City Government

Mayor Hotline January 1 to 8

Lots of complaints about channel 7 story warning folks about clearing snow from sidewalks. Council needs to rework the ordinance, but it is only an issue when it snows–like the roof that leaks only when it rains. For Hotline transcript click on MORE.

Scott Brown
Boise 83709
Planning: Mayor, I was down there meeting like I did last Friday at Moon’s Café and it wasn’t
open yet because of a technicality of not getting an inspection done. They did get them open on
Saturday, but they closed it again on Tuesday. You know, things were going fine on Monday,
and because of a technicality again, because of a change you use or some such thing by a
gentleman from Planning over there in your Permit Department, Tim Woodward, they said it’s a
different use so they closed the side room that used to have a little bar in it that was taken out,
and it’s nothing but a food restaurant now. With all the restaurants closing in there, since all the
tables were full and the counters were pretty full, and everything else, and these gentlemen are
having a hard time making it, it seems like somebody’s technicality is getting the best of helping
citizens right there by city hall go and have a nice little meal and milkshake at Moon’s. Just
thought you ought to look into it, Mayor. Something’s wrong; I’m just a 76 year old citizen that
likes to go down there and have tea with a bunch of other citizens that were there listening to
this whole thing. Talk to you later; have a good one. Any questions, I’m available.
4400 W. State St.
Allied Waste: I have a complaint against Allied Waste. We were to be picked up today,
Saturday; we have a Monday, Wednesday, Friday service. We were picked up Wednesday,
and then of course with the holiday, we should have been picked up today. I called at 10:00 this
morning and I was told that we would be picked up; at noon I’m told that everybody’s gone
home, and I still haven’t been picked up. I have a full dumpster; I’m a commercial operation,
and they said they would pick me up on my next regular pickup, which is Monday. Well, what
do I do with all the excess in the meantime? This is not the first time this has happened, and if
they’re scheduled to pick up, they should pick us up. They do not give us credit for it, even
though they don’t pick it up, so I really would like to see somebody do something about this. I
think that they are very belligerent when it comes to what they deal with, with the customers. I’m
at the above number Tuesday through Saturday, 8:00 – 5:00. Thank you.
Action Taken: left msj Allied waste dumped trash
Mary Alice Glenn
76 Horizon Dr.
Dogs on Leash: I’m calling about the on-leash dog requirements up for consideration in the
foothills by the City Council on Wednesday. We are not in favor of the on-leash requirements at
all of the trails and all of the trailheads, except for Elephant Rock, which I believe is going to be
remaining off-leash. I would prefer that the Boise Trails Association be given the six months it
was promised to come to terms with the problems they’re having, and for some more viable
solutions. As a taxpayer, I am against paying for more enforcement, for more rules, and more
signs when I think that the problems could be dealt with on an area-by-area basis much better,
rather than having all trails in all areas on-leash except for Elephant Rock. Thank you.

Don Coberley
Graffiti: I just wanted to say that I called today with a report of some graffiti to the number that
I’m supposed to call and the Police Department reacted immediately. Somebody out there
called me to make sure it was the location I was talking about and had photographs and
everything within an hour. I just wanted to say that the police are doing a terrific job. Thank
Snowy Sidewalks: I keep hearing about people needing to shovel their sidewalks because it
will be dangerous if they don’t. But of course no one says anything about what happens after
you shovel your sidewalks and all that nice moisture seeps onto your sidewalk and turns it into
black ice; then what? More law suits? It seems kind of ridiculous to me; either way you lose. I
would like to have a response please. Have a good day.
Action Taken: left msj

Lessil Richards
Home-288-2813 Work-442-4500 Ext. 4115
Snowy Sidewalks: This message is for the Mayor and/or the City Council. It seems today that
Channel 7 was breaking news about the Police Department going around knocking on doors
warning people of violating the ordinance regarding snow removal by 9:00 a.m. of the day it
snows. My concern is, for example on a personal matter, my 91 year old grandmother lives with
my 60-some year old mother. To afford the house, my mother is working full time as a teacher.
I know that prior to 9:00 a.m., on days that she leaves the house at 7:00 a.m. to go to work, she
certainly does not have time to go out and shovel the snow. Due to Channel 7 today running
the news broadcast that everybody was going to get misdemeanors or fines up to $1,000 for not
removing the snow, my 91 year old grandmother this afternoon was found out trying to shovel
the sidewalks. That is the last thing that the elderly or those that are debilitated in one fashion
or another or physically incapable of doing this, apparently are seeming threatened or feel that if
they don’t go out and make an attempt to remove to snow that they might be facing a $1,000
fine. I urge, appeal, and encourage Mayor Dave Bieter to perhaps address the issue with
Channel 7 News that hopefully this is not what the city is doing or Ada County is actively
pursuing; that they are aware that people are physically, perhaps incapable, of clearing that and
in dire times of the economy, both for the individual, the family, the state, and the nation, now is
not the time to threaten. Two days ago it seemed like everybody was hearing that the gas tax
was going to go up 10 cents. Now we are going to be fined $1,000 for violation of snow on the
sidewalks if it’s not cleared by 9:00 a.m. What message is it that our government is trying to
send to the populous? From a personal note, having my grandmother out there at 91, walking
with a walker and trying to shovel off the snow because Channel 7 is continuously running this
broadcast, really hits home and infuriates me to say the least. Again, I urge the Mayor to
contact Channel 7 or the police department if this is really what is taking place. I would really
like to see that discouraged and the news made out that those who physically cannot do it will
have exceptions made for them, and so forth. I too work; I am home in the evenings after
hours. Thank you.
Action Taken: contacted
Mary Ann Sites
4179 N. Marcliff Ave.
Boise, ID 83704
Snowy Sidewalks: I just wanted to comment on cleaning the sidewalks during snow; shoveling
the sidewalks that was on Channel 7 this evening. There is another perspective; I’m 72 and
have fallen twice seriously with ice under snow that was after the sidewalks were shoveled and
the snow came again. I have two neighbors that have very kindly offered to shovel and I have
asked them not to shovel where I need to walk to the mailbox. I have to go through the grass
most of the time and not on my driveway because of the danger of falling, and I know I’m not the
only one who has that problem. If I wear my boots, I am much better off in the snow not on
something that has been shoveled and is slicker than you know what. I just wanted to say that
there are some exceptions. The other thing I noticed is there are lots of walkers in our
neighborhood and most of them walk in the street even when it’s not snowing. A friend tells me
it’s because the sidewalks slope and that it’s better to be on the street. I have a feeling that
some of that is about not slipping too because the street has better grounding. I just wanted to
share that for consideration. Thank you.

Robert Hill
5591 W. Lucky Dr.
Boise, ID
Snowy Sidewalks: I’m 69 going on 70. I’m in extreme pain a lot of the time; I can barely get
out especially in slippery situations when it’s snowing, and sometimes I can’t handle the
shoveling except maybe a short distance to the car when I try to get to the Elks and get my
exercise. The city says everyone either has to shovel their walk or get $1,000 fine. It’s a bunch
of bull; in all the years in Boise, they’ve never pushed this kind of situation. We’ve never had
this kind of problem; I think the ordinance was mainly for downtown, and they’ve always done a
good job down there. The thing is senior citizens as well as single people who have to go to
work for 10 – 12 hours and then come home in the middle of the night where they may not have
a chance to do it, it’s kind of ridiculous. I’m strictly on social security and I don’t have the funds
to pay the fine; my neighbors sometimes help me but I’m not going to brow-beat them for it.
The thing is, I do what I can when I can and they help me out when they can, but to have
someone say they are going to fine me if I don’t shovel my walk, that’s a bunch of bull. That’s
the time we ask for people to leave office or recall everybody, or have the people in the City
Council and the Mayor come down here at 5:00 in the morning every time it snows and shovel
for 4 hours at all the senior citizen and handicapped places that can’t get it done. I wonder how
long they would do that before they cancel that thing out. It’s not quite right; I’m just upset. We
do what we can, but if we’re forced to go out there and we hurt ourselves, then I think the city
has the responsibility and they’re going to fight it. They force the senior citizens to get attorneys
and then get served; you’re subject to all medical bills including nursing homes and everything
else. I don’t think that’s right either, so there’s a two-edged sword on this.
Action Taken: Left msj

Janell Zuckerman
Treasure Valley Family YMCA
Safe Routes Coordinator for Boise (program to get children walking & biking to school)
1050 W. 8th St.
Boise, ID 83702
I was interested in learning more about the Mayor’s Council on Children & Youth and seeing if
maybe we can get the Mayor to participate in some of the programs we have on Walk to School
or Bike to School days to help bring more media attention to these events.
Action Taken: left msj to contact Adam Park
Snowy Sidewalks: I appreciate the call back about the snow melt. The downside to snowmelt
is that no one is going to pay for my dead plants after it has killed my plants. Anybody who
knows what snow melt is – it’s salt and many of my plants that I have planted along the sidewalk
and driveway will end up dying or partially dying; it’s not good for the plants. So we have to find
something in place of snow melt since I can’t afford to replace my plants. It’s something to think
about. Anyway, thank you for the call back and have a good day.
Gary Thomas
7701 Ustick Rd. #35
Boise, ID 83704
I’m calling concerning the Access bus for the disabled people. I’ve been trying to get through to
someone there since last week and no one answers the phone any more. I’ve been riding the
Access bus for over 10 years and there was always someone there to answer the phone and
make sure that our rides were scheduled, and that isn’t happening. I dialed 345-1234 which is
the number and there is no answer or else it says “leave a message” but it doesn’t have a time
to start or stop the message or how to record the message or anything. It’s basically a dead
phone number. Have they stopped running the Access bus for the disabled? Please let me
know. Thank you.
Action Taken: unable to contact
Lady from Sacramento called on – 1/2/09, 1/3/09, 1/4/09 a.m., 1/4/09 p.m., 1/5/09 a.m., 1/5/09
p.m., 1/6/09, 1/7/09 a.m., 1/7/09 p.m., 1/8/09 a.m., 1/8/09 p.m., and 1/9/09

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. For the record – the story quotes the mayor’s PR spokesperson saying that after a warning that residents could be “subject” to a $1,000 fine.

    The story also notes that 40 warnings have been issued – and that zero citations have gone out.

    More here:

  2. The thing to remember is that not all people travel by foot(wheel chairs, walkers, etc). And should not be forced to stay home because of lack of snow removal. Hold business accountable 1st citizens 2nd. look out for one another. Shovel ,plow, blow just do it!

  3. Mayor has to hold businesses as well as city and schools accountable as well.
    Living near South Jr. High, I have noticed that one person (janitor) has to take care of the snow in the parking lot, the sidewalks, the black top for the kids as well as daily work inside of the school.
    The sidewalks over the canal bridges – the snow is not removed. The snow along the sidewalks on Overland (business and city) is not removed.
    So before residential citations are handed out, the city must look at business and itself first.

  4. sam the sham
    Jan 14, 2009, 1:55 am

    I know that it is still only January but the dust if flying around my house and around town. I do wonder when all of that sand will be removed from the streets. Collect and reuse. There must be money to be made recycling the sand which is put down on the streets to make them safe.
    Those poor folks on bikes and other two wheels are risking slipping and falling on the sandy surfaces of the roads. I’ve seen a lot of them riding out in traffic because they CANNOT safely ride at the side of the road where most of the sand has been pushed off too.

    Sand on the streets….. when will that be taken up? Dust has been flying around here already. History shows that the North End streets will be cleared before the neighborhood streets on the bench. Anyone want to make any bets on this one?

  5. sam the sham
    Jan 14, 2009, 2:13 am

    Hey – the walk to school program! I’d like the Mayor as well as the heads of the people who made Kootenai Street into an arterial road yet left out the sidewalks. Let’s see, how to teach a child to walk around parked cars, putting that child into the traffic of a main arterial road so that they can get to school.
    Will the mayor please show us how his child will walk on that street during morning traffic, especially in the snow!
    OR ask the dept of transportation to buck up and put in some sidewalks for people to walk on!
    This is a city waiting to get sued for poor planning for people who actually get out of their cars and walk or ride a bike.

  6. Everyone in our neighborhood was great about shoveling there walks except one man. Now mind you he’s a very healthy person. He makes sure he rides his bike an average of 10 miles a day and brag’s he does 40 mile trips. But to lift a snow shovel to clear his side walks or help one of the older folks in our neigborhood is beneath his thinking. Would loved to have seen the city give him a warning.

  7. When I was a kid, I walked 3 miles to school, both directions, through snow, ice, rain, wind, etc. Often, we walked right out in the middle of the streets, in the slush. It was great.

  8. The Boise Picayune
    Jan 14, 2009, 7:24 pm

    On a lark I visited the Sacramento Mayor’s website to see if HE had a Hotline (I miss the old rambling broad). It appears not.

    Interestingly enough however, the City of Sacramento (Population 453,781) has a City Manager system of governance.

  9. I’m well over 70, and I’d sure rather walk through snow than on the ice that replaces it when people shovel their sidewalks.
    I can get much better traction in snow, and, if I do fall, I’m much less likely to get injured in snow than on frozen concrete.

    As for shoveling it — fortunately, I live outside city limits so don’t have to deal with the idiots in city government, but if I do l go into the city and slip on an icy (shoveled) sidewalk, I sure as hell am going to sue the city for creating that hazard.

    As for folks who do shovel: If you slip and get hurt, or have a heart attack, the city sureashell is responsible for that!

    City wants ’em shoveled, city should shovel ’em and take full responsibility for any injuries that result on the icy surface.

  10. I heard a rumor that the Lady from Sacramento is Schwarzenegger’s Budget Manager!
    (nudge nudge, wink wink)

  11. Gordon, I like you.

  12. I have one of those propane powered torches you see roofers use to heat tar. Love using that thing on my driveway when there is some ice and snow.

  13. I would be interested to know, if after all this broo-ha, has there ever been a citation issued for not shoveling? I doubt it.

  14. Tom Anderson
    Jan 16, 2009, 11:00 pm

    James Bond: …if you aren’t burning fossil fuels fast enough, perhaps you could pour oil into a large caldron in your front yard and just keep it filled to the brim and burning day and night.
    Our overachieving civilization must go hog wild to create an easy, blanket ‘solution’ to everything.

    Why don’t the people who are terrified of slipping on snow/ice just don some of those snow boot cleat/chain devices? Then they can walk on anything with no worries.

    If we worry about people with disabilities, just have them map out where they want to go and then those people can clear their sidewalks, sparing the rest of the city.

    I LOVE the old geezer that can’t clear his sidewalks because he “…can’t handle the shoveling except maybe a short distance to the car when I try to get to the Elks and get my exercise.”

    Earth to old geezer(…and other morons who drive to the gym to ride a stationary bike on beautiful days): shoveling snow is exercise!

  15. Tom, are you related to Kevin Rickards!! Just wondering…..

  16. sam the sham
    Jan 19, 2009, 12:39 am

    remember when a kid could earn a bit of money by shoveling sidewalks and driveways?
    remember when kids WANTED to earn a bit of money doing labor or is it that they had the time and knew their neighbors well enough to not be afraid.

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