Thursday, October 30, 2008

Now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand

Kuna City Council member Lisa Bachman last month brought up the need for Kuna to get involved in Ada County Highway District’s Transportation Land Use Integration Plan. ACHD’s Transportation and Land Use Integration Plan, or TLIP, is “an attempt to better link land-use and transportation planning,” according to their web site.
“The plan will feature policy decisions — such as which roads will become higher-volume, higher speed ‘mobility corridors’ and which will remain smaller, lower-volume facilities — that are expected to generate great public interest,” according to ACHD.
Kuna city officials, perhaps justifiably so, are skeptical of ACHD’s motives. Some have suggested that ACHD is trying to get into the land use business, which is the purview of cities. They fear ACHD will run roughshod over municipal decisions regarding subdivisions and commercial centers, using TLIP as justification for opposing a project.
But sticking your head in the sand and saying you’re not going to cooperate or participate is not the right answer. Look at Idaho Power’s plan to put a 230,000-volt transmission line through the middle of downtown Kuna. Kuna didn’t participate in the planning, so folks from Meridian and Eagle and Boise drew a line on a map that puts a series of 120-foot metal poles through Kuna. They must still be laughing at the little fast one they pulled on Kuna.
So Bachman’s admonition to participate in ACHD’s TLIP is a wise one that Kuna would do well to heed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kuna mayor's endorsement of Langhorst an interesting twist

This week, Kuna Mayor Scott Dowdy announced his endorsement of Democrat David Langhorst in his bid to unseat incumbent Republican Rick Yzaguirre for the Ada County Commission. Certainly, Mr. Yzaguirre gained no fans among Kuna city officials last month when he approved Vista, the massive, 1,048-acre, 3,000-house planned community just outside Kuna's borders. Kuna city officials, including Dowdy himself, testified before the county commissioners against the proposal, which is being shepherded by Rose Law Group Borton, a Boise law firm headed by former Meridian City Council member Joe Borton, no stranger to squabbles with Kuna city officials. Mr. Yzaguirre, along with fellow commission member and chairman Fred Tilman showed little respect for Kuna's Planning Director Steve Hasson, when Hasson enumerated his reasons for opposing Vista. Kuna City Engineer Gordon Law also presented some sound reasons against approving Vista. All, however, were set aside when the commissioners unanimously approved Vista. But I think what really got Dowdy's goat came a couple of weeks later, when Rose Law Group Borton hosted a fundraiser breakfast meet and greet for none other than Rick Yzaguirre. As I wrote in an Editor's Notebook in the Kuna Melba News a couple of weeks ago, Kuna city officials must feel like the ugly girl sitting on the bleachers at the dance. Well, the ugly girl just got up to dance with someone else.