Bob Bruce to run for Ada County Highway District commission

Bob Bruce
Bob Bruce

Eagle resident Bob Bruce has announced his candidacy for Ada Count Highway District commissioner. He is seeking the Northern Ada County district 3 seat held by John Franden, who is retiring.

Bruce is a former Eagle Sewer District Board Member, Boise Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee Chairman, Meridian Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee Founder and Chairman and Nampa Chamber of Commerce Board Member and Transportation Committee Founder and Chairman.

An engineering consultant, Bruce is a project principal for Stanley Consultants, Inc. and previously a vice president at CH2M HILL and HDR Engineering, Inc. and a project development manager at Morrison Knudsen. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Boise State, where he also played football.

Here is more from Bruce’s press release:

"I have lived in Ada County for almost 62 years including 42 years in Boise and 20 years in Eagle. I understand the transportation issues that the county faces as well as the diverse needs and desires of the citizens of ACHD District 3. I have worked in the engineering and construction industry for nearly 35 years. Much of that work has been in transportation. I have been involved with many successful transportation projects in the valley including the I-84 Vista Avenue Interchange, I-84 Eisenman Road Interchange, I-84 Locust Grove Road Overpass, East ParkCenter Bridge and numerous other successful projects that have greatly benefited the traveling public in Ada County.

"One of the most difficult issues facing Ada County Highway District is managing the existing system requirements while addressing future challenges. Budget issues are critical. Likely reductions in the amount of available funding from the Federal government may require belt tightening in order to keep taxes low. I am a strong advocate of local option funding which ACHD has benefited from over the years. That tool allows voters to decide if they want to raise fees to provide for capital improvements. I believe strongly in multimodal transportation. One need look no further than the Salt Lake area to see how a coordinated transportation system can reduce gridlock and encourage economic development.

"I am concerned about the interface between land use decisions by cities and the county and transportation decisions by ACHD. More collaboration needs to occur so that transportation planning and projects complement land use decisions. I am particularly concerned about the disharmony that exists between the City of Boise and ACHD. I will work very hard to close the gap between these two governmental entities. As President Abraham Lincoln once said, 'A house divided against itself will not stand.' The relations between the ACHD Commission and the Boise City Council must improve for all of the residents of Ada County.

"The recent standoff between the City and ACHD over the Downtown Bike Lane Pilot Project is but one of many examples where much better collaboration is needed. For the record, I agreed with ACHD President Franden's position on that subject. He favored leaving the bike lanes in for a longer period of time to allow drivers and cyclists more time to acclimate themselves to the change. This followed the desires of the Boise City Council. I would not be running for this position if I did not think that it is possible for ACHD and the City of Boise to achieve greater harmony. I hope that the voters of ACHD District 3 will agree that I am the most qualified candidate to represent them for the next four years."

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 — which 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.

Two ACHD Commission seats — Districts 3 and 4 — will appear on the Nov. 4 general election ballot. District 3 covers the north and northwest portions of Ada County, running from Boise's North End and the Foothills to the west through Eagle and Star. District 4 takes in the vast southern portion of the county, generally south of Interstate 84 and Gowen Road. Mitch Juarena currently holds the District 4 seat.

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.