

Justin Whatcott added that before the SAUSA Project, the U.S. Attorney's office had one attorney looking at gang crimes in the State. In a large part, because of the SAUSA Project, the State now has three U.S. Attorney's working on gang related crimes in the state. This is a direct result of the success of the project.

Tammy point out that the Project has convicted people outside of the treasure valley.

Representative Bolz stated that he would like to see Justin and Director Reinke to get this information in front of the Criminal Justice Commission. Also he will do what he can to facilitate someone coming in front of the House and Senate Committees to inform them about the SAUSA Project and that its effects are not just a local thing.

Fred said that he appreciates this conversation and it is long overdue. He added that the SAUSA Project is not just creating efficiencies in Corrections. Savings can also be found in the Court system. The Court system is also in a budget crisis and this Project helps this. Fred added that if the folks from the State had a tough budgeting session, from the County perspective they have had a tremendously difficult budget setting session.

Margie asked if there is any particular group that can come forward and be an advocate for this program with the legislature? How are we going to be most effective when we go in front of the legislature?

Senator Kelly stated that the Criminal Justice Commission has a lot of powerful people on it. And the Health and Welfare impact cannot be dismissed. Getting before them would be important. Also coming before the judiciary committees is important as well. She added that this is not a lot of money.

Senator Kelly also felt that the Association of Idaho Cities should also pick this Project up on their banner. David added that the new President of the Association of Idaho Cities is Tom Dale.

Director Reinke asked where the State's portion of the SAUSA Project is funded through. Representative Bolz said it is coming through the ISP. He stated that the felt this was not the proper place for it. Senator Kelly added that getting this Project out from under the ISP would be a good idea.

Pete mentioned that he has had a lot of involvement in economic development processes in the valley for quite some time. One of the most important things we need to do in economic development is to protect our quality of life. Part of that is air quality; part of this is the absence of gangs. He added that one of the biggest deterrents to getting business to move in to the area, Caldwell especially is the perception that it is haven for gangs.

Tim stated that he has been chairing a statewide committee to deal with gangs. It includes a broad range of representatives; including schools, prosecutors, law enforcement and social services officials. They have put together a package for the Criminal Justice Commission to present forward to the Governor's Office. This SAUSA Project is something they can include in this proposal.

Gateway Transmission Line

Margie stated that she felt that Idaho Power has made a major effort to deal with the different communities on this line. Right now, we have to wait till all the subcommittees get their work done on alternative routes. Fred added that even the BLM is working with people and the process is giving people a chance to be heard.

David added that at the recent meeting in Melba on the transmission line, there was in attendance an individual who was involved with the development of the Peregrine Falcon refuge. She stated that the power lines do not bother the raptures at all.

Tom moved and Margie seconded to approve the minutes and financial report. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned