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BOISE COUNCIL CANDIDATES:
Seat 2: Ben Quintana (incumbent), Tyler Smith
Seat 4: T.J. Thomson (incumbent), Jill G. Humble, Bill Jarocki
Seat 6: Maryanne Jordan (incumbent), Paul Edmond Fortin, R. Bryce Petersen
TYLER SMITH 11/2/13
I am running against incumbent Quintana for Seat 2, and encourage everyone in Boise to get out and vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5. I have grown to know and like Jill Humble, Bill Jarocki, and Paul Fortin throughout this campaign, and I hope to have also left a good impression on them.
I stand for real, progressive change, strong environmental policy, equality for ALL (read: homeless) residents, and to make a stand against money in politics.
It’s time for new blood, and all 4 of us running against the incumbents are smart, passionate, and educated.
Get out and vote, encourage your friends to vote, and vote for new ideas!
Tyler Smith, candidate for Boise City Council Seat 2
PAUL FORTIN 10/22/13
“At last night’s forum Mr. Thompson and Mr Quintana didn’t start their opening statements with “Under Ms Jordan’s Leadership yada yada yada Boise City wasn’t destroyed from everything imaginable as at the Forum of the league of women on Oct 9th. Mr Quintana only said it once but TJ repeated on almost every questioned he answered.
Ms Jordan went back to her same old California background of tax and spend as much as you can squeeze from the taxpayer and then go for that last cent still hiding in the taxpayers coin purse.
When I tried to talk to Ms Jordan about the waste in fire spending, she told me your problem is with the Whitney fire Commisioners for spending a $100,000 a year for Fire Chief Renn Ross, the ex Boise Fire Chief who eliminated that position in 2000.
At the request of Whitney Commisioners he promoted 2 then a 3rd captain to Battalion Chief which costs Boise taxpayers approx $550-600,000 a yr in today’s dollars. The 9 square miles of what’s left of Whitney fire District is almost all subdivisions.
What Ms Jordan doesn’t get is if revenue received doesn’t match expenditures for any part of government then that department is in deficit spending.”
BILL JAROCKI 10/21/13
Remember, You Get the Government You Vote For: Part 2
Tonight was public forum number 2 for the Boise City Council axis of incumbency and three brave challengers. What I’ve heard them say twice (in unison, in lockstep) is that the “most livable” city in America can only remain so if you elect them AND elect to tax yourself and your neighbors. I think I’ve heard this before. If something gets repeated enough, everybody believes it.
Tonight one of the incumbents also said if the bonds pass, they think they can build another branch library from the resources in the current budget.
Like they are doing you a favor?
The fact is that the so-called “hold the line budget” called for a property tax increase even before you decide on November 5th to tax yourself even more.
KEEP BOISE MOVING FORWARD is the slogan of the incumbents. And it will keep moving forward as long as you pay more taxes. So they seem to say.
And another thing — my incumbent opponent says that the city’s private trash pickup contractor returned $150,000 by switching to natural gas vehicles. Of course YOU don’t get a rebate on your trash bill (the bill you already paid). Instead the council (ever mindful of your wishes)decides how the “savings” will be spent. Well, that will run the parks and recreation department for a couple of days. Big deal.
Hold your horses. Listen to us. “NO” to the bonds, and no to more taxes. What is the next best idea for meeting OUR priorities? Can we get a better government for less of our money? Would you even try to be efficient? Can’t you please do better than this?
Sincerely, Bill Jarocki for City Council Seat #4
TJ Thomson – Boise City Council Seat #4
I am running for re-election because I want to continue making a positive difference in Boise and keep us moving forward — to build the strongest, most livable city possible for future generations to enjoy. Over the last four years, we have had tremendous success in strengthening our local economy during a difficult recession. Unemployment rates are going down while property values are on the rise. The Boise market is dramatically stronger — outpacing the national housing recovery. Commercial and residential permitting is up and positive economic development is moving forward. We have protected thousands of acres of open space in our foothills; added multiple parks and recreational opportunities; increased sidewalks and bike lanes; improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists; added bus routes; and strengthened public safety (crime rates are at historic lows). I will continue moving Boise forward, while also presenting new ideas for strengthening our livability and local economy.
I provide extensive detail about my platform and the issues we face as a community at the following links:
TJ’s Campaign Website: www.TJ4Boise.com
TJ’s Idaho Statesman Questionnaire: www.idahostatesman.com/2013/10/06/2802266/boise-city-council-seat-4-tj-thomson.html
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions,
Boise City Council Seat #4
Occupation: (position and company) President, Voltaic Solutions, LLC
Education: Northwestern University, BA; Indiana University, School of Public and Environmental Affairs; Boise State University, MPA
Prior political experience: I have assisted and served with local, state and federal officials throughout my career. This is my first run for public office.
Civic involvement: (past and present – please include years) My public service career has been an example of civic involvement. My civic involvement has been directly related to helping those whose serve the public. Beginning in the late 1970s helping small cities and counties in the Midwest to invest public funds wisely, streamlining state government agencies in Indiana as a legislative performance auditor, and later serving county governments with the Association of Indiana Counties. I came to Idaho in 1983 to work with city officials at the Association of Idaho Cities, then running the DEQ’s Bureau of Research and Analysis (1992-96) to implement better ways to work with communities and to really measure environmental performance, and then running BSU’s Environmental Finance Center (1996-2010) to bring innovation and common sense to environmental protection in the United States and internationally. Always with this public purpose in mind: delivering sustainable services at the least cost. I continue to do this as President of Voltaic Solutions.
Years living in your city: Thirty years in December.
Social media accounts: (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) @voltaicjarocki, facebook.com/myvotematters
1. What makes you a better choice for voters than your opponent(s)?
As a fiscal conservative I’m driven by the idea that local government is obligated to provide services that make sense and are efficiently funded. I offer the citizens a chance to vote for the candidate who not only wants to limit taxes and fees, but has real government experience in Idaho, both at the local and state levels. My experience at the national and international levels has also allowed me the opportunity to better understand the complexities of intergovernmental policy as it relates to local government. This is necessary here in the Capitol, as Boise’s city government is part of a larger system of governance that includes neighboring communities, county, state and the federal government. Because I have worked at all three levels for over 30 years, I can hit the ground running on day one to rebuild important relationships with intergovernmental partners that have been breached during my opponents’ term.
2. If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you accomplish them? Please provide specifics.
As the common sense candidate, my top priorities are: creating living-wage jobs, promoting participatory budgeting, and promoting maximum use of vacant commercial property. I would accomplish each goal by nurturing the professional and intergovernmental relationships that are necessary in order to create business friendly policies for both large and medium sized companies that will offer meaningful living wages to their employees. As a matter of public policy, I will work with our public and private education institutes to assist with public participation forums, bringing effective and engaged public participation in local tax issues and policy decisions. Finally, I am concerned about commercial property development that is occurring in neighboring communities as commercial property remains vacant in Boise for long periods of time. We need incentives for business development. And we need to develop trust with the leaders of the Idaho Legislature to get the tools for greater economic opportunities.
3. What is the one thing your city should start doing to encourage economic development and create jobs?
In many respects the one thing we should do is to recognize that the most recent, sustained, and successful period of economic development we have experienced in the City of Boise occurred when we united in purpose supporting private sector expansion. To unite in purpose today we need to recognize that our city government needs to be a catalyst for economic development by using its policy making authority to create opportunities for business development and economic diversification and growth. Where the city’s authority is lacking, Boise needs to work with legislative leaders to get the permission to create tools that the city can use to incentivize development. We need to tell our story better. That is; the State of Idaho prospers as Boise prospers and State leaders need to be persuaded that economic prosperity in Boise is not a zero sum game for other communities.
4. How do you envision your city 10 to 20 years from now? How should it change?
In 10 years I envision Boise as a place where businesses can start up and grow, creating a broader economy and a marketplace for locally developed technologies, products, and services.
In 20 years I envision Boise as THE place to call home. A place that our grown kids can call home – not because they visit us here, but because they live here. Today Boise has a wonderful reputation as a place to raise a family. But, what happens to your family when the kids grow up, go to college here or out of state, and your kids move to Salt Lake City, Seattle, Portland, or San Francisco to get that good paying job that matches their career interests. In 20 years I want you to live in a place where it is not a luxury or plain luck that you’re surrounded by your kids and grandkids in what is in many respects the best City in the United States.
5. Are you concerned about public apathy and involvement in civic matters? How would you get more people involved?
I will create a public forum that encourages open and honest public participation. I stand by my previous statements on this subject, that I endorse completely the idea that citizens have the right and the obligation to make their opinions and their recommendations known to their elected officials in matters concerning their households, neighborhoods, and their community as a whole. I will explain, push, and promote a process for citizen input into budgeting decisions. The Council is ultimately responsible for budgeting and investing dollars that achieve community priorities set forth by mandates and by the public. And the Council I will serve on will not be complacent. Instead we will examine the purpose of program activities and eliminate or defund activities that do not meet our community priorities for the future. When citizens realize their voices could be heard on priorities and spending decisions, they will want to be involved.
6. Do you support either or both bonds for open space, public safety and parks? Why?
No. I am not in favor of the citizens taking on more debt anytime soon. From my vantage point, our community is barely emerging from the great recession and we all have a responsibility for nearly $17 trillion in federal government debt. And the axis of incumbency wants us to take on more debt? It isn’t that I’m not a proponent of parks – I enjoy the greenbelt nearly every day – and I want a well-trained fire department, but let’s take a closer look at the current budgets first.
This morning the Idaho Statesman opined that “Bonds are the most pragmatic way forward.” This is not true. Vote “No” on the proposed bond issue.
In the 2014 budget, general fund revenues from property tax were projected at $118.5M. The debt payments will be about $2.6M in new property taxes per year for the next 20 years. There are other ways to fund these improvements. A reduction of just a little over 2% elsewhere in the general fund budget does the trick. It is time that the community had a chance to participate in real priority setting. Is there some other low priority activity that could be eliminated to fund new parks and fire training facilities? Probably. It’s the taxpayers’ money and we need to work smarter to deliver the best government at the least cost. The Statesman recently reported that the city has 8 public information officers! C’mon already, we need to be smarter with the taxpayer dollars.
Funny how the “way forward” copies the theme of the three councilmembers who have now formed their axis of incumbency. Makes you wonder doesn’t it? It’s time to oppose incumbents and to elect a councilman that will challenge the status quo.
8. Should the city upgrade its shooting range, leave it as is or do something else entirely? Why?
As long as it is operated safely and the activity there is not a threat to the shooters or the general public, then leave it as is. If the status quo is acceptable, then, the City Council should concentrate on business and economic development policy and policy implementation.
9. Should Boise raise Downtown metered parking rates? How much? Why?
No. And I am not in favor of having any system that resets the parking meter to zero minutes when a user exits the parking space. As a long-time Boise resident I know there is more metered parking in the downtown area than ever before. If the idea is to raise parking rates to support more ticket writers, then as a matter of policy I would ask the current administration to make do with current revenues or remove meters.
10. If elected, what would you do to change the public transportation system in Boise?
I am not in favor of any changes to our public transportation system at this time. While it is tempting to copy what other big cities do, it is important to recognize that the culture of the community supports conservative, incremental change. For several years I was a faithful rider of the Boise Urban Stages, the forerunner to the current Valley Ride system. Public transportation has steadily improved over the past 30 years and continues to be a viable and convenient alternative for many citizens. I believe that market demand for public transportation will increase as the price of fuel increases, and I support a business-like approach to public transportation as it responds to consumer demand in the marketplace.
TYLER SMITH 10/4/13
My name is Tyler Smith. I am interested in serving the people of Boise and bringing new ideas to our local politics. I have been a political activist since my teens, starting the Boise chapter of Anti-Racist Action in 1996. I am a member of the ACLU, Move To Amend, and the Ironworkers International Union.
I believe that money is incredibly corrosive to our democracy, and my focus is on passing an ordinance that states “Money is not speech, corporations are not people”. I will not accept ANY campaign contributions from ANY business, and I am not doing any formal fundraising.
I am also very dedicated to the environment. In addition to other good policies, I want our city to practice sustainable economics, green building, expanded recycling and renewable energy.
Additionally, I embrace equality for all. Whether it is equal pay for women, the right to marry for the LGBT community, or the rights of the homeless, I will fight for equality for each one of us. I will fight to overturn the recent anti-panhandling ordinance that was passed by the current city council. I believe that it is a violation of our First Amendment right to free speech, and it unfairly targets those in our society that are in need.
I am running for city council because I am extremely passionate about people and our planet. I bring youth and integrity to the table. If elected, I encourage the citizens of Boise to contact me and voice your opinion. I will listen to you.
When Boise is not taking proper care of our city’s present parks, dog parks ect buying more land for parks should come from present tax receipts. More parks means more people to maintain them so is Boise planing on hiring more personnel or use the over burdened workers we have now. More people means more yearly costs.
PAUL FORTIN STATEMENT
Boise could actually follow what they preach that Boise is a great place to live by doing the following. Take existing dog parks and bring them up to a standard where they have some amenities, covered tables with benches where neighborhood groups could sit and make new friends, add some water fountains.
Fort Boise dog park is a good place to start, use the first two dyke areas to hold water from cottonwood creek. The 3rd which is the dog park could have some grassy areas using the stored water to irrigate until the water runs out, then use sprinklers. Fencing the area so dogs would not go into street traffic on reserve would allow people to have a loop to walk their dogs and talk with friends. This would not cost that much and money from dog licensing would help fund these parks.
There is no reason Boise can’t have at least 5 off leash dog parks using parts of present park system to fence in areas. Boise City has hired what is being called the dog nazis to try and catch by any means, hiding, using binoculars to give tickets. $81, first time, then double and triple. Is this making Boise a great place to live, I don’t think it is.
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