Boise City Council, seat 2: Ben Quintana

October 7, 2013 

Name: Ben Quintana

Age: 35

Occupation: Boise City Council Member; Leadership Development Program Manager at St. Luke’s Health System

Education: Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from George Fox University, and Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Boise State University.

Prior political experience: Current Boise City Council Member, Seat 2.

Civic involvement: Boise City Council Member (2012-present); Ada County Air Quality Board (2012-present); Arts and History Commission (2012-present); Airport Commission (2012-present); Parks and Recreation Commission (2012-present); Boise State University's College of Social Sciences & Public Affairs Advisory Board Member (2009-present); Treasure Valley Family YMCA Board Development Committee Member (2011-present); Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho Big Brother Mentor (2008-present); Boise Young Professionals founder and member (2006-oresent); Leadership Boise Alumni Association Co-Founder and Member (2011-Present); Kickstand President (2011-2012), Board of Directors (2008-2013); George Fox University's College of Business Advisory Board Member (2009-2012); American Cancer Society's Climb to Conquer Cancer volunteer (2010-12); IAFF Fire Ops 101 (2012); Northwest Economic Development Course graduate (2011); Treasure Valley Family YMCA Strategic Planning Committee Member (2010-11); Boise City Citizen Police Academy graduate (2010); Foothills School of Arts & Sciences Board Member (2008-10); Idaho Statesman's Vision for the Valley Steering Committee Member (2009); Leadership Boise graduate (2006-08); Boise Public Library Strategy Planning Committee Member (2008); United Way of Treasure Valley's D.I.R.T. (Direct Impact Response Team) Founding Member (2006-07 0; Rotaract member (2005-2006)

Years living in Bosie: 17

Family: Married to Christine Quintana since Jan. 19, 2008. No children. Two dogs: Charlie and Tucker.

Website: www.Ben4Boise.com

Social media accounts: @benquintana; Facebook.com/Ben4Boise

Endorsements: Boise Mayor David Bieter; Boise City Council Members Elaine Clegg, David Eberle, Maryanne Jordan, Lauren McLean and TJ Thomson; Boise Firefighters Local No. 149; Ada County Association of Realtors; and Conservation Voters for Idaho.

1. What makes you a better choice for voters than your opponent(s)?

My successful record of service in my current seat on the council, combined with my economic development background, established community network, record of community involvement, educational background, and vision for Boise make me the best choice to continue serving in Seat 2 on the Boise City Council. Having lived in Idaho since third grade and in Boise since attending college at Boise State University, I have a deep understanding of the culture and needs of our community. For the past decade, I have worked with thousands of citizens and business owners to make our community a better place to live, work and raise a family. I will remain committed to serving the citizens of Boise and using my abilities to keep Boise moving forward.

2. If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you accomplish them? Please provide specifics.

Priority 1: I will continue working to strengthen our local economy. I will accomplish this by partnering with the business community to improve the city permitting process, supporting startup and expansion resources, and promoting the importance of having a strong, sustainable local business scene.

Priority 2: I will continue to support job creation initiatives. I will accomplish this by working with business owners and community stakeholders to enhance our entrepreneurial ecosystem. Supporting a mentoring network, strengthening connections with our educational institutions, and reviewing policy decisions that impact businesses are additional tactics I will take to remove barriers to success and create opportunities for new jobs to emerge.

Priority 3: I will continue to enhance Boise’s quality of life. I will accomplish this goal by supporting our first responders who keep our city safe, enhancing our parks system, and protecting clean water and open space access for all citizens.

3. What is the one thing your city should start doing to encourage economic development and create jobs?

One way our city can continue to encourage economic development and create jobs is to better connect and support the emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem. Boise has a few incubators (i.e., Greenhouse and the WaterCooler) and a growing network of small business resources (e.g., Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, Idaho Technology Council, Kickstand, SCORE, SBA, SBDC, TechConnect, and META), but many entrepreneurs and small businesses perceive the overall ecosystem to be fragmented. The city can work to better convene and connect resources to accelerate opportunities for starting, enhancing and growing a business in Boise.

4. How do you envision your city 10 to 20 years from now? How should it change?

I envision Boise as a city full of opportunity and promise. A place where a diverse array of high-paying jobs exist and startups are easily launched and grown. Entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation thrive in this city because its people are highly educated, connected and empowered to succeed. I envision Boise becoming nationally known as the place to “Recreate while you innovate.” With the amenities of Idaho’s outdoors, the Ridge to Rivers Trail System of the Boise Foothills, the Boise Greenbelt, Bogus Basin and several other ski resorts within a two-hour drive, our recreational options rival any city in the country. At the core of this thriving economic engine, Boise is a city that values family, friendship, community, equality, safety, health, and livability. I believe Boise is on its way to being this city and I’m asking you to help me turn this vision into reality.

5. Are you concerned about public apathy and involvement in civic matters? How would you get more people involved?

Yes, however, I am very optimistic about our public’s ability to rise to the occasion and overcome any challenge. One of our greatest barriers to achieving our full potential is that Boise is already a great place to live, work and raise a family. It’s hard to encourage positive change when things are already going well. We need leaders who are dedicated to looking ahead and staying focused on Boise’s future.

6. Do you support either or both bonds for open space, public safety and parks? Why?

Yes, I support both bonds. I believe we must invest in our community to ensure Boise remains safe and livable for generations to come. First, our emergency response capabilities make the difference between life and death for our citizens. Investing in adequate facilities and training for our fire fighters will improve safety for all. Second, I didn’t build the Boise Greenbelt, Ridge to Rivers Trail System, city parks system or clean up the now pristine Boise River, but thanks to the leadership of others, we enjoy these amenities today. Every time I use one of our trails — whether I’m mountain biking or hiking — I notice engraved boulders that pay tribute to the people who helped make Boise a special place. I believe it’s my turn to make the necessary investments to ensure others will experience the natural areas and open spaces I’ve had the privilege to enjoy and explore.

7. Should the city upgrade its shooting range, leave it as is or do something else entirely? Why?

We should continue having discussions with our community, surrounding neighbors and other stakeholders to find ways to keep the shooting range area as safe as possible, and review options for additional improvements. Public safety is, and will always be, one of the top concerns of our City Council.

8. Should Boise raise Downtown metered parking rates? How much? Why?

Eventually, yes. The appropriate parking rate structure for our downtown is still being researched and evaluated. As the vitality of our downtown continues to expand and flourish, on-street parking will continue to evolve into a high churn, premium parking option for customers and visitors. Having affordable, available parking — especially for people looking to make quick purchases — is critically important to shoppers and businesses. Our small, locally-owned shops and restaurants are still working hard to emerge from the recent economic downturn — we must be mindful of our choices and do everything we can to keep our downtown vibrant.

9. If elected, what would you do to change the public transportation system in Boise?

If re-elected, I will continue to work to expand bus routes, provide additional bicycle lanes, improve our city’s walkability, and advocate for a local option tax to adequately fund a regional, comprehensive transportation system.

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