We have read two post election interviews with Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and it is obvious to the GUARDIAN that he lost the race because he lost touch with his constituents.
In a STATESMAN piece based on a letter to a supporter, Bieter was quoted complaining that it was terrible to allow “a small minority” to have the power to get initiatives on the ballot governing funding of a library and sports stadium. They did it with a petition drive garnering more than 5,000 signatures.
The mayor should note, voters overwhelmingly supported the initiative he tried to scuttle with 69% and 75% approvals. It takes only a handful of signatures for people like hizzoner to get on the ballot.
He spent public money attempting to manipulate public opinion in favor of basing the noisy F-35 at Gowen Field. Lauren McLean opposed the F-35 and beat him twice in less than a month with a 65% vote in her favor the second time.
In an IDAHO PRESS story, Bieter maintained that many voters are still supportive of him despite his losses at the polls. He pointed to rumors that he would fill the vacated seat of House Minority Leader Rep. Mat Erpelding — who resigned days after the runoff election — as further evidence of his strong standing in the community.
RUMORS? We hate to break the news, but “rumors” are hardly evidence of community support.
During his 16 years in office, Bieter spent thousands upon thousands of public dollars on surveys, public relations programs, and advertising in his attempts to garner support for the F-35, various street car schemes, the library project, and a downtown stadium.
Bieters economic development efforts and “community engagement” led to a huge influx of new residents, businesses, a housing boom, and all the demands those things create.
He appointed himself to the CCDC urban renewal board and has two years left there, despite being voted out of office.
Newly elected Lauren McLean will now be faced with myriad personnel decisions. Among them will be the fate of Airport Director Rebecca Hupp, the highest paid employee in all of Boise. She was an ardent supporter of the F-35 which McLean opposes.
Fire Chief Dennis Doan and his “chiefs PAC” paid Bieter thousands of dollars over the years along with members of the firefighters union. It will be interesting to see if his loyalties switch or if he leaves the post of second highest paid city official.
When it comes to the staff at the mayor’s office, McLean has an opportunity to offer citizens a healthy diet of citizen participation or just more pork.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.