Name: Maryanne Jordan
Occupation: Retired business owner, Boise City Council president
Education: Bachelors degree in political science from San Jose State University
Prior political experience: Boise City Council 2003-present; Boise Planning & Zoning Commission 1998-2003
Civic involvement: President West Valley Neighborhood Association 1995-1998
Years living in Boise: 19
Family: Husband, Rocky, two stepchildren
Social media accounts: Facebook
Endorsements: Boise Mayor Dave Bieter; Boise Fire Fighters Local 149, Conservation Voters for Idaho; and Ada County Association of Realtors.
1. What makes you a better choice for voters than your opponents?
My experience at comprehensive decision-making makes me a better choice than either of my opponents. The city of Boise has 13 departments and 1,600 employees. Every decision impacts all of them in some way. Every decision impacts the taxpayers and our ability to deliver the best service to our citizens. I am proud of my reputation as a fair person who will evaluate the facts and not shy away from making difficult decisions. I believe that a review of the public positions of my opponents will show voters that I am clearly the best choice for Boise.
2. If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you accomplish them? Please provide specifics.
Public safety is a top priority. I will work to ensure adequate funding for police and fire services. I will support the efforts of our first responders to work together county-wide in pursuit of the best and safest response to emergencies. I will continue to focus on responsible planning. This includes master plans in the undeveloped areas in and near downtown, and continued efforts to simplify the permitting systems at the city. It also means making sure that new development is connected so that citizens can walk or bike to parks and services. I will support public transportation by working to site and build the downtown multi-modal center, and by working to bring local option authority to cities.
3. What is the one thing you city should start doing to encourage economic development and create jobs?
The one thing Boise should do to encourage economic development is already happening. Boise is building a city where people want to live, work and raise a family. We have continued to invest in our city, even in tough times. No business wants to locate in a disinvested city. Our focus on public safety, with crime numbers falling year after year makes Boise a safe place to live. We have expanded our library services, and the number of library cardholders continues to grow. We continue to develop a diverse community that values all of its citizens; my leadership on Boises non-discrimination ordinance was a big step in that direction. We are preserving open space and encouraging infill development, allowing people to live closer to work and recreation.
4. How do you envision your city 10 to 20 years from now? How should it change?
I envision us having a cleaner airshed because an improved public transportation system has taken cars off the roads. Boise and the Treasure Valley will continue to grow, and now is the time to lay the groundwork for future transportation alternatives. I see thoughtful urban development that connects neighborhoods not only by car but by foot and by bike. We are moving there now. During my time on the council, connectivity of neighborhoods and city service delivery at the neighborhood level have been high priorities. Some things about Boise should never change: The way we care for our city, stay involved, and help one another should always be protected.
5. Are you concerned about public apathy and involvement in civic matters? How would you get more people involved?
Public involvement makes for better decision-making. Through public hearings, neighborhood associations, boards and commissions, and numerous volunteer opportunities, the city reaches out to the public. It is important for elected officials to take the opportunity to visit with students, community groups and neighborhood associations to engage in conversation and exchange ideas. Boise residents are involved and informed. Social media has greatly increased awareness and sped communication. I will continue to visit with groups and organizations throughout the city. I always learn from these meetings, and it helps inform good decision-making.
6. Do you support either or both bonds for open space, public safety and parks? Why?
I support both of the bond questions on the ballot November 5. Our foothills levy has leveraged the original $10 million into over $37 million in preserved foothills open space. I want Boise to continue this successful program both in the foothills and in other parts of Boise where opportunities for preservation may present themselves. The Bench and West Boise have unmet park needs, and the bond will allow those neighborhoods to enjoy convenient access to parks. Older fire facilities must be reconfigured so that safety services can be dispatched in the most efficient manner possible. Some of the older stations currently cannot house new fire equipment. I want all Boise residents to have the best fire coverage possible. Our firefighters need a training facility that meets national standards. The new facility will allow firefighters to train in an environment that best simulates our development pattern.
7. Should the city upgrade its shooting range, leave it as is or do something else entirely? Why?
I believe that the range needs to be upgraded. Like our firefighters, our police officers deserve safe and modern training facilities. We have received some excellent feedback from residents and trail users. The public hearing process allowed the city to identify what needs to be improved. Moving the range outside of the city would require an entirely new facility to be built, at great expense, in addition to enormous costs both in time paid for travel to a new facility and fuel. I want to continue to work with the police department and the residents to come up with the best and most fiscally responsible solution.
8. Should Boise raise Downtown metered parking rates? How much? Why?
The topic of downtown parking is much more than just rates. Parking has to turn over in downtown so that customers can access businesses. Downtown employees need economical parking that keeps them from using metered spaces intended for customers. Citizens have long demanded better technology that allows payment with debit/credit or smart phones. Some zones that are now only one hour should be changed to allow parking for two hours. Rates should vary throughout downtown based on surrounding uses. Any or all of these components can differ depending on location. I want to collect real data on usage and make decisions based on a comprehensive look at all of these factors.
9. If elected, what would you do to change the public transportation system in Boise?
I use public transportation, so I am quite aware of its benefits and limitations. It is a great alternative to driving. We need to increase availability and hours of service. During my time on the council, we have remained committed to maintaining funding for transit, even in the toughest of times. We have found ways to add services to areas previously not served. But we need a dedicated funding source for transit. I will continue to advocate for a local option authority, so that citizens can decide to establish such a source. During my service on the council, we have carefully preserved the existing rail lines so that when Boise and the Treasure Valley is ready to accommodate rail service, the right of way will already be in place. Boise is growing, and we need to think ahead about our transportation needs.