Elected officials working
together to positively
manage community
growth.

Meeting Minutes
May 27, 2009

Attendees

  • Phil Bandy
  • John Bechtel
  • Dave Bieter
  • Tom Dale
  • John Evans
  • David Ferdinand
  • Vicki Thurber
  • Fred Tilman
  • Margie Watson

Staff and Guests

  • Tiffany Floyd
  • Jason Hamilton
  • Jane Perlakey
  • Robert Simison
  • Justin Whatcott
  • Bill Larsen – Staff

Vicki Thurber opened the meeting and welcomed everyone to the City of Middleton. Middleton will be celebrating its 100th anniversary next year. They are hoping to tie the celebration into the 4th of July weekend.

The City recently received an ICDBG grant for the beautification of Main St. The project will start in October. They are hoping to utilize this opportunity to establish a theme for their development.

She mentioned that everyone has heard of the new school coming into Middleton. They have had issues relating to intersections and traffic flow. As a result, they are considering roundabouts to solve their traffic problems. They have been in contact with jurisdictions throughout the country that have utilized roundabouts near schools, and have found them to be most satisfactory.

Their Sewer Bond Election, for a new Sewer Treatment Facility failed the day before. There was 3.9% voter turnout. She felt that people were confused as to the Election Day because of the holiday. They had many people come in that morning to vote. The bond was for $1.7 million. Also hinged on this election was a Rural Development grant of $840,000. She felt that voters had also mistakenly felt that there was going to be an increase in fees as a result of the Bond election. She added, that fees were not going to rise as a result of the Bond.

She asked David if the Canyon County Jail Bond election is going to be held in August? David indicated he was not sure at this time. Vicki felt that they did not want to have a bond election at the same time as the Canyon County Jail Bond Election.

Phil asked if there was a capacity issue. Vicki indicated that they are nearing sewer capacity and without the new facility they would not be able to keep up with demand if their City grows much more.

She mentioned that the city hall building once held the Past Time Saloon.

SAUSA Project

Bill introduced Justin Whatcott, the SAUSA Project employee.

He has been on the job for three months. He has been attending a lot of trainings. And there is a learning curve associated from moving from State to Federal Court. He mentioned that both the U.S. Attorney's Office and Canyon County Prosecutor's office have been very helpful in his settling in to the position. Both agencies have been very responsive in helping him meet his needs.

John Bujak and Canyon County are doing great things. They are hitting the gang problem at the State level. They currently have a very big case in the works that will be hitting the news shortly. It is a big case and it is going to be ground breaking in Gang Prosecution.

He has been working a lot with the Metro Task Force. The Task Force is producing quality work and they are hitting the gangs hard.

Justin indicated that the handoff from Christian Nafzger has been going smoothly. He pointed to his handouts that showed the number of cases he and Christian had been working on. Once Christian's cases concluded, the new SAUSA cases would be handled by him. Some of his work thus far has included both the North and South side gangs that have been involved with selling of both Meth and guns.

Justin indicated that he knew he had some big shoes to fill. He pointed to the report and mentioned that Christian has had some major victories on some of his cases. Eddie Alfaro, the leader of the East Side gang was sentenced to 150 months. He was involved with numerous drive-by shootings in our communities. He pointed the two Esparza convictions. They were West Side Locos and were involved with selling of both Meth and guns. Alfredo Esparza, the leader of the West Side gang, was sentenced to 264 months or 22 years. He hopes that every year they can have an effect on the leadership of these gangs.

He indicated that the work of the Metro Task Force has been extraordinary. Their focus is shifting more toward larger cases. As a result of this, you can expect the SAUSA Project to have bigger cases. This will have an effect on the numbers. As the cases they handle get bigger, the volume of cases will have to decline just as a result of manpower constraints. But they will be taking on Gang leadership more and more.

Phil asked where the people under the project are being incarcerated? Justin said that there appears to be a number of different facilities around the country. They are different based on their classification. For example, how violent of a criminal they are. We have placed people in Federal Prisons in California, Georgia, Illinois and Colorado.

Justin stated that there is a huge gang problem in the State Prisons in Idaho. There is one gang from Western Idaho and Eastern Oregon that are pretty much in control of Max out at the State Correctional Institution. They have these bylaws that encourage gang members to rack up as many conduct violations as possible so they end up getting placed in Max.

Justin said that in the news recently there was a riot out at the prison. This was this gang in the Max. They hail from Nyssa but have members clear in to Boise. They are a very violent gang with about 250 members. In the last two years they can connect at least three homicides to this gang.

He has been busy meeting with County Prosecutor's offices, Boise, Nampa and Caldwell Police Officers involved with gangs. From talking with people around the valley he has realized the need to share information. This sharing of information has been done at a certain level, but there is room for improvement.

He has become a member of the ICJC Gang Task Force Subcommittee. This committee has made several recommendations and one of them is, to try to establish standards on how to identify and document gang members. Gang members move around and we need a centralized database to track gang activities. The ISP is creating the Fusion Center for the gathering of intelligence and share among law enforcement. And this will help.

There have also been some recommendations on changes to the Idaho Gang Enforcement Act. They are recommending increasing the enhancement associated with gang affiliation. There are also some recommendations to clear up some of the Act's language on the identification of gang members.

Fred asked how many convictions have resulted from the Project? Justin indicated there have been 100 indictments and 56 convictions associated with the project thus far.

Fred asked Justin if he has had the opportunity to visit with Director Reinke? The reason he asked this is, he thinks it is very important that he understand that this SAUSA Project activity is keeping people out of the State facility. There is a direct link to the effect of the Project to the State Department of Corrections, and therefore a direct responsibility for this Department to step up and start supporting this activity. Fred asked Justin to find time to have an opportunity to sit down with Director Reinke and give him a report on the activities of the SAUSA Project.

Fred stated that it is important that the State step up and support this project. What we are doing now is spending local tax dollars to save the State money. He understands that the State is part of the funding for the project but feels they need to step up more to some degree. Justin added that he will use every opportunity to discuss what the project is doing, but he feels he has to stay away from politicking for the project. Tom added that this activity is the Partnership's responsibility. Fred reiterated that Justin speaks the same language as Director Reinke. Only he, Justin, can inform him of the activities of the SAUSA Project's successes and what his work has entailed. Justin mentioned he will work with Tim Higgins to arrange a meeting prior to the next Partnership meeting.

Tom asked if there was a way that Justin could get a hold of the cases that were a result of the activities out at Max? Justin stated that it will be difficult, because more than likely these folks at Max will not be committing a Federal offense out at the Prison. One of the things we are looking at doing is using some of the Federal statutes such as Racketeering and corrupt organization statutes to attack the gang as an entire entity. This will give them the opportunity to attack gang leadership in these State facilities. One of the things they have to weigh is whether it is worth prosecuting Federally an individual that has a fixed life sentence in the State Correctional Institution. They are going to do what they can.

Margie mentioned that someone from the Department of Corrections came and spoke to her Lions Club. She wanted to know exactly how much money it is for someone to be in the prison. Bill mentioned that according to the Dept of Corrections Report in 2007, the costs per inmate are around $20,000 and he has been basing his figures on this. However this number does not include savings and costs on both sides of the equation of the State vs. Federal prosecution. This includes housing, parole and a whole host of factors associated with an individuals' State incarceration. Margie stated that she has heard numerous figures associated with housing an inmate.

Tom mentioned that it is difficult to come up with a figure associated with incarceration, as there are different levels of costs based on where in the facility people are placed.

Bill said that he would like to invite Director Reinke to the next meeting of the Partnership to begin this discussion. There was a consensus that Bill attempt to do this.

Dave asked Justin if the gang leaders incarcerated at the pen, are directing their gang members that are on the outside? Justin stated that there was a letter intercepted from a gang member on the inside that directed gang members on the outside to commit certain crimes. The even intercepted a note from someone on the inside that was gang by-laws. One of the by-laws is to place money on the institutional books/accounts of individuals that are the gang leadership that are in the prison.

Tom felt that if we can get Director Reinke to our Partnership meeting we should also try to get the legislators that we have talked to, to come to that meeting. If we are going to get anything done at the State level to increase the States share of the Project funding, we are going to have to have a legislator carry this legislation. There are a couple of legislators that have shown interest. Dave mentioned it would be good to have legislators from both counties come to the meeting.

David asked Fred if there are folks like Representative Bolz on JFAC and Jud & Rules that would be good legislators to invite. Fred indicated this would be a good idea, and it would also be important to invite folks that are in leadership.

Dave felt that it would be a good idea to invite the legislature to come talk with the Partnership about the SAUSA Project. The other thing he would be interested in doing would be to start having the discussion on how to keep gangs from forming in the first place. We have attacked the gang violence and leadership; we need to address things earlier on, in order to prevent this activity from occurring in the first place.

Margie felt that if we can show that the Project has had an effect on gangs outside of the treasure valley, we might have a better chance to show State legislative leadership the benefits of this SAUSA Project. We already know that our local legislators are in our camp. Fred indicated that based on availability, it would be nice to have anybody from Jud & Rules, Leadership and the Governor's Office. He felt if Director Reinke believes in the SAUSA Project, then it will be easier for the Partnership to undergo education efforts with the Legislature this fall.

Bill indicated that currently the State's portion of the SAUSA Project is coming through the Idaho State Police. Fred stated that the ISP is struggling for dollars and the best spot for the Project should be with the Department of Corrections as the Project has direct budgetary savings on that Department.

Tom felt it would be best for the Project if we could get a solid figure on the savings to the State. John added that we have a list of people, their crimes and their sentences; it should be fairly easy to get a handle on the number. Justin added, that felt there might not be a concrete number for savings. One of the reasons is that the sentences that have been imposed by the Federal Court probably are higher than what would have been in State court. Phil mentioned that even though these people might have gotten lighter sentences in State court, given who we are talking about, they most likely would have very high recidivism rates and would be back in the system. Additionally, the State is saved prosecution costs. Justin added that there are a lot of costs that are kind of hidden include courtroom costs and probation and parole costs.

Fred stated, with the change in U.S. Administration, there will probably be a change in local U.S. Attorney leadership. Will this change erode the support for the SAUSA Project from the U.S. Attorney's office? Justin felt, although he would be the last person that would hear of any changes, he does not anticipate any changes in Federal support for the SAUSA Project. The U.S. Attorney's Office is getting a good deal. They get increased numbers without the budgetary costs.

Brian Rinker introduced himself the new staff member for the local office of Senator Crapo.

Ozone Public Information Campaign

Jane Perlaky mentioned that she has been working with the DEQ in the past to create messages around air Quality. This year, the DEQ's budget for advertising campaigns was cut. She asked Bill to explain the process that got her involved. Bill stated that several months ago, the Partnership decided to ask the Boise Advertising Federation if there was any help that could be given on educating our populace on our local Ozone problem in the summer. The Boise Advertising Federation was contacted and it was found out that they were in the middle of looking at their project for the year. As a result of the contact, the Boise Advertising Federation decided to take on the Ozone Public Information Campaign as their project for the year.

She explained the quality of work they had done for the DEQ in years past. She showed the TV ads that had ran in the past and explained the storyboard of this year's proposal. She stated that this year's message is more targeted toward the goal of lowering vehicle miles traveled. She proposed two 30second spots. She mentioned that the campaign would utilize, TV, radio, newspaper stories and social media. A website has been created: Treasurethevalleysair.com. In addition, a Twitter page will broadcast information and point people back to the website.

Phil asked if there was any discussion in regard to targeting businesses to reduce their VOC emissions. Jane indicated that this has not been discussed as of yet, but this target could certainly be added.

Jane explained the media campaign and how it has worked in the past. She mentioned that the TV PSA will run across the TV spectrum based on time slots that have been designated toward PSA announcements. Jane mentioned that in the past there has always been an augment of the regular PSA timeslots to enhance the visibility of the message. She felt, that if we could somehow raise $100,000 to pay for TV airtime on top of the regular slotted PSA time, we would go along way toward achieving our goal of a 10% reduction in ozone creating emissions.

She asked the Partnership members to help in finding partners to help sponsor the Ads. David mentioned that if there is an advertiser that can sponsor this spot, we can begin to come up with a few sponsors. He mentioned First Choice Collision Repair has spent a ton of money to retool their paint shop to virtually eliminate ozone-causing emissions. The have even talked about hosting a media event at their facility in Gary Blvd. in Nampa. He added that there was only one other paint shop in the State of Idaho that has undergone this expense.

Jane reiterated, that if anybody wanted to sponsor this spot, it would be easy to add a tag indicating sponsorship.

David asked if the organization has talked about having displays in various community events around the valley. Jane indicated that they have not discussed this marketing possibility.

Margie asked if there was a grant that we could apply for to help with Advertising of this Ozone Public Advertising Campaign? Tom indicated that most of these grant-funding organizations have regular granting cycles and it would be doubtful that we would hit the timing.

Phil stated that in the last couple of meetings we have been discussing a good individual to lead the charge with raising funds to augment the PSA's. He mentioned that he had a conversation with Pete O'Neil a day or two prior to the meeting. He indicated that he is very interested in what the Treasure Valley Partnership is doing and would be willing to look at his contacts to help out. Phil asked Jane if he could get a copy of her power-point presentation to give to Pete when he gets back in town.

Vicki mentioned that there will be a public meeting on June 24th to discuss emission testing in Canyon County. Tom stated that this is the opportunity to bring all of this information to the table to inform the citizens of Canyon County. One of the points of discussion has been to disband the Ada County Air Quality Council and forming a Treasure Valley Air Quality Council.

Jane indicated that there is a need to raise immediate funds to help with production and to get a good presence on the air. They are looking to have the PSA running and any funds provided would be matched 2 to one with air-time. Margie asked how much does one TV spot cost. Jane indicated that the spots are all different costs depending on the time-slot.

Dave asked if the Boise Ad Federation was a 501©(3)? The members can go out and raise funds. He asked if it would help to fund the production of the TV spots? Jane said it would be helpful. Dave asked what are the costs of production for the TV spots. Jane indicated that it is $10-20,000 depending on the complexity of the production. Dave asked who is be doing the radio spots? Jane indicated that her agency, North by Northwest will be doing all of it.

Dave felt that there is a need to hit the TV campaign at the earliest we can, before the days start to heat up. This will give people some time to plan and act on the information from the campaign. We can raise some money, but it will take some time.

Dave mentioned that we had talked about giving a little Treasure Valley Partnership money for this project. He stated that the thought of asking for money is not real attractive right now. What would be a minimum we could give? David added that, looking at the minutes and the savings from the previous year's budget, we (the Partnership) should be able to help fund some upfront costs. He added that if you do not have a production in hand, it is extremely difficult to get sponsors.

David mentioned we had previously talked about augmenting airtime with TVP funds. But if we have a product in hand, we can have an easier time raising augmenting airtime funds. Production has got to be started and get done.

Margie mentioned that the TVP does have money in this year's budget. This year is the critical year for Ozone. She also stated that we do not want to deplete TVP funds. But this is our project for this year. Do we need to look at what we have with TVP funds currently? Bill indicated that at the end of our fiscal year, the Partnership would have $21,000. But because of the interruption in the SAUSA Project and the timing of that interruption, there was a quarterly payment that was not billed to the Partnership by the Project. Therefore, at the end of the Partnership FY, we will have a bank balance of near $40,000.

David stated that we do not want the production to look bad. We do want to have a very professional job. And if we are as committed, as we as a group we say we are, then we should fund a good job on the production.

Margie asked Jane how much it costs to produce the two TV spots that were presented during the meeting? Jane stated that it would be close to $15,000 to produce the TV spots.

Tiffany asked if all the media campaign were hinging on the TV spots? Won't these TV spots point people to the website and social media strategies that will be carrying the specific messages? By getting this out there, then the free part of the Ozone campaign can be more effective.

Margie stated that she wants this to be our project. She moved that the Partnership give $15,000 for the production of a high quality TV spot. Seconded by Tom. Motion carried unanimously.

Gateway Transmission Line

Bill indicated that he had a draft letter to the BLM and Idaho Power supporting the use of Public land as much as feasible. He asked if the Partnership was amiable to sending this letter out?

Margie had indicated that Parma is now on a different section of the Power line project as a result of the tumult in the past couple of months and the letter as written does not pertain to Parma. She said that the "Gateway" portion was now only applicable to Kuna. Fred indicated that Ada County is hosting a public hearing on the Gateway Project. Their goal was to bring in Idaho Power and the BLM to inform the public on the project. Fred stated that he felt this letter was a little premature and we should let the public hearing process take place and see what strategies will develop as a result.

Margie suggested that we should wait till June to discuss this letter.

Tom moved and David seconded to approve the minutes and financial report.

Meeting adjourned