A friend of mine once compared the Greater Boise Auditorium District with a commercial jet taking off.
There is the acceleration of the engines, followed by the forward thrust that presses you against the back of your seat as the nose lifts and you start your ascent. The plane shakes and rattles and you're not sure what is happening, as you continue your climb skyward. Finally, having reached cruising altitude, the plane levels off, calm is restored and you are free to remove your seat belt and walk about the cabin. A good analogy, that.
The district was created by the voters in 1959. The sole purpose was to promote economic growth for the residents of the district through the development and operation of public facilities.
Public awareness of the district, its role and activities, is at an all-time high. As the chairman of the district, I consider that to be a good thing. Engagement is essential to our success. We cannot hope to fulfill the needs of the public without a clear understanding of what those needs are. And that understanding has to come out of an honest and ongoing dialogue with all the stakeholders that make up the district.
The focus on the district couldn't come at a more appropriate time. Downtown Boise is undergoing a transformation. The new Zions Tower says that Boise is a sound investment for the future. And Jack's Urban Meeting Place underscores the fact that the future is both vibrant and exciting. The district needs to leverage the momentum as it moves forward.
The current board has made significant strides toward a solution for expanding our convention center. And we have looked at several additional projects that meet both the economic and needs criteria. But where we go from here depends, once again, on the voters of the district, our largest stakeholder.
To move projects from concept to design, through development, requires the full support and cooperation of a dedicated team of stakeholders and staff whose talents are matched to the job at hand. This May 21 voters have the opportunity to bring on a new board that the district needs to make the best use of the millions of dollars available to invest in the local economy. This is an opportunity that we simply can't afford to waste.
As chairman, it's incumbent upon me to do whatever I can to fulfill the mandate defined by the voters in 1959. That includes providing perspective on an election that will determine the district's effectiveness for years to come.
The district has approximately $13 million to invest in projects. Wise investments can be instruments for economic growth and help determine the future of the district. I am confident that together, once we reach our cruising altitude, we can make this a greater district.
Hy Kloc is chairman of the Greater Boise Auditorium District.