City Government

Mayor Hotline October 4 to 10

“NO” to offshore utility billing, Do it yourself pothole fix, Try angle parking, Copper bus drivers. This is one of the best hotline summaries we have seen–now if those city officials will just LISTEN!

Steve Dunlap
2342 Independence Dr.
Boise, ID 83706
Utility Billing Survey: I’m calling about a survey I received from Boise City billing utility
information. There is a survey in which I’m asked whether I would be comfortable or not
comfortable with having an out-of-state or off-shore call center handling services or
billing. I would be very UNcomfortable with having an out-of-state or off-shore call center
or billing service handle the Boise City billing. I think at a time when Governor Butch
Otter is running advertisements toting “Buy in Idaho”, it’s completely inappropriate to be
considering such an act. Thank you.
Action Taken: contacted

Harry Smith
H – 466-8545 C – 407-9073
Potholes: I live in Nampa and spend a lot of time in Boise, especially at the Veteran’s
Hospital because I am a vet. I called someone at the Highway District and talked to
them about patching a hole on Robbins and Collins Roads. I was just informed it’s a
private road; it’s not a private road, I see city buses running on it all day. Anyway,
there’s a hole in that street that’s been there at least two or three years. It won’t take a
big patch job, but if you guys can’t get to it, or you can’t get them to get to it, let me know
because I have a friend who does black top work and I’ll pay him to go out there and
patch that baby because it’s a pretty good hole and it’s getting deeper. I wish you a
good day, Mayor and maybe you can get somebody to patch that hole. Thank you.
COB owns this road. Potholes have been filled.
Action Taken: contacted
Parking Suggestion: I’d like to leave this message for the Mayor. It’s a suggestion on
downtown parking. One day I was listening to a man on the news and he was an
assistant for the Mayor and I heard him say, “Well, you know there are only so many
parking spaces that we can work with, and you know there’s just so many and that’s all
we have.” Well, I got to thinking about this the other day, and I think it would be nice if
we brought back angled parking, like how they have at Bodo. That would certainly give
a lot more much needed spaces downtown. Also that’s kind of what they’re going back
to; like if you go to downtown Bend, they all have angled spots downtown; in Salt Lake
City I noticed they’re doing that too; and maybe not do it on all the streets, but maybe
like on Idaho Street like in front of Macy’s it would be nice. It would probably double or
triple the amount of spaces; maybe on the side of Macy’s there on 9th St. Anyway, just
something to think about; it would sure help the downtown and the businesses down
there, and allow more parking. Anyway, give it some thought for angled parking. Thank
October 4 – 10, 2008
Page 2
Mr. Braun
Electric Car Parking: This is for the Mayor and City Council. I live in the Boise city
limits. According to this new ordinance they want to do, is to allow, supposedly, low
impact vehicles to park for $10 a month. It’s totally wrong. Electric vehicles put out
more pollution over the life of the vehicle than a gas vehicle. If you would read Popular
Science, they would tell you so. All the mercury in the batteries, etc. the pollution that
goes into making those electric cars, over the lifetime of the car they have more pollution
impact than a gas powered vehicle. So, this is junk science in a junk bill. Please, don’t
make that an ordinance for Boise for these vehicles; it’s not true. For the life of the car,
those have more pollution. Let’s stick with scientific facts. Thank you.
Judy Gilson
700 Cunningham Pl.
Apt. 1109
Boise, ID 83702
City Services: I moved up here almost 9 years ago from Phoenix, AZ and I was quite
frankly appalled at how backwards Boise was in civil services, but you’ve improved quite
a bit. The one area that I would like to see more improved would be the amount of
transportation and police involvement, if that would be what it would be. In Phoenix,
when I lived in HUD housing, which is covered by BCHA up here, we would have buses
provided by Phoenix Transportation and driven by the police to take us to wherever I
could rustle up tickets for sporting events, entertainment, or whatnot, and driven by the
police for community involvement service and it was a very good thing to have. Here,
the police are quite stand-offish except for some sporting events and the school
involvement, of course. I am unable to get tickets donated for the poor, and that quite
frankly surprises me. I was expecting BSU to be much more supportive of senior groups
and the handicapped, which I am one of. I live in the Capitol Plaza building and I’ve
always tried to get civic and sporting groups involved in donating tickets for our
handicapped and low-income people. Up here they just don’t seem to do it, and even if
they did, the problem evolves into trying to find transportation. The Access Buses will
only do transportation on an individual by individual basis, and that doesn’t work. I’ve
tried to find out if it’s possible to charter the city buses and that has been turned down
flat. I am trying, in view of our economic situation, to see if it’s possible to get a city bus
chartered on a monthly basis to take people to Walmart or Winco; Albertson’s prices are
out-of-sight and it’s impossible to shop there for people like me at the poverty level, and
those who have to exist on food stamps. We’re considering trying to get a Costo Club
card and pay for it with our resident fund, and then charge everybody $5 or $8 to pay for
transportation. What we want to see is if the Mayor’s office might intercede and
authorize the charter of a bus and an authorized driver, whether a city bus driver or
whomever, and make a bus available one day a month to go to Costco, perhaps; one
day a month to go to Winco; one day a month to go to Walmart. We can take up a
collection here at $5 or $8 per person to pay for the gas, perhaps with the rest of it
coming out of the City’s budget. There are the three BCHA facilities, being Shoreline
Plaza, Franklin Plaza, and Capitol Plaza, and there’s no reason we couldn’t coordinate
all three of these and just pick up people from each one of these to make a city bus
worthwhile, and have one with a handicapped facility for picking up wheel chairs, power
chairs, or scooters and have a complete load, and also non-handicapped, but people not
October 4 – 10, 2008
Page 3
able to walk distances, making it necessary for them to have some transportation to
deliver them to the door and pick them up at the door. That’s been our main problem. If
you could consider this and contact me and let me know if there’s any other possible
consideration that we might look into, I would be desperately grateful because this has
helped back from doing so many things that I’ve wanted to do in exploring the city and
getting down to the Greenbelt, to the museums, to all of the things that you have
available here that I haven’t been able to do. So, please consider this; it would be a
great improvement in trying to see the things that Boise has to offer. I am sure that there
are many here who would love to see the museums, and love to go to the science
museum or go to the movies. We simply can’t do it the way things are right now. Thank
you so much for your consideration.
Action Taken: Contacted
Casey Lamb
3000 N. 36th St.
Boise, ID 83703
Parking: I have some questions regarding parking in the North End – 36th and Taft area.
If someone could call me back, that would be great. Thank you.
1213 & 1215 Grant
?? There’s a property at 1217 Grant that they haven’t gotten; the city has been out once
but the lady hasn’t moved anything so, I’m complaining about the property at 317 Grant.
Thank you.
Action Taken: left msj
Shelly Hardy
VRT: Mayor, I’m voicing my opinion on the bus schedule thing. Yes, I do think there
needs to be more hours in the day for it to run and extended routes. Thank you very
Action Taken: left msj
Barking Dog: This will be the fifth call in the last couple of months about a dog barking
at 4001 N. Cole Rd. I have called the Humane Society directly before, and it seems like
it clears up for about a week, but yesterday at 3:00 in the afternoon, midnight and again
at 6:30 this morning we’re back to the same thing. I’m just wondering if possibly a
request through the Mayor’s office might get a better response. I would appreciate it if
somebody would look into that. It seems to be an on-going problem. Thank you very
October 4 – 10, 2008
Page 4
Katy Shawls
614 W. Hays
Boise, ID 83702
Utility Billing Survey: I’m two blocks north of City Hall. I received my City of Boise
utility bill the other day, which is fine. There’s no problem there, but there was also a
survey and we go along through questions 1, 2, 3, 4, then we come to 5. It asks how
comfortable would you be with an out-of-state or off-shore call center handling the
service being provided? Then the second part was sending your payment to an out-ofstate
address to be processed. I just wanted to tell you that this is absolutely asinine
and that should never be. I get ticked off every time I send my power bill to Seattle, and
I’m totally infuriated that Boise Water is owned by Suez in Paris, and that my billing goes
to Pittsburgh. This is a Boise thing and should stay here. If there’s going to be a call
center, it should employ local people, and the same way with the payment. This is not a
good thing and I thought it was very subtle and very interesting on how it was done; a
little bit beneath the radar. Thank you.
Action Taken: left msj
Camilla Meyers
Front St.
Bus Hours and Routes: I’m calling in regard to the bus systems. I would love it if you
guys would add more bus system hours, time, and stops. I think more people would use
them, as would I. I think people who work odd hours have to drive because they’re not
able to use the bus system since it stops at an inconvenient time. If it ran more hours, I
think more people would use them. I hope that goes through; that would be excellent.
Thank you very much.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I second the motion for free tickets to the Bronco games… and free transportation to the Land of the Blue Turf. (Whattzit called? Oh, yeah… BRONCO NATION!)

    They effectively priced me out a few years back… in 2 BF (Before Fiesta) or thereabouts.

    I’m gonna get my orange sweatshirt out! When will the bus stop by? (Can somebody arrange for some free tailgatin’, just in case I get there early?)

  2. The Boise Picayune
    Oct 13, 2008, 4:40 pm

    2 “Dirty Little Secrets” of our Mass Transit System…

    * If it weren’t for Federal Money, we’d have no system at all.

    * If the buses obeyed Speed Limits, and a number of other traffic laws, they’d be unable to maintain schedules.

    And as far as parking…

    If the existing “Public” [owned by the CCDC] Parking Garages weren’t frighteningly small (BoDo Garage), or possessing of all the appeal of Hitler’s Bunker (Capitol Terrace Garage), or soon to be a de facto Private Garage (City Center / Aspen Lofts Garage), then perhaps folks would use them.

    How is that literally everyone BUT the CCDC seems to be able to build clean, inviting, safe and convenient parking structures?

    St. Luke’s, St. Al’s, Boise State University, The Airport…

  3. If the folk expectng goodies paid just a bit more in taxes, I would be more impressed.

  4. Bikeboy,

    You have free transportation already, your bike, right? But hold your horses, there’s clamoring for licensing bikes. Go sit in on a few ACHD Neighborhood Advisory Council meetings.

    Your comment “2BF,” that’s priceless and made my day. I’ll buy you a week’s worth of bus passes next time I see you. Have you ever thought about stand-up comedy?

  5. I was interested in the comment about the off-shore billing call and its reference to “Buy Idaho.” Interestingly enough, the State doesn’t have a Buy Idaho policy, and I don’t even think they have a Buy U.S. policy. That’s what I was told when I saw a State vehicle that was foreign made.

  6. I agree we should have free busses for the poor who are on food stamps. The busses should take them from their subsidized housing to a job skills class.

  7. How many trips have our elected leaders made on the public dime trying to convince industry to bring jobs to Idaho and Boise? Why would they be so hypocritical as to actually initiate off-shoring?

    I understand private indstry has economic forces that require off-shoring, but I think government needs to make a principled stance to keep jobs with benefits at home, even if it requires forgoing some cost savings.

  8. The Boise Picayune
    Oct 14, 2008, 1:46 pm

    Re: Offshoring

    We have a City Council Member in particular, and a Mayor and City Council in general that treat governance as a business and make decisions based on Dollars and Cents, not necessarily in terms of the local good.

    Remember Albertson’s?

    The moment they uttered the words “…increase shareholder value”, I knew it was over.

    It’s not as Apples and Oranges of a comparrison as one might first think.

    Oct 14, 2008, 3:10 pm

    Angle parking will decrease the number of lanes possible on downtown streets further contributing to congestion. Eliminate downtown parking entirely or make it cost a premium so traffic is driven to busses or bicycles or when possible to the original transit device, your feet.

  10. Mr. Winchester, from a traffic congestion standpoint you are correct. But, just for giggles, take your suggestion to the next downtown business association meeting and see what kind of response you get.(small suggestion. When you make the suggestion, be standing right by the door so you can get out of there alive)

  11. Angled parking would be fine on sections of very lightly traveled Jefferson St. How about returning Bannock to one way status with angled parking on on side. Ditto that for 10th.

    Back to Bannock, the current two way configuration works poorly at best. I truly believe we could get more bang for our buck by making it one way east bound with angled parking on the south side.

  12. I agree with Mr. Winchester the angled parking is a band-aid to a bad parking situation. Streets such as Main should actually have the street parking eliminated. Look at the prime real estate wasted for just a few parking spots. Boise is a big city now time to grow up and start sending or parking vertical. Widen the sidewalks to give more pedestrian walking room, and encourage larger restaurant patio’s and more of an open market feel. Include bike lanes and bike racks for you eco friendly folks out there. Finally, I know of a few city owned properties we can sell to raise the money to build proper parking garages… everyones happy a more vibrant streetscape and better parking.

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