Legislature– Quit Picking On Boise

The Idaho Legislature doesn’t have Dave Bieter to kick aground anymore, so they need to quit picking on us.

Former Mayor Dave Bieter was often downright pugnacious with legislators, but he is gone and there is new blood at Boise’s City Hall. The statehouse boys need to give Lauren Mclean an the new council a chance.

According to Betsy Russell at the IDAHO PRESS, bill to force “cities of more than 100,000 population” to elect city councilors from districts is being circulated under the Capitol dome, but it obviously is aimed at Boise politicos.

The GUARDIAN has no problem with forcing council members to living within geographical districts. The only caveat is we think EVERYONE should get to vote for (or against) them. We do that for the county commishes.

It has always bothered us that Ada County Highway District commishes don’t have to get countywide approval. We can vote for only one of the five members, yet they all get to decide how to spend our money.

While we have state legislative districts and congressional districts, we also have senators and a governor and president with veto power. To allow city councilors to garner approval from only one-sixth of the voters would disenfranchise too many citizens.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. chicago sam
    Feb 10, 2020, 8:38 pm

    You can’t have it both ways–taxation with representation or taxation without representation. Personally I like the most capable !!

  2. Branden Durst
    Feb 11, 2020, 7:24 am

    100% Disagree. There is virtually no geographic diversity in the Boise City Council. That results in less spending in other parts of the city, power concentrated for the represented areas on CCDC and a disenfranchisement of voters in the other parts of the city.

    Requiring districts, but allowing citywide voting does nothing to address this problem. Campaigning favors incumbents at an even greater degree and responsiveness to constituent concerns is poor.

  3. what a cryin' shame
    Feb 11, 2020, 8:33 am

    Among those elected the Mayor could ask them to draw straws,and annually they are assigned to be in touch and work with the district they get. That would increase the knowledge base of all the councilors, and the communications mechanism of the citizens/councilors. I don’t know why this could not be implemented tomorrow. The issue of voting for districts will take forever. Find a workable solution to provide representation and run with it. Councilor could maybe even be elected by districts other than the north end.

  4. Margaret Lauterbach
    Feb 11, 2020, 8:58 am

    I served on Ada County Planning & Zoning Commission in the 90s, and one member cast desultory votes here and there, but when an issue in her area of residence arose, she began to ask questions and debated some answers. I’d fear getting that type of micro-provincialism if people were elected by district.

  5. “The statehouse boys” LOL.

    the bill is sponsored by a Meridian boy, Rep Joe Palmer, as crony as they come, he recently ran for MAYOR of Meridian. He’s been in the Leg since 2008. term limits? No way!

    “We believe in local politics, as long as the local belief aligns with the State belief.”

    Hey boys, stay out of city ordinances!!!!
    When Boise residents want to do that, they will.

  6. If every council member lived on the same street, that doesn’t mean the rest of the city gets no funding or attention. There is NOTHING preventing a citizen in West Boise to run for office.

    If the Editor, and others are concerned with 1/6 of the population ramrodding a vote, then perhaps the Mayor should be granted a veto power.

    But this bill is junk! If it’s good for 105,000 city, then it’s also good for a 90,000 city.

    When the 2020 census comes out, Meridian and Nampa will likely join the 100K population club.

  7. We need the legislature to correct the idiots in Boise because they refuse to even vote on districts OR allow the voters to vote on it.


  8. We need districts in Boise. Thank you to the legislature to help do the right thing. Boise councilors will not do the right thing.

  9. Bonnie Krupp
    Feb 11, 2020, 9:54 am

    “Group think” is the name of the game at Boise City Council. Remember the 11th street designation as bicycle compliant. That suits the ladies of the north end who supposedly ride on two wheels to work. How about Clegg who supports more funding for Fire Dept. but doesn’t mention the Police Dept. A little quid pro quo? Maybe as the Fire Dept came out and supported her with their presence and money. So yes, we need to have districts so that we have more say.

  10. To Bonnie Krupp: you are mixing your complaints. Geographic representation has nothing to do with favoritism when it comes to city departments (AND UNIONS).

    But I’m not debating there is group think and union influence all over the City Council.

  11. Have no fear this is not the legislature “picking” on Boise. This bill is driven by some very concerned citizens from Boise. It would not have moved forward without additional support either. Karen Danley first brokered this issue during her council campaign, last fall. I find it very amusing that the council group think, unaminous decision making drew ire from many. Now we have an opportunity to embrace dissent and debate which is also drawing consternation! Debate and dissent are healthy, that is why there is a Mayor to cast a deciding vote. Creating districts with at large voting, really changes nothing. Boise’s voting record and dynamics ensure candidates would be elected by the Northend. What about the expense and effort in running a citywide campaign? A campaign focused on Northend voters vs a small district campagin focused on relationships and local neighborhood issues? Which will generate a larger pool of candidates? A citywide campaign is very daunting, not even the legislators have to do it. We seem to have already forgotten the issues of library, the stadium and even the trolley. City leaders and council unaminously supported moving forward with these. Yet, when given the opportunity 70% and 76% of the people said “wait a minute”. There is a disconnect with the current system that needs correction. The 100,000 mark was carefully chosen so that it would not be just a Boise bill. Boise is actually a perfect example of why this legislation is needed. Smaller cities can certainly create districts on their own, but the logistics, area and supply pool of leaders is significantly less. Also making districts less necessary. At 100,000 a city is growing and expanding and it makes sense to ensure a system of geographically diverse leadership to guarantee equitable represenation across the city. Boise is now 225,000 and counting. It covers over 80 sq miles. Is it realistic to expect a part time council person to understadn the issues in all areas? Wouldn’t it be better to have a local expert that understands her contituents? Please support HB #413!

  12. Romeo Sierra
    Feb 11, 2020, 6:52 pm

    I tend to agree with local voting for candidates in your district/ward. Do I understand correctly that these boundaries will be redrawn every 10 years per the census??

    EDITOR NOTE–Our guess is that a redrawing would be necessary to maintain an equitable balance. Growth in a previously agriculture area could force the need for a redrawing of districts. Also there is potential for a couple more seats as well.

  13. Concerned Neighbor
    Feb 11, 2020, 9:15 pm

    I’m all for the legislature passing this. Boise is a diverse city but the city council most definitely is not. We’ve had to many decades of Boise politicians only paying attention to downtown or the north end.

  14. A better way
    Feb 11, 2020, 9:36 pm

    How about the idiots living south of the river outvote the minority living north of the river?

    Would also be nice to have more than two viable candidates.

  15. Branden Durst
    Feb 12, 2020, 8:52 am

    A better way – Last election there were more than two viable candidates. In fact, there were several viable candidates, especially for seat 1. The problem is that some candidates have more advantages in running citywide than others. When you live in the same neighborhood as the politically connected, it yields benefits that are often insurmountable. The fact is that when cities get as large Meridian, Boise, and soon Nampa, they really do need to have council districts divided up to make sure that each part of the city has a dedicated voice. That doesn’t mean that we stop caring about the whole city, but we also become acutely aware of the issues that matter.

  16. The solution is the ballot box. If this problem is as important as the complaints make it sound, the Southers (I won’t call them idiots) need to support viable candidates to protect their interests. Tell those Downtowners and Northenders how we shall run this city at election time. Not showing up to vote and then complaining about the results is not productive.

  17. ^^ Ditto Caeth’s comment.

    Rep Palmer would do better to shred this junk bill and write one ELIMINATING URDs. Let’s see that courageous bill.

    CCDC is currently the biggest negative to Boise residents living outside of the downtown blob.

    ACHD is current proof ‘district’ representation doesn’t solve the problem. I am pretty sure a ACHD doesn’t drive in my neighborhood weekly, to bring up ‘issues’ to a district manager or maintenance crew. IF someone calls them about a 5 foot pothole, they are quickly on the spot, but that would be true if all of the Commissioners lived on Can-Ada Rd (east side of course).
    A junk bill. Or maybe it should be called another ‘cry-baby bill’.

    Get rid of URDs. 🙂

  18. Think About It
    Feb 12, 2020, 1:13 pm

    Bonnie’s commentary has a history of hatred towards cyclists and anything that does not vote like a right-wing nut. We need the GOP to stop being so hypocritical when it comes to touting local control while trying to take away local power. Our state legislature should take care of their own house. Fiscal responsibility does not mean wasting taxpayer dollars on defending unwinnable lawsuits. We do not need districts, we need the entire city to vote.

  19. A better way
    Feb 13, 2020, 1:13 pm

    BD, Where are you running for office now?

  20. Kent Goldthorpe
    Feb 14, 2020, 10:58 am

    I would agree with Dave Kangas 100% on this. It has worked fine at ACHD with zero district favoritism that I have seen.

  21. Country Hick
    Feb 16, 2020, 12:29 pm

    What other cities Boise’s size don’t have Districts? I can only think of one — Portland, OR.
    Districts are kind of … obvious. And having all but one elected official living next to each other in the wealthiest part of town is kind of … obviously … an abuse of power.

  22. Country Hick
    Feb 16, 2020, 12:32 pm

    Just looking at the titles of the ‘related articles’ above.

    Team Dave in Near Total Control of Local Government

    I don’t think that reign of power would have happened with Districts. SW Boise would not have voted Team Dave.

    For doing something the Boise city Council has been too chicken to do on its own. They think too much about themselves and could care less about the voters.

  24. Really, people? As citizens of Boise we managed to come up with the gumption to get TWO different initiatives on the ballot. I love the district idea, but how about we do it ourselves, instead of having it imposed?

    I’ve always enjoyed the hypocrisy of the Legislature, and all the complaining about Federal mandates, while at the same time they are forcing things down on the counties and cities. This one is particularly awful–I would think if it was really needed to be established at the state level for municipalities, that the legislators from Boise would be behind it. Tell Palmer to leave us alone!

  25. I agree 100% with Jo Jo. If Boise wants to, we can do it. We certainly do NOT need a MERIDIAN rep butting in on it.
    IF he (and Goldthrope) want Meridian to do so he should initiate something just in MERIDIAN- or maybe his son, Ty Palmer, a former Meridian councilmember could do it. That should sell really well.
    We only need to get to the real reason for the proposal.

    The continued hypocrisy and paternal-control of the Legislature is gross.
    Is Palmer now going to again live in the back of his business just to “live” the right council district(ward)? Some cities call the districts ‘wards’ ( weird, uh?).

    Our legislators have a hard enough time ‘living in their own district’ and now they want to force that issue upon council members?

    Cincinatti on their own:

  26. This is a clear case of illustrating just how “mobs” are ruled. This is why we should be REPUBLIC, and not a pure democracy. When I was carrying water for the Left, back in the day, they always cried about how the republican model of governance was obsolete and cruel and yes, even “racist.” They contrived their argument that somehow, only tyrants choose republican governments, so that they can gain controls over their “subjects” so quickly.

    They push direct democracy at every turn. They all think that the “people” will rule justly, just because everyone has a equal vote. I know now that this is crap. The MOST powerful force in politics, is the propaganda power of LOUD voices. Legacy Media, with all its machinery and puffed up TV personalities. The new propaganda force is social media BULLIES. They are the new Left spear that has shaped the direction of where we are being drug in the political environment. This is why we have an AOC and many other Marxists pushing toward a socialist state.

    When you allow the “masses” to vote directly, without checks (retained by a republican model), the LOUD bullies control the vote. Corrupt Legacy Media OMITS the truth, as they are now on steroids, all we here is Orange Man Bad, on a daily basis. They would have gotten away with the Jussie Smollett fakery, except for the fact that police officers in CPD had had enough and put their foot down, and the whole thing fell apart. MSM was ready to carry the Smollett Hoax to term, but they were reluctantly forced to report the truth. Unfortunately, there are TOO many examples of where fakery succeeded and the masses have been fooled into voting for crap they don’t understand.

    Now, this is all important because without a restructuring of Boise City Council elections, we will be ruled over by a cadre of Leftist believers that come out of one basic groupthink that believes in turning this city into Portland. I don’t care how we do it. We MUST get genuine regional representation on City Council. We must defeat the BULLY model of mobs that have been turning this nation into a new Marxist colony.

  27. Forced Air, you’re going about this all wrong…

    How about finding better candidates? How about finding a way to get more people to vote? All forced districts is going to result in is even worse factionalism–any candidate who can’t manage to attract votes from all over the city is probably just going to be marginalized in the council, anyways.

    And ease off the rhetoric at little–it’s not helping your cause any. As a centrist, I really would have liked a different set of candidates last election. I have my own reasons for not running, but when I’m faced with regressives and progressives, there’s no middle ground left, and I have no desire to move backwards!

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: