Wednesday, October 20, 2010

City of Kuna used taxpayer money on bond election brochure

The city of Kuna spent $2,097 of taxpayer money to mail a “2010 Bond Election Voter Information” brochure, including to houses outside city limits.
The use of taxpayer money to fund such materials has been frowned upon by Idaho’s highest court.
In 2005, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled strongly against the Greater Boise Auditorium District, which was sued for using public money to advocate for the passage of a bond measure.
“The use of public funds to campaign in a contested election is not one of the powers expressly granted to the board of an auditorium district,” according to the ruling. “If such use is permissible, it must be within the implied powers of the board.”
On Oct. 5, Kuna City Council members, on a split vote, approved spending $2,079 to mail the brochure, moving the money from the contingency fund to the election fund. Council members Doug Hoiland and Jeff Lang voted in favor, and Lisa Bachman and Rich Cardoza voted against it. Mayor Scott Dowdy broke the tie by voting in favor of spending the money. The Kuna Melba News has filed a public records request seeking the total cost to produce, print and mail the brochure.

More details in this week's Kuna Melba News.