Boise & Garden City

Big turnover coming to Boise City Council

Ben Quintana and Maryanne Jordan
Ben Quintana and Maryanne Jordan Boise City Council

Not since the Brent Coles scandal has Boise government undergone as much upheaval as will occur in 2017.

The City Council’s senior member, Maryanne Jordan, and junior member, Ben Quintana, say they won’t run for re-election. T.J. Thomson is running for a third term.

The Nov. 7 election also could be the first to produce a majority-woman City Council. Three women have filed paperwork signaling their interest in occupying the two seats Quintana and Jordan are leaving open.

City Council members — officially a part-time job — are scheduled to earn $24,913 in 2018, with raises coming each year through 2021, when they’ll earn $27,223.

Some familiar names are on the list of candidates who’ve filed certifications of treasurer — the first official step in running for office.

Chief among them is Holli Woodings, a former state representative and Democratic candidate for Idaho Secretary of State.

Other experienced potential candidates include Frank Walker, who served a term as Ada County Commissioner in the late 1990s; Andy Hawes, who ran against current City Council President Elaine Clegg in 2015; Adriel Martinez, who ran against Councilman Scot Ludwig; and Paul Fortin, a former captain in the Boise Fire Department who ran against then-City Council President Maryanne Jordan in 2013 and briefly against Clegg in 2015.

Hawes, however, said he hasn’t made a final decision on whether he will in fact run.

Lisa Sanchez and Danielle Naomi Johnson also have filed certifications of treasurer. Sept. 8 is the deadline to file declarations of candidacy.

Jordan’s departure is no surprise. After being appointed to the Idaho Senate in 2015, she announced that she would serve out her term, which ends this year, but would not seek re-election. Jordan was appointed to the City Council in 2003, during the depths of a scandal that sent former Mayor Brent Coles and two members of his administration to jail and led to the election of new council members and Mayor David Bieter, who’s been in office ever since. Jordan was elected in 2005 and re-elected in 2009 and 2013.

Woodings said she’s had her eye on Jordan’s seat since finding out two years ago that Jordan planned to vacate it.

Quintana was first elected in 2011 and re-elected four years later. He said Wednesday that he has a lot of reasons for deciding not to run again. Time is a big one.

He and his wife have an 18-month-old son, and he’d like to spend more time with both. He has a day job in addition to his City Council commitment, which he described as essentially a second full-time job. He’s going to teach a course in leadership at Boise State University. Someday, he’d like to go back to school to pursue another degree.

“I haven’t been mountain biking or golfing or enjoying a lot of the things that we get to enjoy in Idaho because I really just don’t have any extra time,” he said.

Quintana said he has no plans to leave public service entirely. He plans to stay on the board of commissioners for Capital City Development Corporation, Boise’s urban renewal agency. He said he’ll keep an eye out for opportunities to serve on other boards, with a special interest in any that focus on economic development, neighborhood involvement or community engagement.

Of the seven candidates who filed for the two open seats, five identified Quintana’s as their seat of choice. Walker said Wednesday he wasn’t sure if he’d run for Jordan’s seat, which he identified on his paperwork, or Quintana’s.