October 31, 2013

When Yes!Yes! Makes Me Go No!No!

When Yes!Yes! Makes Me Go No!No!
Over the last few weeks I've been getting mailings and seeing YouTube ads for some Yes!Yes! initiative coming up in the next election.

This ad kind of rubs me the wrong way because it is asking for approval for a bond measure "to improve emergency response" for only $1 a month.

The mailings espouse this "benefit" and tend to leave out the parks measure, and everything is kind of glossed over in the video. My gut reaction, despite the appeal to my safety sensibilities is pretty much "hell no".

I'm getting a bit PO'd at every election having yet another bond measure (or three) being voted on. Telling me that "We have fire stations in disrepair" means that someone hasn't been adequately budgeting for maintenance. If you cannot properly handle the funds you have now, why do I want to give your more money to mismanage? Another issue is how this money gets raised. For something that is for everyone's benefit, shouldn't everyone have to pay, especially since everyone gets to vote on this bond issue? My neighborhood has largely transitioned to rental properties, but renters, who do get to vote on this bond, don't have to pay the taxes. Yes, I realize that there is a trickle-down effect where all consumers will end up paying for the measure.

Now imagine my surprise to find out that this whole Yes!Yes! thing is actually two different bond measures. The first is a $16.9 million Public Safety Bond and the second is a $15.5 million Livability Parks/Open Space Bond. This second bond is a second bite at the apple after a failed $50 million bond a few years ago.

On the surface, neither of these bonds will have much of an affect on me, aside from having to pay for them should they succeed. There are no parks even reasonably near my home and the fire stations being created or improved are in different sections of town. Maybe this is just me, but if they need to bond out for this money, shouldn't they raise the funds from the areas these new facilities will be serving and then have another bond for the larger city-wide projects?

Most of all I think I'm a bit annoyed that I have no idea how long this bond is for and the fact that information regarding these measures, aside from some "feel good" advertising is not forthcoming. Luckily the Idaho Statesman Online has some good coverage of this bond issue. After reading this I will probably vote for it, where before I was 110% against it.

Seriously, would it hurt to just be forthcoming about the bonds?