Boise Mayor Dave Bieter wants to make sure the city and its urban renewal agency are on the same page as they push economic development and build a strategy for improving the 30th Street area west of Downtown, spokesman Adam Park said.
That's why Bieter nominated himself to fill an opening on the Capital City Development Corp.'s board of commissioners, Park said.
"The mayor just felt it was important that broader goals were understood by the board as they continue their important work," he said.
Choosing a new executive director is one of the first major decisions Bieter and the rest of the commission will face, assuming the City Council approves Bieter's appointment to the agency Tuesday. Former Executive Director Anthony Lyons resigned abruptly last month, citing family concerns.
Dana Zuckerman, the commission's former vice chair, is serving as interim director.
Ryan Woodings, one of the eight commissioners currently on the board, said he's looking forward to hearing more direct input from the mayor, in addition to City Council and CCDC members Lauren McLean and David Eberle.
"I actually think it's a good thing," said Woodings, who founded a Boise company that develops tools for troubleshooting wireless networks.
Bieter's move has the look of "a power grab," said Mike Moyle, a state representative from Star who has long questioned the role of urban renewal agencies in Idaho. Moyle warned that Bieter could be trying to steer the agency's money toward projects of his choosing.
The CCDC receives tax money from four Boise districts and designates it for improvement projects in those districts.
"If (Bieter) gets enough control of the board, they can do whatever they want with that money," Moyle said.
Woodings said that's not likely to happen. If Bieter, Eberle and McLean try to push the city government's agenda on the agency, he said, the six other commissioners are strong enough to push back.
Commission Chairman Phil Reberger agreed. Bieter's track record - he appoints all the members of the CCDC board - shows no will to control it, Reberger said.
"He's done a great job of appointing people with their own perspectives and expertise," Reberger said. "My experience with the mayor is that he encourages people to bring those to the table."
It's common for Idaho mayors to serve on their cities' urban renewal agency boards. Meridian's Tammy de Weerd and Pocatello's Brian Blad are two such mayors.
Last year, the Eagle City Council fired all seven members of its urban renewal agency's board and replaced them with the mayor, Eagle's four City Council members and two appointees in a move that gave the city more direct oversight.
Reporter Cynthia Sewell contributed to this report. Sven Berg: 377-6275