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Bernard

And last I remember it's the residents in these surrounding communities who get in their cars every weekday and drive to Boise to work. And the prevailing winds blow the pollution into the east end of the valley. And that's not so great.

Julie in Boise

Bernard, to Tibbs' credit, he has gone on record as supporting local-option taxes to fund better transit. But of course, Bieter favors the same thing - so no difference there.

It's probably also worth noting that most of the local leaders in the western Treasure Valley favor better transit funding, too. It's their obstructionist legislators who are holding up progress.

Jim

If anyone thinks that we can administer and fund this city without the support of the surrounding cities, they are insane! Who do you think eats in our restaurants, buys from our merchants, and works inside the city?? Please, oh please tell us how building new libraries when we voted them down helps. And while your at it,please enlighten us just how Dave Bieter has "strengthened our public transit system" Last time I looked it was totally dysfunctional!

Bob

At first blush it seems a rather odd thing for Tibbs to say. The people in the surrounding communities can't vote for him. But he is free to make those people feel good!

From the standpoint of jobs/income, Boise benefits by being the capital and getting state taxes from all Idahoans, not just the surrounding communities. So if anything, Tibbs limited his praise a little too much.

Certainly the communities surrounding Boise are great. At least their roads are. They have benefitted from millions in taxes paid by Boiseans to ACHD that have been spent on road projects in other jurisdictions.

After reading the Boise Weekly article I think Tibbs is trying to create a campaign narrative that he is a nicer guy and will get along with the other governments and let ACHD do what it wants and not make waves.

The Nickel-Plated JA

A large part of the dysfunctionality in our transit system is *precisely* that we created a regional transit authority -- sharing power with other cities in the valley -- in the first place... if we were still operating under the Boise Urban Stages model, the city could *use* transit as a tool to reflect policy priorities (like extending service hours at night Downtown). It's disingenuous to put any blame for our transit woes on the city that relinquished power over it in order to better facilitate commuting, and remains the principal local subsidizer of the system.

As for the library bond, it wasn't a vote against neighborhood libraries; it was a vote against only having three of them, and going into additional debt to build them. The current plan, with its fourth (Hillcrest) branch library almost assuredly would have *passed* the onerously-excessive threshold requirement for the bond election, but instead is being paid for sans bonding. I wouldn't even be able, in the span of a blog comment, to do justice to the benefits of libraries themselves... suffice to say we've needed real branch libraries in this town for a quarter century, and I'm glad we're finally starting to catch up.

Jim

You are absolutely right Nickle-Plated. Now do you believe that the eggs for the library construction were really put in one basket by the proponents? Maybe it was a strategy of "let's see if the citizens will vote for it and then if they say no, we can bring out plan B and do the satellite libraries while getting Rivers to build one if we let him have his way with the new development he is going to do anyway". Back room deals suck! With regard to the transit issue, you are correct again. Then why does it make sense for Dave Bieter's vision of transit to build a multi-billion dollar rail road between Nampa and Boise make any sense? What needs to be done is what Tibbs is working toward. A fleet of large buses that would move between the outlying cities and Boise, coupled with smaller "destination" buses that will move people around the city itself. These would be expanded in hours and the ability to deliver passengers within two blocks of their destination. Makes sense to me!

The Nickel-Plated JA

I don't believe in light rail (which BTW goes back to the Brent Coles administration) because we don't have the density in the Valley to support it. I *also* don't believe in the transit tooth fairy, either, though, which is why we probably need TWO separate entities handling transit: the subsidized, in-city entity and the commuter-transit entity -- they serve two different populations with two different cost models, etc. How they implement (in terms of size of buses or whatever) should be left to the professionals, but I have ZERO interest in subsidizing people's commutes who made the conscious decision themselves to swap longer drives for lower housing costs in the first place. Frankly, I'd love to see more business move that way (Canyon County) to alleviate a lot of the pressure on traffic and services -- and Boise housing costs; I'm eager to see the Ten Mile Interchange project in Meridian get going for the same reason. However, I can't abide by a political philosophy that basically says Boise needs to be a handmaiden to a bunch of politically-incompatible surrounding communities comprised chiefly of insufficiently-dense tract housing.

As far as the libraries go, I'm sure this was the political backup plan -- but I don't have a problem with it, just like I don't have a problem with embracing Mark Rivers' vision for public-private parnerships to drive urban renewal near Downtown... it's *working*. Or would you prefer the mostly-vacant, Resolution Trust Corp.-seized, fat-with-surface-parking 8th Street Marketplace of fifteen years ago?

Jim

I guess it all comes down to whose Ox is being gored. I fail to see the difference between the world of "not in my city you won't!" and "to hell with Boise, let's build whatever and where ever we please" Both positions seem equally silly and selfish.

Julie in Boise

A few follow-up comments:

Yes, I believe Boise needs to work with its suburbs. But Jim, when you say "Who do you think eats in our restaurants, buys from our merchants, and works inside the city??" you seem to forget there are 200-some thousand of us right here in Boise, so WE do most of that. Of course, the money flows both ways - most Boiseans make the occasional trip to the 'burbs for entertainment and shopping, and many Boiseans now work in the 'burbs, too. We do need to work together, but for Boiseans, Boise's needs should come first.

As for transit, Valley Ride is not totally dysfunctional. (Do you even ride it? I do, between 20 and 25 times a month.) It needs more funding so it can expand service hours (and routes, though that is secondary). I tend to agree the light rail idea ought to be a separate entity. I agree with NPJA that the closer people live to their jobs, no matter where they are, the better off we'd all be. I'd personally like to see a tollroad on I-84 so that the people who insist on commuting 20 or 30 miles to work can pay for it.

As for the libraries, most people voted FOR them. The vote fell simply short of the two-thirds hurdle. I was pleased to see the city find another way to get a few branches in place, and I love the public-private partnership main library idea proposed by Mark Rivers. In Seattle and Salt Lake City, the new main libraries are tourist attractions! Done right, we can build a 21st century library (perhaps combined with a performance space, community meeting rooms, and other amenities) that both serves our needs and serves notice that Boise is a city with vision.

My main point is that it seemed very odd - and distinctly unmayoral - for Tibbs to say that Boise is made great by its suburbs. I want my mayor to focus on making things great INSIDE the city limits first.

Sisyphus

Frankly Jim you gave excellent reasons to support Bieter. He's looking after Boiseans first. He ain't running for Mayor of the suburbs.

Jim

Dave Bieter doesn't give a rusty rats rear end about this city! If he did he wouldn't conduct himself with such an arrogant attitude toward the employees! And the citizens too! If you are happy with not moving in traffic and breathing downright unsafe air one out of every 8 days year round then go ahead and support him. If you can't see through that "most liveable city" crap then you get what you deserve!

Julie in Boise

Jim, that is one of the most untrue statements I've read here. This is Bieter's hometown. The problems you describe are the result of too much poorly planned growth, not just in Boise, but in the Valley overall.

The origins of these problems came long before Bieter was elected, and they are exacerbated by people who are too selfish to consider what their lifestyle choices (huge homes miles from work; gas-guzzling SUVs) mean for our traffic and air quality. On the other hand, Dave Bieter frequently walks or rides his freakin' bike to work!

You seem to have some sort of agenda here. Electing Jim Tibbs is clearly part of it. I don't have a problem with that, but I do have a problem with your personal attacks on someone who is serving well and trying to make a difference.

Jim

We couldn't agree more that the majority of problems with growth and traffic started way before Dave Bieter became Mayor. The point is, however, what has he done in the last 4 years to solve or improve the process? The answer is "he rides his bike to work"? After having read every speech he has given over the last 4 years, the conclusion has to be he is "All hat and no cattle!" If you are content to listen to Nero fiddle while Rome burns then go ahead and support him. As far as an agenda to help Jim Tibbs get elected, You bet! I will do anything I can to get an honest, intelligent guy elected mayor so that the city we all love can get off the dime and get something done! The time for "photo-ops, study groups and blue ribbon commissions" is over. We have to start DOING something about it. Jim Tibbs is capable of doing that, Dave Bieter is not!

Julie Fanselow

The biggest two things we could do to solve the traffic and air quality issues are:

1) Emphasize infill development to revitalize existing neighborhoods and discourage new "leapfrog" developments far from existing services. Bieter has done that.

2) Stand up for the decent public transportation system we needed years ago. Bieter has done that. I personally saw him testify at the legislature - along with Mayor Nancolas of Caldwell and numerous other area leaders - for local option taxing authority. But the obstructionist legislators on the Rev & Tax panel wouldn't even allow us a vote on this critical matter. THAT is where blame lies, my friend.

Jim

Discourage leap frog develoment? Boy how has that worked for you over the last 4 years?
Can you even count the number of new subdivisions that have been built? And how is our transportation system doing??
You make the point very well. All he has done is TALK about things, not to ACTUALLY do something. In his 2004 State of the City address, he identified growth and transportation as two of our main problems. As of today, they still are and I see no proposed solution except an idiotic idea to build a railroad between Caldwell and Boise. As the mayor of a major city, you have to actually DO something once in awhile

Julie in Boise

Where are the new subdivisions? Most of 'em seem to be outside the city limits.

Jim

Someday, you may realize that Boise is more than the beautiful area north of State street and east of 30th. Living up on the bench, I have always been just a little jealous of those lucky enough to live there. I believe the north end is the "image" of this beautiful city, but is is no longer the "city" of Boise. There are developments "out there" that you, or I, don't know exists. And you make my point, all of those new developments, in or out of the city, impact us daily.

Julie in Boise

Ahem. I live on the Bench, too.

Julie in Boise

And Bieter has spoken out strongly against such leapfrog developments as the ones currently going in along Highway 55 north of Eagle.

Jim, please consider that perhaps you have NOT read or heard everything Bieter has had to say.

Jim

Julie,Every published and googled speech he has made since 2004! And if you live up here as well, you probably share that "tinge" of jealousy that I feel for the north enders.

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