Boise’s City Council will take on two new members and see a female majority as the new year begins.
Maryanne Jordan, without question the most knowledgeable member, has now devoted her political efforts to the Idaho Legislature. While legal, we have always questioned the ethics of holding two elected offices simultaneously. Ben Quintana, who we see as the “stealth councilor,” has left in favor of his full time job and family life.
Former legislator Holli Woodings and Lisa Sanchez were elected in November.
At least two views of the City Council are expressed in this timely exchange with a new GUARDIAN reader we felt worth sharing.
I just subscribed to Boise Guardian and started reading through back comments, particularly about whether any of our city council have a vested interested in approving development projects. To that point, I am a “victim” of annexation here in Northwest Boise. I bought my property and built with the (mis)understanding that I would live in the county and enjoy a semi-rural ambiance.
Within a year after, despite vociferous community protests at city council, my neighborhood was annexed. My observation is that, since that time, too many high density and multiple story complexes have been approved. Planning and Development approved a development across the street from my subdivision.
Now the neighborhood association is in battle to preserve the last remnant of open space along Hill Road. Your posting about the foxes guarding the hen house led me to question whether any members of the council, planning and development, ACHD have any kind of interest in approving the proposal from Corey Barton and Trilogy to put 290 units of three story apartments and tract houses along this parcel.
For every proposal that impacts this neighborhood, I have, along with others, voiced my concerns at city councils meetings and in writing. Knowing what the mayor is up to has never quite impacted me before because I used to live in a privileged part of town before I had to move; now I am coming to terms with a realization that city council and planning already have minds made up when citizenry come before them and public input is given a head nod and lip service.
Other than increasing a tax base for spending downtown and improving facilities such as libraries etc., is there anything else that drives the lack of concern for the tremendous impact unchecked growth is having on the city? Is the mayor or are other administrative officials in cahoots with any of these developers? I started to wonder whether political campaigns had backing by these developers, and did anyone at city hall have a personal motive for approving so many of these projects despite outcry from the surrounding neighbors? I would love to hear from you on this.
All I can say is that you got it correct. At each election the developers are the big contributors to city candidates.
In their defense, some councilors feel they are “leaders making tough decisions.” All across America planners preach bicycles, increased density, roundabouts, “vibrant downtown,” light rail and other mass transit, community policing, incentives for business which creates demand for more of all the above.
I have never attended a hearing where the council simply denied a project in favor of concerned citizens. They usually defer for a week or two and pass it anyway.
Sorry I don’t have better news.”
–Dave Frazier, editor
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