City Government

Councilor Jordan To Hold Dual Offices

“Power corrupts. However absolute power is really good if you hold it.” –anon.

Boise City Councilor Maryanne Jordan was appointed to the Idaho Senate Friday by Gov. Butch Otter to fill the seat vacated by Elliot Werk when he resigned last month to take a tax commission seat.
Jordan 86_134x188
Jordan has told reporters she plans to retain her city council seat through 2017. She was originally appointed to the council in 2003 and has since been reelected three times. Without question she is the grande dame of the City Council and serves as both council president and institutional memory.

Idaho code and ethical guidelines permit legislators to hold local office while serving in the state house. The ethical guideline booklet published by the Attorney General cautions readers to examine the common law doctrine of “Incompatibility of Office.” The doctrine states that public office holders must discharge official duties with undivided loyalty.

Rep. Hy Kloc found he was unable to do justice to both the legislature and the Greater Boise Auditorium District. He was chairman of the GBAD board and eventually resigned.

During the 2014 legislative session, Rep. Lynn Luker of Ada County Dist. 15 introduced HB 368 which would have prevented dual office holding. The bill was not passed.

CLARIFICATION3/16/15: Kloc still holds positions as a legislator and GBAD board member. He is no longer chairman of the board as it was impossible to chair a meeting via telephone.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. I have spoken to Councilor Jordan a lot about a raft of issues over her time with Boise City council and have always found her attentive, thoughtful, engaged and just a really nice person. I pity her being thrown into the snake pit that is the State Legislature. What the heck was Butch smoking when he picked her? It’s so unlike him!
    Regarding doing the two jobs… I don’t think it is possible to do both well. There is just too much going on when the State folks are in session. Hoping she goes to the State and drops the city, we need more honest and moral State Legislators.

  2. Grumpy ole Guy
    Mar 6, 2015, 10:53 pm

    As a resident of both the City of Boise, and Legislative District 17, which Ms Jordan will now represent,I am pleased to have someone of her strength and ability in place. That said, I think it a very bad idea to try to do two jobs (serve two masters, as it were) at the same time. Maybe if it were Fairfield, but not Boise.
    There are many capable and talented people available and I think Ms Jordan would do well to step aside and allow someone else to try on City Councilor duties while she learns the ropes as a Legislator. Otherwise, it makes it look as though the City is just a fall-back position if she doesn’t get (re)elected to the Senate.

  3. Would like to see Ms. Jordan resign from City Council and get Holly Woodings in there.

  4. Two jobs? Should be no problem for Ben Franklin.

  5. Grumpy ole Guy
    Mar 7, 2015, 11:43 pm

    Watcher, I think that the PRTSI Bump goes the other way, when one goes from the part-time Legislative job, to the full-time non-Legislative one. PESI retirement is based on the highest 42 months of salary, so if drawing the double salary is the key, yes, it would increase her retirement amount; but, the real bump goes to Senator Werk, in this case, who goes from the part-time $16,000 a year Senatorial job to the $90,000 a year Tax Commissioner’s job and gets credit for the years he served in the Legislature being counted toward retirement. Under the terms of PERSI, the “regular Shmoe” has to meet the rule of 90 to collect retirement benefits, and to serve a minimum of 10 years, any combination of months of service plus one’s age. The Legislative Perk is that they get the retirement benefit no matter what their age or length of service. So, if someone serves 3 terms, they get credit for 6 years of “service” and receive the benefit based upon that, however if they serve 3 terms then get appointed to a Commission the get credit for the time as a Commissioner PLUS the 6 years.

  6. Not a big deal to do both. If we are lucky the legislature will only be in session for another 3 weeks. And the Ds can’t (or won’t) do much anyway in the face of the overwhelming majority that the Rs enjoy. I am not a fan of the two major parties, but less of a fan of one-party rule.

  7. If anyone can handle a dual role and potential conflicts of interest, it’s Maryanne Jordan. Not only will she be able to recognize potential conflicts, she will openly acknowledge them and explain herself to the public. I’ve worked with many politicians and have know some of them since before they entered the political realm. Ms. Jordan is the only one that has never put her own political career ahead of her constituents’ best interests. I haven’t always agreed with her, but she is as honest, and just as important, transparent, as we could ever hope for in an elected official. Her ego will not get in the way of serving the public’s best interests. If she says that she can work two jobs, then she can. And don’t forget, if she steps down, the all-power Oz (oops, Mayor Bieter) gets to hand-pick a replacement.

  8. That’s all well and good, Doggone, but what about the next person to do a dual office?

    The principle does not matter who the individual person is- it’s the principle.
    If 2 is okay, why not 3 or 4? Maybe she could run for County Commissioner too?

  9. Easterner, I agree that holding multiple public offices is not a good idea. That’s how we get the incestuous fiefdoms of today’s Boise. I’m just saying that Maryanne Jordan can be relied upon to do the best job possible for her constituents regardless of the venue. There are arguments for and against the consolidation of power but spreading the wealth through multiple organizations usually makes for a healthier and more democratic community. We all might read between the lines, here. Ms. Jordan is not going to give the Mayor the opportunity to appoint someone who then rolls on as the incumbent. Who knows if that’s her reasoning for forcing an election for her successor, but we don’t need yet another Council member in lockstep with the Bieter cartel. Hopefully 2016 will bring us a host of good candidates to bring broader perspectives to City Hall.

  10. Always thought Ms. Jordan was fair and objective. This is a good pick. Not sure how when the legislature is in session she will keep up with both roles, but good luck to her.

  11. Having her on the city council was bad enough! Now we have to put up with her in the legislature as well. Yuck

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