Sandpoint’s Kate McAlister wants to be your state representative in Boise.
What’s her platform? Boilerplate Chamber of Commerce language, for the most part. As a lifelong businessman, though, I honed in on her claim of being “trusted by businesses and community leaders” and “will work to keep our taxes and government working for all Idahoans by striving for collaborative consensus …”
You mean, like the BID? That’s Sandpoint’s Business Improvement District, run for years now by McAlister as Chamber of Commerce CEO. This public/private partnership is financed by quarterly fees charged to certain downtown businesses for such things as seasonal beautification and downtown events. Businesses were supposed to have input into how their money is spent.
But there was never transparency, and since many saw no benefit from their monies, they just stopped paying. Particularly when they realized that just since 2013 half a million dollars have been spent by McAlister, with 50-75% going to administrative costs – without much accountability, and with preferable treatment for chosen companies.
The program is on its last leg. Business people are angry, distrustful of McAlister and her management style, which certainly doesn’t represent the collaborative consensus she claims.
Which is probably why you won’t find any reference to the BID on her website or anywhere in her campaign. She’s running from her failure and now wants to run our District as a Representative.
On November 8, re-elect Representative Heather Scott, who has a proven record as a fiscal conservative.