City Government

Lackluster Boise Election Part Two

The GUARDIAN story last week about the low interest Boise City election caused folks at City Hall to scramble–probably when we posted the blank “Candidate Profile” page from the Clerk’s site.

VISIT TODAY and the site is crammed with data from all the incumbents and only one challenger, Council candidate Steve Kimball.

If you don’t see the challengers, here’s a possible explanation from a candidate:

“Hi Dave!
I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting you in person, but I’ve had a real pleasure in reading the Boise Guardian and reading intelligent and compelling Commentary from your readers!

Two days ago Annette Mooney called from the City and said something about my “info and the city site”.  The message was muffled and I’ve put calls into her for two days and each time I’ve called I get, “I’m sorry she’s in a meeting.”  I left another message for her this morning and have not heard back as yet.

A want-to-be-informed voter called me about an hour after the City called the same day.  The gentleman asked me about why we (the challengers) were not posted in the papers, the city site, etc.?

I told him that the city had just called and he concluded, “Well, that’s probably because of my call.  I told them at the VERY least they should post all of the Candidate’s information for voters!!”

I agreed that it was a great idea.  I went on to tell him that the (Challengers) have given their responses to the questions given to us by both the Statesman and Boise Weekly.  (To credit BW they posted our info today!)

The Statesman held a phone interview with me on the 4th of October.  I sent in the requested photo before the “deadline”, (I didn’t have a  professional photo for press yet, and crawled out of bed sick to get one shot), as well as submit my responses.  However, this past Monday we were in for another interview, (this time with the Editorial Board) and they said they didn’t have the information I had previously sent over. (?)

I cannot tell you how difficult it is to watch as this “election” progresses, (if that’s what you want to call it).

People who have lived here for 10, 15, 20 years do not know that if they live in Boise that they vote for the Mayoral race AND the three City Council Seats.  These folks are asking me about the district boundaries, about where to vote and how and where to register.  I even had a couple of people ask me if the City Election is this year. 

I’ve also checked around the Post Offices and then made a call to USPS about why we don’t provide voter registration forms at our area Boise post offices.  They let me know that the City of Boise is “phasing out providing voter information at the area post offices.”  The rep continued, “…it says here you have to call the City.”

More and more doors are closing to the voting public. Less convenience means less informed and even fewer registered voters.

Please VOTERS;  Get the word out!  We need your voices, your vote!  Know YOU can make a difference and YOU are invaluable to this community!  YOU COUNT! 

Thank you, Dave for the space for the race!

Most sincerely,
Redgie Kate Bigham
Candidate for Boise City Council


Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. costaprettypenny
    Oct 24, 2007, 10:29 pm

    The same kind of crap is going on in Star. Originally, there were three men running for the Mayor of Star. Almost a month ago one of them dropped out of the race, a personal visit was made to City Hall to insure that his name was not on the ballot. A week later, when City Hall was contacted as to insure that his name was not on the ballot. The answer from the city staff was, “we are working on it!” Well, we will see come election day if they were truly “working on it” or just took the afternoon off!

  2. And let’s not forget the wonderful coverage of the Idaho Daily Mistaken. Today (October 24) was the FIRST day we had any thing close to coverage of the Boise Council election. Small little blips only were included. It’s nice that there were pictures, I guess.

    BUT, who’s running agains whom? Why, it’s a Chinese puzzle that the reader must figure out. I suppose it was too too difficult for the “journalist” to figure out and that’s why we didn’t get the seat numbers of the candidates included with the little blip. When there’s not a press release the “journalists” have no idea what to do or say I guess.

    On a brighter note, if you go to the Boise Weekly, they’ve done a much more informative job.

    All in all, it’s a sad commentary on the media in this community. And after the election, I’m sure they will moan about how no one voted and isn’t that just awful.

  3. Quoting the letter;

    “People who have lived here for 10, 15, 20 years do not know that if they live in Boise that they vote for the Mayoral race AND the three City Council Seats. These folks are asking me about the district boundaries, about where to vote and how and where to register. I even had a couple of people ask me if the City Election is this year. ” End Quote.

    If they’ve lived here that long and don’t know where to vote or even if they live in the city limits, then perhaps these people shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    And for a letter pointing out the lack of “convenience” for voters, it’s ironic it didn’t include any enlightenment. I guess it’s up to me. The phone number to call is 287-6860, that’s the Ada County Elections office. You do know what county you live in, right?

    An even better place to start for voting info is this web site:

    As for whom to vote for, that’s a little trickier. Here’s a good tip. In the Statesman of Oct 18 was an article about the Mayor holding meetings with each of the 36 neighborhood associations in a series of meetings with groups of about 6 associations at each one.

    The first one, which I attended, was last Saturday for the North End area associations. For what it’s worth, not only was the Mayor there, the 3 councilors up for election, Clegg, Eberle and Shealy were also there. Hmm, what a coincidence.

    Anyway the next meeting will be for the bench area associations at Borah High this Saturday, 10:30am til noon.

    Link to that article:

    Sorry for the long winded comment, but one more thing. At the meeting I attended, I found the Mayor and the 3 councilors to be polite, well informed and intelligent. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything they say or do. The meetings are supposed to be for the neighborhood association presidents, but there was no guard at the door. Indeed, one person tried to do a little property tax ambush on the Mayor and councilors. His misinformation was publicly shot down and hard.

    But that’s beside the point, please people, these meetings are about neigborhood livability and quality of life. Issues such as parks, sidewalks, graffiti and code violations are the topics. Not property taxes! Leave tax discussions for another venue!

  4. Cynic, just why is it that the “neighborhood” meetings are off limits to property tax discussions?

    And where, pray tell, would be a good “venue” for property tax discussions? Would it be at the budget hearings in August which rubber stamp decisions made in June/July? Would it be at the June/July budget workshops where no public input is allowed?

    At base, property tax funds all the decisions on neighborhood quality so anytime is an appropriate time to talk about property tax. Cities and counties and all government in between need to pay attention to the property taxes they levy. If they don’t, at some point the taxpayer/voter will just say no to the next property tax con like maybe transit.

  5. Bravo, Sara! We need more women with your mind-set in this town! And as far as you’re concerned Cynic, you’re living up to your “name”! I’ve lived here for years and haven’t been to the site you posted in your defense of the current Council…””…guess we need you! BUT…what’s wrong with that? Complaining about the new Candidate’s vent letter is unproductive and unappreciated. Try going to the forums that I cannot find published (except for Eagle, Star & Meridian forums)…thanks to the Statesman AND the meeting I attended Wednesday night (for Collister) WAS in fact enlightening! Everyone is concerned with taxes and most concerned persons spoke on taxes…for good reason. OH…except for the Mayor Bieter who was scheduled to speak…hmmmm….but he never showed.

  6. Sara wrote;

    “Cynic, just why is it that the “neighborhood” meetings are off limits to property tax discussions?”

    Maybe we should start talking about the Bronco’s football program in this forum? 🙂 Just kidding, if you want the latest on the Bronco’s go over to the Blue Turf Board.

    Ok, nobody is going to be arrested for bringing up tax issues at a neighborhood livability meeting. However, the guy who asked the property tax question proceded to burn up about 20 minutes of the 90 minute meeting. One guy, the only one of about 25 people there to bring up property taxes, used up over 20% of the meeting and he had his facts wrong to boot. I listened to him and I listened to Eberle, I believed Eberle made the better case.

    What would be a good venue for property tax discussions, you ask? I don’t know, you tell me, the State Legislature perhaps. If you had attended the meeting, you would have heard a well reasoned argument that much of the property tax issue is the purview of the state government. I’m looking at my bill right now, roughly 1/3 goes to Boise City, 1/3 goes to the schools and 1/3 goes to Ada County and ACHD. Please tell me where you think the City of Boise is wasting money, I’m all ears.

    As for your comment, “…property tax funds all the decisions on neighborhood quality…” I disagree. There are other issues. The city council also creates ordinances, such as code violations and the fines for them. They can increase the penalties for graffiti taggers and ban the sale of spray paint to minors. These are not expenditures in any sense of the word. If the guardian didn’t edit the Mayor’s hotline transcripts you would see that the number one issue on the hotline is graffiti.

    As to you Diane, what are you talking about? How did I defend the current council by posting the Ada County voter information website? The orginal essay from R. Bigham complained in the paragraph near the bottom that begins “People who have lived here 10…years…” don’t know where to vote. Bigham complained about that but didn’t offer up any info, I simply found that ironic.

    I hear this every year, “I didn’t know where to vote,” mainly coming from losing candidates making excuses for why they lost and not from the voters themselves. That’s about as valid an excuse as “I didn’t know the speed limit was 55, officer.” That’s never gotten me out of a ticket.

    EDITOR NOTE–We do indeed delete the GRAFFITI.
    They are numerous, repetitive and offer no point of discussion. By any name graffiti is senseless vandalism. Perhaps we can list a score card like, “6 graffiti complaints.”

  7. right_on_boise
    Oct 26, 2007, 2:36 pm


    If you did not figure it out, Redgie Bigham was venting not giving a voter registration lesson.

    How do you get through doorways or get in your car and drive any where with such a “Big Ego”

    Thanks for all you do!

  8. Cynic – where do you think the money comes from to fund the mayor and council salaries who deliberate on the ordinances, the attorney who writes the ordinances, p&z code enforcement once the ordinance is passed, city clerk who codifies the ordinances and posts them online in the city code and the minutes and meeting notices for the hearings on the ordinances etc etc etc. I think those costs are borne by the property tax. If these aren’t expenditures then I guess I’m living in fantasyland. In other words Cynic, EVERYTHING the City does is paid for by property taxes and or fees. There is NO free lunch or free service.

    BTW, I notice your response on which forum is the appropriate venue to speak about property taxes – at what level should they be, what should government pay for exactly, should taxes ever be cut or rebated to the taxpaying public – was very, very weak. The State Legislature? It’s the local jurisdictions that spend the money that comes from property tax. The local jurisdictions have the unilateral ability to cut the mill levy and they’re the ones that need to take responsibility for high taxes.

    And if high property taxes prevent someone from living in their home, wouldn’t that be considered a “livability” issue?

  9. Redgie Bigham
    Oct 29, 2007, 10:41 am


    Have been out with the people and not able to get a message written.

    Cynic says, “I hear this every year, “I didn’t know where to vote,” mainly coming from losing candidates making excuses for why they lost and not from the voters themselves.”

    I’ve heard the comments, “What year do we vote? 2008?”, “There’s an election? What election? Why hasn’t there been much in the papers?”, etc., etc., etc., AND I hear it every day I’m out with the public.

    I heard a phrase not long ago and I believe it applies here, “Stop dumbing down America”…if no one has been tuned in about the election, if it’s not widely broadcasted, not on the front page of the local publications, it clearly shows the interest from the media in that in Boise they are not interested in getting the VOTE OUT.

    Your statement is rude and insinuates that I have fabricated the voices of my community, which I have not. It’s unfortunate that you have gone to such ridiculous defense.

    You sound like an incumbent.

    AND Cynic, for your information we haven’t voted yet, so I don’t know who you’re calling LOSER.

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