January 30, 2017
- Kelly Aberasturi
- Alicia Almazan
- Dave Bieter
- Dave Case
- Tom Dale
- Tammy deWeerd
- John Evans
- Bob Henry
- Brad Holton
- Nathan Leigh
- Stan Ridgeway
- Joe Stear
- Darin Taylor
Staff and Guests
- Seth Grigg – Association of Idaho Cities
- Jenni Kimball – Treasure Valley Education Partnership
- Bill Larsen – Treasure Valley Partnership
Mayor Stan Ridgeway welcomed everyone to Eagle.
He welcomed Commissioner Dave Case as Rick Yzaguirre’s replacement from Ada County on the Partnership.
Bill asked that we have a short discussion on topics people would like to see at the upcoming Annual Planning meeting on March 30-31. He passed around the TVP 2016 tax return for members’ inspection.
Bill mentioned two topics that could get us started on the discussion about the Annual Planning Meeting. He said he would like to invite Dan Steenson and Clint Dolsby who are two individuals leading up the Water Quality Trading Framework for the Lower Boise River WAG. Tammy said to follow up on that, she knows that some of our local legislators were looking to see if they could secure funding for a Treasure Valley wide water quality survey, similar to what they have done on other watersheds in Idaho.
Bill said the other idea he had is to have someone come in and talk to us about homeless issues as it is not just a big city problem and it appears all of our jurisdictions are struggling with this issue. At this point he hasn’t fleshed this idea out, but will have more by next meeting.
John said they have their hands full with an issue that will also affect Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Star, Middleton and Parma, and that is the FEMA Flood Map. There are meetings going on that will explain what this means. They and Boise are challenging some of the base data. The technology is good but still has drawbacks. This impacts market values and other things.
Joe asked if anyone had seen any projections regarding flooding with all the snow we have had this winter. Several members indicated it would be good to have someone come in and talk to about this in February.
Nathan said they are stockpiling sandbags in Parma in anticipation of flooding in a couple creeks that flow into the Boise. In regards to the Floodplain Maps, Nathan said they have requested a couple of amendments because they are under the influence of several levees. The levees are old and haven’t been maintained. As a result, they are asking for the removal of a seclusion zone. Also, they are told their sewer ponds are below base flood elevation. They actually had to get those resurveyed to show they are above base flood elevation by more than a couple feet.
John said he has had an opportunity to talk to the Local Government Committees of both the House and Senate. One of the topics he is bringing up is the impact of the Justice Reinvestment Act. What we are finding, at least in Ada County and Garden City is they are having multiple critical incidents with people that shouldn’t be out of jail. An example is the Romero shooting. He was hot when he got out of prison with five violations of his parole before he shot two civilians, two policemen and a police canine.
Nathan added that the City of Parma had three robberies last night anywhere from 3:00 – 6:00 am. The last business that got entered got the person on tape. The early assumption is this gentleman is one of the early releases from the Justice Reinvestment Act.
Joe said he would like to thank the members’ who had their law enforcement come to incident in Kuna the week before. They ended up with 114 officers on that call. The guy parked his car and went into the middle of a rather large spread out subdivision. They had the task of finding a needle in the haystack and by 10:30 am they had the issue resolved. It was nice to know when someone puts a call out, response is swift and immediate. It was quite an impressive sight to see that many police officers taking on that task.
Darin said the City of Middleton is getting title to about 100 acres along the Boise River. They are concerned about camping so to speak on the property. He has been trying to think of a good way to patrol this without having a dog or police vehicles. There is no road on the property so they would have to build a road so the officers could have a way to enforce this. He is thinking they could use a drone to patrol this space and asked if anyone else was using a drone in this fashion.
Darin said the City is filing a petition against the State Tax Commission. A couple years ago they annexed 81 acres south of the river. The Tax Commission didn’t recognize the annexation. They have gone through arbitration on this and the arbitrator recommended the Commission change their position on this and will be effective for 2017. This is two years of revenue the City has missed out on. The issue is what liability does the tax commission have?
Nathan mentioned that the young City Councilman, Ishmael Fernandez died. He asked if the Partnership shouldn’t send something as a group. Bill said he would get a card and send it.
Bob asked what the others thought about the State Legislature getting our tax surplus back. It is irritating as he looks at the shortfall of funding for roads. Now that we have a surplus this year we could use it to make a dent in the shortfall, but they are talking a tax reduction.
John said the 2008-2012 time period spooked a lot of legislators so they want a pretty good bank roll going in the future.
Tom said this winter and its detrimental effect on the freeway between Nampa and Caldwell has been a glaring example of the condition of this stretch of road. It does not just need maintenance; it needs to be rebuilt. There was an editorial in the paper that talked about adding a couple lanes while they are in the process of repairing it. Its expansion, now only makes sense as it will be many years before they come back to this stretch when the expansion is scheduled.
In regards to legislative things, Tom said Commissioners are part of the district public health board. He has been appointed trustee of District 3 – SW District Health. Districts 3 & 4 are putting forth legislation to equalize the State distribution that goes to these Boards. District’s 3 & 4 are not getting their share of funds based on population or need and are trying to do something to address this.
Tom said the other thing District Health Boards are looking at are what is called food fees. It is what District Health Boards can charge for inspection of food service establishments. The funding formula for these inspections is; the State pay’s 1/3, the restaurant pay’s 1/3 and county tax payers pay for 1/3 of the cost of these inspections. There is an effort to equalize this out so the restaurant owner pays a bigger share of the costs.
Dave asked what the cost of the inspection is. Tom said he believe the maximum is around $150. The interesting thing about this fee is if there are points of contention for compliance. So if a place doesn’t pass on an area, gets it fixed and the Health Board comes back to confirm the compliance, the restaurant can’t be charged again. The costs of the inspections add up especially if you have to go out several times. It seems silly that the county tax payer is subsidizing this activity for a private for profit business.
Bob asked when the retreat is. Bill said it is March 30 & 31 at the Ashley Inn in Cascade. We have a block of rooms reserved for $102/night. He will have an agenda for folks at the next meeting.
Seth said it had been an eventful day at the Statehouse. There was a bill introduced related to enforcement of immigration law. Essentially it would impose a mandate on city and county law enforcement when you pull someone over; you have to determine their immigration status. What Representative Chaney said in the hearing is you couldn’t just bring someone in on immigration violations it would have to be part of some other violation. If you don’t enforce the immigration law, they are going to use the hammer of withholding revenue sharing. He doesn’t know where this will go. There are enough individuals that are going to be concerned about this proposal. He knows the ACLU has already reached out to him and wants to work with AIC on this.
The middle of the next week, the first part of February, is the deadline for the introduction of new bills. He said we will see a lot of these sorts of issues crop up between now and then. This one is obviously going to be of concern for cities/counties. As they get more information on it they will be sharing with members.
The other provision within the statute is that all local jurisdictions would have to amend their law enforcement policies they have and include a provision to enforce federal immigration law.
Kelly said, what are we supposed to do? He understands we have to uphold federal law. Are they going to ask us to incarcerate these people? Seth said if you pick someone up on a violation and you determine they are here illegally, you are to notify the immigration authorities. They would supposedly then follow their process and pick them up. Seth said this is going to be a mess.
The previous week, former representative Jim Clark introduced a piece of legislation that bans cities/counties from prohibiting vacation rentals within specific zones. There is another section that lays out how you could regulate these types of homes. It is his understanding that only one jurisdiction prohibits these rentals in certain zones. The City of Ketchum prohibits these rentals in residential zones. They are anticipating a flurry of preemption bills and will be watching as the saga unfolds.
On a positive front there are positive conversations going on regarding transportation funding. There is a proposal coming forward that will extend the budget surplus eliminator and divide those funds 60-40 between cities and counties. There is also another proposal that raises the fuels tax by 5 cents. They will see how these proposals progress.
They had Senate Transportation Committee Chair, Senator Brackett meet with the AIC Board of Directors to talk about transportation related issues. He made one comment he thinks is instructive. Two years ago they increased the fuels tax by 7 cents. They didn’t receive a single phone call complaining about that. Where he got complaints was on the registration fees for hybrid vehicles.
There are a number of tax proposals that have been introduced. There was a personal property tax bill that would increase the exempted amount from $100,000 to $250,000. The replacement of this additional money would be based on what was on the books in 2013.
The other tax related bill involves foregone balances. Last year there was legislation that required you to pass a resolution that allows you to take foregone balances. The next bill will grant authority to governing boards to completely waive their foregone balances. He will be keeping people apprised on this piece of legislation.
They anticipate there will be several proposals regarding magistrate court funding. He knows the IAC have a proposal they would like to advance forward. AIC would like to see 2218 simply repealed. They are having conversations staff-to-staff with IAC to see if they can find some middle ground.
The last issue he wanted to talk about is justice reinvestment. In many communities, a lot of the high-level incidents have been tied directly to individuals who are out on parole and are not being supervised on parole. There will be legislation on this issue. He had a conversation with Vaughan Killeen, the Chair of the Sheriff’s Assn. The big issue has been the State hasn’t funded probation and parole. We are two years into Justice Reinvestment and they are just now talking about funding half the required parole officers to make it work.
Tom said the issue for all of us is these probationers when they violate their probation they have an option to go back to incarceration. They don’t go back to the State system; they go to the county jail. The state pays approx. $45/day and the actual cost to the county is $75 – $85. This is a huge issue.
At the Association level they are working on two different proposals. One of them is intended to protect municipal water rights. They are getting positive feedback from the Speaker on adding language to Idaho Code that would protect municipal water from curtailment. In Eastern Idaho, there were about two dozen municipalities that have been subject to curtailment the last two years.
The other issue is an obscure provision in municipal law that requires the Treasurer to provide a report, under oath every month to the City Council on the financial status of the City. There are a number of cities, for whatever reason, haven’t made that report under oath. They have a proposal to remove that provision, because the Treasurer takes an oath of office.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Jenni thanked the Partnership for the opportunity to speak. She quickly introduced Jessica Ruehrwein, the Executive Director of the Treasure Valley Education Partnership (TVEP). Jessica said TVEP was established in 2012. They are a cross sector partnership that is working collaboratively with the school districts in the Treasure Valley. They work with their partners to find education solutions that help kids.
They have 32 of their partners that are focused on enrolling kids in some sort of post-secondary education. By 2020 the workforce will require that 60% of our youth to have post-secondary education. Currently, only 45% of our youth pursue post-secondary education.
Jenni pointed to draft proclamation to declare February as FAFSA Completion month. The FAFSA is not a new part of the college enrollment process. It is a underutilized resource. Typically less than 50% of Idaho students complete the FAFSA. The FAFSA is really the one way to get grants, work study or student loans for college enrollment.
Because the Partnership members are elected officials you carry a lot of weight. Your presence and support makes a big difference. They are hoping the members would declare February as FAFSA completion month in your jurisdictions. They also encourage members to attend a FAFSA event in your community.
Dave said in the past we have joint proclamations. Sometimes the media will attend if three or four of us hold an event. Bill was directed to find a date, coordinate the proclamation and hold a press event.
In regard to the 911 subcommittee, he does not have a next meeting date set. He will be having conversations with each of the County Commissioners and the Sheriff’s before he works on setting a date.
Along those lines, Bob said they have a committee formed to look at moving their fire district to the rural district. They are going to come back to Council with a recommendation in a couple of months.
Nathan added that Parma Rural certainly worked out for their City. Stan said the Eagle district is talking with Boise about merging.
Brad moved to accept the minutes and financial report. Joe seconded. Motion carried.