Groups on various sides of proposed projects to build a library and a stadium in Downtown Boise using public funds are sharpening their rhetoric as the projects continue to develop.
The hot words come as one group pushes a possible vote on the projects, and a bill to clamp down on the use of urban renewal funds continues to push through the Idaho Statehouse.
‘A desperate attempt to move public opinion’
A strongly-worded letter from the organizers of the Idaho Rush is urging action over a potential Downtown Boise stadium, as groups of across the spectrum work to make their case for the project – and a separate project for a new library.
“(O)pponents will stop at nothing in their efforts to block the creation of a community amenity that the majority of citizens want. They continue to spread disinformation about the project, including who’s building the sports park and how it will be financed, in a desperate attempt to move pubic opinion. In fact, they’re so desperate to stop this project, that they’re now trying to change state laws, take local control away from our local elected officials, and change the very nature of representative democracy.”
The letter does not go into specifics on any of the charges made, but does urge its members to “stand up to the lies, the negativity, the pessimism and the tunnel vision.”
The unsigned letter from Idaho Rush, obtained by BoiseDev, notes that a new stadium would boost opportunities for youth soccer in Idaho, among other rationales.
The letter encourages people to join a Facebook page which has a previously unreleased rendering of a baseball stadium. The stadium pictured sits on a site with a street grid identical in layout to a possible site at Whitewater Park Blvd. and Fairview Ave. in Boise.
The Facebook page is the work of Boise communications firm Strategies 360, according to an employee for the firm. S360 employees are representing ballpark developer Greenstone Properties.
‘Makes me cringe’
In a recent blog post, Boise Guardian Dave Frazier also stepped up to the plate with strong words.
“Despite major questions about a new library, Boise City is forging ahead hiring consultants, lobbyists, and others while hiding these deals deep on 1,000 page agendas,” he wrote last week. “But I have come to believe they will do whatever they want anyway. Makes me cringe.”
Boiseans Working Together, a group looking to put the stadium and library on the ballot last week took issue with a decision by Boise City Council to extend a contract related to a delayed performing arts center that could be built as a later phase of the library campus project.
“It is disingenuous to state only the first phase of the construction as the cost of the project,” organizers wrote. “We must have truth and transparency in decisions of this magnitude. It is clear that the only way we will achieve transparency is by requiring a vote of the people after full disclosure of the cost and design of the entire plan.”