Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Proposition One
The right to vote is a great privilege and responsibility. Voting “yes” on Proposition 1 is not “good government” as its proponents claim, and is simply not responsible.
First, Proposition 1 is unnecessary and redundant. Proposition 1 asks only for a “vote to have a vote”. The City Council has placed a special Question on this same ballot that provides the opportunity for citizens to vote directly on whether or not to proceed with the Main Library Project. That is good government.
Second, proponents of Proposition 1 refer to the Idaho Constitution’s requirement for a citizens’ vote before public debt is incurred. That requirement does not apply to the Library Project: the City’s plan does NOT include any new public debt or any new taxes.
Third, the Boise City Attorney believes Proposition 1 is illegal under the Idaho Constitution, and is likely to be challenged in court if it passes, because it addresses an administrative matter and not a legislative matter.
Finally, while Proposition 1 targets the Library Project, it also sets a bad precedent, requiring citizens to vote on an expenditure which is only 3.3% of the City’s current annual budget. If this approach persists, future propositions could require an endless parade of votes on individual budget items that would hamstring City Council’s ability to manage the City.