Former state parks planner to run for ACHD

csewell@idahostatesman.comJuly 8, 2014 

ACHD candidate Rick Just.

Rick Just, former chief planner for Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, has announced his candidacy for Ada County Highway District Commission district 4 seat, which covers southwest Ada County.

Just retired from IDPR in 2013, after 29 years with the agency. He currently serves as the part-time coordinator of the Idaho Recreation and Tourism Initiative. He also serves on the Idaho Transportation Department’s Community Choices Advisory Board and is a member the Idaho Scenic Byways Committee.

"ACHD generally does a good job planning for and maintaining roadways in the county," Just said Tuesday in a press release. "I’d like to see that continue, but I want to see more emphasis on alternate forms of transportation. Bike paths seem scattered around the county almost randomly with many major corridors ignored."

Just, a former Marine holds a master's degree in public administration from Boise State. He is a native Idahoan who has lived in unincorporated Ada County since 1982. He said he has commuted by bus, bike, car and motorcycle.

"We have to find innovative ways to make commuting better for drivers and bike riders, alike," Just said. "The way the two modes mix now in many places is dangerous. Bikes are legal on all ACHD roads, but on many of them it isn’t safe for school kids and commuters to mix with traffic."

Just would also like to find ways to make rural intersections safer, and he wants to see fewer dead-end streets in future developments.

Just served on the ANSER Charter School Board, the board of the Learning Lab of Boise, and as president of the National Association of Recreation Resource Planners. He is currently president of the Friends of Idaho State Parks and a board member on the national Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals.

District 4 incumbent Commissioner Mitch Jaurena has announced he will run for the seat, which he was appointed to in 2012.

Two ACHD Commission seats — districts 3 and 4 — will appear on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.

Eagle resident Bob Bruce and Boise resident Paul Woods have announced their candidacy for the northwest Ada County district 3 seat held by John Franden, who is retiring.

The ACHD Commission has five members who serve four-year terms. Commission seats are nonpartisan and do not appear on the primary ballot in May.

The commission sets policy for the district — the only countywide highway agency in Idaho. It serves all residents of Ada County and its six incorporated cities. The compensation for the part-time post is a monthly stipend of $1,771. The president of the commission, chosen annually from among the commissioners, receives an additional $356 per month.

Voters cast ballots for the commission seat representing the area where they live. In each race the candidate getting the most votes will be the winner; a majority is not required.

The last day to file to run for an ACHD seat and appear on the Nov. 4 ballot is Aug. 6. Write-in candidates have until Sept. 19 to file.

To qualify to run for the ACHD Commission, a candidate must: Be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old; be a resident of the ACHD district for which he/she seeks office; fill out a declaration of candidacy form and pay the $10 filing fee at the Ada County Clerk's Office, 400 Benjamin Lane, Suite 100, in Boise.

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