January 29, 2018
- Kelly Aberasturi
- Alicia Almazan
- Chad Bell
- Dave Bieter
- Dave Case
- Gheen Christoffersen
- Tom Dale
- Tammy de Weerd
- John Evans
- Debbie Kling
- Nathan Leigh
- Stan Ridgeway
- Joe Stear
- Darin Taylor
Staff and Guests
- Honorable Bart M. Davis, U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho
- Rafael Gonzalez, Asst. U.S. Attorney
- Diana Lachiondo, City of Boise
- Steve Rutherford, City of Boise
- Officer Terry Weir, City of Boise
- Frank Zebari – Treasure Valley SAUSA
- Bill Larsen – TVP
Welcome and Introductions
Mayor Joe Stear welcomed everyone to Kuna. He mentioned that they have been in their City Hall facility for a little over a year. One of the first things he decided as Mayor was they shouldn’t rent the facility for the City Hall so they went through the process to find a new place.
There is a lot of growth in Kuna like there is everywhere else in the valley. They are starting to see some commercial growth as well.
Chad said the City of Star is in the same shape as Kuna in they are experiencing a lot of growth and are starting to see some commercial growth. Bi-Mart is almost done and Albertson’s broke ground a few weeks ago. There is lots of interest from people wanting to annex into the City. There are some “big box” stores looking to come in, but obviously they want to be on the main highway, want lights and signals. So they are going down that road and talking with ITD to try to get lights and signals.
Kelly asked that we stand and do the Pledge of Allegiance. He felt it is important that we as a group do this during every meeting. The members stood for the pledge.
Joe welcomed our newest member, Mayor Debbie Kling from Nampa.
Tom said everybody is aware that their biggest challenge is trying to find funding for a new jail facility. They are talking about various procedures and strategies to try to make that happen. They can’t find beds for the overflow at Canyon County any more as there is nothing available.
The bottom line is nobody wants to build jails, but it is something that is an obligation of civilized society. The pertinent discussion for them today is there are two sources of funds for public projects, property tax or sales tax. They know that the local option tax was allowed for jails, however, the law sunset in 2009. Nez Perce County built their jail under that provision.
Senator Chuck Winder is drafting a bill to bring local option sales tax to the floor again. It is a general authorization at the 60% level with some sideboards. Tom said it can’t fund operations and there is a ten year window. They need to find some way to build a jail for around 1,000 beds. Every year that you delay, it costs between $6-9 million more in construction costs given the construction climate they are in today.
If Chuck Winder’s Bill fails or it looks like it doesn’t have a chance of succeeding, could they possibly go back and do a temporary authorization to allow jail construction. The feedback they have been getting from their citizens is they would rather pay for this in sales tax rather than property tax. If the members can support something like this, he asks they bring this to their legislator’s attention.
Tom felt there is an opportunity to get some traction on local option as there are a lot of new legislators. According to his source, a lot of these legislators are not falling under the thumb and the fear factor that has been put in place by leadership.
Tom said there are good things happening in Canyon County. The fair is looking great. The improvements to the fair building have been incredible and make it look like a brand new facility. They are looking to expand into another building on the site which would really help out the 4-H folks.
Debbie said if they pass the bill to get rid of the grocery tax, the impact at the City level is substantial. The previous week, in talking to legislators, what she heard is, as much as the intent is to make Cities whole, there is no guarantee that this will happen. The question she has is what are we doing about it.
John said the Association of Idaho Cities has put this on their radar list. He asked people to be watching for this.
Debbie said on her first day, her council has said they wanted to disclaim foregone. She asked if anybody has done this. She said it was a unanimous vote by council to have their legal counsel put together the language to disclaim foregone this year and all years in the future. Joe said he didn’t believe you could tie future councils to this decision. Chad agreed and said he did not believe you could bind a future council to a decision like this. Tom added that it should only apply to one year at a time.
Kelly said that when the County went through the last down-turn, they ended up having to cut services in all departments. If you don’t take the three percent every year and you go into an economic down turn, then you are going to do exactly what Owyhee County did back then. You don’t have to spend the money, but don’t put your county/city at risk when you have an economic down turn.
Tom said this is something that AIC and IAC should address. What is sound fiscal policy? If you accept the fact that costs increase as time progresses, then the budget has to increase. Or else you’re going to be in a position where you are not keeping up and you run the risk of going bankrupt.
Nathan announced that on March 17, Parma will be hosting an 8th annual Highland Games. If you want to watch people in kilts throw stones and big logs and drink beer, put it on your calendar.
Tom announced on February 3rd is the third or fourth annual Cabin Fever Reliever. This event put on by Kids First Cast will be at Karcher Mall.
Election of Officers
President – Mayor Darin Taylor nominated Mayor Chad Bell from Star as the new President of the Board for the Treasure Valley Partnership. Mayor Stear seconded the nomination. Commissioner Dale nominated Mayor John Evans as President of the Board. Mayor Stan Ridgeway seconded. Nominations closed. Mayor Chad Bell was elected President of the Treasure Valley Partnership Board of Directors. .
Mayor Darin Taylor nominated Mayor John Evans as Vice-President. Mayor Chad Bell seconded the nomination. No other nominations were received, and Mayor John Evans was unanimously elected as Vice President of the Treasure Valley Partnership Board of Directors.
Mayor Darin Taylor nominated Mayor Brad Holton as Secretary/Treasurer for the Board. Mayor Nathan Leigh seconded. No other nominations were received and Mayor Brad Holton was unanimously elected as Secretary/Treasurer.
Joe introduced David Eastwood with the Treasure Valley Education Partnership (TVEP). Last year the TVP coordinated on the FAFSA Proclamation for February. He wanted the Partnership to do something again this year and was here to talk about the options that are available.
The TVEP is a nonprofit organization focused around student success. They bring all the stakeholders together. Representatives from business, educators, and superintendents are on their leadership Board and collectively they work on projects in the Treasure Valley.
They have three working groups. One is “Prepared for School”. This group is focused on pre-K awareness. They have a “Succeeds Academically” group which focuses on students K-12 and their current emphasis is on early literacy and will have some projects this summer working on this effort.
Their third working group, Beyond High School, is the group that the FAFSA effort derives from. This group focuses on post-graduation for students. Obviously, financial aid awareness is a big part of that.
That group also develops a Senior Exit Survey and is currently pushing this project. If any of the Partnership members are looking for information from high schools on students who are graduating and whether they are going to college or the workforce, they, TVEP, are the place to get that information. They have had a 77% participation rate from seniors and survey over 13,000 students each year. Every district in the valley except West Ada participated last year.
In regards to FAFSA, traditionally on a nation-wide basis February has been FAFSA Completion month. That has changed because the due dates of the FAFSA have changed. Instead of being due at the end of February, the FAFSA is now due at the end of June.
There are three options for the Partnership in this regard. One would be to do something similar to what was done last year. You could do FAFSA awareness in February like we did last year. The second option would be to expand the focus of the proclamation in a couple of months. The need to focus on financial aid is important but it really is a component of having a plan on what happens after high school.
May is a popular time for focusing on having a plan. Around the country they celebrate May 1st as decision day. That is where students that are going to a 2 or 4 year college have to make a decision on where they are going.
Another option is November. November is Career Development month around the country and in Idaho. Every year, TVEP works with the Governor’s Office, Dept. of Labor and other organizations to have a proclamation. Career Development is not just focused on careers but pathways to get to careers.
Dave B. said he liked the idea of joining the November effort. Debbie agreed that focusing on careers is important and it would be good for us to join this effort.
David Eastwood added that during the November effort, the infrastructure of counselors and teachers associations and others participate in this Career Development effort as well.
John moved that the Partnership join the effort naming November as Career Development month and was seconded by Dave C. Motion Carried unanimously.
Senior Survey Project Participation
David reiterated they are in the middle of their Senior Survey Project. He wants to collaborate with the youth councils in the valley that are interested in preparing the survey instrument they use. They realize the importance of having students participate in this.
If your youth council would like to hear more about participating in this Senior Youth Council, please contact: David Eastwood, Treasure Valley Education Partnership, 208-364-4613
Tammy suggested David also contact the Meridian Chamber as well. They just got done working with a job shadow program and they might have some experience that could be used.
Veteran Suicide Awareness Program
Bill said Steve Exceen joined us in December to talk about getting the Partnership to adopt April as Veteran Suicide Awareness month. Bill had included a draft proclamation for members.
Tammy stated that Steve did a good job of describing the problem associated with veteran suicide. He has a goal of raising awareness on this issue and identifying services available. She wanted folks to sign on to the proclamation from the Partnership naming Veteran Suicide Awareness Month and have individual jurisdictions consider doing this as well.
Steve has a Ride-for-22 event occurring in April and would like Partnership members to attend with him on this proclamation.
Darin stated he is in support of this effort and moved the Treasure Valley Partnership, as a group, adopt April as Veteran Suicide Awareness month. Nathan and Tammy seconded. Motion approved unanimously.
US Attorney for Idaho
Joe introduced Bart Davis, the newly appointed US Attorney for the District of Idaho. Bart said he has officially been the US Attorney since September 21st. He said it is a high honor to serve as the US Attorney and it is an honor to succeed a very capable lawyer that did a fantastic job as our US Attorney.
He has practiced law for 37 years. He served 19 years in the Idaho State Senate with 15 of those as majority leader. He served with Dave Bieter and Dave’s father.
In his legislative assignment, he became very aware of the problems of gangs. He has a plain memory of Governor Kempthorne’s State of the State address when he spoke of the seriousness of this problem. A lot of good has happened with respect to managing the gang problem. Many state and local efforts were instituted, including our Gang SAUSA which started in February 2007.
The gang SAUSA continues to be very successful and is a credit to those who created it and still make it work. To date, their office has prosecuted 384 defendants with a total prison time of just under 1,500 years.
There are four benefits of the gang SAUSA he wanted to identify. One is public safety. We are taking hardened criminals from our communities and they are going away for a very long time. Second, the cost of prosecuting these individuals in federal court is provided by federal, state and local government. When defendants are sentence they serve their maximum sentence and there is no parole. Also they serve their time in federal prison away from Idaho and away from their criminal gang associates. As a result, they are unable to continue their criminal enterprises.
Forth, these people serve these sentences on the Federal dime and not on the budget of the State of Idaho. This creates tremendous cost savings to all of us.
Bart said that in FY 2017, the Treasure Valley SAUSA indicted 27 individuals. He had been on the job a couple of weeks when they held a press conference, where 5 individuals associated with the Sorrenio gang were indicted in federal court. Canyon County also indicted other individuals associated with this gang. This gang is a subset of the Sorrenio Prison and Street gang which is prominent throughout the country.
As a result of the SAUSA Program, the gang activity has been substantially curtailed compared to the problems we were seeing when the program began. He said they are a committed partner with the Partnership and we need to keep up the vigilance.
This has been a remarkable demonstration of federal/state/and local cooperation. Our SAUSA Program is a “national model” on how to address gang violence.
Kelly said we applaud what the federal government has done to get gang members out of the area. He stated we do a good job in Idaho but we are surrounded by States that don’t have the same values on drugs. He has Hwy. 95 that comes through Owyhee County and this is a major corridor for drugs coming into the State. Is there anything way we can get some relief from the federal government on this issue.
Bart said there is no doubt that our neighboring states are in a position where it comes to Marijuana where they are over producing what they can consume within their State. There is a meeting coming up. The U.S. Atty. from Oregon is hosting U.S. Atty’s from around the NW to meet on a marijuana summit. He wanted to point out there will be a conversation with his colleagues on this subject. He said that U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions has repealed Memorandum’s that deal with what federal prosecutors should be doing with marijuana. What he is believes is this is a separation of powers issue for him. The AG is not to be writing laws.
The U.S. Attorney in Oregon is quite concerned. He has outlined the law enforcement problems they have, including their realization that they don’t have the personnel to monitor production and the like.
In regard to trafficking on Hwy. 95, they have the same problem with I-15 an I-90. This is a big deal all over. They watch it and are committed to do something about it. He believes the DEA is trying to get the resources they need to combat this problem adequately.
Debbie said their Chief indicated they are seeing more heroin in the valley and just had their biggest bust from recent memory. She asked if the traffickers of heroin are the same as those trafficking Meth, or are we talking about a separate distribution network.
Bart said drugs are really inexpensive, but the product is very pure compared to yesteryear. As far as trafficker’s specializing in a special drug, not really, they are willing to sell what the customer wants.
Opioid Programming – City of Boise
Joe introduced Dianne Lachiondo with the City of Boise. She mentioned that Officer Weir would provide some background history on the Opioid problem in Boise/Ada County, and they want to talk to the Partnership on how we can work together and go forward.
Officer Weir has been with the Boise Police Department for 14 years and has served with the Metro Task Force. He has been the neighborhood contact officer the last 4 years. Through this job he gets a real understanding on what is going on locally.
Over the last couple years, there has been a significant shift in dope houses from methamphetamine to prescription pills to heroin. Our drug dealers got smart. We have created an open air market for people who are ready and willing addicts. Our neighbor to the south are using the exact same trade routes they used for coke years ago to supplying pills and heroin.
You can be addicted to opioids in as little as 5 days of prescription pain killers. Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States with 55,403 overdose deaths in 2015. This surpassed auto accident fatalities for first time ever. Of these, 33,000 were from opiates. 94% of those in treatment chose heroin because pills were hard to obtain or were too expensive.
In the City of Boise, in 2013 there was 1 opioid related death. In 2015 there were 8 deaths and in Ada County there were 61. In 2016 in the City of Boise there were 26 opioid related deaths and in Ada County there were 102.
In regard to arrests in the City for Opioid possession or trafficking, they went from 32 arrests in 2014 to 128 arrests in 2016.
Why do we care? From his experience, the prescription pills cause the addiction. There are numerous cases where our kids in high school become addicted as a result of a sports related injury. Additionally, the addiction results in no job and an increase in criminal activity to support the habit. We also care because this is a drain on our resources such as calls for service Police, Fire, EMS, Coroner, ER’s, etc.
Tom said he was not really familiar with what fentanyl was. Officer Weir said it was a synthetic man-made opioid.
Where we go from here? We are working on the enforcement piece and they are being somewhat successful. However, you cannot just beat this problem with enforcement; you have to do other things. With regard to treatment for addiction, we have the Allumbaugh House and a few private facilities. However, the funding isn’t there and if you do not have insurance to pay for treatment, you are not going to get in. If you do have insurance, it is problematic as there is not enough bed space.
Where do we go from here? Basically, he sees it, there are a lot of rail cars in the switch yard but the cars are not hooked up together going toward a destination. Health and Welfare is doing things, Office of Drug Policy is doing things, they are trying things and the Partnership is working on some efforts.
Dianna wanted to ask from the Joint Powers of the Allumbaugh House as well as from the City of Boise, is there appetite and willingness to pull together a multi-sector stakeholder group to look at what we have going on and identify where the gaps are.
With Health and Welfare, they would like to develop a facilitated discussion and would like member communities to participate.
Dave said he thinks Health and Welfare is probably the organization most suited to work this. But without local help they won’t be willing to step forward like we need them to. They have a connection to them through the Allumbaugh House.
He said Bill was active in starting to put AmeriCorps volunteers in the effort. But Dave felt they needed a structure and playbook to go by. He felt the Partnership or some subset were to convene and discuss what kind of structure should we use.
Tammy said for the last several months Bill has been making the contacts will appropriate entities in the valley. Additionally the Association of Idaho Cities has also reestablished a drug task force and will be looking at this issue.
She asked Bill to provide an update. Bill pointed to a handout that consisted of individuals/organizations that have committed to participate in the AmeriCorps Vista project. He has put this effort on hold to provide for the coming together of the effort Dave is talking about. Bill added that the timing of the AmeriCorps Vista Project works best in Idaho if the Concept Paper for the project is submitted late August/September.
Debbie said she has heard that St. Lukes is real close to being able to track Opioid overdoses throughout the valley. She believes this is a very complex issue and wanted to be a part of it.
Dave suggested that we can either set up a meeting of our subcommittee or have the discussion at our next Partnership meeting. The goal will be to develop our strategy and discuss who to have involved in a larger facilitated discussion.
Bill said he will try to put together a conference call among members to discuss the Opioid strategy, or include it on the next meeting agenda
John moved to approve the financial report and December 2017 minutes. Tom Dale seconded. Motion approved.