Elected officials working
together to positively
manage community
growth.

Meeting Minutes
March 28, 2011

Attendees

  • John Bechtel
  • Vern Bisterfeldt
  • Tom Dale
  • Tammy de Weerd
  • John Evans
  • David Ferdinand
  • Brad Holton
  • Garret Nancolas
  • Craig Telford
  • Vicki Thurber

Absent

  • Dave Bieter
  • Scott Dowdy
  • George Hyer
  • Nate Mitchell

Staff and Guests

  • Commissioner Cathy Alder
  • Jim Reynolds – Eagle Mayor
  • Commissioner Steve Rule
  • Bill Larsen

David Ferdinand opened the meeting and welcomed everyone to Canyon County. They are going to have an open house at the county on April 29th. April is National Counties Month and their goal this year is to honor veterans and their families. On April 15th is their State of the County address. Tammy and John Evans mentioned that Ada County is having an emergency preparedness seminar on those dates.

David introduced Jim Reynolds, the new Mayor of Eagle, to the Partnership meeting. The members welcomed him and indicated it would be nice to have the City of Eagle participating in Partnership activities. Jim indicated they are working on this.

Economic Development– Canyon County

David said he invited the other Canyon County Commissioners to talk about economic development. They believe this is affecting all Cities and Counties in the Treasure Valley and beyond.

Commissioner Steve Rule said that a couple years ago he was Chukar hunting in the Owyhee’s with a friend from San Diego. He mentioned that he keept hearing about all these businesses leaving California. His friend said this is true and you should be down here telling them where Canyon County is right now, and this was two years ago. He came back and discussed the idea with the Commissioners. They pulled some money together, put together a presentation and went to California.

The exodus from California is real! The cost of power, taxes and labor is becoming an issue and businesses are leaving. There is a prediction that California is going to lose 20% of their businesses across the State.

As he mentioned, they did put together a program and targeted the Ag industry. They put together a flier that talks about Canyon County, Idaho and rented a booth at the Ag show. As a result, they got 25 solid leads of businesses that will now be considering Canyon County. He is proud of their effort and feels the time and expense were definitely worth it.

They will be turning these leads over to the Cities, the Western Alliance, BVEP and hopefully as a result we can find a fit and land some of these leads. Steve said they plan to do this again. He introduced fellow Commissioner Cathy Alder who started by showing a video they produced for the Expo.

Cathy mentioned that this was the worlds largest Ag Expo. Agriculture is everything from the product, equipment, parts and a whole range of economic sectors. At the Expo, there were people in attendance from all over the world representing everything ag.

She felt that they had such a good experience that they are intending on going back to this Ag Expo next year.

Vern asked about doing a little collaboration on one of these booths in the future. David felt this effort was very beneficial and this would be a good idea. The World Ag Expo is in the same spot in Tulare, California. They have several different sections and this last year they put their booth in the “Specialty Business” section. There are several other booth category locations that it would make sense to locate. For example, we have a large dairy industry and it would make sense to locate a booth in this section.

David reiterated they had forwarded all of their leads to BVEP and other entities. They are supposed to be the closers.

Legislative Issues

Bill indicated that he had gleaned the information from both the AIC and IAC websites and prepared a report of relevant legislation so far this session.

Emissions

David indicated that there is a bill in the works to move the Canyon County and Kuna emission due date to coincide with the vehicle registration. If this passes, there is no one that is going to buy a registration and then get their registration revoked because they have not gotten their emissions test. The other thing is to refund registrations that were revoked due to emissions retroactive to January 1st.

Craig said, he heard there was a movement to get rid of the Red Vans in Ada County. Jim indicated there was a vote on this at the last Air Quality Board meeting and it was defeated 10-2.

Urban Renewal

Tom said that HB0095 and HB0121 both look like it is going to pass. David added that he went and testified at HB0095 hearings. He felt that most of these people don’t understand the economic development side of this. Tammy stated in HB0095, because of the vote of the people to establish the district, it allows more flexibility because of the vote, that economic development could then be addressed in an area even though there was no blight.

Tom said that every year we deal with symptoms. Each year we have bills that come up on Urban Renewal, Local Option Taxing Authority, etc. What we are dealing with now is a state-wide plumbing code that would supercede local jurisdiction. These are just symptoms of the conflict in Idaho politics which is the conflict of conservative politicians that say they are conservative and acting like big government liberals. Our State Legislature acts as they have to control local government, and they complain about the Federal government trying to control them. As an example, a legislator from Coeur d’Alene responded to the question, don’t you think there is a conflict when you complain about Federal mandates and you turn around and issue mandates to local government? His response was, oh no, which is what the State legislature is supposed to do.

At some point we need to have a discussion with our legislatures about the philosophy of local control. If they continue to think they have to dictate to local jurisdictions, we are going to continue to have these fights over issues such as urban renewal, local option taxes and State Plumbing Codes.

Tammy asked the members their perspective on HB0210. Her perspective on the bill was that Ag use supercedes everyone else. Vern said that if houses encroach on an existing farming operation, then he has no sympathy for them as they knew they were moving into an agricultural zone.

David heard from several legislatures that the eminent domain legislation was dead. He did not know of any jurisdiction that had been using eminent domain as a tool. John Evans stated they are about to use it for the very first time. We have private property we need to expand into for a bridge landing for a bike and pedestrian bridge. It will land on the common area of a home owners association. The covenants provide for a mechanism for the easement. The board says lets work it as a friendly condemnation and that is how we can accomplish this bridge landing.

Brad said that HB302 dealing with public records requests was a concern. Garret said he had his clerk go back and research public records requests over the past year. There were almost 320 public records requests last year not counting the Police Department. Almost all of them were from Paul Aldridge or the Idaho Freedom Foundation. He had her estimate the time involved with these public records requests. It cost the City of Caldwell over $10,000 to fulfill public records requests last year.

TVP Budget and Member Dues for FY 2011-2012

Bill pointed to a spreadsheet in the packet. He had obtained the 2010 Census data for Ada and Canyon County and had recalculated what dues would be based on the new census. It also identifies the supplemental for the SAUSA. He cautioned that the information includes both Eagle and Owyhee County as members. Bill stated that he has been talking with the Owyhee County Clerk and feels that the new County Commissioners would benefit from TVP members visiting one of their Commission meetings. They have not been in attendance this past year, primarily due to the fact that their Commission meetings are on Monday’s.

Tom added that in his experience, if they are not attending our meetings, then eventually their interest in membership will wane.

Bill stated that a couple of years ago, when Eagle dropped out of membership, we decided to not recalculate and the partnership absorbed this loss, thus keeping dues lower. He cautioned that the figures were not final until the Owyhee County census data is obtained. He felt that the differences based upon new data will most likely not change the member contributions much if any.

Tammy stated that she was good with the new dues data.

Jim said it was his understanding that the reason Eagle dropped out of the Partnership was because there was a perception that the Partnership was covering the same issues as COMPASS. As he has been attending both organization’s meetings and he can see no correlation what-so-ever. His point is that maybe the Partnership needs to put some information out on the issues the Partnership actually addresses. Maybe this would eliminate a little of the confusion.

Tom said he feels it is important to reiterate what the Partnership is. The original purpose was to have a forum where County Commissioners and Mayors can get together to discuss issues and share ideas. Maybe John in Garden City is doing something that Nampa never even thought of. This sharing, by the members is the important part of the Partnership in his mind.

Tom added that the Partnership was never intended to be a project oriented organization. There have been things that have come up from time-to-time that this group felt was important to be involved with. Things such as Pseudoephedrine and other Ordinances, the SAUSA Project and other activities have been good. But we need to remember this is the place we can share ideas.

Garret added that a lot of it has to do with getting back to the basics of relationships. He really thinks that local government is a little different than State and Federal systems. You go to the grocery store to buy a gallon of milks and you end up taking for an hour. You get talked to about issues from the people in the store that know you. When you get past some of territorial boundaries and turf wars, we are all in the same boat. Originally, the jurisdictions in Ada and Canyon County didn’t know or like each other and counties did not like cities and vise-versa.

Garret stated that one of the big goals of the Partnership was to break down barriers and create relationships. He thinks that is one of the real values of this organization. And one of the direct results of breaking down barriers, for example, is issues such as Pseudoephedrine, gangs and other things are brought up. We put our heads together, work together and all of a sudden, we have done something, together that benefits all of our communities. This results in better communication and relationships among our jurisdictions.

Vern said he got fed up with everybody mistrusting each other and not thinking about one another. The original intention was to bring us together to work on common problems, common visions, and common good for our community.

Jim said that he agrees there is no correlation between the functions of COMPASS and the Partnership. With the Partnerships permission he will start routing the minutes and other information on the Partnership to his Eagle City Council. Tammy stated that is what she does and feels it helps keep her council informed about the Partnership and its activities.

Tom moved to accept the new budget and dues structure as proposed knowing that the figures will change slightly once Owyhee Counties’ numbers are obtained. John seconded. Motion carried.

Air Quality

Bill mentioned that the web site, Treasure the Valley’s Air, that was created from the grant of the Boise Advertising Federation is going to be up for renewal in June. This 2-year renewal will be approximately $200 and he has been working with the people who set this up to obtain the passwords necessary to identify the exact renewal cost. This cost is not in our budget and feels he can find room for it if the members want to continue with that effort.

Tom asked if it was being used and is it something we can use later on if we want to have another air quality campaign. Bill said that he utilized this site and the accompanying Twitter site during the heat of the summer last year. DEQ posted a few things but he is not familiar with how many people are actually visiting the site. Bill said he would investigate this further.

John Evans said it seems that DEQ should be the central location for air quality information. Tom agreed, saying if he is a regular citizen and concerned with air quality, he is going to go to the DEQ for information. Tom added that there is another problem in you really should be updating the site on a regular basis.

Taxi Cab Ordinances

Garret indicated that Caldwell and Nampa are currently working on taxi cab ordinances that mirror one another. Tammy stated that the City of Meridian is just starting work on this ordinance and would love to be involved and share information. She continued that the recent article in the Statesman really emphasized that people’s first impression of our area can really be hurt by taxi cabs. In addition, people are putting themselves at the mercy of the cab driver and we have had incidences where people have been hurt or raped by their cab driver.

Tammy stated that we don’t want to put people out of business with license fees and rules. But we do have a responsibility to protect people using this service.

Director’s Report

Bill pointed to the Press Release from the U.S. Attorney’s office that details the recent press conference they had involving the large number of indictments that occurred on that day. He could not get any additional detail as these are indictments and it is hard to get any specifics at this time.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has approached Bill about the possibility of hosting one of the Partnership meetings. They feel bad they have eaten a bunch of dinners over the last couple of years and want to pay the favor back. Bill stated he showed them the meeting schedule and had them choose a date that would work with them.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office would like to have a teleconference with the Oregon U.S. Attorney’s office regarding the work of the SAUSA. They have looked at their respective schedules and would like to be the host for the May 23rd meeting of the Partnership. This meeting is originally intended for Parma to be the host.

Craig said that he was fine with this.

The U.S. Attorney’s office is located at 800 E. Park Blvd in Boise. Their Offices are on the 6th floor and there is ample free parking out front.

It was moved and approved to move the May TVP meeting to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Bill stated that Garden City is to host the Garden City meeting on April 25th.

Meeting adjourned.