In April 2007, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter suggested taking a look under the hood at the Capital City Development Corp., Boise's urban renewal agency. In a memo to the City Council, he urged a discussion of the agency's overall mission and called for an audit of its inner financial workings.
"The tool kit that has been so vital to Boise's success in the 1990s and early 2000s may not be the same one we'll need going forward," Bieter wrote.
What the agency really needed was some scaffolding and rebar.
City officials and critics had suggested scaling back CCDC's responsibilities or even a long-term phase-out after the Boise Place development project on what is widely known as the Boise Hole fell through.
Now, some 15 months later, after another round of defaulted projects on "the hole," the city is finally rolling out the audit.
Originally, the city's internal audit department was going to dig into CCDC's file cabinets, but Bieter spokesman Adam Park said city attorneys decided the work should be contracted out to maintain separation between the city and CCDC, which is a separate entity.
Eide Bailly LLP, a Phoenix-based auditing firm that already works with the agency, will examine how CCDC reports back to the city, handles its finances and its other policies.
Bieter met with the CCDC board and the City Council to work out the scope of the audit, another reason the audit took so long to order, Park said.
CCDC executive director Phil Kushlan said the audit process is useful, though he is comfortable with the way the agency works now. "With the Boise streetcar and other projects on the horizon, we're entering a new era for the agency. It's important we make sure we have the correct financial tools in place to get the job done," he said.
A hammer and some nails could help.