City Government

Demo State Senator Opposes Bieter Park Bond

In the midst of questions about whether or not he lives in Idaho Senate District 18, Senator Branden Durst has weighed in on Boise’s proposed bond for parks–AGAINST!

Turns out he’s pissed about puppies potentially pooping on private property possessed by people on the perimeter of the park.

Durst wrote a comment on the GUARDIAN’s STORY about the bond saying, “At this point I’ll be supporting the public safety bond measure, but not the park bond measure.

Providing safety is a primary role of government and I think this is an extension of that fact. We can debate whether or not this should have been prioritized differently in the budget to avoid the need for a levy. That is fair game, but its not the current situation.

As to the park bond measure, I think that given some recent decisions by the park commission, I can not support the measure. They have ignored citizens and done as they please. One situation had a direct impact in my district. Until the issue is corrected, I’ll be opposing the park bond and hope others do the same.”

Here’s his explanation for the non-support message:

“The issue is specifically dealing with the Parks Commission’s decision to create a dog park at the entirety of Williams Park. The neighbors at Williams Park are all opposed to the change. This will become the only dog park in Boise that doesn’t require the dog park to be fenced in. Residents who live on the perimeter have reasons to be concerned as many homes do not have a fence dividing their properties from the park, thus making it likely that dogs will be entering their property.

The neighborhood association president asked me to support their request to modify the park plan, which I gladly did. The efforts were futile and the Park Commission proceeded as planned. If the Mayor and Council choose to overrule the Parks Commission, I will reconsider my position on the park bond measure, if they don’t I won’t and I’ll also actively oppose it.”

Comments & Discussion

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  1. “If the Mayor and Council choose to overrule the Parks Commission, I will reconsider my position on the park bond measure, if they don’t I won’t and I’ll also actively oppose it,” says the young former legislator on his way out of town.

  2. Will he even be living here in 6 months?

  3. As someone who lives in the Williams Park neighborhood, Mr. Durst is absolutely wrong about his characterization of the Williams Park dog park pilot program.

    MOST of those in the neighborhood were actually FOR the dog park, if for no other reason than the park was already primarily being used as a dog park anyway.

    Those who were against the dog park pilot program were almost exclusively those neighbors who have property directly on the park. These neighbors used disingenuous reasons in their opposition for the dog park, which is ironic considering MOST of them used the park already to walk and exercise their own pets.

    Those neighbors simply wanted to keep Williams Park as their own private backyard, and instead engineered a list of reasons that were untrue, ridiculous, selfish, or, at best, expressed their inconvenience.

    Durst is completely off the mark with his comments, and it seems like a completely substanceless reason to oppose the Bond (when surely there are plenty of other legitimate criticisms of it).

  4. That is not a statement of non-support. Durst says “oppose” twice. And what he is opposing is a levy to acquire additional open space for Boise, something the majority of Boise has supported overwhelmingly on separate occasions. And he’s opposed to Boise acquiring additional open space unless he gets to allow these few neighbors to CLOSE this park to unleashed dogs to the rest of Boise. Durst doesn’t just disagree with the Park Board’s decision, he accuses them of being undemocratic and autocratic, implying that the Park Board denied these neighbors due process. And he’s actively opposing the levy unless these neighbors get their way, against all the other people that participated in the process, and who favor this leashless dog park. Maybe Durst needs to check his party affiliation, because his strong arm tactics are hardly democratic.

  5. Branden Durst
    Sep 9, 2013, 2:41 pm

    TJ – I was told that petition was gathered in which nearly every resident of Londoner Commons had signed opposing the dog park. Do you live in Londoner Commons?

  6. Joe Menchkin
    Sep 9, 2013, 10:11 pm


    It sounds like you’re opposing this based off very little information.

    Here’s some more info re: the local reaction to the proposal.

  7. Londoner Commons is not the only neighborhood in the Williams Park area, nor the only neighborhood who filled out petitions, nor the only neighborhood that attended the park meeting on the 26th of June.

    At the meeting, the only people who spoke out against the park were those who lived directly on the park; most others in the venue were for the park.

    You can read the survey yourself.

  8. Further, as someone who has been going to that park with my pet for many years now, rarely is anyone ever in the grassy area anyway. All of the comments people made about increased traffic, user conflicts, housing values, intended use, etc., are all BS. There has been no increased traffic, there are very few, if any, user conflicts, and no one’s property value is going to go down.

    As I said, there is hardly anyone ever in the park. A lot of people play tennis on the other side of the park, and occasionally there is a rugby or soccer practice, and that’s it.

    Don’t believe me… go down to the park and see for yourself. The complainers are being absolutely disingenuous on this.

  9. Kate Chopin
    Sep 11, 2013, 9:11 pm

    How short-sighted Rep. Durst proves himself to be, again and again. Focusing on this one tiny tree (they won’t do what I want!) at the expense of the forest – an improved city park system.

    Does he really expect the mayor to step in and override the decision because he threatens to withhold support for the bond? Is he seriously willing to risk the tiny bit of political pull he may still have on THIS? He has no political acumen whatsoever and, once again, is alienating himself from his party. If he doesn’t move to Seattle (which of course he will, does he think we are idiots?), he will have a credible primary candidate, mark my words. I will be among the first in line to be writing his opponent a check.

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