Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Boise Council Holds Collective Nose and Approves Funding for Mediation

Posted By on Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 4:49 PM

"Mr. Mayor, I hope you've been brushing up on your history of Middle East peace talks."

And with that, Boise Council Member David Eberle joined his colleagues and begrudgingly approved a transfer of $10,000 from the citywide contingency account to be used to fund mediation services between the Greater Boise Auditorium district and the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau. City spokesman Adam Park told Citydesk that the $10K includes contingency funding as the initial contract with a mediator is scoped for $5K.

The short but lively conversation that preceded the vote was consistently pessimistic.

Council Member Alan Shealy: "I feel a little queasy about this. I'm just not sure we out to put a dog in this fight."

Council Member Vern Bisterfeldt: "I've had some bad experiences with one of these groups. If this thing is settled, we ought to get our money back."

Council Member Elaine Clegg: "I too have my qualms."

Council Member T.J. Thomson; "I believe $10,000 is where we ought to draw the line on how much we spend on this."

Mayor Dave Bieter: "I'm plenty uneasy about this myself. I got both parties past some of the early issues, but when we came down to nominal, yet legally challenging difference, I thought we ought to get a mediator."

In the end, the vote was unanimous to fund the mediation.

The spat between GBAD and BCVB erupted when the auditorium district voted 3-2 to cut off funding to the bureau, effective September 1.

"The genesis of the mediation," said Bieter, "is that the visitors bureau is so fundamental in the marketing of our city and our region.

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