City Government

Bieter Wants Control of ACHD

Team Dave’s coach, Mayor Bieter, declared on a Thursday KTVB-7 newscast that cities–not Ada County Highway District Commishes–should be in charge of roads.

We don’t know exactly what Team Dave wants–control of ACHD or responsibility to fix roads. Legislators ignored a proposed bill to give control of the district to city officials. It sounded like Bieter wants his own street department and Mayor Nancy Merrill of Eagle is exploring ways to allow her town to “opt out” of the district.

Bieter said when people want potholes fixed they automatically call City Hall. He said mayors traditionally win or loose on the issue of roads and cities should take care of their own roads. road_construction20.jpg

This from a guy who trumpets REGIONAL PLANNING, REGIONAL AIRPORT, REGIONAL MASS TRANSIT, and caters to Chamber of Commerce valley wide ideas. Yet he tells the public he wants to eliminate a countywide highway department. Four cities– Boise, Meridian, Star, Eagle, and Garden City– all share common borders, but have different budgets and elected officials who don’t always share the same vision.

Bieter made his anti ACHD statement following the announcement of an ACHD sponsored survey of citizen views on the future of the county wide road department.

His declaration is either the dumbest thing we have ever heard or simply uttered without thought. Here is why:

–Boise, Kuna, Eagle, Star, Meridian, Garden City, and Ada County would EACH have to purchase massive amounts of equipment, hire planners, engineers, maintenance workers, and drivers. That’s six highway departments instead of one.

–He said enough surveys, time for action. However, Bieter is conducting a city survey of citizens to be used for future budgeting.

–How could we ever vote on killing ACHD without knowing how much it will cost Boise–and the other four cities–to start their own street departments? We would all have to fund a county highway department as well. _mg_5657.jpg

–The county, just like in pre ACHD days, would be loathe to repair a road within the “impact area” of any of the five cities. Why build a new bridge or widen a road just to have it annexed away? Cities in turn have no obligation or authority to build roads outside their limits…there is no tax base outside the city to pay the bills.

–Would the Boise snow plows clear Curtis Road only to the Bench at Garden City and then clear again on the north side of the River?

–Would Garden City pay half the cost of the Boise River bridges which are used mostly by Boise residents on both sides of Garden City?

–Citizens would be faced with obstacles like a five lane Ustick Road in Meridian getting squeezed to a country lane in Boise.

–For a city official, let alone the mayor of the largest town in the county, to advocate eliminating another duly constituted and elected government entity is ludicrous, not just short sighted.

–Imagine the laughs if ACHD called for Boise to be disbanded and returned to control of the Ada Commishes.

–ACHD has five commishes, but thanks to the lobbying effort of former Boise officials, we can vote only for the one in our district. The commish districts are cut like a pie into Boise because they attempted to diversify geographically when the law was changed from 3 county wide reps to 5 who each represent only 20% of the voters(a single district).

The GUARDIAN honestly doesn’t want to rag on Team Dave all the time. But now you can see why we do. Look for some of Team Dave’s assistant coaches to work on a spin after reading this.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Maybe it would make more sense to have these incompetents (on both sides) quit walking out of meetings in a huff and start to discuss the road issues like adults instead of petulant children.
    Good Lord, these people won’t even TALK to each other.

    While there seems to be very little planning about the road issues we face , and will face in the future, all we hear is that we need regional transit. We have a bus system that is COMPLETLY dysfunctional.

    This problem didn’t just appear this week. It has been getting steadily worse over the last 4-5 years. What has Bieter done to cure it? Nothing! With leadership like this, we need to clean house in the Mayors office and a significant portion of the City Council! My question is “if you can’t convince the citizens to ride a bus, what in the hell makes you think they will ride a regional transit program that will cost 20-30 million dollars and 10-15 years to implement”?
    It is becoming painfully obvious that Bieter’s management style is “if you don’t do ANYTHING, they can’t hold you accountable for mistakes”. The mayor has had a long time to show us how he would lead, spent most of it following, and the time has finally come for him to get the @#$% out of the way!

  2. BrianTheDog
    Mar 9, 2007, 8:04 am

    Beater has a great idea. Our roads are in great condition. We could save tons of money by not fixing pot holes or painting the lines. Most drive SUV’s so that is not a problem. We can have libraries on every street corner just like Starbucks. I sure am glad I’m Basque, the Basque block will get a huge expansion! Go Beater! Quick, where is the duct tape? I need to wrap my head, it is about to explode.

  3. I don’t know where to begin here. These urban planning studies, I’m sick of paying for them.

    Remember the light rail Regio Sprinter study paid for by the Mayor Coles gang? That $300,000 study certainly did a lot of good.

    More recently, the City of Boise delayed ACHD’s construction of the 30th ST extension for the 30th ST Specific Area Plan study. Can somebody find out how much that cost? I’m guessing close to $100,000.

    Guess what, the expensive out-of-town urban planners didn’t come up with anything much different than what was already proposed by ACHD. They did do a great job on visioning the greater west downtown area, but…..It just seems like such a waste. Don’t we have our own urban planners on staff?

    The City of Boise just needs to shut up when it comes to ACHD. Wasn’t there a vote a few years ago to disband ACHD and the people voted in favor of keeping it?

    Boise is NOT ready for rail transit, and should focus on finishing the long long planned road connections such as Parkcenter Bridge, 30th St Whitewater Parkway, Maple Grove and Five Mile widenings, the Coathanger Road, and the 36th ST circle and extension.

    EDITOR NOTE–YOU, not the Coles gang, paid for the Regio Sprinter.

  4. I think your article mis-represents what will actually occur. From what I understand, if this is to come to fruition then ACHD will not go away but will contract with the cities to do the work that the CITIES DECIDE needs to be done in their own communities.

    ACHD will still do the work, but they will lose the power to decide what work will and will not be done. I think this is a great idea.

    Cities should have control over how roads are planned, developed and maintained within their boundaries. Separating transportation planning from land use planning has been a huge mistake for this valley.

  5. The concept of a countywide highway department is a good one. The problem with achd is the people that run it are arrogant and unnecessarily confrontational.

    The solution would be to fire every manager from the top down and start over. Won’t happen but a guy can dream.

    If anything putting the cities in charge of roads would just make things worse.

    As for Bieter, what do you expect when you elect unqualified liberal attorneys as your mayor?

  6. Doing away with the sometimes-questionable leadership and current structure of ACHD would not necessarily require each city and the county to run their own road departments. The fix might be as simple as doing away with the ACHD Commission and giving the decision-making authority back to the individual cities and the county.

    With this type of structure, each city would be able to make transportation decisions with regard to their share of funding, and the county commissioners would do the same for unincorporated Ada County. ACHD’s Executive Director would remain in place and serve all of the local elected officials within Ada County, much like the director of COMPASS serves elected officials within Ada and Canyon Counties. A carefully crafted set of bylaws would be necessary, because some decisions would have to be made jointly, such as how much to pay the ED, and other decisions, about specific road projects, would not require consensus.

    I see no need to purchase new equipment, set up separate empires, etc.

    Yes, by just doing away with the ACHD Commission, there could be problems of coordination between the cities with each other, and with the county. That’s already true now, although now it is Boise City vs. ACHD, Boise City vs. Ada County, etc. At least with the decision-making authority back in the hands of the local elected officials, there could be some consistency between the comp plans, road projects, and development decisions. There would also be greater accountability for the decisions that were made, because we would know who actually made them.

  7. Right on Sharon, and that’s exactly what the cities are proposing.
    Boisecynic: ACHD has never bothered to consider the need to integrate transportation planning with landuse planning, which what these out of town planners have proposed to them.

    The traditional goal of ACHD has been to move people in the most efficient way possible, which they usually conclude to mean widening roads and installing signals. Now we know that without integrating land use planning with trans. planning you create more problems than you solve. Again, the cities should have final say on transportation decision within their boundaries.

  8. You are an enigma Guardian. Your advocating the retention of another taxing entity and layer of bureaucracy? Particularly one that is traditionally used as a partisan tool for obstruction rather than one focused on streamlining traffic. In your zeal to slime Dave you oversell a parade of horribles, that Sharon very kindly points out, just wouldn’t happen. The professionals and equipment would just be reabsorbed into City and County government. Moreover I am hardpressed to find anyone who thinks ACHD is a good thing. In your targeting of bad guys I think you’re backing the wrong horse.

  9. Sharon, for bloody sakes, read your post!!! You are talking about individual entities that have already shown they can’t get along! ” A carefully crafted set of by-laws” You are way too smart to actually believe that. ” There could be problems between the cities with each other and with the county” Sharon, really! The real problem is the unwillingness of the different entities to work together, AT ANY LEVEL! If that can be addressed, it will be the cheapest, most logical solution to the problems. At some point, we have to stop this Empire-building that has been going on for years and start serving the citizens

  10. I have heard ACHD many times pat themselves on the back and say they are the only county highway disctrict in the nation. (all others are city, or county limited to county roads) If True essentially this means we are only ones in the nation who have the right model, or we are the ones with the wrong model. I tend to think we have the wrong model and that is why ACHD is the only county highway district that encompasses all roads. Local cities and their citizens should have the final say on the development and maintenance of their roads.

  11. I live in West Boise, between Cole and Maple Grove, Ustick and Goddard – and everyone I talk to was/is very upset with ACHD’s handling of widening Ustick to make it more of a coridor to people further west of us…we tried to contact ACHD and ACHD just ignored us and plowed ahead. We turned to Mayor Beiter and the City of Boise for help and whether everyone else agrees or not The City tried to help.

    I wonder if having a single ACHD person reporting to each Mayor/council of each area (Meridian, Kuna, Eagle, Boise, GC, etc.) and then each city would be better connected to the roads as a whole.

    I think the separate entities tend to cause more “silos” and if there was better continuty from leadership to workerbees to voters – things would be better.

    Just my 2 cents; maybe the “State of Ada” makes more sense 😉

  12. Cyclops – Don’t you suppose that agreeing on issues such as the Executive Director’s salary, and how it is raised (or lowered!), would be less contentious than whether Ustick Road should be three lanes or five?

    Clearly, there is strong dissatisfaction with the status quo. If you don’t like what I am supporting, then how about a suggestion of your own on how to fix the current problems we as a community seem to be having with ACHD?

    You wrote, “The real problem is the unwillingness of the different entities to work together, AT ANY LEVEL! If that can be addressed, it will be the cheapest, most logical solution to the problems.” Care to offer some specifics for how this will be accomplished? I’m suggesting we alter the structure of ACHD in order to change the issues our local elected officials deal with together, so that we get away from the inflammatory ones. What are you suggesting?

  13. Maybe the next thing hizz honor will advocate is taking back the city part of the local bus operation from our so called Regional Transportation Authority.

    That would be the TA (NYC term) that can’t seem to get out of its own way (or get a bogus funding bill through the legislature for that matter).

    After all, don’t people also call the Mayor’s Office to complain about the “city” buses?

    Once he takes back the buses, building those downtown trolley lines (we’re up to two now) will be a lot easier. Sorry, I meant to say building the downtown mobility circular will be a lot easier.

  14. Sharon,
    First of all, you talk about giving the decisions back to the local elected officials. I seem to remember going to the polls and voting for my ACHD Commishes just like I voted for my Mayor and Councilors. Aren’t those decisions already in the hands of duly elected commissioners? Changing the structure of an agency won’t make us elect any more or any less “cooperative” candidates.

    We have spent years trying to find everything wrong with our current system. Think of all the lost time MONEY and effort with study after study trying to determine how to get rid of ACHD. Imagine the Park Center Bridge, Maple Grove, Five Mile, or any other projects that could have been completed if we the City elected officials would stick their collective egos aside and try to accomplish the most they can in a given system. I can find you any number of “experts” that will tell you anything you want to know or hear about transportation issues, all you have to do is have a check ready.

    You propose to change the issues that our local officials deal with together. Don’t start with transportation. If there is any issue that requires a truely “regional” effort it is our roads. Unlike sewer, water, libraries, police and all othe City services, Roads don’t stop and start effectively at imaginary political jurisdiction boundaries. Keep the turf wars away from the Roads.

    You have two Cities that have issues with ACHD, and five other entities (County included) that seem to be able to work within the system. But of course, Eagle and Boise have been right on so many other issues we might as well jump on board with this one. Maybe this time The G Man got it right. Team Dave is dead wrong.

  15. How about we call ameeting designed to open the lines of communication among the agencies. We also invite the media and encourage them to “crucify” any one who wasn’t committed and cooperative.

  16. A-Team – I think we will just have to respectfully agree to disagree on this one. Although the CONCEPT of a consolidated, countywide, highway district is sound; in practice, there is a continuous stream of problems involving the agency. Whether it’s controversial proposals for 8-foot-wide bike lanes, unexpectedly attempting to get rid of their Executive Director, the Curtis Road extension fiasco, the Maple Grove extension/canal dispute, Ustick Road widening, the Park Center Bridges…. Well, I think you get my point.

    You wrote, “I seem to remember going to the polls and voting for my ACHD Commishes just like I voted for my Mayor and Councilors. Aren’t those decisions already in the hands of duly elected commissioners?” Unless you moved between elections, you did NOT vote for your ACHD Commishes, you voted for one of five. As for decisions being in the hands of duly elected commissioners? Well, technically, yes, but let’s take a little bit closer look:

    When you DID get to cast that vote for ONE ACHD commissioner out of five, do you know who set it up to be that way? It wasn’t local voters, or even local elected officials, it was the Idaho legislature. Apparently, the Susan Eastlake/Gary Richardson commission was not pro-growth enough for some, so the legislature stepped in and changed both the number of ACHD commissioners, as well as the way we vote for them. Now, once every four years, we get one chance to vote for 20 percent of the ACHD Commission. In the case of my Commission district, there were four people vying for the seat last November, and Sherry Huber won with a whopping 36.63 percent of the vote. That’s hardly a mandate from the people.

    Do you think that an incumbent unpopular enough to draw three challengers, and who receives less than 37 percent of the vote, is adequate? If so, then you are rather easily satisfied. I have higher standards. In the case of the other ACHD race last November, John Franden at least received more than 50 percent of the vote, but just barely. In a two-way race, Franden got 9613 votes to Jim Neill’s 9516.

    I’ve got to agree with you about the track records of Boise and Eagle, but that doesn’t mean we should accept the ACHD status quo without first having an open-minded examination of possible alternatives.

  17. Some observations, comments, corrections, rants:

    ACHD seems to impress me as being in the same situation as what got the republicans thrown out of office in Nov least what the general consensus was…they are more concerned with keeping themselves in power and justifying themselves (“patting themselves on the back” as JJ accurately says) than actually doing their jobs.

    The bus system is dysfunctional because it is, as an understatement, radically underfunded. There is only one other state in the same transit funding situation as us, Mississippi…enough said there. It’s dysfunctional??? SHOCKING! REALLY??!! It’s like giving someone a beating and then berating them for bleeding and beating them some more. Unbelievable.

    In terms of boisecynic’s comments about 30th street, ACHD didn’t have the money for the 30th street extension construction…nothing was delayed.

    4523A stated that “…taking back the city part of the local bus operation from our so called Regional Transportation Authority.” This shows a significant misunderstanding, Boise is already in control of it by virtue of the fact they have a seat on the bus agency board…a very common structure in the rest of the country. I’ve also heard the rest of the country has something called “community colleges”, daycare “standards” and (with exception of Mississippi) funding for busses. “Come visit a quaint third world country…southwest Idaho is calling.”

    The current situation w/ACHD having a separate elected body is so bad it’s embarassing….I tell people I’m from Fargo to save face. JJ hit the nail on the head, is it Ada County/ACHD that has it right or is the rest of the country right?? It seems odd we are the only peoople to have an entirely separate road agency with it’s own elected body in an area that thinks it’s for “small government”. These geniuses still support GW Bush even though he’s grown the fed government into a grotesque monstrosity. Brilliant, just brilliant.

    The fact is there are conflicts that should be able to be worked out but can’t because basic functions are unnecessarily segmented out and represented by different elected representatives. Every conflict is less services to the public…it’s bulls**t. Sharon is right, ACHD should remain completely intact and the elected body should change to joint representation by elected official appointments from their member agencies. Nobody should get their panties in a bunch about whether it is “Team Dave” or any other local elected nutjob…these people change ALL the time so get past the drama/personalities and think about the logic of the underlying structure.

  18. Sharon, I don’t mean to imply that we accept ACHD without having an open minded look at things. Problem is, there seems to be a new “open minded” look at this every year. I have no problem proposing some changes to the way the commissioners are elected. However, once elected, let the people do their jobs. In most cases of road project failures mentioned in this post City officials had a stronger hand in the failure than ACHD. The biggest problem was a “weak” commission that tried to please other elected officials. Maybe that is why they acted the way they did with Ustick. And as to the inadequacy of elected officials who did not receive an overwhelming majority..again, they got elected in the given system. Don’t like it change the election laws. My point is that much more can be accomplished within any given system if we spend less time trying to perfect the art of finding flaw in everyone else and just getting to work.
    T Simpson, I couldn’t agree more that our “Transit” situation is grossly underfunded. I don’t know if funding it, however, will increase any kind of ridership. Too many F350 Crew Cabs running around the valley. We don’t get out of our cars very often around here. I have to disagree with your comments about a seperate elected board for ACHD. I am not defending any individual commissioners actions/behavior/decisions, but rather the funding system. Individually, none of the Cities in Ada County can afford to improve the road network. They may be able to maintain the status quo in some areas, but never will we be able to improve what we have. Financially just not an option. Kuna, Star, Eagle for sure would be broke instantly. Not enough people to share the cost. But hey, what’s another underfunded trans system between friends. I believe that the conflicts don’t arise because the functions are segmented, rather some of the elected segments are disfunctional.

  19. A-Team – Thomas Edison said, “Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.”

    You are correct: every year a discussion takes place about ACHD’s inadequacies, yet nothing improves. In 2002, when a petition was brought to the County Commission asking that the voters be allowed to decide whether ACHD should continue to exist, I voted to put the question on the ballot and let the public decide. My colleagues both voted no. They said they first wanted to know what would replace ACHD, in case the public voted to do away with it.

    After that, once again, the Idaho legislature stepped in and made the process of getting the question to the ballot significantly harder by requiring a huge number of signatures on a petition. The legislature seems to believe its role is to protect ACHD from the voters. I don’t think that is their responsibility.

    It’s now almost five years later and you are correct that all that ever happens is talk, and no action is ever taken to actually improve things. I voted to put the question to the voters, not only because I believe it is our right to decide how we will be governed, but also because it would have FORCED the discussion about replacing ACHD with something else and there would have been a time limit – Election Day!

    You made my point about accountability when you said, “In most cases of road project failures mentioned in this post City officials had a stronger hand in the failure than ACHD.” Weak ACHD commissioners are no excuse for bad decisions. Demanding city elected officials are no excuse for bad decisions. But, how does the public know who to hold accountable when the City and ACHD can endlessly point fingers and blame the other for the problems?

    At least by having the City elected officials making their own comp plan, development and transportation decisions, within City limits, we would know who to hold accountable.

    Maybe the current proposal is not the best idea out there yet. It does, however, seem to have a considerable coalition of supporters behind it, which will be necessary for any change to ever be implemented. Whether what we really need is ACHD election reform, or reforming the whole structure of the agency, let’s stop just talking about making changes for the better, and go ahead and get something done about it.

  20. ATeam88 I will cede in part to your point, I don’t mean to suggest throwing money at a problem is going to solve it. People are really hot for their big fancy trucks here…it is THE Idaho fashion statement. The things driving people to transit are inevitably going to grow here though, congestion and the baby boomers getting old…air quality won’t do it I know that much.

    As far as the ACHD thing goes, I think we are missing each other…I believe that most of the problems could be solved by leaving the funding structure, staff, organization, equipment, crew, procedures etc intact and simply replacing the idependent commissioners with reps from Boise, Ada County, Star, etc. etc. That said the funding situation wouldn’t change, just the bickering would be removed. As Sharon pointed out there is going to be less finger pointing and more work.

    LOL on this one, “…what’s another underfunded trans system between friends.” And the hillbillies from the rest of the state (and some local) aim to keep it that way.

  21. By virtue of its mission, road building and maintenance, ACHD will always be under fire from someone. So would any other organization that takes over its mission.

    ACHD has had its trials in recent years. Some caused by the same groups that now call for its dissolution. Is it broke? No. Does it need some fine tuning? Yes. But dissolving it isn’t the answer.

    The Guardian was correct. If ACHD is dissolved then duplication of effort will run rampant and local taxpayers will bear the burden. I would suggest it is a model that many parts of the country could follow. For a “quaint third world country,” Idaho does have some ideas that both work and save taxpayers money.

    As to comments by T. Simpson:

    Actually Boise City has 2 seats on the Valley Ride Board. The Board has 28 members. Does Boise City really have control of the “city” buses with 2 seats out of 28?

    My point was that the Mayor and Council had more direct control over the bus system when it actually “owned” it. If the Mayor is advocating dissolving a regional highway district to regain control of the streets then maybe he should do the same for the regional bus system. The concept is the same. And for the record I support a regional approach to issues.

    And yes, the bus system here is dysfunctional and yes, according to the Coalition report, both Idaho and Mississippi do not provide either state funding for transit or local option tax funding for transit. But throwing money at transit won’t solve its underlying problem. The most elusive number in town seems to be what the ridership will be after we get done spending that $ 1 billion the Coalition proposes spending. The Coalition report is strangely silent on that part.

    As to transit funding locally, maybe its time Meridian, Eagle and Kuna start contributing to Valley Ride. The same for cities in Canyon County that don’t contribute now (Nampa and Caldwell do).

    Maybe even all those Chamber members (it was the big dogs in that group that supported the local option tax bill not the small ones ) could start putting up some big bucks as local match to federal grants or start sponsoring bus routes.

    After all, wasn’t it the Chamber that thought it was such a great idea to local option overtax us to the tune of $ 15 million a year so we could have the pipe dream of “high capacity transit?”

    So much for “significant misunderstanding.”

  22. Sharon and T. Simpson, My only comment would be that I don’t think you will get rid of any of the bickering as long as elected officials from different “land use” jurisdictions with different needs/interests are involved in making decisions about regional road or transit issues.

    Right, wrong, or indifferent, there will always be a tendancy to protect turf which will lead to bickering….Besides what would all the Statesman reporters do if they could’t keep up with the political bickering. Maybe “appointed” representatives could do better…doesn’t seem to get us too far with ITD though. I definately don’t have the “silver bullet” to fine tune ACHD, just know people usually get more accomplished by cooperating not continually attacking.

    T. Simpson, your last comment about the hillbillies trying to keep it that way. I think you can look to 3 Ada County Representatives that controlled that vote. The House Majority Leader was the hillbilly with the biggest hammer to swing either direction.

    4523..The reason the coalition is silent on ridership is two-fold. First, they would have to admit that current ridership is dismal. Second, if you look at the amount of $$$$ spent and apply the highest riderships from around the country transit is still a very hard sell to many. However, if we don’t mention ridership rates, maybe nobody will ask:-) And to your comments about the other Cities pitching in….An overwhelming portion of VRT local funding comes from membership dues paid on a per capita basis by all member agencies.

    Cities such as Eagle, Kuna, Star, Middleton, Notus, Wilder, Parma, Greenleaf, and Melba are all members. While the actual dollar figures they pay seem small, the funding formula seems fair. The VRT dues paying member the G Man will like the best is CCDC.

    EDITOR NOTE–While the small towns pay on a per capita basis, do they have “one man one vote” per capita representation?….does Boise have 10 times the votes of Eagle etc.?

  23. Dave,
    The Board members each have an individual vote, however the larger cities have more seats on the Board than the smaller.

  24. Remove them
    Mar 14, 2007, 8:50 am

    The best solution is to remove these childern who keep fighting in the sandbox!

    The mayor and council are VERY, VERY, VERY HAPPY to approve massive condos and hundreds of row houses that result in massive traffic increases! All they are trying to do is create a problem so they can propose a fix – more local taxes (to the tune of a BILLION $) so we can build a railroad to nowhere!

    Then they scream when ACHD has to deal with the problem. Mr. know it all Franden almost lost his seat at ACHD – it would have been best if he had lost. We simply need to get these folks replaced with people that can actualy talk and who have the guts to plan ahead and not make really stupid decisions like rebuilding Curtis road TWICE!

    The voters can do a lot to fix this problem in November! Get all your friends ready.

  25. Guardian, the composition of the Board is set in stone (IC 40-2106). There’s also a provision to modify the Board in that section. Interestingly, the statue doesn’t require a vote of the people to change the Board. The Board can do it themselves with proper notice to “… the chief elected official of each city and commission within the authority for review and comment; …”


    Yes, ridership is dismal – even with all those transfer points we have now that artificially boost the ridership numbers.

    And yes, transit is a hard sell especially when you look at all the money poured into systems and start doing nose counts. Its even harder to justify in a region like the Treasure Valley with its low population density. Even the Valley Ride consultant report comments about our low density. That’s really interesting considering Valley Ride is advocating high density (15 minute) service schedules. Guess we’re not supposed to read consultant reports : – )

    Please tell more about the membership dues. Seems that’s something Valley Ride forgot to tell us (and the legislature) about. Do you have an estimate of the total annual amount contributed? What it can be used for – operations, capital equipment, etc.? I noticed on a Valley Ride financial statement that there’s about $ 2 – 3 million sitting in the kitty right now. Any ideas on what that can be used for? Hiring lobbyists?

    As to hillbillies, maybe they recognize a defective “silver bullet” when they see it and aren’t overwhelmed by city slickers hired guns. The one Ada County representative on the Committee who voted against the bill seems to have been pretty consistent in his position all along. His vote should have come as no surprise.

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