Meeting Minutes
October 29, 2018


  • Kelly Aberasturi
  • Alicia Almazan
  • Dave Bieter
  • Gheen Christoffersen
  • Tom Dale
  • John Evans
  • Brad Holton
  • Debbie Kling
  • Nathan Leigh
  • Garret Nancolas
  • Stan Ridgeway
  • Joe Stear
  • Darin Taylor

Staff and Guests

  • William Bones – Chief of Police, City of Boise
  • Mark Browning – VP Communications, College of Western Idaho
  • Gary Hunter – Chair, CWI Yes
  • Jodi McCrosky – Opioid Strategic Plan Coordinator, City of Boise
  • Terry Weir – Police Officer, City of Boise
  • Bill Larsen – TVP

Open Discussion

Gheen welcomed everyone and thanked everybody for driving all the way to Homedale. It is good for the city folks to come to god’s country once in a while.

Driver’s License Renewals

Kelly jokingly asked the other jurisdictions (counties) to take care of their own citizens with drivers licenses so they can keep from getting yelled at. Owyhee county has three different places that do drivers licenses. They have almost as many people using their service as Canyon County does. Owyhee County has 11,500 population compared to Canyon County.

There has been some push back and complaining from Canyon County citizens because they prioritize Owyhee County citizens and they get served first. He has been yelled at many times.

Kelly mentioned that they do not make any money doing renewals and this service ends up costing them in the long run. Where they are doing out-of-county citizens, they are going to try to get some legislation this year where they can charge out-of-county fees. He realizes it probably won’t go anywhere this year, but they are going to try.

They have locations in Murphy, Grandview and Marsing. They have to shut down the line most every evening in Murphy so they can close for the day. Invariably they are almost all Canyon County citizens.

ITD has indicated they are going to start renewals for class-D. They won’t be doing renewals for CDL’s.

Garret asked what the real issue is. It seems they have been having software issues for quite a while. Kelly said they have made temporary fixes to the software they are working with. This is causing the system to crash. Calling ITD to respond to the emergency you will be on hold for a long time.

Career Development Month Proclamation

Bill said earlier this month he sent everyone a copy of a proclamation on Career Development Month for the Partnership. We had voted to pursue doing this proclamation is in February of this last year.

According to his communications, there is going to be an official signing in the Governor’s Office on November 14th in the Governor’s Office at 9:30 am,

Darin moved we move forward with the proclamation. Gheen seconded. Motion carried.

Patients and Communities Act.

Bill said he got a call from Lindsay Nothern, the communications director for Senator Crapo. They are doing a press conference for federal legislation, the “Patients and Communities Act” Evidently this act releases a bunch of money to combat opioids, the particulars Bill didn’t know at the time. Senator Crapo has invited us to attend an event on November 7th starting at 1:45 at the Lincoln Auditorium at the Capital building.

Canyon County Jail

Tom said that people should be aware that two of the county commissioners are in agreement that we need to move forward on a bond in May. Pass or fail, we have to show that we are making every effort to show progress on getting this to happen.

They have had a vote to accept the study that says a 1,055 bed facility is needed. The Pond Lane property is the location the facility is to be built. They have also hired bond council for this purpose and secondary to that they have signed up a municipal financial advisor.

The next step is to get a more refined number.

He wanted direction and support on how to move forward on this and the most acceptable fashion. There is a new construction manager/general contractor methodology for moving forward that has been successful around the State. It allows collaboration between the general contractor and construction manager to look at areas that can be efficiently redesigned and/or cut.

They can’t get a real defined number till they can get the architectural drawings completed. On a project this size, that can cost as much as $8-10 million. They won’t have this money till they get the bond passed.

They are going to put together a broad-based citizen committee to help them with the educational effort. They would like to have help from the cities on participating in this committee. The goal for this committee will be to put together a unified message on the bond.

He feels they are making progress, but it is a slow process.


Nathan said the news from Parma is, that evening they were holding public hearing on a judicial review for a $3 million sewer upgrade. They have been going through their records and most of their pumps are 40+ years old. They found out their big sewer pond has never been dredged.

Main Street America Program

Debbie asked if the members were familiar with the Main Street America Program with the State. She believes this program could be very impactful to cities. She went to the national meeting over a year ago and visited with a person from a very small town. They had renovated a number of buildings through this program. They’re State had funding for the program and also Historic Preservation funding. Idaho has no Historic Preservation funding. If we want to revitalize small towns and help them, the Main Street Program is a good opportunity to do so.

Gheen said we are bedroom communities for the larger metro. Their Chamber met and tried to figure out how to market Homedale. They don’t want to market to bring in big industry, they want to bring in small businesses. The chamber recently did a match to help businesses do improvement to their store fronts. The city participated in a limited fashion.

Prop 1

Garret asked John about his perspective on Prop 1. John said if you don’t know, he has come out strongly opposed to Prop 1. He addressed the republican central committee in Ada County as they had a resolution on their meeting agenda to support it.

The primary argument is a policy argument. It has very little to do with whether you like horse racing. Horse racing is operated by private, for-profit companies. Prop 1 is targeted legislation that would expand casino type gambling for the benefit of private, for-profit entities.

Then there is a constitutional issue, even if it passes it would be unlikely to pass muster.

Garret said one of the benefits of the Treasure Valley Partnership are things like this issue. He admits that he did not know much about the issue and called John who he has come to respect and trust.

Kelly said back in the 50’s when gambling was still legal, his family had a bar and pool hall. That pool hall and bar bought their farm in two years. He believes it truly is a personal choice on whether you want to gamble or not and just doesn’t want the State telling people what to do.

CWI Levy

Debbie stated that typically, Ada county caries that and Canyon County doesn’t. This is meeting an incredible need as we have a large shortage of nurses. She supports this levy and believes it is important for the growth of our economy.

SAUSA Program

Brad asked if we had any input on the choice of the last SAUSA. John, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office invited John and Chad and Bryan Taylor down to have an informal meeting with a woman they have had in the pipeline for their office. They have been a lot of hiring, and the person met with has been seen several times by the U.S. Attorney’s office and they felt she would be a good fit.

TV Opioid Plan

Jodi McCrosky provides project coordination services for the Opioid Strategic Plan. She passed out a dashboard that included all the strategic goals, activities and projected dates for completion of activities. She said you will see some dates associated with a goal activity. This is the date we are projecting on completing the activity.

In June we held an Opioid Summit where workgroups came up with goals and strategies. There are 5 areas of focus to make sure the Treasure Valley is addressing the opioid epidemic.

Goal 1 is to compile all the resources available. Goal 2 is to have collaboration and are working on what is needed from all the goal areas. Goal 3 is the law enforcement assisted diversion program. Goal 4 is really about education to our youth and community at large and making sure resources are available. Goal 5 has to do with treatment.

There are about 6-8 people working on each goal group’s activities. They will meet quarterly as a large group to measure progress and make sure we are on track. Monthly, they have meetings with each of the team leads to update progress and discuss problems or concerns.

Debbie asked if we could get a copy of the final draft of the strategic plan. Jodi indicated they were having a large group meeting later in the week where a final draft would be decided on. It will take a week or so to assimilate the information, but Jody will send a copy out to members.

Jody has two asks’ from the Partnership. One of the things they are going to be doing is coming up with a communications plan. They would like communications personnel from the jurisdictions to participate on this effort. She will be sending an email out in this regard.

The other request she has is to know if there are other people that can speak on your behalf on this topic. If she needs to reach out to a TVP member and are not able to get a hold of you, is there someone in your office that would be authorized to speak on your behalf. She will be sending an email out in this regard as well.

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion

Officer Terry Weir said they are viewing this issue is an approach outside of law enforcement. One of the Chief’s on the east coast said you cannot arrest your way out of an opioid problem and this is their philosophy.

They put out an education program for 8th-11th graders and the feedback on this program has been tremendous. It seems the kids love having the interaction with them even though they are just cops. On the flip side, this is the kind of interaction that parents should be having with their kids and in a lot of cases, this is the only interaction on this topic they are getting.

They survey the kids they see and the results are about 99% positive and the kids want more of it. If members choose to expand the education piece in your jurisdictions, he believes you can’t go wrong with it.

He works with the county coroner on a weekly basis. One of the trends is they are seeing a large percentage of people in the over 50 age group that have long-term pain issues that have become addicts and are overdosing unintentionally.

They have partnered with Health and Welfare and have gotten some grant funds through the IROC Program. The Idaho Response to the Opioid Crisis program had about a $2 million budget last year. This year they get about $4.4 million. They are slicing about $100,000 of those funds for their Diversion Program.

In their Law Enforcement Diversion Program, if they catch people with low-level crimes such as simple possession or shoplifting, etc., instead of putting them in jail, they are trying to get them in a treatment program. They have contracted with Recovery for Life and Raise the Bottom for outpatient treatment for those participating in the diversion program.

Tom asked about the demographics of the teenage group 15-20. Are their a high percentage of these. Officer Weir said this is a hard question to answer. Most of the data they get is from the Coroner’s Office. Among their contacts, The entire age range is involved.

Chief Bones said we are following national trends. They are just getting to the valley later. Nationally, the age groups that are seeing the biggest increase are; youth and people in the 40-50 year range. Youth get into it because it is recreational, or they are athletes that got an injury and end up getting addicted.

What they have seen nationally is, in rural areas like Homedale they have seen an explosion in the population of youth getting addicted.

Officer Weir said MOU’s for the program are in progress with Health and Welfare and the treatment providers and should be completed soon.

How the program will work is, he comes across a qualifiable candidate that says yes to the treatment option. They will either take the candidate to Recovery for Life or they will bring someone out to get them. The provider will determine the treatment option.

Garret asked what happens with a person who is in the rehab program that fails. Do they revert back to criminal charges?

The police department still writes the crime report but holds it. They check in monthly to ensure the candidate is on an upward trajectory. He expects there to be failures because of the addictive properties of opioids. Unlike a drug court which says one failure and your out, under this program it will not be punitive, but will allow the candidate to be on an upward trajectory. The programs they are contracting with show that if they can keep a candidate in a program, they get an 86% success rate.

So Officer Weir reiterated that because of the nature of the program, it will take a while for program statistics to be generated.

Tom asked what the differences and similarities are between and Opioid addiction and a Meth addiction. What are you seeing in the balance and how is the addiction different? Officer Weir said with Opioid addiction, it rewires the brain chemically. Once you get high the first time, you chase that consistently after that. That is the same with Meth. With opioids, it takes increased dosages to get high. And in a surprisingly short time, you no longer get high, but you keep taking to keep from going into detox and withdrawals. He has heard this can last between 9 days and 29 days.

The difference is, when you pull someone on Meth in for detox, they sleep for four days.

Chief Bones said the over prescription and understating addictive properties that drug companies pushed is an avenue to some money. Be that as it may, the reach of the opioid crisis has affected a broad spectrum of our society. The addiction rewires the brain where the detox component is a need. People will do what they have to, to get that hit to keep from going into detox.

So getting off of opioids requires medical assistance and usually requires some type of prescription medication to assist you in getting off the opioid addiction. Somebody’s chances of kicking this addiction on their own, are just about zero. There are a few people that have done it, but it is almost impossible.

This is about creating a system around actually being successful. Most of our crime in Boise is driven by drugs. This is true about all communities across the valley.

When it comes to funding, we have the one source through the IROC grant. It needs to be much bigger if we are going to be successful. There is a national class-action lawsuit that is being filed against the drug companies. This will result in funds coming to each of the States. As elected leaders, you are going to hear questions about how to spend the money. One of the things you want to look at is these diversion programs.

He recommends, if the Feds or the State make funds available, not locking the funds to an individual program, but locking them to a larger program of opioids. Or if it is diversion, it is diversion programs in general.

Chief Bones said they are very hopeful for this program and are stealing from best practices across the country. If they are successful, and they are able to mimic it out to other jurisdictions in the valley, this will not be a catch-all. This program is for what law enforcement is encountering. We also have medical, youth and other segments that are confronted with this addiction problem.

Jodi said the goal of this trial program is to prove out process. She doesn’t think we will see a lot of results for about 12 months because of the nature of the problem. Her priority is to fully prove out funding so if your jurisdiction is ready to kick-off a similar program, you are ready with funding. On some of the treatment programs, you are looking at upwards to $14,400 per month per person receiving treatment.

Tom said he assumes this is a collaborative process from the police department, sheriff office and judiciary. How is this working.

Chief Bones said the Courts and the Jail, health and welfare have come together on the front end and they have all been committed to this.

Tom asked if this diversion program will keep people out of the court system. Chief Bones said initially, it will. They will still hold the file on a person that they will be able to file later if they must. He thinks a definite phase 2 to this program will just deal with overdoses that there is no criminal element on. Maybe paramedics or others could bring someone into a program to prevent that future overdose.

John said this topic has received a lot of attention nationally and the presumption is there will be an appropriation to the States. Who gets to decide on how those funds will be spent? Chief Bones said the legislature and the governor will get to decide, but the nice thing is the Office of Drug Policy has been involved from the start and are liking what we are doing in the Treasure Valley. He is hopeful that will give us the inroads for future funding.

John asked if Health and Welfare will be going to the legislature to increase an appropriation. We would like to know the particulars because we are all active in the legislature and have ties to members of JFAC. Jodi said she did not know this at this time but will follow-up. John said to let Bill know and through that we can activate city and county associations to advocate for funding.

Jodi said as far as education with your school district, the State does have some evidenced-based programs that can be used. They are building a tool box for school districts and encouraged members to have that discussion with your school districts and relay the need to her, so she can get districts the right resources for them.

Debbie asked about the $14,400 + per month for treatment. Has there been exploration on how to lower the cost so we could serve more people. Officer Weir said that is why they have a limit of 10 in their diversion program and he did not have a good answer to that question.

Dave said the question he has is one he has stated repeatedly. We have all stood up and said success could be measured by fewer opioid deaths in a year’s time.

Chief Bones said he is absolutely confident we can slow the increase. We are not at the crest of the opiates coming into the State by any means. Their trick is to try to get diversion and early intercession when we see people overdosing. It is common to see someone overdosing numerous times before they make the fatal mistake. Can we get to these people and get them some help.

Dave said the pharmaceutical piece of this puzzle seems to have gotten on track this last year or so. Is this correct? Chief Bones said the medical community has come to the table and putting some controls internally. He thinks we are moving in the right direction with the institution of the PMP, but our dose prescription rate is still quite high.

CWI Help

Gheen introduced Mark Browning from the College of Western Idaho and Gary Hunter the Chair CWI Yes.

Mark thanked the members for the invite. There is an issue on the ballot for a Health – Sciences building for the College of Western Idaho. In November of 2016 the College put out a comprehensive packet of information related to growth. In their effort that year they were not successful at reaching the 66 2/3 threshold.

Since that time, they have talked to numerous groups around the valley and an outgrowth of that has been to prioritize the number on need of the College. There is without question, the number one need is to provide a skilled/educated workforce into the health care industry. That is not just about nurses, it includes all the varying vocations needed in the health care industry.

The fastest growing demographic in the valley is age 65 and older. At 65, the body starts to fall apart and there is an increased need for health care. Right now, we have a need for over 500 new RN’s in the State. The majority of those are needed in the valley.

The issue for them is facilities. They do not have enough facilities to run the needed number of students through. They need to put a facility up where they can consolidate operations, get more efficient and get more people trained.

They have set all their other needs like a library on hold and are concentrating on Health-Sciences. The building will go on their 100 acres at the Idaho Center. This is a 10-year plant facility that requires 55% approval in order to pass.

As a result of the November 16 loss, the State pledged $10 million. However, they hinged the money on the College obtaining the rest of it before the money would be released and put a sunset date of June 30, 2019. This took away their ability to private fund raise as a capital campaign would take upwards to five years.

The levy would be $8.42 for taxable $100,000 and would be done in 10 years.

Gary said his role today is very short. They have gone to over 40 service groups and chambers of commerce attempting to tell the story. The county clerks have told him that 40% of the people who vote, do not fill out the last page. He has been telling everybody to start with the last page and then move toward the vote for Governor.

With regard to the vote, Tom said he had heard from the County Clerk that 12% of Canyon County residents have already voted.

Dave said he is concerned he is not hearing a lot of the levy. Gary said it has come down to the small budget they have. They could do almost no radio or television. The college did put out some informational fliers and they did get support from both papers.

Mark said from his perspective they have spent about a third of what they did on the previous effort as they just haven’t had the money.

Joe moved to approve the minutes and financial report. Alicia seconded. Motion carried.

Meeting Adjourned