Mayor, Council President Jordan Sent “Poison Valentine”

Mayor Dave Bieter and Councilor Maryanne Jordan acted without the knowledge of at least half the City Council when they caused an anonymous letter to be delivered to legislators claiming ACHD had a bad relationship with other Ada County cities and other allegations.
The GUARDIAN sought responses from the entire council so citizens would know how the anti-Ada County Highway Distric memo came about. Not a single member of the council would go on record to explain the issue.

The GUARDIAN obtained documents through the Public Records Law which indicate Councilors Ben Quintana, Loren Mclean, and TJ Thomson were not part of the attempted political sabotage.

ACHD President Sara Baker wrote the three Councilors saying in part, “We might suggest to you that if the City of Boise, or you as individuals, ever has an issue with ACHD, that you bring it directly to us in an open and transparent manner so that we might deal with it in the same spirit of cooperation as we do with all the other cities. In this way, we can do the best for all our constituents, who as you know, we share.”

In another document sent February 15 by ACHD commissioner Jim Hansen to his colleagues we learned, “…saw Mayor Bieter. I pulled him aside to share my chagrin at the distribution of the flyer yesterday. Like Council member Jordan’s response that Sara describes below, Mayor Bieter was very apologetic and said that while he did distribute it, as Mayor he took responsibility.” (Editor note: the record shows “while he DID distribute…” Hansen may have intended to write “DIDN’T”)

See letter from Association of Highway Districts to Bieter below:


Comments & Discussion

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    They are SO FRUSTRATED that they do not have absolute power. Jealous they don’t get to collect and spend the road money too.

    One of the mysteries of the universe is the repeat election of repeat offenders. I think is has to do with weak media types and weak-minded voter.

    Hot tip about politicos: They are not now, nor will they ever be, anything more than a used car salesman. (My apology to the six honest car salesman in the world.)

    Now I know who gives me those early morning hang-up calls shortly after phoning in leadership tips to the Mayor’s office.

  2. BTW: ACHD gets a low grade from me too. They’d rather spend money on an info-babe than placing treatments on the road. Today there will be dozens of vehicle wrecks due to ice which they could have cleared before the morning. ACHD has calculated the public will not notice how much roads money has been diverted to perks, pay, and bennies at the HQ. We now have one of the guys who’s been making that very calculation for years at ACHD on the ADA Co. board.

    Winter road mx in this county is so bad that I think a class-action suit for collision damages could be brought against ACHD. And wrongful death/serious injury cases could be made too.

    In summertime has anyone else noticed that shortly after they pave a street it gets torn up again to lay utilities?

  3. Mr. Davis needs a PIO. Short of that, a good proof-reader/editor would be helpful.

    Syntax errors, typos & poor sentence structure detract from his message.

    That said, it was a pretty good response.

  4. I’ve thought for a long time that ACHD might be a bit heavy in the P.R. Department. (As are most government agencies.) But I put them head and shoulders above the city (Boise), when it comes to expenditure of taxpayer funds. Before Mayor Dave and his toadies criticize other government agencies, they could do a little housekeeping of their own. (It’s still Mayor Dave, and not King Dave… right?)

    EDITOR NOTE–Boise has PR in the mayor’s office, police, public works, parks, airport and perhaps more. Collectively they are known as the:

    That is not a GUARDIAN original, but it sure points to pork.

  5. This morning on local NPR (BSU) radio I heard them say that I84 had been closed due to ice between BOI and Mtn Home, and that the salt-n-sand trucks had been doing the roadway in time for the morning commute. Ok so how many collisions turned up this morning?

  6. Rod in SE Boise
    Feb 26, 2013, 11:16 am

    The concept that the City of Boise would do anything in “an open and transparent” manner is the funniest thing I have heard in quite a while.

  7. This is a very, very dumb political move.

  8. I travel statewide. Overall, Ada County roads are maintained better than other counties with multiple highway districts. As for costs, could ACHD due better, YES. They are like any governmental agency, too much fluff and overhead.

  9. I’m surprised this article didn’t reference the pot shot ACHD Commish Rebecca Arnold took at Bieter a few months ago, which was also reported on this blog. While a little different, they seem closely related. In Arnold’s letter (thanks for posting that), she accused Bieter personally of “dereliction of duty” among other things. While the letters are similar enough to make the poison valentine seems like a shot back over the net, there are some differences as well that cut both ways: Arnold’s attack was aimed at Bieter personally but was signed, while Bieter’s attack was aimed at the agency and was not signed. Both have lost goodwill in this tiff.

    I think it would have been fair to point out that Arnold started this spat and also to mention that while each seems to be grinding a personal act, neither letter claimed to be sent on behalf of their employing entity.

  10. ^^^…grinding a personal “axe”…

  11. Ms. Jordan has every right to speak for herself but I am not certain her screed is truthful and nor is it accurate without providing the documents to back up her handout.

    We have 4 highway districts in Canyon County and it is full of waste top to bottom. Ditto for all the school districts. Local control is just another word for waste and inefficiency. Admin. staffs, boards, equipment and full of not doing what is best for taxpayers.

  12. Flyhead hits the nail on the head.

    How many times do we hear criticism of Los Angeles? Could part of LA’s problem be the fact that there are dozens upon dozens of separate municipalities duplicating services and even outright competing with each other. How does this help the taxpayer?

    Cities have changed drastically since our form of local and State government was created.

    It’s time to rethink governance of metropolises. Yes, ACHD has some problems but its existence has eliminated service duplication and most of the infighting between neighboring cities.

    Even though I complain about ACHD’s unequal geographic expenditures I am also fully aware that keeping traffic moving in the suburbs is for the greater good of the region as a whole. Sometimes you have to look at the big picture.

  13. Sorry for two posts in a row, but this is a separate thought and I one that I like to bring up regularly.


    Ada County, Boise and Meridian have grown by thousands upon thousands of people over the last 3 decades. Even more over the last century. Yet we still have the same number of local representatives as 100 years ago. How can we tolerate this? Why isn’t this even a topic of discussion?

    Why should only 5 people at ACHD represent 500,000 Ada County residents? Compare that to maybe 100,000 Ada County residents when ACHD was formed.

    Why should only 6 people at Boise City Hall represent 200,000? Especially considering only 40 years ago 6 people represented less than 1/4th that number?

    Your voice, your opinion becomes more and more worthless every year.

    EDITOR NOTE–Boise Cynic, you are more correct than you realize. I would have no problem with 5 ACHD commissioners representing 500,000 citizens. Truth is each represents only 20% of the citizens. We are prohibited by law from voting for 80% of those who decide how to spend our ACHD money. You can vote only for a single commissioner.

    If Demo Sen. Branden Durst were to get his way, he would disenfranchise 2/3 of the people who vote for Ada County Commishes as well (he wants to elect only by district).

    Former Mayor Coles got ACHD bill passed to disenfranchise 80% of voters in an effort to unseat a liberal pro-bicycle ACHD commish. Now the liberals seek to do the same thing to get their own seat on the conservative Ada County Board. Politics sucks!

  14. bc: Our national problem is that the middleman has become obscenely expensive, powerful, and enduring. It is clear to us all that these career political jobs are typically filled by people who scam and maneuver to benefit self/friends/donors, while only doing the minimum needed to appear to be representing us. It is time to end the concept of career politician.

    Here’s how to prevent this build-up of encrusted political barnacles in the future:

    Representation is from long long ago when communication was painfully slow. But now people can vote via the internet for what they want. We do it all the time with shopping and banking etc. I propose that the elected and highly paid positions should become like jury duty for qualified citizens. With pay but also term limits, and charged with strictly following the will of the people as determined by routine online polling. Some staff members with limited powers and specific limited duties will be retained to coordinate the polling and follow orders of the current leaders. Up-or-Out policies will be used for Police and Fire as well as many other departmental public service jobs to encourage these jobs to become a phase in life for most folks rather than the expensive entrenchment we see in the ranks now.

    People not contributing ($$ paid in less than $$ out) will have very limited voting rights. Big tax payers more votes, but not an absolute correlation to contribution. Corporations are not people and cannot vote.

    Flat tax; Remove two older laws for each new law passed; No new law will be more than 100 words in length.

    (No, I have not been drinking and don’t smoke funny stuff.)

  15. I want to apologize for the version of my letter that was posted. The version that appears above is the first draft. A corrected version was mailed to the Mayor. I compliment Muck Raker for his astute, and accurate reading of my letter. The next time I will make sure to edit BEFORE I hit the send key.

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