Dick Eardleys time as mayor was defined by Boises mall debate. Thats an incomplete review of his record, but an inevitable one. Community leaders and retailers split on the question of where to put a regional shopping center. Eardley sided with supporters of a Downtown mall.
That idea never materialized, but Eardleys vision of a Downtown renaissance came to fruition. In essence, Boise got the best of both: a regional shopping center, Boise Towne Square, and a revitalized city center.
Newcomers may know little about Eardley, who died Saturday. He served as mayor from 1974 to 1986 a distant and turbulent time and prepared and positioned Boise for transformation. His tenure as mayor was marked by several milestones, such as the creation of the citys arts commission.
Perhaps the greatest tribute to Eardley, a news reporter turned politico, came from the voters: his 12 years as mayor still stand as a city record for longevity. Eardley also deserves a share of the credit for what Boise has become in the ensuing quarter-century.
Our View is the editorial position of the Idaho Statesman. It is an unsigned opinion expressing the consensus of the Statesmans editorial board.