City Government

Council District Commission Important Move

Boise City Councilors will consider an ordinance Tuesday to create a commission to fashion the new districts mandated by the Idaho legislature. It will be a public hearing.

While we recognize the need to have ONE MAN-ONE VOTE districts, this first step is only to establish the commission members. These planning units are indeed absurd since they have no basis in population. Instead they are from a “planning department map” and hopefully will not be used to select commission members. The Bench area has nearly 100,000 residents while the area north of the river is chopped up into four fistricts including one that runs the length of the foothills.

The REAL issue is to get decent impartial commissioners on the team. Having them come from geographic areas would only concede those who will establish the districts will have their own agendas. They should be spread out, but their talent, not residence location is most important.

We need:
–A GIS guy who understands mapping
–A political science major (like a BSU Prof)
–An election expert from Ada Clerks office who understands precincts
—A school planner who sets school attendance boundaries mostly by population
—A “Joe the plumber” person who has no special interest

Districts should be divided by voting precincts so they aren’t split. Those precincts are pretty much established by population already. The exception is natural barriers such as the river, freeway, bench.

Even if a representative from the Ada Clerk’s office is not on the commission, they should be the major guidance factor.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Excellent points. Do you really think they will have impartial appointments?

  2. Hopefully, you sent this to the Mayor who picks the commissioners all by herself.

  3. Boise Lawyer
    Apr 11, 2022, 9:43 pm

    “their talent, not residence location is most important”

    I couldn’t agree more. When it comes to appointing an important body, the members’ skills for the task at hand, not the address where they sleep at night, is what will serve the city best. The same is true of the council itself, and that’s the reason I also happen to think going to districts was a bad idea.

  4. Kent Goldthorpe
    Apr 12, 2022, 6:26 am

    There is no need for a commission, period. An honest individual taking an honest look with good gis capability will take care of all the constitutional requirements.

  5. Dave Kangas
    Apr 12, 2022, 8:46 am

    Great points, Meridian ordiance “Voting members of the Meridian Districting Committee shall include six (6) Meridian
    residents from diverse geographic areas of Meridian, to include at least one (1) individual
    who resides south of Interstate 84, one (1) individual who resides north of Ustick Road,
    one (1) individual who resides west of Meridian Road, and one (1) individual who resides
    east of Meridian Road. The six (6) Committee members shall be voting members, and
    shall serve without salary or compensation for their service.

  6. Dave Kangas
    Apr 12, 2022, 8:50 am

    Unfortunately, past actions by the City Council and statements made combined with this proposed “commissioner disatrict map” cast a lot of doubt on the “independece of the process”.

    Populations range from 23,000+ in the NW area to 100,000 in the combined Central Bench and West Boise.

  7. The County Clerk seems like the only likely “1-person” to do the task. Albeit political.
    An unbias jury or investigation (ie investigating a BPD incident) is always chosen from outside the area.

    Maybe Forced Air is available.

  8. Boise Lawyer believes “skills for the task at hand” is an important qualifier – for the commission AND for elected office.

    It’s hard to disagree with that. (I’m confident there are people with the necessary skills scattered throughout our fine community. Surely they don’t ALL live in the north and east ends!)

    Another slightly-off-topic observation… it seems apparent that America’s voters aren’t particularly fussy about “skills for the task at hand” – look at our elected “public servants” back in Washington, DC!

  9. Maybe if we refereed to our elected public servants as elected public servants they would feel obligated to work for the public?

  10. Diane C Stearns
    Apr 14, 2022, 6:11 pm

    I can’t think of one person who would be more qualified (as well as honest and non-political too) than RICHARD LLEWELLYN, who has been fighting for several years to stop the big greedy developers like CBH Trilogy in order to save Old Hill Road and the Northwest portion of Boise from being destroyed by hi-rise apartment buildings and even heavier traffic. Please pass his name along to anyone and everyone who will be making the choice.

  11. David Klinger
    Apr 26, 2022, 1:40 pm

    Every city possesses a cadre of “wise men” and “wise women” who have been dedicated public servants, who possess responsible and judicious temperaments, and who have no stake in the outcome of the city redistricting process. They are just locally respected statesmen and stateswomen who can intelligently preside over a process that will largely be dictated by hard demographic data and fashioned by GIS specialists anyway. We simply should take the process out of the hands of those who have a vested interest in the outcome of redistricting (the mayor and incumbent City Council members) and let the wise elders preside over a process that Boise is really overthinking. It’s not that hard to draw six roughly equal districts for future City Council elections and successfully conclude it up by the end of 2022. Who are such seasoned and respected leaders locally? In another time, the universally-admired Cecil Andrus would have been at the top of the list. Others? Former Governor Phil Batt comes to mind … former Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa … former mayor and Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne … retired Idaho Supreme Court Justice James Jones … former state senator Cherie Buckner-Webb … former Illinois lieutenant governor and BSU president Bob Kustra. Good, experienced people. Regardless of party or partisan public opinions about such individuals, one can’t argue against their breadth of experience and dedication to public service, as well as their stable and reasoned intellect, qualifying them to preside over a process that is largely magisterial in nature. City fathers have wrapped themselves around the axle over-thinking the districting process, while several of them continue to bemoan the entire concept of district representation (most cities have it, Boise is the outlier). Better this entire process be divorced from city government involvement entirely. Let the mechanics of districting be independent and insulated from the day-to-day machinations of City Hall, and let the respected “graybeards” keep the process moving smoothly and dispassionately.

  12. I just love how there is this BRAND loyalty to the “wise men and women” that carry Establishment credentials to “fix” our problems for us. Who do you think the interested parties swarm to influence at parties and gatherings and any other lobbying opportunity in order to secure the future of agendas and big plans? The very Establishment cadres of “wise mean and women.”

    I only knew of ONE guy, that was my nextdoor neighbor who was a chief engineer for ACHD way back when, that confronted outright corruption in the face, only to be threatened and chased out of ACHD after he gathered documentary evidence re the special relationships surrounding the ACHD. Media didn’t want anything to do with his experience. He told me his story 20 years after the fact. He moved out of state shortly after.

    The post above me lists all of these Establishment icons….one of them former BSU president Bob Kustra, who openly encourages everyone to register as a Republican and alter primary outcomes. How honest is THAT?

    I am sick of the vaunted Establishment manipulators driving the agendas that will make Boise a New Portland ASAP. They hate the Constitution and real freedom. They would have us sign up for Klaus Schwab’s New World Order in a heartbeat and call it a family value.

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