Groups in support and opposition of proposed stadium speak out

Opposition and support speak out on stadium.

BOISE -- The stadium saga continues with a pro-stadium group, consisting of a number of community and business leaders, stepping forward this week to voice their support. Meantime, the opposition is continuing to back against what they see as closed-door dealings.

The proposed sports park is still undergoing the financial analysis phase, but that isn't stopping people from outwardly voicing their concerns or support.

We told you earlier this week about a complaint the Concerned Boise Taxpayers, the opposition group, filed alleging one partner agency in the stadium proposal violated open meeting law. Now, those opposed say after doing more digging they feel other public agencies are also in the wrong.

MORE ON COMPLAINT HERE: Group files complaint on violations surrounding proposed stadium project

"Why are there so many secret things going on? This is a public matter," Concerned Boise Taxpayers co-chair Bill Ilett said.

The skeptics haven't shied away from speaking out against the proposed Boise Sports Park.

They filed a complaint with the Ada County Prosecutor, which is being investigated by the Ada County Sheriff's Office. In the complaint, Concerned Boise Taxpayers is alleging the Greater Boise Auditorium District (GBAD) violated open meeting laws when board members met with the developer of the proposed stadium in a series of meetings with less than a quorum.

"There's no question there are secret smaller quorums and meetings going on," Ilett said.

"They work around it and think they're doing the right thing, I don't know. But to me it just strikes you as just being wrong," co-chair Gary Michael added. "They stand for transparency on some things, but not everything."

As they dig through thousands of pages of documents, Ilett and Michael say they're finding another problem.

MORE: Documents shed more light on proposed Boise Sports Park

"I think it goes well beyond GBAD; I think it's the Tri-Agency," Ilett added.

The 'Tri-Agency' is a group consisting of GBAD, Capital City Development Corporation (CCDC) and City of Boise officials and staffers. Documents show they meet consistently to talk about the stadium and, it appears, at least deliberate and make recommendations - in meetings that aren't open to the public.

MORE: Boise Sports Park continues to be contentious issue in public forums

"In those agendas they said when the mayor is done if you're in agreement with the direction please nod your head. Now what's the difference between that and raising your hand?" Michael said.

"We will continue to look [through documents]. Because I think the tri-gencies have continued to violate the open meeting laws. The intent to do that has gone on for years," Ilett said.

Meanwhile this week, a group formed years ago re-activated: the Better Boise Coalition, spearheaded by the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, is committed to seeing the idea of the Boise Sports Park become a reality in Downtown Boise.

"We think right now, however, the conditions and the proposal looks better than it's ever looked. Both the location of the stadium and the financing deal," Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Bill Connors told KTVB. "These things work."

MORE: Soccer community speaking out in support of stadium

"I've been engaged and involved in these discussions for eight years we've been talking about this. This is nothing secret, this is nothing that hasn't been talked about," Connors added. "This is not a new subject, there's nothing going on behind closed doors. Matter of fact, it's probably one of the most hashed over, talked about projects in Boise for the last 10 years," Connors added.

Supporters believe the benefits of economic, social and cultural infusion across the board far outweigh any minor risks associated with the project.

"It's not about the baseball, it's not about the soccer. It's about having a community amenity that the developer is willing to give to the city in addition to a whole lot of development going on around it," Connors said. "I see it also as a retention of talent kind of issue. You know, this is a family community amenity."

City of Boise spokesman Mike Journee told KTVB on Friday that the city is planning to host a town hall perhaps sometime in the next month. He says the mayor and City Council want the public to have an opportunity to provide testimony before the council votes on pitching money to the project.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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