Name: Paul E. Fortin
Occupation: Retired Boise Fire Department Captain/Investigator, Internationally Certified Arson Investigator
Education: Accounting degree from Boise State University. Working towards teaching degree in business, two more classes to complete.
Prior political experience: Treasurer two times for city council campaign. Volunteer for Tracy Andrus for Boise Mayor in 1993.
Civic involvement: Volunteer at the Boise Botanical Garden
Years living in Boise: 59 years (spent two years serving my country in Asia)
Family: Mother, Rita Fortin; and my collie, King George.
Social media accounts: Facebook
1. What makes you a better choice for voters than your opponent(s)?
Boise needs new blood, a leader who has worked for the city and knows there are too many managers per worker. Boise needs to run the city without asking for more money. My opponent has been in the office now for 10 years and appears to have gotten comfortable with just being there. City Council President Maryanne Jordan defends the art on the traffic boxes (a $20,000 expenditure) and the reinvestment program. Its sort of economic development tool, she explained. Sort of what does that mean? The taxpayers are sort of running out of money, it is time for fresh ideas and leadership on our city council. We have to watch our nickels.
2. If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you accomplish them? Please provide specifics.
Let's first start with a critical review of the current fire department management as well as the amount of money spent for administrative positions within the department and new facilities. Saving money by every department head justifying all the managers and those that carry them out using a panel of citizens to ask the questions. The city could easily save a hundreds of thousands of dollars by working with police and fire units to justify cars going home with an employee. Boise Fire has upwards of 25 to 30 cars going home. It would take a major earthquake to need even seven of these people to respond and if there was a disaster, they have cars, pay them .30 a mile. We have 17 fire engines, the ladder companies and the battalion chiefs on duty 24/7 they can handle any emergency.
Work with neighborhoods to upgrade existing parks and dog parks, working with schools and others such as religious groups that may have space to share to increase the off leash areas where a person doesn't have to drive great distances to let their dog get proper exercise and its also a great way for neighbors to meet and exchange ideas and make new friends, it adds an element to neighborhood watch programs as people can get to know each other and exchange views and perhaps alleviate problems in neighborhoods. Also, continue working to promote the Boise Adopt-a-Park program, building public awareness of the city's parks and their benefits to the community.
Increasing communication and coordination with other area leaders to develop regional solutions and help prioritize the needs of our community. We need to work with various private and public (Ada County, ACHD, Score and others) entities in order to develop goals that best serve the area as a whole.
3. What is the one thing your city should start doing to encourage economic development and create jobs?
We should focus on supporting local businesses that have committed their livelihoods to our city investing in our community. I will ask each of these businesses what they need from city government to ensure they continue to thrive and grow. Encourage community involvement in decision-making by actively seeking to engage citizens in the community through various methods of communications. When the Albertsons Corporation was sold during the early years of 2000, city government should have worked harder to keep a corporation like Albertsons that paid higher wages to stay in Boise. Its only been luck that the Albertson Corporation has been repurchased and higher paying jobs should be returning to the Boise area. City government along with organizations like Chamber of Commerce need to join hands and work to bring these types of business to Boise.
4. How do you envision your city 10 to 20 years from now? How should it change?
A new Hawks Stadium in Boise would be an excellent addition to such a fantastic city such as Boise. I have spent a lot of time in Denver in the last 15 years on fire department business and personal vacations. In Denver (use Main Street as the example in Boise) a road is closed where only emergency vehicles and a trolley run down it. The road takes a person to Coors field where the Rockies and the Denver Broncos play. Imagine being able to take a trolley or walk from the stadium to downtown businesses after a game to enjoy all it has to offer. A new stadium would promote a positive and inclusive climate that attracts business, families and tourists.
5. Are you concerned about public apathy and involvement in civic matters? How would you get more people involved?
Yes, absolutely. I would encourage community involvement in decision-making by actively seeking to engage citizens in the community through various methods of communications both face to face in their neighborhoods and social media.
6. Do you support either or both bonds for open space, public safety and parks? Why?
My position is that I am not in favor of a bond that would run for more than four years. From all the information I have done research on and the fact I worked as a firefighter/investigator for 25 years, I have seen the waste in spending of tax dollars. Last year, both fire and police unions were asked to forgo raises, as the city needed it to stay afloat. What happened was the money was used to remodel city hall. For city government to come now and ask for a bond to me shows no accountability on the part of city management. I would be for a bond of four years that specified how much money would be raised and the exact areas the money would be spent, then in four years, the voters could be asked again for another bond, people then could see, like the Foothills levy what exactly was done with the money and did it accomplish goals set forth.
7. Should the city upgrade its shooting range, leave it as is or do something else entirely? Why?
Ada County Sheriff's deputies, the Idaho State Police and the Peace Officers Academy all do their shooting qualification and practice at a range operated by the Idaho Department of Corrections on Pleasant Valley Road. The cost for Ada County is just $1,500 per year versus a $1.32 million dollar upgrade. With the Ridge-to-Rivers trails becoming increasingly popular and our population growing it maybe time to look at other more cost effective options.
8. Should Boise raise Downtown metered parking rates? How much? Why?
At a time when personal income is still struggling to regain its lost ground it would not seem prudent to raise rates. Again some city leaders jumped ahead and proceeded with a project without full understanding of the issue. Instead of working with other agencies such as ACHD they went ahead with the work not understanding the repercussions of what was involved. Making the city administration look bad and starting a costly confrontation with ACHD. This decision needs to be further reviewed and understood by the public before continuing on.
9. If elected, what would you do to change the public transportation system in Boise?
I would work towards improving the safety and accessibility for bicyclists and pedestrians on our streets.