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Pay-for state-ofs

frazier DAVID


President Obama is headed for Boise in the next few days. His speech — a follow up to the “state of the union” — will be free, even if it doesn’t include the infamous “rubber chicken” or snacks.

Imagine the uproar if the Governor or the President delivered a “state of the state” or “state of the union” address as a fund-raiser and charged for seating. That’s the plan for Treasure Valley mayors in coming weeks.

Seems the mayors of Treasure Valley have simply forgotten their roots–with the exception of Garret Nancolas of Caldwell. They are planning to address the citizens about public issues, talk about spending public money, and charge the citizens to hear them at an inconvenient time for the average worker. Nancolas’ speech is free.

Bob Henry of Nampa, Tammy de Weerd of Meridian, and Eagle’s Jim Reynolds all have scheduled “State of The City” speeches and they expect citizens to PAY to hear them expound on their goals and accomplishments. Sure, if you want to be a cheapskate or simply can’t afford lunch you can sit in the corner for free.

The GUARDIAN has bitched about the practice and the fund raiser nature for years, especially in Boise where 1,000 businessmen, contractors, and other beneficiaries gather for a breakfast where it costs $40 a plate–yielding a gross of $40,000 for the special interest business lobbying group called the Chamber of Commerce. (The only reason there is free seating at all is due to prior GUARDIAN posts).

If the message these politicos offer is of ANY value — other than making the evening news — they should deliver their sermons at a regularly scheduled city council meeting, not at a time when working men and women can’t attend. How many “businessmen and leaders” would attend a free council meeting along with the great unwashed to hear a speech?

Here’s the current schedule from today’s STATESMAN:

Nampa Mayor Bob Henry Wednesday, Nampa Civic Center, 311 3rd St. S. Lunch 11:30 a.m., presentation 12:15 p.m. Lunch tickets $20; free seating no lunch. RSVP required: 466-4642.
Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas Feb. 3, Jewett Auditorium, 2112 Cleveland Blvd., 4 to 5:30 p.m. Free. RSVP required: 459-7493.
Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd Feb. 4, Meridian Middle School, 1507 West 8th St. 3:59 p.m. Tickets $10 and include Taste of Meridian reception. RSVP required: 489-0529.

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