City Government

GUARDIAN State Of The City

On September 14 Team Dave leader Mayor Dave Bieter, will perform his second fund raiser gig for the Chamber of Commerce with a “State Of The City” address.

At $30 a plate and 1,000 business types attending, the special interest political group stands to gross $30,000. To his credit, Bieter has asked for some “free seats” for the general public as he did last year after queries from the GUARDIAN.

We have offered that instead of catering to the special interest of the Chamber, Bieter (and all mayors or commishes) should do the same gig with the proceeds destined for the Idaho Food Bank, homeless shelter, detox, Elks Rehab, or some other charity that assists the NEEDY.

Instead, they stayed with the Chamber venue. Whoever is mayor always trots out a list of “accomplishments” for the past year, proclaims the State of The City is good and we will all work toward continued success.

The GUARDIAN went through the past year’s postings and came up with the following items you probably won’t see or hear at the Chamber love fest.

-Lost a supreme court decision over “judicial confirmation,” costing taxpayers many thousands of dollars in an effort to avoid a bond election for an airport parking garage.

–Lost a supreme court decision over efforts to not allow citizens to vote on the 10 Commandments rock controversy.

–Got bad legal news from the Attorney General who said ACHD has total authority over roads. Now ACHD is suing city and will probably win.

–Got snubbed by the G-BAD boys over attempts to locate a proposed convention center at 9th and Front.

–Provided special parking spots for Office Depot in the BoDo development.

–Lost a bond election for three proposed library branches.

–Failed to come to terms with Police Union over expired contract.

–Continues to battle with Ada County over land use issues.

–Remains a prime fund raiser for the Chamber of Commerce including the $30,000 state of the city address for the special interest political action group.

–Has failed to hire an internal auditor after the last one quit in the middle of the Poop Farm scandal.

–Legal department continues to probe the dirty trick phone calls two years ago on election eve. Laird Maxwell has claimed responsibility for the machine generated calls.

–Responded to GUARDIAN readers and designated two parking spaces as “two wheeler” parking downtown.

–Responded to GUARDIAN demands for audit and charged two employes with criminal acts at the Poop Farm.

–Curtailed the practice of loaning Public Works Dept. tools to employes after GUARDIAN readers revealed the practice.

In the interest of fair play, the GUARDIAN would like to hear YOUR nominations for the past year’s accomplishments or failures in Boise government.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. As for the bad stuff: I think The Boise Guardian as pretty well got it pinned down (although there probably is some that even the BG hasn’t found about about … yet.)

    As for the good stuff: Hmmmm …
    Oh, wait: A lot of it’s good — if you’re a developer. Growth, growth, growth — never mind what you have to destroy in order to build whatever you want to. I guess some of it’s good, too, if you run a gas station or an auto body shop; after all, more people means more cars, more traffic snarls, more gas burned, more fenders bent …

    See, there’s a bright side to everything — except maybe Mayor Dave’s brain.

  2. At first blush it looks like the Guardian is not being very nice, but I am hard pressed to see any “accomplishments.” No doubt there has been some “strategic planning” or “resource analysis” you fail to consider, but I reluctantly admit your list is accurate.

  3. Boise continues to appear on various “best places to live” lists… typically in business and get-rich-quick endeavors. (But also in recreation-oriented, bicycle-geek, etc., type of lists.) Which keeps newbies with dollar-signs-in-their-eyes flowing this way (and typically setting up a domicile in some outlying area and contributing to the ever-expanding sprawl). As a lifelong Boise resident, I’d add that to the “bad” side of the list.

  4. junkyard dog
    Aug 24, 2006, 9:18 am

    on the positive side…..
    our Mayor and Council have made great strides in creating standards for infill including design review for 25 foot lot development and for duplexes in the R2 zone. We can’t stop the infill BUT at least we have some standards where none existed before. (I might mention we live in a neighborhood where 25 foot infill is rampant…the difference between last year’s construction and the new stuff is as different as night and day.)
    We’ve also seen the Boise River float become an alcohol free zone which turned our city’s greatest asset into a family friendly activity again. Let’s not forget the additions of restrooms, trash cans, and unloading platforms.

    The amount of neighborhood reinvestment grants money is up, we’ve add new police officers and new non-emergency enforcement officers. The mayor opens his office one a month to citizens and visit neighborhood associations & neighborhood functions on a regular basis–which is a hell of a lot more than any one else had ever done.

    We’ve got a great new Chief of Police, and we’ve noticed a positive change in the attitudes of the patrolmen who work our area.

    On the negative side, I’d like to add to the list; with the majority of our Planning & Zoning commisioners in the construction/real estate/development biz, they can and do not fairly represent the concerns of the average Joe Citizen. I’ll never forget Van Ocker’s comment, in regards to neighborhood infill, “I like to see ’em tight and deep”. That might work for shelving merchanise at CostCo, but it’s no way to redevelop our old, established neighborhoods. How about a little more balance on the commission?

    I also like to give two thumbs way way down for the utter lack of code enforcement and/or follow through in this city…something that hasn’t changed in Dave’s tenure though it might not be in his control. The city has 5 code officers trying to do the job of 25 and it just ain’t happening.

    Of course, it’s easy to bitch when you aren’t the one sitting in the Mayor’s office…. It’s not a job I’d want.

  5. Junkyard Dog gives plaudits to the infill standards, etc.

    I’d agree — except that I’d bet a dollar to a stale doughnut that they don’t mean any more than all the other zoning ordinances, long-term plans, etc.: They apply until somebody with a lot of money wants to do something that violates them. Then, presto: exemptions, conditional-use permits, changes in the rules, or just ignore ’em.

    Infill is good, though. Otherwise, omygod, there might be a bare spot of ground in the city, which everyone knows is supposed to be completely covered with house, apartments, stores, parking lots, etc. Not one square centimeter for anything open and natural, that’s the mantra.

    I agree with the dog, though on the other comments — especially the one on the P&Z foxes guarding the henhouse (apparently no rules against conflict of interest, eh?), and the one about not wanting to be mayor.

    Guess that job’s like president: Gotta be someone smart enough to be able to do it, and stupid enough to be willing to.

  6. About the only exception to the Guardian’s list I would make the statement about:

    “—Continues to battle with Ada County over land use issues.”

    I am not sure the Mayor’s right, but he sure has a company when it comes to fighting the county over land use issues.

  7. Can Team Dave take credit for the “Cheesecake Factory” coming to town? I know KTVB was ALL OVER that story! (And Cabela’s, too! I guess the Missus can drop off the Mister at Cabela’s, and then head for the Cheesecake Factory with the credit card. Ka-ching! Ka-ching!)

    Exactly what IS the Cheesecake Factory? Is it something like Hooters?

  8. Well, it appears that you all are correct. As much as I agree with the list even the BG must admit that our current Mayor appears to be honest which is far more than can be said about the previous one. There is a lot to be said for that. I will take Team Dave over the Coles Creeps any day of the week….and so would you. If I don’t see anyone better on the ballot, it’ll be Team Dave again, just because he is honest.

    If this doesn’t sound good, just sit back and remember. Perhaps you could help us Fraz ahhhhh the days of ol’ king Coles……..

  9. Using your postings as a database I think you did a pretty complete job. One item missed was the bum rap the city got from the Boston College coach and the misleading reporting from the Idaho Statesman at the MPC banquet.

    And I agree you won’t hear much if any of your list at the state of the city in September. I too wish a broader charitable purpose were the result of the breakfast revenues. The Chamber’s own members are being held hostage for that event as well as the state of Ada County event.

    Here’s a few other things that happened that may or may not have been in the guardian archives:

    The city brokered a deal to get the East Parkcenter Bridge back on track and prevent ACHD from dragging the matter into court.

    Boise efforts and dollars provided the basis for Senate passage of a 19,000 acre land exchange which will protect permanently more than 4,200 acres of open space in the Boise foothills. The US House will pass it this fall.

    While the Guardian mentions no completed contract with the police union I believe he overlooks that a contract was sealed with the firefighters.

    City leaders were part of the community effort in support of the Boise School District bond election, which got 71 percent of the vote versus the “paltry” 57 percent support for new libraries.

    The city received a 70 acre park donation from Larry and Marianne Williams, adding another jewel to the Boise River.

    Two other great things that have happened for Boise is Kempthorne is gone and Judy Peavey will soon follow.

  10. Perhaps if the standards for infill development consisted of a one residential unit per acre restriction, that could be considered an accomplishment. Infill is not an acceptable substitute for sprawl. Neither are acceptable.

    Making alcohol illegal on the river is not an accomplishment, it is an assault on freedom and is unacceptable.

    Getting the East Parkcenter Bridge back on track is also a mistake.

    And finally, they sell cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory restaurants, and it is pretty good.

  11. For the most part, I’m in agreement with a lot of the above posts– especially Junkyard Dog and Slim Jim. But Rod’s post has inspired me to point something out that’s been on my mind for awhile– look, people, you should no more be drinking and floating the river than you should be drinking and driving. It’s a waterway and it’s dangerous and if you want to navigate it you need to be sharp. And, yes, I’m a native and I remember the good ol’ days when you could slam a six-pack cruising around town or down a fifth as you tubed the river, and maybe when we were a little smaller we could wink at that kind of behavior. But the city’s grown, we’re all adults now, quit whining because you can’t get s***faced on the river anymore. Hey, here’s an idea– float the river and THEN get wasted!!! All these supposed “adults” saying that they won’t do the float anymore because they can’t drink beer is just pathetic. You know, I would have agreed with you– when I was 22! And I’m no teetotaller. But there’s a time and a place, and out upon the water is not it.

    End of rant. But here’s something else to think about while I’m feeling contrary– it’s interesting that there’s a strong nativist bent in the comments on The Guardian, as well as a strong Bieter-bashing contingent. But has it occurred to anyone that Bieter himself is a native? His family has deep roots in this community, he’s been here most of his life, and lives in town in a well-established, old neighborhood. Not drawing any conclusions, here. Just sayin’.

  12. TG–
    Your Bieter comments are indeed worthy of a conclusion. He had great parents, he is a Boise native. We expect better. Hence the reason “disappointment” is oft heard.

  13. Oy vey– Mr. Logic trumps. OK– we should expect better from “one of us”– so I guess my question is: as a native son, do we hold him to a higher standard and come down on him all the harder when he fails to live up to it? Or do we cut him some slack, just because he is a “hometown hero”? I don’t have an answer. Though I’ll admit that I’m more sympathetic to him than some others around here. But I’m a Basque Boise High graduate, so I admit I’m biased.

  14. Junkyard – – it seems silly for someone to get positive comments about a problem they created in the first place then they tried to repair it – only after a firestorm of neighborhood outcry.

    As for the rundraiser issue – the BG is right on! The Mayor should give his State of the CIty address in one of the high school facilites and it should be free!

    The Chamber should AT LEAST donate all the money raised to the foodbank or something. I bet they don’t – again it is all about the money.

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