City Government

City Council Election? Who Cares?

With just 17 weeks until the Boise City Council election, there is an overwhelming amount of disinterest in the campaign.

T.J. Thomson tells the GUARDIAN he will be an “independent voice” on the council, but with endorsements from Team Dave and most of the Council, we see this Obama organizer as “more of the same.” It would be nice if we are wrong. Thomson will undoubtedly go after the seat being vacated by Jim Tibbs. David A. Honey has also announced, but we don’t know who he is targeting.

Marryanne Jordan and Vern Bisterfeldt are both seeking reelection. Regardless of who enters the race prior to the September 4 filing deadline, it looks like it will be the same old crew with Thomson replacing Tibbs. That said, we would sure like to see some new faces enter the race and let us know how they feel about some issues. As we have done in the past, the GUARDIAN offers a list of campaign issues for any and all candidates, voters, media newsies, and the politicos making the decisions.

  • Open the depot daily! Don’t schedule any summer private events Memorial Day through Labor Day. Keep the Sunday hours year round. The token schedule just doesn’t get it.
  • Stay out of the railroad business. Do NOT budget for providing freight trains and building an industrial park. Not a city function. If the rail line was a good idea, the Union Pacific would have kept it in operation. Boise offers a paid parking lot for boxcars southeast of town after spending well over $100,000 on “dream train” proposal.
  • Get out of real estate speculation period! Councilors got snookered on the Fairview & 27th city-owned real estate deal and they know it. Land on Gowen Road the city took in trade is worth a fraction of the trade appraisal. The private hospital LLC was dissolved the day St. Lukes acquired it. Put land up for bid and sell it at auction as law prescribes.
  • Don’t spend taxpayer money advertising with chamber or anyone else to GROW the city. If someone wants to come here and pay their fair share of taxes, welcome them with open arms. Eliminate office of economic development. No deals “leasing” our public real estate to get around bid laws.
  • Kayak park is simply a payoff to supporters. Funds would be better spent for open space multi use athletic fields, etc. Recent complaints of rowdy behavior in the area abound.
  • Planning doesn’t always have to be for future GROWTH. Planning can be for Micron to get bought out and cut back on Boise footprint…disaster planning so to speak. Point being, ALL planning is not for growth.
  • Abolish CCDC board and use current planning, zoning, and council to do the job. They are costing the rest of a lot to make up in taxes what downtowners don’t pay in taxes.
  • How about a “police commission” and “fire commission” to guide the operation of the departments which combine to spend nearly half the city budget? They would work like parks, airport, library, public works boards. City has steadfastly denied citizens a voice in these two departments.
  • Stop annexing more real estate into the city limits, forcing the rest of us to pay for new fire stations and other city services. Annexation is the ultimate “urban sprawl.”
  • City politicos should stop sleeping with Chamber of Commerce making payments for promotion to the private special interest lobbying group. The Mayor’s “live aid” breakfast is worth $30,000. Our tax money shouldn’t be used against us.
  • The Downtown Trolley is truly a Folly. Stop wasting our potential federal funding and future local operating expenses. Give us a decent bus system and stop pushing something the people don’t want.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I think these people read this, I just don’t think they understand it.

  2. Mike Murphy for Mayor
    Jul 5, 2009, 5:40 pm

    Real Change For A Better Boise

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and
    over again and expecting different results!
    ~ Albert Einstein

    * Stable city management by a professional, accredited City Administrator free of partisan politics

    * Reapportionment of the City Council for truer representative government

    * Accreditation of the Boise Police Department and reconstitution of the Office of the Police Ombudsman’s Office into an “Office of the Citizen’s Advocate” for all of City Government. An office found in good government everywhere.

    * Efficiency, transparency and control with absorption of the various components of Boise’s Shadow Government into City Government

    * Inspiring, proactive infrastructure development and healthy, sustainable growth delivered by a City Hall more concerned with actual livability than with livability slogans

    – – – –

    The Office of the Mayor’s budget, compensation and responsibilities dramatically reduced, becoming a Councilman-at-Large with ultra v powers. A Professional, accredited City administrator vetted and hired by City Council and charged with executing the wishes of the people – as expressed by their representatives on the City Council – prudently, diligently, efficiently and without regard to partisan politics.

    “Even the City Historian doesn’t know when the last time the city of Boise added a councilor position, it’s been 6 as long as anyone alive can remember. Look at it this way. In 1960 the city population was roughly 35,000. As of 2008, it’s approaching 235,000. In 1960, every 6000 had a city councilor, so to speak. In 2008, each councilor represents nearly 40,000 people. Compared to the generation of early 60s, the worth of our vote has been diluted by 6 or 7 to 1.” It’s time to examine the need for an expansion of the City Council.

    Greater accountability and professionalism for the Boise Police Department with increased citizen control and oversite. These greater expectations supported properly with increased funding for training, equipment and compensation of Boise’s Finest. “‘User Friendliness” and transparency of City Government increased overall with reconstitution of the Office of the Police Ombudsman into an “Office of the Citizen’s Advocate” for all of Boise’s City Government. Similar offices can be found in good government everywhere.

    It’s time to thank Boise’s various components of its Shadow Government for their service and absorb their operations into existing city departments and agencies where the professional and dedicated staff are more than capable to take the reins again, and want only for leadership. Members of Boise’s Shadow Government include the CCDC and Gbad.

  3. “An independent voice”?? Who is he kidding? Look closely at his back and see if there is a slit for someone to stick their hand in to make his eyes and his mouth move. Jordan, Clegg, Eberle, and Mr.”dope and dog food” all have them as well. What bothers me is so does Bieter! I just can’t figure out who is the one throwing their voice! I guess it might be Jade, but if so, he is really good!

    The list the Guardian posted here, once again, would be comical if the costs to the taxpayer weren’t so high. With the costs in play, that list becomes ludicrous!
    I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but Micron is already done except for the sad music and the slow driving! Rocks in the river, trains to industrial parks and trolleys that come from nowhere and go nowhere,and having major pieces of property purchased by the city for “trade” with private companies is not only wrong, but the current administration has proven, repeatedly, that they aren’t smart enough to make a good deal!

    Mike, you would make an excellent candidate but your platform is too etherial for people to understand. If you would address issues that are important to the citizens,(jobs, taxes, city services, access to parks, traffic etc.) you could be an excellent addition to city government.

  4. It is time for a city the size of Boise to take a serious look at City Manager Government.

    All of the black holes and lack of planning for how our tax dollars are spent has to stop.

    Over 50% of cities over 3,000 people are now using City Managers to run their cities more like a business and less like an inbred dysfunctional political machine.

    The Mayor needs be relegated to the status of a city councilor. The city council a board of directors over the city manager.

  5. Mr. Watcher
    Jul 6, 2009, 8:27 am

    In my personal view there is one huge problem this city faces and that is the local newspaper is in love with two things. That being, democrats and big taxing government. When I read that newspaper I walk away with the feeling that if its a new tax or an old tax that will grow larger. That newspaper slants the story and limits the information to get people on board.

    Everyday I open up that newspaper I have come to expect to see a Dan Popkey story that twist the issues for democrats and is a hit piece on republicans.

    What I’m saying is my personal views but I do know for a fact and can prove it that conservative views in the stories postings of the Statesmen are subject to personal slander by other posters. No matter how much people report such conduct it doesn’t seem to stop. Yet there are conservative posters that are giving a cookie and only they can see their postings, not the public at large. This makes the conservative posters think their views are there but their views are not there but to trick them.

    So with the left leaning newspaper in this town things are going to stay one sided until the Statesmen goes out of business.

    Again these are my views and feelings that I get from reading the Statesmen. I may in fact be wrong but I don’t believe so and many people that I know don’t believe I’m wrong as well.

  6. Rod in SE Boise
    Jul 6, 2009, 9:44 am


    I agree completely with your list of campaign issues. Implimenting them would benefit the citizens of Boise. (But then, anything that benefits the citizens of Boise would be opposed by those in power and the wealthy interests who support them.)

    Mike Murphy’s platform, as briefly stated here is full of generalizations and short on specifics. Regarding the Police Force, for instance, he uses words like accredidation and accountablity. Why can’t he just come out and say we should bring the Police Force under civilian control? Now, that I can understand and would support.

    And saying that the Statesman is left leaning is as laughable as saying that channel 7 is left leaning.

  7. TJ Thomson = Obamunism

  8. Mike Murphy for Mayor
    Jul 6, 2009, 4:18 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to offer your constructive criticism and valuable advise. I will work to be clearer and more specific in the future.

  9. AMEN for an INDEPENDANT (as in NOT part of the FD, and NOT supported/bought by the IAFF)accountability mechanism for the Fire Dpeartment and its spending.

    At least, AMEN for it if it has TEETH and the Cajones to actually speak up and do real work.

    I could go into specifics as to why we need this, but that would just turn this thread into another battlefield, and the intent of the original thought (independant oversight of the FD) would be lost…..

  10. Why is it whenever someone is a strong supporter of Obama we are called “blind followers” as if we have no brains of our own?

    I watched TJ throughout the grassroots campaign we ran together and he definitely weighs his support decision-by-decision and is not a puppet to ANYONE!

    Showing respect to other elected officials does not mean that he blindly agrees with everything they support! It’s called being RESPECTFUL and you may not recognize it in this day and age but it IS genuine on his part!

    TJ Thomson is truly a fair-minded person who looks at ALL sides of an issue, seeks out educated input (which all good leaders should) and then makes the BEST decision he can make…despite the backlash he may receive from elected officials who may support his candidacy!

    If you truly knew him as a person, you would just NEVER say these things about him. He has the integrity that we seek in our leaders, as well as our friends.

    Just because he isn’t as “vocal” as other progressive candidates may be, he WILL bring energy and thought to our city council…just in his own humble and respectful way!

    TJ understands that this position is a non-partisan one that requires working for ALL Boiseans regardless of parties…and he is the best person to TRULY follow-through on that.

    You can challenge him on any of his issues or ideas, but please just stop questioning his sincerity because you just won’t win with this argument when talking about TJ Thomson!

  11. Well said Kassie L.
    My vote is for TJ Thomson, and the best future of Boise!

  12. Kassie L. When TJ vows to open the depot during the summer, when he denounces the downtown trolley for the debacle it is, and when he takes a stand against the city dabbling in the real estate business, I will be happy to re-evaluate. Until then, not so much!!

  13. Larry Polsky
    Jul 6, 2009, 11:02 pm

    “Obama” organizer more of the same???? In Idaho???? It’s time for a change – with TJ Thomson!!!

  14. Atta boy Nemo I knew I could count on you

  15. “City Council Election? Who Cares?”
    Not me. Aside from the fact that I no longer live in Boise, my nearly 40 years there taught me that it doesn’t much matter who wins — the outcome is always the same.
    A few good folks get into office now and then, but they get out-voted, out-shouted, stomped on and/or whatever by the chanters of: Growth is good, growth will solve all our problems, grow,grow,grow,grow,grow,grow,grow,grow.
    Developers get their way, comprehensive plans are created and ignored, zoning is imposed and ignored, taxes on residents go up, up, up, while certain business get tax breaks, incentives and whatever rule changes they want.
    Oops! Am I sounding disenchanted, cynical, maybe even bitter? Does anyone wonder why?

  16. Wait. You don’t want to plan for growth, yet you despise urban sprawl? Okay then. Good luck with that.

    EDITOR NOTE–Like other local government types, you miss the point. Good planning can be to PLAN for limited or NO GROWTH. Our area has a history of planning and planning and planning and then abandoning the plans. Team Dave is openly eager to develop the open spaces south and east of town. They even have future plans for a police station at Blacks Creek and I-84! They also continue to annex areas into the city to facilitate and encourage GROWTH. See the comment from Gordon, a fellow GROWTHOPHOBE.

  17. Do you propose we construct a big wall to keep people out? Growth is inevitable. We are fortunate to have a city government that will take advantage of it (annex and collect tax revenues) and plan ahead, so we don’t end up with entire neighborhoods without police or fire services, and so our children have good schools to attend.

    If you’re concerned with over-planning/abandoning plans as you say they’ve done in the past, that’s a pretty good reason to elect someone new like TJ Thomson to City Council.

  18. These elections are such a yawnfest. People will say whatever they want to get themselves in office, then do whatever they want after they get in.

    And they wonder why voter turnout is so low.

  19. Guardian is wrong about the kayak park and in typical logical fallacy fashion uses the wrong terminology. The correct term is River Recreation Park and it will be more than just kayaking. Reconstruction of the 100 year old Thurman Mill diversion, a scant 1 mile from downtown, will make that section of river safer, more beautiful and more useful for everyone including tubers, rafters, waders, fisherman, fish and eagles. Furthermore, much of the construction will be funded by donations. You the taxpayer’s cost in this project, not counting maintenance, is about $1 per year over 10 years. Yeesh, tightwads!

    Guardian style opponents of the greenbelt made the same arguments back in the early 70s. Now the greenbelt is beloved by nearly everyone.

    Rowdy behavior in the area? How is this relevant? The “rowdy” behavior is a function of the parking lot being open to a park that is undeveloped. The parking lot should be closed until the park is developed and the 30th Extension is built. The “rowdy” behavior is also a function of Boise City and BCACHA forcing all the section 8 people into one small neighborhood.

    Where is your libertarian slant when it comes to socialist meddling in the housing/rental market?

  20. The city council is run by a bunch of communists. Cassie doesn’t know anything about politics. She just likes Democrats. She doesn’t understand anything about political philosophy and the tyranny of socialism. She just wants free things thrown at her. How was that trip to Mexico a la Obama?
    Interesting that the Dem hordes are trying to inundate the Guardian. We’ll have to put an end to their political enthusiasm. I don’t imagine that will be very hard with this new lightweight breed of Democrat.

  21. And, Kassie, how is it that a person with a record like yours is preaching about who is right for a job? You wouldn’t know integrity, if it threw itself at you.

  22. Daniel L Dunham
    Jul 25, 2009, 9:27 am

    I have decided that I will seek election to the Boise City Council. For far too long, the current council has shown contempt for the citizens. At the last city council meeting, they voted a 12% Sewer increase. At one point during the “public hearing”, Mr. Eberle threw his hands in the air and declared that all these questions (from the public) had already been asked and answered by the council. So much for any “LISTENING” going on at a public hearing. Too bad he isn’t running this time. Mr. Bisterfeldt is supporting the Trolley Folley and that is as good a reason as any for him to be voted out. He also voted for the sewer fee increase last Tuesday.

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