Urban renewal agencies were originally created to insulate federal finances from municipal finances. It was mandated by the Feds so cities didn’t commingle funds intended to fight blight with tax revenues intended to cover expenses like libraries, fire stations, and other municipal structures.
Under Idaho law urban renewal agency membership prohibits the city council from holding a majority of the seats. While the mayor appoints members, that is supposed to be his final role. The agency (in Boise it is the Capital City Development Corp.) is an “independent body corporate and politic.
Join us now for a little lesson in follow the dots.
: Mayor Dave Bieter appointed himself to the CCDC board. He supposedly “wears another hat” as a commissioner.
: Former city councilor Maryanne Jordan remains on the board despite her role as a state senator who is tasked to make decisions regarding urban renewal.
: Ben Quintana, a former city councilor appointed by Mayor Dave Bieter, also remains on the CCDC board.
: Randy Johnson is president of the Central Bench neighborhood association and also serves as Senator Jordan’s campaign manager.
: Johnson’s wife works in Mayor Bieter’s office. Johnson’s neighborhood is part of a planned CCDC expansion in the Orchard Street area.
: City Councilor Holli Woodings is not on the CCDC board, but her husband, Ryan Woodings, is a member.
: City Councilor Scot Ludwig sits on the CCDC board as the only incumbent city councilor. He is a law school classmate of Bieter’s and was appointed to the city council by Bieter before being subsequently elected.
: CCDC executive director John Brunelle came from Team Dave’s office of economic development as did another staffer who perpetrated a “dirty trick” letter to legislators when ACHD scheduled a legislative tour in the past. Then-councilor Jordan publicly apologized for that action.
So, you can see Boise’s urban renewal district is truly an “Independent Body Corporate and Politic,” free of any undue influence.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.