The crowd at a City Club of Boise lunch Monday had a chance to ask questions of Mayor Dave Bieter, Brice Sloan, a former firefighter and co-chairman of the Yes! Yes! For Boise campaign, and Toni Hardesty, state director for The Nature Conservancy of Idaho. All three are supporting the bonds.
Sloan focused on the public safety bond, a $17 million measure that would pay for upgrades to several fire stations and the construction of a new fire training facility. As Boises population densities have shifted, Sloan said, response times for emergency calls have been creeping up. Passing the bond would help reverse that trend, he said.
Hardesty answered questions about the citys parks and open space bond, which would put $15.5 million into open space purchases and new and improved parks. Besides making Boise a more enjoyable place to live, she said, the bond would help protect wildlife and undeveloped land around the city from degradation.
One questioner asked why the city didnt observe the customary three readings of the law that put the bonds on the ballot. Bieter pointed out that readings of proposed laws are usually formalities, and that he and the City Council held a variety of events including open houses and special Saturday hours during which residents could talk directly to the mayor to present the bonds to the public.
Another person asked what the city would do with its existing training facility, located near the Boise River west of Downtown, if voters approve money to build a new one. Bieter said Boise has received a significant amount of interest in the property from private developers.
Sven Berg: 377-6275