Opinion

Boise’s police chief, parks director to hit Greenbelt to meet you

Greenbelt users wanted these tickets from Boise's police chief

Chief Bill Bones and Doug Holloway, city parks and recreation director, teamed up for a tour of the Greenbelt July 8, 2016. The whole idea for the ride, Holloway said, was to engage the public — find out what they like about crime prevention progr
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Chief Bill Bones and Doug Holloway, city parks and recreation director, teamed up for a tour of the Greenbelt July 8, 2016. The whole idea for the ride, Holloway said, was to engage the public — find out what they like about crime prevention progr

Got a bone to pick with Boise police Chief Bill Bones? Have some advice for Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway? Want to compliment either man about the degree of public service you receive?

You could always visit their offices to do so, but Friday presents an unusual opportunity: Both men are going to be on their bicycles cruising the Boise Greenbelt between Ann Morrison Park and Willow Lane Park (with a stop at Quinn’s Pond) from 9 a.m. to noon Friday and they hope you stop to visit.

If you do get their ear you might also get some free tickets for a Boise attraction: a family day pass to Zoo Boise; golf for two (plus cart) to Quail Hollow or Warm Springs golf courses; a family day swim pass to a Boise public pool; or a public skating session at Idaho IceWorld, including skate rentals for two — while supplies last.

The two city officials teamed up for a tour de Greenbelt for the first time last April. Though they announced they were making the ride over some city social-media platforms back then, Holloway admits not many folks were aware of their mission — or even who they were.

One woman along the path gave Bones a second look and said: “Are you that nice bike cop who comes and keeps our park clean?”

“Without any hesitation he said, ‘Why, yes I am,’ ” recalls Holloway, who knew Bones was just being humble and trying to be polite.

The whole idea for the ride, Holloway said, is to engage the public — find out what they like about crime prevention programs and the park system, and how they can improve them.

“Our goal is just to get feedback and demonstrate that two of the most visible city departments want to get better — and make Boise even more livable,” Holloway said.

If I were out there Friday I might ask Chief Bones how things are going with the body camera program. Or, how Boise Police Department approaches its Greenbelt patrols? Which areas present the greatest public safety concerns?

Should I catch up with Holloway I would ask him how he thinks cyclists, pedestrian/walkers (with and without dogs), skateboarders and in-line skaters are getting along out there on the Greenbelt. Or, maybe ask him to give his vision of Esther Simplot Park when it gets all finished.

City officials who are ready to put themselves out there and really listen to their constituents ought to be commended — and we should show our appreciation by taking them up on the offer. What are your questions? And, if you had a choice, which one of those free-ticket attractions appeals the most to you?

If you catch up with Bones or Holloway let us know what you found out — and whether you’re headed to play a round of golf or looking forward to a face-to-knee encounter with the giraffes at Zoo Boise.

Robert Ehlert: 208-377-6437, rehlert@idahostatesman.com, @IDS_HelloIdaho

Free tickets for sharing your thoughts on Boise public services

WHO: Boise Police Chief Bill Bones and Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway

WHAT: Chief Bones and Director Holloway will be out enjoying the Greenbelt on their bicycles and visiting with citizens about their experiences with police and parks and recreation services

WHERE: Between Ann Morrison and Willow Lane Parks, with a special stop at Quinn’s Pond

WHEN: Friday July 8th from 9 a.m. to noon

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