City Government

Drying Paint More Exciting Than Council Race

We hate to dis any of the candidates for Boise City Council, but this race may set a record for non-interest of voters and the media.

We have said it before, but the chances of anyone beating an incumbent are slim to none and the one seat being vacated by Jim Tibbs is pretty much filled by TJ Thomson. The former Obama organizer has done a great job of getting endorsements from every democrat in town, the mayor, and most, if not all of the council. We predict “TJ” will be as much of a recognized trademark as “Vern.”

The campaign season lasts less than two months so feel free to put some of these folks on the hot seat with specific position questions. We can assume that ALL are for “smart growth” of some sort, clean air, family, neighborhoods, jobs, some sort of public transit, police and fire departments, and playing nice with other local government.

We need to know how they stand on:
–Allowing citizens to vote on long term debt
–Dave Bieter’s trolley folly
–Spending city taxes on AMTRAK
–Boise Fire Dept. ambulance plans
–Annexation without approval of those being annexed
–Police and/or fire commission of citizens like airport, parks, library boards
–Several HUNDRED “take home cars” funded by taxpayers for city workers (mostly coppers).
–Land speculation by the city
–“Economic development” expenses to lure more people to Boise
–Relationship with the special interest lobbying group at Chamber of Commerce
–Number and duties of city PAID LOBBYISTS who try to influence lawmakers
–CCDC urban renewal agency

Here is how the race stacks up for the November election in Boise:

City Council Seat 2
–Vernon L. Bisterfeldt: incumbent first elected in 2001, retired Boise copper and Commish
–Daniel L. Dunham: Realtor and mortgage broker
–David Honey, interesting bald guy

City Council Seat 4
(The seat is held by Jim Tibbs, who is not seeking re-election.)
–Leland “Lee” J. Lay: excavation contractor
–David S. Litster a Micron guy
–Steven B. Siebers: test technician for Quality Logic
–TJ Thomson: certified internal auditor for Idaho Power

City Council Seat 6
–Maryanne Jordan: incumbent, current City Council president first elected in 2003
–Lucas Baumbach: manager of Big Red Painting.
–David Webb

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Mr. Watcher
    Sep 9, 2009, 8:30 am

    This city clearly has a lack of people running for city council that have the best interest of the citizens of Boise at heart. This is in “my personal view” because of the local newspaper that we have in Boise. If a person is running and is a solid and a sound person of abilities to do the city council job and has the voters best interest at heart. And not special interest at heart wanting to grow Boise city government larger and more costly to the citizens of Boise. That person will not get any decent or fair reporting because the local newspaper loves big government that grows itself and feels the citizens are not paying their fair amount of taxes to the city.

    The local newspaper clearly by the words of what they print do (more often then not what they do not print) not have the citizens best interest at heart. There seemingly is a lot of back room dealings going on that need to have the light of truth spotlighted on them that never seems to get that needed and deserved light.

    All of this “again in my personal view” leaves out decent folks wanting to run because they know that they not only have to run against a sitting incumbent but they stand a good chance of running against the local newspaper in addition. Many decent folks that could get Boise on the right tracks to lower the volume of that loud sucking sound we hear coming from City Hall draining our pocketbooks will not enter the races knowing they have to fight the local newspaper to win.

    One last time, “in my personal view” the day the local newspaper goes out of business is the day Boise will become a much better place to live.

  2. The Wunderlich B. gives plenty of fodder.

  3. If you think Boise is bad try moving to Eagle.

  4. Hadenough Yet
    Sep 10, 2009, 8:06 am

    Newspapers used to cover the news, now we get pablum served up on a daily basis.

    The Idaho Press Tribune has come to be known as the “no news newspaper”. They routinely refuse to print letters to the editor they disagree with for one reason or another. I used to think the Opinion Page of the newspaper was just that OPINIONS.

    Incumbent candidates get endorsments from the papers even when they have overstayed their time in office.

  5. Mr. Guardian… you contradict yourself!

    First you declare that the race is more boring than paint drying… and then you say an “interesting bald guy” is on the ticket!

    From what I’m observing, TJ is apparently capable… at least a multitude of supporters declare it so. But he’ll just be another guy for the big City Council Group Hug! I would love to see somebody in there who will “question authority” from time to time. Maybe rock the Boat of State a little bit. Your proposed questions might shed some light.

    This I know… as citizens, we have the RESPONSIBILITY to know the issues and to elect good people who will conduct government honestly and with the interest of the taxpayers and citizens in mind. Anybody who can vote, but doesn’t, is shirking his duty and has absolutely NO grounds to complain about the government we end up with.

  6. I agree with Eric: I’m the most interesting thing that has happened, since Boise ripped the ten commandments out of the ground.

    The newspapers are pretty pathetic. My bro, Nathaniel, at BW is apprehensive of me, and Bethann at the Statesman is not sure she wants to cover precinct corruption.

    I’m particularly fond of bikeboy’s suggestion that we put someone in to question authority instead of playing pattycake with Bieter and friends. Who is smart enough and tough enough to do that?

  7. The Boise council races are the most partisan non-partisan elections I’ve ever seen!!!!

  8. Dave, I thank you for referring to me as an interesting bald guy, I take that as a compliment. I do my best to stay on top of the activities in and around Boise. Also, for a little background on me…I have almost 30 years management experience, former small business owner, a Navy veteran, over ten years involvement in the political arena which includes campaigning for not only myself in previous elections but for incumbents and other aspiring hopefuls.
    I am sometimes very outspoken in my beliefs of how the city government should be involved and will engage in conversation with many of our citizens on a variety of issues, concerns and views. I believe it pertinent to have the voice of the people taken into account and be active in OUR decisions that will greatly affect this city.

  9. Thanks BG for finally asking the questions….I am still waiting for some candidates to answer them.

    I would like one more question answered? How long have each of these candidates lived in Idaho and in the Boise area?

  10. Check my website for a comprehensive list of the issues and a side-by-side analysis of how my opponent fails the smell test. Most of the Guardian’s questions are answered there.
    I demand that my opponent explain why she is against voter consent of tax hikes and annexation not to mention voter consent for the trolley and city hall plaza re-construction…

  11. We need to know how they stand on:
    –Allowing citizens to vote on long-term debt. -The Constitution of Idaho requires citizen’s approval for long-term debt. When the voters told the current council and Mayor NO to a library bond, they were able to find the money without the new debt. Were they lying about the need for more taxes?

    –Dave Bieter’s trolley folly- How many people will benefit from this? How are they going to pay for it? This is a non-starter, political pet project that shouldn’t need further discussion. My opponent has been voting to support it.

    –Spending city taxes on AMTRAK – Are you kidding me? There is a reason this part of AMTRAK was abandoned. Mr. Bieter moved forward with this before the feasibility study was out. Will the current council treat this like they treated the NO vote on the library tax increase? Back to the future! What next, stage coaches?

    –Boise Fire Dept. ambulance plans –Duplicating services rather than seeking consolidation? Why would you look to expand and duplicate services?

    –Annexation without approval of those being annexed – I was the president of Citizens for Annexation reform. Does anyone understand taxation without representation?

    –Police and/or fire commission of citizens like airport, parks, library boards – A citizen board makes more sense than the current ombudsman system.

    –Several HUNDRED “take home cars” funded by taxpayers for city workers (mostly coppers). This needs to be looked into. The goal of saving money is simple math. How many ‘take home cars’ save taxpayer money?

    –Land speculation by the city – Government competing with private industry? Shameful. One of my first political battles was against the State Insurance Fund buying rentals and competing against private landowners, and not paying property taxes on the rentals.

    –”Economic development” expenses to lure more people to Boise -Can any of these expenses be tied to actual success? Maybe the Chamber of Commerce would better handle this.

    –Relationship with the special interest lobbying group at Chamber of Commerce – Shouldn’t even the appearance of impropriety be avoided? How transparent is the relationship? This needs attention.

    –Number and duties of city PAID LOBBYISTS who try to influence lawmakers – Here again, wouldn’t this be handled better by the Chamber of Commerce? The Chamber and private business should be involved with lobbying the Legislature to make things better for the general population.

    –CCDC urban renewal agency -How much more urban renewal is needed? There must be some way to end this. Is it a quasi-government self-perpetuating entity that soaks up tax dollars and really has out lived it usefulness? Seems like to me.

    Unlike Sotomayer who spent three days running away from her record to be confirmed by the Senate, I am proud of my solid record of believing WE THE PEOPLE are in charge. I am for less waste, more transparency, and above all, citizen involvement. Our government is what it is because we have allowed it to be.

  12. For Darla- I have been in Boise since June 1979 I moved into Lewiston Idaho in 1977. Before that I was at school at Washington State University, before that I was with my parents at many US Air Force installations.

  13. Mr. Watcher
    Sep 12, 2009, 8:32 am

    Its not as much how long a person has lived here. Its how long they plan on staying.
    I believe the question of “how long a person has lived here”. Is code for: Are you a liberal from CA or WA that will say one thing or anything to get elected.
    We have seen far too many people who come to this state because they want to leave a state that has the citizens working to support government employees, union or otherwise. Only to want to make Idaho just like the state they left.
    Bottom line: The way to test a person who is running for office is to know the kind of work they have done in the past. If they have feed themselves at the tax feed slop buckets, they are not what we need. If they have lived off of bottom feeder jobs like, real estate, CPA’s and law. These people by far and large have big and heads and produce nothing in the big picture. If you see a person that is good at running a productive business, who is willing to run for one or two terms to try and make Idaho a better place. That is the kind of person that we need to serve and go back to their private life. Which is the key to the person running. Do they have a privete life to go back to? If not, never vote for such a person.

  14. I perused the Wunderlich B.’s “issues” list. Didn’t they teach you to show your work at Cornell? Where is the supporting documentation for your “issues” claims?

    What is the Foothills open space environmental catastrophe? Dog crap? Pun very much intended.

    The People’s Republic of the North End gets sidewalks because neighborhood groups work with ACHD to get sidewalks.

    Basically, all your list tells us is that “Lucas” knows how to format an excel spreadsheet. Yay, you can wrap text in a cell!

    Where’s the meat Wunderlich B.? Why don’t you do one of your 5 minute updates with supporting documentation of your claims on the list?

    Although, I have to admit, you writing on your website in the 3rd person is sweet. Totally love that.

    Ich bin Wunderlich, horen mir roar.

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