29 January 2015

Compass Idaho: 2 Dollars a Day from Every Household in Canyon & Ada Counties can fix Treasure Valley's roadways

If you live in the Treasure Valley, maybe you've heard this little bit being advertised by the Compass Idaho Community Planning Association. The advertisement states that if every household in Canyon and Ada Counties contributed 2 dollars a day, then we could get all of our transportation infrastructure in the valley up to where it "should" be.

This irritated me for a number of reasons... 

First, 2 dollars a day is no small amount for the vast majority in the valley.  The median income for the Boise Metro Area is approximately $36,695 (this includes the counties of Ada, Boise, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee and parts of Elmore and Malheur, OR) .  For people making this amount, $60 per month or $730/ year is a lot to demand them to give up.

Second, the membership of this association is not fully representative of ALL in the valley.  There are population areas within the valley that are not listed in it's membership.  That begs the question as to why.  That's because many believe that the association solely reflects the interests of Ada county, alone and thus will not pay dues to them either.

Finally, what about the surrounding counties whose residents most certainly use our roadways to commute to work?  Payette, Owyhee, Gem, Elmore and Boise counties ALL have a large percentage of their residents who commute to Nampa, Caldwell, Meridian, Eagle and Boise for work.  Additionally, all these same residents travel to places like Nampa and Boise for their shopping needs.  Why does this organization believe that the burden for updating and upgrading our transportation infrastructure should rest solely on the residents of Canyon and Ada counties?

This is an example of the big guy bullying the little guys and not letting their voice be heard.  Another example of this kind of bullying is the creation of the College of Western Idaho (CWI), of which residents of Canyon County resoundingly defeated but because Ada has a larger population was able to approve and force higher taxes on the residents of Canyon County.  Ada county residents wanted this, Canyon County already had Treasure Valley Community College in Caldwell and didnt believe it needed CWI.  I digress...

The nation and, subsequently, our state face an infrastructure crisis.  Since legislators and congressmen/women are incapable of trimming the fat and curbing fraud, waste and abuse, they eye increasing our taxes.  Who is to say that the increase in taxes will actually go to fixing our nation/ state's infrastructure?  If we can't trust our government to properly allocate funds in the first place, then why should we allow them to dip into our pockets again when their wasteful spending practices are causing a shortage of funding?  The answer?  We shouldn't.  Demand our government be responsible!