In a front page display by reporter Brad Hem, the IDAHO STATESMAN offered a retrospective of Mayor Dave Bieter’s first 21 months in office and the conclusion was “mixed reviews.”
In typical mainstream media style, the newest link in the Knight-Ridder chain offered a near perfect blend of cheers and jeers. Bottom line in Hem’s piece seems to offer up a passing grade of “C” with no major stumbles, but no major accomplishments. A KBOI 670 radio poll result was far less complimentary.
Bieter can expect even more ink and media hype when he performs his “State of The City speech” in the annual BREAKFAST BENEFIT CONCERT that raises close to $30,000 for the Chamber of Commerce…would he do the same gig for another special interest group like “Too Dense Makes No Sense”?
Here is the GUARDIAN’S take on 21 months of Bieter and the New Council:
–Bieter and the council inherited a fiscal and moral mess which saw many of the previous crew do jail time or resign in shame. It takes time to clean up
–While Bieter endorses a citizen vote on new branch libraries, he pushed hard to go around the voters on a $27 million parking garage at the airport. A supreme court opinion is expected any day on that one.
–CCDC, the urban renewal agency, continues to grow at the expense of the residential home owners. All of the highly touted downtown developments yield NO REVENUES to the city of Boise, yet the city budget increases based on the value of those improvements. The rest of the residents pay for the $4 million in lost revenues. Bieter and council have done nothing to cure the disparity. They actually are proud of a “vibrant downtown.”
–Bieter gets credit for getting the Harris Ranch development back on track. The cost was a bridge at taxpayer expense.
–The mayor seeks control of proposed Hammer Flats development above Lucky Peak Dam, while claiming to fight “urban sprawl.”
–With few exceptions the mayor and council have adopted a policy to increase population density while the citizens seek more open space.
–Mayor and Council continue to defend the practice of annexing residents outside the city against their will. So far, only Councilman Bisterfeldt opposes the practice.
–Mayor and Council called for an audit of questionable spending practices at the city-owned Twenty Mile South Farm only after repeated pleas from the GUARDIAN. They repeatedly claimed it was a personality or personnel issue.
–Toss in the 10 commandments folks, the homeless shelter issue, North Enders against the Salvation Army shelter, the Bench Depot neighbors against the condo development, and Bieter has a tough two years ahead of him if he seeks re-election. None of the issues alone are critical, but he doesn’t have many items to offset the disgruntled masses.
We started out with the intent of writing a review saying, “what may be good to one feller ain’t good for another feller”…sort of depends on your point of view.
After reading this entry, the GUARDIAN wonders if Mayor Bieter might qualify for disaster relief funds from FEMA. Come on Dave, show us something!
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