City Government

Tibbs Needs Political Lessons

We’re back on the ground in the city of trees going through recent press releases, news reports, and e-mails from readers. Looks like the most pressing GUARDIAN issue is the Tibbs-Bieter flap over ethics.

From everything we can determine Tibbs has shot himself in the foot with allegations of ethics lapses on the part of Team Dave and fellow Councilor Maryanne Jordan. While some supporters felt Tibbs could beat Mayor Dave with one hand tied behind his back, he certainly can’t do it with a wounded foot as well.

The GUARDIAN has to agree with the Daily Paper’s conclusion of poorly handled(botched) attempts at linking Bieter and Jordan with the big time Demo guru Marc Johnson’s Gallatin Group. Gallatin and/or Johnson have made campaign donations to the city elected officials on one hand while receiving taxpayer funds with the other.

Tibbs has a valid concern–but the concern was expressed by the GUARDIAN Feb. 6 in a posting BOISE TAXES GO TO PRIVATE LOBBYISTS .

The mainstream media as well as the GUARDIAN have clamored for some real campaign issues in this mayor’s race. We have ragged on Team Dave for much of his term.

He has spent too much time and resources fighting futile legal battles that have ultimately been lost by the city–because the city was simply wrong. He has catered to business and developer interest and has a cozy relationship with the Chamber of Commerce. He has failed to show much substantive accomplishment…but he also hasn’t screwed up.

He is a nice guy, native son, comes from “good stock.” He is also an experienced politician as a state legislator.

Tibbs is inexperienced as a politico and has been out maneuvered at every juncture on council issues. Little things like agenda timing and resolutions with unanimous consent fly past him at breakneck speed in meetings. Tibbs has failed to use his council vote to establish a record for what he stands for because many issues are couched–for example–as being in the interests of “local option taxing authority for mass transit” when in fact the council vote was to hire lobbyists with OUR tax money. Tibbs should have been kicking and screaming in February, not attempting to get media exposure in August.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Regardless of IF Tibbs has wounded himself or not I would MUCH rather have an “inexperienced politico” in office than the build-at-all-cost and damn-the-neighborhoods politico. I look forward to seeing team Dave leave city hall along with 3 has-been council members.

  2. I know you are the “Boise” Guardian but I just want to ask you and your audience if anyone has heard who is running for Mayor of Eagle? Nancy is apparently not in good graces with the Chamber of Commerce due to the downtown area not being revitalized as yet. I haven’t heard of anyone interested in the job.

  3. John Mitchell
    Aug 8, 2007, 7:35 pm

    We don’t need a Mayor in Eagle, we need an UNELECTED City Manager with a degree in Public Admin. The “Amateurs” have destroyed what was once a nice little town—-“EEEK—bare ground—build on it” and Nancy’s private stoplights into Island Woods have most Eagle residents fed up with where they are taking the city. Now they want control of areas north of Beacon Light. WHY?

  4. Blazing Saddle
    Aug 8, 2007, 10:17 pm

    My horse is keeping a wary eye on a guy named Pierce. Jason that is. Head of the Eagle Chamber, and chair of Eagle P&Z.

    The guy looks at growth the way a herd of angus looks a virgin alfalfa field. Can’t get enough. Pierce makes Merrill-the-Peril look like a boy, make that girl, scout when it comes to plowing under the foothills.

    Merrill claims to have heard voices telling her to get her cheeks out of dodge, largely because of her take on growth. JP seems to be deaf to the clamor. Blaze thinks the people should get western with the volume.

  5. I would agree, Tibbs has shot himself in the foot.

    But this whole controversy allows more light to shine on the transit issue, the transit local option taxing authority issue, and the tax funded lobbying surrounding both.

    Perhaps the candidates (both Mayor and Council) could explain clearly and concisely what they personally would do differently to get a local option taxing authority bill through the legislature.

    Maybe the candidates could explain their positions on using tax funded lobbyists to present City issues to other elected officials at the state and federal level and why they (with help from staff) cannot present those issues themselves as effectively.

    Or they could provide specifics about: how they would improve local transit; the cost of those improvements; and how those improvements would be paid for if no local option tax was available.

    Lastly, should local option taxing become a reality, they could explain what will happen to the nearly $ 4 million (soon to be $ 5 million) Boise City contributes to Valley Regional Transit. Does it become a “windfall” to the City as some VRT Board members seem to have indicated or will it be deducted from the base of the City budget (fat chance)?

  6. Jack Daniels
    Aug 9, 2007, 7:15 am

    You nailed it. The use of professional city managers in other cities has proven to be a useful tool in removing the partisian politics that can stasis the needs of a city. However, I do not see any city in Ada or Canyon County having the guts to move to this.

  7. Jack and John… I think the same model could be applied at the county level. Why not go with a professional manager and an expanded part-time commmission? I think it would require amending the State constitution, but it makes sense to me.

    EDITOR NOTE–Not certain, but I believe counties are empowered to determine their own set up if they wish to do so. Any legal guys are welcome to give us a citation on this one..”COUNTY GOVERNMENT” for starters on your search.

  8. Boise Banker
    Aug 9, 2007, 11:36 am

    I like the city manager approach. It has worked well for other cities like Denver. It helps to keep “he said, she said” and “my party symbol is a donkey/elephant” views out of working together for a common good.

    The only problem is that this is only one person/team when our troubles and headaches are from many people/teams. What are the odds of us electing a new mayor, city council, appointing new P&Z members, ACHD members…

    All of those changes aren’t going to happen all at once. That is why even when we elect new people into all kinds of offices no real and substantial changes are made. One person in government can’t change the system enough to impact all of us they way we want. That takes a total paradigm shift, where everything changes.

    I think a little new young blood in office would cause more changes than new old blood, but what are the odds of an under 40, or God forbid, under 30 person getting elected in our area? Let alone the 5 or more that it would take to really make some notable changes.

  9. Colleen Fellows
    Aug 9, 2007, 3:59 pm

    I would agree with you that Tibbs has failed to establish a record for what he stand for, but not specifically due to inexperience with parliamentary procedure or issues being veiled in the midsts of “public interest”, but rather because he doesn’t truly “stand” for anything, instead he sits for everything, more precisely, on the fence. Picking an issue subjects one to scrutiny, a thing that Tibbs’ has sidestepped since entering politics.

    The act of hammering home an issue could in fact alienate potential votes. In his last campaign, he took many of the same non-stances. He ran on the claim that Jerome Mapp was ineffective and tied to commercial interests and not public interests, and he (Tibbs) could do better, but did not elaborate much beyond that. “Gee, vote for me, ‘cause I’m nice” doesn’t cut it, and that has been his mantra throughout his tenure on city council and through this latest campaign. On the other hand, Mayor Bieter has stepped to the plate to address issue including drug treatment, transportation, libraries and other issues important to the Boise community and me. Headway has been made in many areas.

    I don’t buy into Guardian’s assertion that Bieter lacks accomplishment. Slow movement on other issues is due in large part to the many competing regional groups and elected bodies as pointed out by Boise Banker. In terms of hiring lobbyists with OUR tax dollars, if this can thump some sense into the State Legislature regarding local communities’ means for self-determination regarding taxation then so be it. In not addressing the glut of traffic in the Boise Valley head on, we will likely find ourselves kicked under the wheels of federal air quality penalties, in what looks to be the near future considering recent are quality.

  10. The city manager idea is horrible. I lived in Twin Falls years ago and the city manager was so dug in, no one could get him out. The mayor and Council members walked around scared of him. I once heard the Mayor say she worked for the city manager! How about the citizens?

    I want an ELECTED official running my city so I can vote them out when they don’t do a good job and vote them back in when they do a good job. Not another bureaucrat burrowed in for life.

  11. costaprettypenny
    Aug 10, 2007, 9:52 pm

    In the 70’s and 80’s Lewiston went through City Manager after City Manager till the City Clerk, who knew the lay of the land, stepped in as CM. She did a pretty fair job for a number of years.

    On Jason Pierce, not the person for Eagle at this juncture, not the person for Mayor at all, ever! I truly hope an individual who has the interest of the citizens of Eagle first and foremost will run for this very important office. Eagle again can be a player in making this portion of Ada County the gem it used to be, all it will take is the right person……..Lynn are you listening?

  12. Yes, Lynn, jump in there.

  13. Yes, Lynn, jump in there.

  14. What makes anyone think that a man like Jim Tibbs, who has had 34 years as a policeman, was the first Drug Czar of Idaho, was Director of the Board of Corrections and currently on the City Council, lacks substance?

    Did anybody bother questioning Bieter’s substance, when he announced his Mayoral candidacy? Let’s see, oh yea, he was in the Legislature…but other than that, he was pretty much, just a lawyer. He hadn’t been a public servant…ever. And I’d like to know why he left his last job? What made him think he could represent the people as a Legislator? Let’s also remember, when he announced he was running for Mayor, who he was running against…Killeen and Winder. I can’t tell you how many people voted Dave Bieter in as Mayor, simply because they did not want Killeen or Winder.

    Bieter’s parents were loved by many people in this valley, but they were loved and respected because of who they were. Little was known about Dave Bieter, other than he had been a Legislator and was the son of Pat Bieter. He was elected as Mayor based on the merits of his parents, not because of his own personal achievements. As far as his platform for Mayor, he definitely has not improved the homeless problem, but made it worse, with his Community House and Booth Home fiasco. He’s talked endlessly about the traffic problem, but nothing has been done. When asked what he’s accomplished the last 2 years, he admitted that most of it was spent cleaning up City Hall, after the Brent Coles follies. He did not…Carolyn Terteling did that. The only thing Bieter did, was to appoint Jim Tibbs as interim Chief of Police, after getting rid of Chief Pierce.

    Boise has a Mayor who doesn’t give a second thought about the public opinion. The people of Boise went to the polls and voted down the new libraries. The people who did want the many libraries, must be very happy when the Mayor came up with $9,000,000. He will now build his many libraries that he is obsessed with. He has practically broken his arm by patting himself on his own back.

    Boise has a Mayor who wants to be known as, “The Authentic Mayor”. What the heck is that about? Why doesn’t he just concentrate on showing up to events and staying through till the end, instead of always using the excuse that he has to go home to “watch the kid”?!!

    I’ve attended a couple of events where he gets up there to speak and let’s us know he can only stay for a few minutes. Hey Dave, didn’t anyone tell you that the office of Mayor requires more of you than 8-5? Maybe he doesn’t want to stay and talk because he can’t speak unless he has those cue-cards to read off of.

    I think the people of Boise need to know that maybe Dave isn’t really the Mayor of Boise, but rather his “good ole school buddies” he’s hired on at City Hall are running the show. Seems the Mayor’s “zero tolerance” policy, doesn’t apply to his staff…maybe he’s waiting for Mr. Riley to have his third d-u-i, before he let’s him go. There is a double standard in City Hall.

    Boise has a Mayor who is being groomed as Idaho’s next Democratic governor. The race for Mayor has turned into Democrat against Republican. The Democratic party has openly revealed that Dave Bieter will be Idaho’s next governor. With Cecil Andrus behind Dave Bieter, one would think he would have higher standards in a candidate.
    I have to believe that Jim Tibbs entered the race for Mayor, knowing that his good name and his integrity would be questioned. I just never realized how low people would go to try and ruin one’s reputation with all the name calling.

    The people of Boise should thank Jim Tibbs for stepping up to the plate to question the Mayor and the Council. Isn’t that why the people of Boise elected Jim to the Council in the first place? Didn’t we want someone to represent us, someone to listen to our concerns and someone who might be able to affect some positive changes in Boise? Dave Bieter, striving to make Boise the most “liveable” city in the USA is not good enough. “Liveable” is mediocre.

    Boise already is a wonderful city and now we need a wonderful Mayor, like Jim Tibbs to lead the wonderful people who live here.

    I’ve never responded on a web site until today, and I will never respond to this one again, but I felt compelled to give my opinion too.
    Vote for Jim Tibbs for Mayor

  15. Did someone say “City Manager”?

    Let’s see… Another major employer imploding, rising violent crime, pollution, sprawl, congestion, another CCDC Hole-in-the-Ground…

    Yeah, the status quo serves us all just fine!

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