OpenCdA’s post on April 13, 2015, titled The Coeur d’Alene Deception questioned the legality of the City’s planned use of approximately $925,000 of the proposed $6 million public safety bond for police expenditures, mostly equipment.
We pointed out that Idaho Code § 50-1019 identifies very specifically which municipal expenditures are permitted to be funded by bond proceeds. Based on the explicit wording of subsection 6 of Idaho Code § 50-1019, we did not question the legality of any of the proposed bond’s expenditures which would be used exclusively by the Coeur d’Alene Fire Department.
However, we pointed out that nowhere does that section of Idaho Code make any specific or even implied reference to bonding for police expenditures. Given the permission is granted to not only the fire departments but also other specifically-named municipal departments and functions (hospitals, cemeteries, public parks, monuments, recreation facilities, libraries, aviation facilities, flood control, transit systems, and zoos), we conclude that for whatever reasons, the Legislature appears to have intended to explicitly deny municipalities permission to use bond proceeds for police expenditures. The statute makes no references to vague possible associations using such terms as “public safety” or “joint use.”
We put our concerns in an email to Coeur d’Alene City Councilmen Dan Gookin and Steve Adams on April 11, 2015. We simply asked, “What is the statutory authority for having the bond proceeds used for anything except the Fire Department?” We have received no response from Councilman Adams, however Councilman Gookin responded in his comment appended to our original post.
We will comment on some of Councilman Gookin’s bullet points. (more…)