City Government

McLean Wins By near SUPER MAJORITY


Boise City Council President Lauren McLean is now “Mayor-elect” after trouncing incumbent Mayor Dave Bieter in the Tuesday special runoff election.

The win was a foregone conclusion for most savvy observers, fueled by a deep seated “Bieter fatigue” among the electorate. Bieter was able to garner only 30% of the vote in the general election while McLean won nearly 46%. City ordinance requires mayoral candidates to win by 50% plus one vote.

McLean will be faced with myriad decisions as she takes the helm of Boise’s local government. Here are some of the major items she will have to consider:

–Nominate a new police chief following the recent retirement of Bill Bones.
–Decide on the status of Fire Chief Dennis Doan who has been an active supporter and financier of Dave Bieter.
–Decide whether to go ahead with a legal appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court over the homeless ordinance. (Bieter had budgeted about $450,000 in legal fees)
–Fulfill promises to give citizens a voice in major decisions such as the proposed library and sports stadium. Citizens voted overwhelmingly to have a voice in future financial decisions during the general election.
–Make the rounds of other local governments–like ACHD and Ada County–with an olive branch to regain some cooperation and respect which was lacking with Team Dave.
–The GUARDIAN would like to see her eliminate the past policy of hiring ad agencies and public relations firms to promote pet projects rather than follow the established constitution and laws of Idaho.
–Do away with “under the radar lease agreements” on city property to avoid public auction and sale to the highest bidder.
–Advocate for impact fees on new development rather than force citizens to subsidize growth. Higher fees would also slow the exploitation of our community by developers.
–Eliminate “economic development” ads and stop paying businesses to relocate here with so-called incentives.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Gee, I’ll bet Doan wishes he had taken that job in Oregon, instead of pretending to be interested in it just to get a raise. He, like all city department heads, should be a little nervous.

  2. Perennial Skeptic
    Dec 3, 2019, 11:41 pm

    Another “lifer” bites the dust. You’ll not be missed Emperor Dave.

    All hail the new Corporate Puppet!

    Campaign is over folks, time for her to answer to her Corporate Masters.

    Different day, same broken political system.

  3. Watching the election coverage tonight, Bieter’s HQ was the firefighters union hall. Awkward, huh guys. Somebody better call Lauren and make nice.

  4. Our X Despot Mayor
    Dec 4, 2019, 1:31 am

    This isn’t a post to gloat or rejoice; but, to focus on what happens when someone in power finally pushes too far. I didn’t pay much attention to Mayor Bieter in his early years. He did his job. For me that really changed during his last term. I saw the arrogance and determination to get his way, despite a growing resistance from the people. I am one who pretty much looks the other way when it comes to politicians. Not this time! Wanting the ‘King’ gone, was all I thought about for months on end. Even considered moving if he was re-elected. I may be delusional, but I like to think I played a small part in seating a new Mayor. Thank you fellow voters, I’ll sleep well tonight..

  5. The Tribe has spoken!

  6. Western guy
    Dec 4, 2019, 8:02 am

    Boise firefighter union and top brass (who all used to be in that same union), will now look for diversionary tactics: create their own ambulance service, absorb other fire depts, etc. they want to distance themselves from King Dave.

    Also, watch for quick FD ‘reorganization’, to get promotions and higher salaries in place, and specialized ‘task forces’. It’s all about the Fire Union. Hope current City Council digs in their heels because Dave will start writing checks…

  7. Congrats to Lauren McClean!

    In 2015 about a total of 33,000 voters cast a ballot for mayor.
    Bieter got about 23,000(70%).

    Now, the 2019 general election
    Of the total 53,303:
    McClean 23,669
    Bieter 15,711

    McClean 29,189
    Bieter 15,320
    total 45,547

    —15,711 & 15,320

    Well, at least Bieter now knows his number of real ‘fans’.

    I say this is also a small part of the pink wave. I said it here in May, 2018:
    [It is] the political ‘rejection of old white men’ — regardless of party affiliation.
    On to 2020!

  8. Dave Kangas
    Dec 4, 2019, 10:04 am

    Change is constant and never ending. Now is time for some new beginnings, ideas, processes as we tackle all the issues facing Boise. Hopefully, the library is put to rest for the time being. I don’t think Boise will support a bond or financing for any library project right now. I’t didn’t always agree with Mayor Bieter, especially this last term, but he did accomplish a lot.

  9. Chickenhawk
    Dec 4, 2019, 11:55 am

    Drove into downtown on the Connector this morning and noticed a tent pitched in the old Cooper Court. Here we go again! Looks like the hobos are already celebrating.

    Now the burden is on her to deliver all of that change that she promised during the campaign.

  10. Well,the next logical step for Bieter will be a run for governor or senator. I doubt if this is the last we hear of Dave.

  11. Doesn’t Dave have the CCDC to fall back on?
    Based on his actions, in the past, he has worked harder for out of town developers than fellow Boise-ans.
    Maybe Lauren will be nominated to join the CCDC?

    EDITOR NOTE–Bieter appointed himself to the CCDC. State law says the only grounds for removal is “for cause.” Once appointed, members are part of the “independent body, corporate and politic” which is NOY part of city government. The CCDC board is currently stacked with Bieter advocates.

  12. My guess is in 6 months you will see the same people complaining about all of the same stuff.

    Do you really think that she can get the roads in better shape… or will ACHD be better to work with…Growth is going to stop in the valley?…. foothill development will stop…? she will only hire the best people qualified not her supporters?…..

    If I remember she will only vote in a tie in City Council.

    Meet your new boss… same as your old boss

  13. chicago sam
    Dec 4, 2019, 3:53 pm

    Mayor elect McClean will be judged by her actions. If she indeed wishes to make changes she will need to get people who are department heads who support her. Without meaningful changes in the people entrusted to carry out her vision it will be same o same o. Hopefully some retirements will be announced soon.

  14. Do not let your guard down!
    We must be even more vigilant in watching and checking the mew mayor.

    The number one problem with any elected official is that they believe that they know better than the voters. Since the mayor -elect won by so much that problem will be even more plausible.

    The vote for Mclean was more AGAINST Bieter than for Mclean.

  15. We can vote for someone new to represent the people, but she can only represent the people if the people keep the pressure on. As citizens, it is up to each one of us to keep our eye on the ball, and not expect someone else to do the heavy lifting.

  16. Lauren. Less vision. More management.

  17. I was disappointed when Bieter explained that the people wanted an expensive library and a baseball field because they voted for him. A few months later, they voted against that same pair of white elephants by voting him out.
    I hope everyone appreciates missing the bullet of a surplus baseball stadium when the team goes away per the new MLB rules.

  18. Western guy
    Dec 5, 2019, 10:48 pm

    Anybody notice the Boise City website has been updated recently…. hmmm. Just before the election.

    Oh, I know, when asked The (soon to be former) Team Dave Mouthpiece (Frenchmen Journee), will say that project had been the works for months. Just like the podcast project.

    Clean house, Ms. McLean.

  19. I’m sure she has a progressive list.

    Copied from Commiefornia/NYC:

    -electric only cars in Boise city
    -bicycle-centric traffic plans
    -less green lawns, more brown ones
    -gun control (aka self-defense control)
    -Behind the Meter electrical plans (see Australia)
    -no more single family home permits
    -stack and pack residential housing
    -density boosting
    -adoption of alt-gender sensitive pronoun ordinances
    -sanctuary protection for non citizens
    -encourage more cultural shift to politically correct social-justice agendas (aka white people suck – see AOC and The Squad)
    -More permissive street crime policy (like Cali Prop 47 etc)
    -allow non-citizens to vote in city elections
    -freedom of speech control (yeah, that’s a thing now)

    All of this stuff was considered crazy and totally unobtainable about 10 years ago. Now all of it is in effect somewhere in the USA. All of it built on fake scares and bogus information….big lies told by expert propaganda teams.

  20. Eamonn Harter
    Dec 6, 2019, 1:53 pm

    Bieter announces his new job with the Boise Metro Chamber and part-time lobbying gig for [insert name here] Corporation in 5,4,3,2…

  21. Foothills Rider
    Dec 6, 2019, 5:47 pm

    Add to Mr. Guardian’s to-do list:
    * re-evaluate (eliminate) the current Office of Police Oversight, which is almost a year behind in its annual report for public. Nothing meaningful has happened in this $90K annual part-time gig since Bieter changed the purpose of this office and hired a friend to fill it.

  22. She’ll be a one termer for sure. She would fit in better in Seattle or Portland.

  23. getting priorities right
    Dec 8, 2019, 11:44 am

    I hope she will prove to be a good and decisive manager, not a story teller. Of the city departments that are making news right now she has police, fire and library. The police, so reports are saying, are having some problems with a hostile work environment. The fire teams are stretched, too thin, they need some stations, and the outgoing library manager may attempt to puppeteer the organization in absentia. In all cases there are many secrets and the employee morale is suffering. If she asks the right questions of the rank and file she will be immediately more effective.

  24. More Consulting Contracts
    Dec 10, 2019, 9:02 am

    Bieter will be squeezing in a few more contracts on the Dec. 10 City Council Agenda . . .

    $100,000 for Media Research & Buying Services . . . the council agenda does not provide specifics as to what will be researched or bought (RES-526-19).

    $150,000 each for another 2 contracts for Land Planning & Design Services “to advance our vision to Redefine Downtown, Connect the Community, Energize Our Neighborhoods, Embrace Our Edge, and Leverage Landholdings.” Both of these contracts have been renewed 5 times (RES-573-19 & RES-574-19).

  25. Property Tax Working Group
    Dec 10, 2019, 9:25 am

    Boise’s reply to the Idaho Property Tax Working Group’s recent survey for cities regarding fiscal health and future challenges: November 18, 2019

    Provide a summary of your city’s fiscal situation as you begin the new year:
    Boise: The base budget for the City of Boise is balanced, however with rapid population growth, cost increases are anticipated. Apart from normal cost increases (personnel costs, construction costs, non-personnel- e.g., fuel, software maintenance) costs associated with growth (e.g. new police officers, new fire stations, new parks maintenance, etc.) are anticipated. At this time, the City is actively working to accommodate these costs, however tradeoffs will be required. Property taxes comprise approximately 66% of the City’s General Fund revenues, and personnel (current levels) comprises approximately 66% of General Fund expenditures. In the present environment, it will be difficult for the City to keep up with increasing growth and expectations (although we are trying very hard). To the extent revenues are reduced, personnel will certainly need to be reduced, and it will be very difficult to respond to growth. The City is a major contributor to VRT (in the absence of other local dedicated funding), so public transportation would also take a hit. The City has actively worked to establish a modest “rainy day fund” of 8% in the General Fund.

    What are the biggest fiscal challenges facing your city in the next 12 months:
    Boise: Potential reductions to property tax/sales tax, responding to growth (additional personnel is required that revenues on their own cannot support) increasing construction costs, growing/maintaining the public transportation system (difficult given current funding situation), keeping up with repairs and maintenance (e.g. facilities and parks), rapidly increasing software maintenance and workers compensation costs.

    Thank goodness the citizens applied common sense and spoke up by voting for the library and stadium petitions, otherwise the city would have just doubled-down on their fiscal challenges and used “rainy day funds” for non-critical expenditures. All the while the 3% budget increase each year simply tracks the increase in personnel costs. This expenditure does have control levers, but the city chooses not to pull any.

  26. breaking it down by precincts

    Bieter did not exceed 50% in any of the city precincts.

    Precincts with the highest turn-out showed about 66% for McClean
    Precincts with the lowest turn-out showed about 64% for McClean

    McClean’s highest % was #1904 [Bogart/Hill Road] @ 84%

    Bieter’s highest % (50%)was #2103 [Victory/Maple Grove] with only 100 votes cast. His next highest and reasonable (more than 100 voters) was #1503 [Chinden/Five Mile] with 47% support and 32% turn-out.

    Conclusion – turn-out did not make a difference and the location did not make a difference.

  27. Bieter lost due to his persistence in spending money without thought to those stuck paying for his flights of fancy. The railroad to nowhere, the new library and sports stadium. I am sure there are others but these are the ones that stick out in my mind.
    The biggest fraud on taxpayers is the 3% limit on increases in property tax. New growth does not figure into the the 3% and isn’t even part of the next year in property tax increases. That is why we see double digit increases in property taxes and they have the nerve to say they are holding the line on property taxes.
    I would like to see efficiency experts audit both city and county government positions to validate the actual need for the large payrolls we see. Deloitte and Touche is a company that comes to my mind for this effort.

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