Bonds, spending dominate Boise council forum

The city’s three incumbents defend their efforts to keep spending in check while maintaining services.

sberg@idahostatesman.comOctober 9, 2013 

Boise City Council candidates (from right) Paul Fortin, Maryanne Jordan, Bill Jarocki, Jill Humble, T.J. Thomson, Tyler Smith and Ben Quintana answer questions at a forum Wednesday. Jim Weatherby, far left, moderated.

SVEN BERG — sberg@idahostatesman.com

None of the four challengers who attended Wednesday night’s forum spent much time attacking incumbents Maryanne Jordan, T.J. Thomson and Ben Quintana.

They disagreed on some points. Paul Fortin, who’s trying to unseat Jordan, said he was opposed to a bond measure that would raise $17.2 million for upgrades to fire stations and construction of a new fire training facility. He was in favor of a $15.7 million bond for new and improved parks and open space purchases.

Jill Humble, who’s running for a seat occupied by Thomson, took the opposite position. She’s in favor of the fire safety bond, but wished the parks and open space spending components were put in separate bond measures.

Bill Jarocki, also trying to unseat Thomson, was against both bonds.

Tyler Smith, who’s challenging Quintana, was in favor of both bonds.

But there were no hostile moments during the forum. Of the challengers, only Smith has attended a recent meeting of the City Council. Jarocki and Fortin said they already know how the city governing process works. Humble said she’d be more likely to attend if there were more chances for people to comment.

Thomson, Quintana and Jordan said the city has restrained spending where possible while trying to keep city services intact.

But Jarocki said the city needs to re-examine spending on items such as parks and open space. He stopped short of saying that spending should be scaled back.

Smith and Humble focused some of their remarks on ideas for improving Boise’s economy. Both support a higher minimum wage for Boise workers.

R. Bryce Petersen, who filed to run against Jordan, was not at the forum. Repeated efforts by the Statesman to contact Petersen have been unsuccessful.

Click here for a rundown of the Cit Council races and the bond election.

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