Idanha Building

Pedestrians cross 10th Street in front of the Idanha building in downtown Boise, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019.

Boise mayoral candidates: 

  • Rebecca Arnold
  • Dave Bieter
  • Brent Coles
  • Adriel Martinez
  • Lauren McLean
  • Cortney Nielson
  • Wayne Richey

Name: Rebecca W. Arnold

Rebecca Arnold cropped

Rebecca Arnold

  • Age: 62 
  • Education: Juris Doctorate, 1987, Washington University School of Law - St. Louis, Missouri. Master of Business Administration (Finance emphasis) 1982, Murray State University. Bachelor of Science - Business (Accounting) 1978, magna cum laude, Murray State University.
  • Website: www.ARNOLDforBoise.com

Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime? Misdemeanor – yes, inattentive driving in 2000. felony – no, none

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy for yourself or for your business? No

Occupation and relevant work experience:

  • ATTORNEY – Idaho (previously licensed in Missouri)
  • CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT – Inactive (formerly licensed in ID, KY & MO)
  • Current jobs: ACHD Commission President
  • General Counsel – WH Moore Company since 2012
  • Previous positions: Attorney, self-employed 8 years
  • Senior Attorney, Albertson’s Inc. 9 years
  • Attorney - Givens Pursley 6 years

Community Service:

  • ACHD since 2005
  • Ada County/City Emergency Management Council
  • Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program/CASA - volunteer lawyer.
  • Junior League of Boise since 1990
  • Ada County Boys & Girls Club board member– since 2012.
  • Idaho Association of Highway Districts 12 years
  • COMPASS
  • Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Please refer to arnoldforboise.com/meet-rebecca/ for details

Past political experience: currently serving as an Ada County Highway District Commissioner since 2005

Endorsements: Boise Regional Realtors; Building Contractors Association of Southwest Idaho and numerous individuals of varied backgrounds and professions, many of whom are listed on my website www.ARNOLDforBoise.com

Why are you running for this office?

I am very concerned about what the current Boise administration has, and hasn’t, done, for example: the lack of transparency; the marginal efforts to seek public input; raising property taxes the maximum amount allowed each year without regard to the impact on our citizens; wasteful spending on vanity projects such as the rail streetcar, the proposed downtown stadium, and the hiring of an out-of-country architect at a ridiculously high price for the “Taj Mahal” library; the efforts to block a public vote on the proposed library and stadium; and Mayor Bieter’s inability to work with other agencies, such as ACHD and the legislature. Property taxes are too high, which has, in some cases, forced people to sell their homes because they can no longer afford to pay the property taxes. I am concerned about the City’s focus on vanity projects and failure to focus on basic services that our citizens need, such as providing adequate police and fire services, particularly in newly annexed areas. As Mayor, I will work to restore transparency, lower property taxes, rein in wasteful spending and collaborate with other agencies and elected officials to improve services and quality of life for all of our citizens.

What are your top three priorities if elected?

Reducing the property tax burden and reining in wasteful spending by scrutinizing the City's budget to identify and eliminate unnecessary positions and expenses, by eliminating vanity projects like the streetcar and the stadium, and by evaluating a possible library remodel or scaled back project to be designed by local architects that provides the services that our citizens need with no impact on The Cabin or the Anne Frank Memorial, and without breaking the bank.

Restoring transparency and the public’s faith in the governmental process by involving the public at the beginning of any proposal and frequently throughout the process in open meetings. The current Boise administration appears to have been discussing projects like the proposed library and the stadium outside the public view long before those projects became public. Ideas and proposals should be discussed in open public workshops and meetings held in convenient and accessible locations throughout the City to provide opportunity for more residents to provide meaningful input into the City's decision making process.

Work with private industry to find solutions to the affordable housing problems.

Improve Boise City's relationship with ACHD, the legislature, ITD and other jurisdictions to move forward in a positive direction.

Why should voters select you over your opponents?

I have a proven track record of being a fiscal conservative and working to improve government efficiency and the wise use of taxpayer dollars, while avoiding increases in property taxes. I do not pretend to have all the answers but what I do have is the background, attitude, and skill set to identify key players and bring them together to collaborate on solutions, and the flexibility to adapt to better solutions that arise from that process.

I also have a track record of assuring that public business is conducted in open meetings and assuring that the public has the opportunity to provide meaningful input into the decision making process.

I have a reputation for acting in the best interests of our citizens. I have not forgotten that I am a public servant and that I need to be accessible to my constituents, which is why I publish my cell phone number. (208-841-2530)

Do you support the proposed main library project in its current form? If not, what would you do instead?

No, I do not support the current proposal, which was clearly a vanity project designed to impress visitors with little thought to the needs of the people who use the library. I would take a step back and evaluate whether the current library should be remodeled or replaced. I would survey the current users of the library to determine what features and resources are important to the library users and then hire a local architect who understands our community, our lifestyles and our values to provide a design that meets the needs of our citizens who use the library, while keeping intact The Cabin and the Anne Frank Memorial.

If the citizen proposition on the November 5th ballot passes and if the redesigned project meets the criteria for a public vote, I would facilitate putting the project to a public vote to let the people decide how their public funds should be spent.

What do you think of the city of Boise's direction on public transportation? What, if anything, would you do differently?

The current public transportation system isn’t working. Bus routes are not conveniently located and schedules do not provide the frequency and hours to accommodate the needs of the riders. We need to take a fresh look at the type of buses and frequency to determine what works best for our community and lifestyles. We also need a mayor who can sit down with the leadership in the Idaho legislature to evaluate options and exchange ideas on funding. Mayor Bieter and the current council view the Idaho legislature as the enemy and have taken the approach of demanding certain actions and authorities from the legislature. I have a good relationship with the leadership in the legislature and I would take a collaborative approach to explore solutions that are workable and palatable to the legislature and our citizens.

Boise’s existing administration has shown little interest in joining the current efforts to explore light rail between Caldwell and Boise. I will lead the effort to have Boise collaborate with the other city and county agencies to move toward making commuter rail a reality and also pursuing trails along rail corridors.

What is your position on the F-35s possibly coming to Gowen Field?

I support our military and I support the Air National Guard having a mission at Gowen Field. However, I do not support bringing the F-35s to Boise. The F-35s would render many homes uninhabitable and would negatively impact school children and the community.

How should the city address the affordable housing crisis?

Private industry should take the lead in providing housing with government playing a supportive role. I am not in favor of the City building housing and playing the role of landlord – doing so would take property off the tax rolls (increasing the tax burden on others) and would add another layer of bureaucracy and expense to city government. As examples of government roles, government can support private industry in building affordable housing through tax incentives (so long as there is a mechanism in place for enforcing affordable rent levels), through zoning changes to allow small accessory dwelling units where appropriate and through simplifying and streamlining the building permit process.

Property taxes also play a role in affordability. The City increasing property taxes results in increased rent levels as property owners pass those higher costs on to tenants and results in forcing some people on fixed incomes out of their homes because they cannot afford the tax bills.


Name: David H. Bieter

Dave Bieter mug

Dave Bieter

  • Age: 59
  • Education: University of Idaho College of Law, Juris Doctorate, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, International Studies.
  • Website: Bieterforboise.com
  • Bankruptcies or misdemeanor/felony convictions? No

Occupation and relevant work experience: Law Partner at Bieter, Werth & Walker LLC, Boise, ID 2001 – 2003. Founded law firm in Boise and Ketchum. Local government, land use, employment law. Moore McFadden | Associate Attorney 1998 – 2003. Municipal law for the cities of McCall, Kuna, Eagle, Star, and Middleton. Civil Attorney | Bonner County | Sandpoint, ID 1995 – 1997.In house civil attorney to the Bonner County Commissioners for a wide range of legal issues, civil litigation, advice to Bonner County elected officials. Ada County Prosecutor’s Office, Civil Division | Boise, ID 1990 – 1995; 1997 – 1998. Represented Ada County in all manor of civil issues and litigation.

Past political experience: Mayor, City of Boise. Boise, ID 2004 – present. Member, Idaho House of Representatives, DIstrict 19, Idaho State Legislature | Boise, ID 1999 – 2003

Endorsements: Maryanne Jordan, Illana Rubel, Diane Lachiondo, Paulette Jordan, Carol Andrus, Beth Oppenheimer, Holli Woodings, Monica Church, Rick Johnson, Mike Masterson, Kristin Collum, John McCrostie, Anselmi Sadiki, Betty Richardson, TJ Thomson, Jessica Rolph, Jake Ellis, Hy Kloc, Ben Quintana, Janie Ward-Engleking, Grant Gurgoyne, Scot Ludwig, Cherie Buckner-Webb, AJ Balukoff, Dr. Don Coberly, Alan Shealy, Dennis Doan, Cindy Wilson, Jana Jones, Mary Bieter, Jenn Orr, Laura Metzler, Corey Surber, Alicia Estey, Brett Palmateer, Katherine Lovan, International Association of Firefighters Local 149, Boise Central Trades & Labor Committee (AFL-CIO), International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 486

Why are you running for this office: It’s been my honor to serve as the Mayor of my hometown. I certainly can’t all the credit, but I’m proud of the improvements we’ve seen in Boise since I took office. We built 15 new parks, 4 new neighborhood libraries, 3 new recreation centers, and a mental health crisis center at the Allumbaugh House. We partnered with the Boise School District to offer public pre-k for the first time in Idaho, as well as 8 after-school programs. We preserved more than 11,000 acres of open space. We are a safer city, with rebuilt and expanded fire and rescue stations and training facilities. In fact, we have reduced crime to an all-time low – a 45% drop since I took office. We’ve also become one of America’s greenest cities. We expanded curbside recycling and compost pickup, approved geothermal energy expansion, opened the Dixie Drain to remove pollution from the Boise River, and committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2035. We should be proud of our collective efforts to make Boise the most livable city in the country. It’s no surprise that people choose Boise to start a business, raise a family, live out their golden years.

What are your top three priorities if elected: Growth is bringing with it extraordinary challenges, especially when it comes to the cost of housing and the growing amount of traffic. That’s why we are launching historic new initiatives to fight homelessness, make housing more affordable, and invest in public transportation and our infrastructure. That’s why we launched Grow Our Housing, to build New Path, Idaho’s only Housing First development to bring permanent supportive housing to those that need it most, and broke ground this summer on Valor Pointe, Idaho’s second Housing First development to bring these same services to homeless veterans, while now making the commitment to end family homelessness in our city. To address traffic, we’re expanding our financial support of Valley Regional Transit to increase service along key routes and we launched Keep Boise Moving, to bring new strategies to allow even greater investment in bike, pedestrian, and transit infrastructure to reduce congestion by giving people other options to get around. For all of the changes we have seen, there are some constants we must never lose. My mother loved Boise more than anybody. She cared deeply about this city. What she loved most was that deep Boise value of kindness and of caring for each other.

Why should voters select you over your opponents: When it comes to the future of our city, increasing affordable housing, improving transportation, and ensuring Boise remains a welcoming city for any who calls it home are inherently intertwined. Whether we’re building compact, mixed use housing to decrease sprawl and increase availability, expanding pedestrian and bike infrastructure, increasing public transit systems, decreasing single occupancy car trips, pushing Boise to use 100% renewable energy by 2035, or opening our neighborhoods to more immigrant and refugee populations, Boise’s future is dependent on true leadership - doing what’s right for the long-term best interests of our community. I have always wanted to build a Boise my mom would be proud of, one I could leave to my daughter and her children. The sustainability and prosperity of their future is vital to ensuring we remain the most livable city in the country, and I’ve proven time and time again I’m up to that challenge.

Do you support the proposed main library project in its current form? If not, what would you do instead: I have always been and always will be a supporter of libraries. Since becoming mayor, I have overseen the development and completion of four new neighborhood libraries and am a supporter of the new main library project. Libraries are an integral part of any community especially in the 21st century. Beyond the technology and accessibility all of our libraries in Boise offer Boiseans, they remain vital to our city being the most livable city in the country. Even though the main library project has been paused due to national market and construction trends, I remain committed to making sure the project is completed within the budget set by the city.

What do you think of the city of Boise's direction on public transportation? What, if anything, would you do differently: Transportation and traffic are always in the top 2 or 3 issues Boiseans bring up in conversations with me. There isn’t one “silver bullet” solution here, we need to use all the tools in the toolkit. My top priority is working to make sure we have more choices in how we choose to get around in order to protect our quality of life. That’s why we launched Keep Boise Moving, our effort to build a comprehensive and efficient transportation system across our city – a critical goal for Boise’s future success. We have to build a transportation system that is diversified and innovative, while being achievable. I have always advocated for a local option tax to build a valley wide transit system, but until the preemption in state statue is lifted either through the Idaho Legislature or initiative process, we have to do what we can right now by prioritizing alternative transportation modes by increasing infrastructure for bikes, pedestrians, and scooters and increasing funding to Valley Regional Transit to expand busing hours and routes to reach more people in every neighborhood and decrease single-occupancy car trips.

What is your position on the F-35s possibly coming to Gowen Field: I support the Idaho National Air Guard’s efforts to maintain and build on the jobs and economy provided by Gowen Field. We must maintain a flying mission at Gowen Field to keep our neighbors, teachers, and business owners who call Boise home because of Gowen Field here. The economic viability of almost 3,000 direct and indirect jobs and nearly $160 million towards Idaho’s GDP, through the tech and countless other industries, highlights the need to keep a flying mission at Gowen Field. But Boise and the Idaho National Air Guard must do this with minimal impact to surrounding neighborhoods and the environment - and I look forward to finding these solutions in collaboration with the US Air Force and the Idaho National Air Guard.

How should the city address the affordable housing crisis: Boise is one of the most livable cities in the country because we’ve done the hard work over the years to make this city a great place to call home, something we should be proud of. Growth is a natural result of this success, but with new growth comes the responsibility to grow smartly. New housing is a must for our growing population, but we have to develop responsibly. Compact and mixed use developments that prioritize walkability and bikeability while increasing density and decreasing sprawl must be the model we use for all new developments. Not only does this help people stay connected to their neighborhoods and the services they need, but it preserves open space, protects natural resources, and decreases single-occupancy car trips and our overall carbon footprint. Boise is one of the most livable cities in the country, and it’s no secret people are moving here to share in what makes this place so special. I believe anyone who wants to call Boise home (new or longtime resident), deserves the opportunity to have one of their own. We are a welcoming, safe, and thriving community, and we should share this prosperity with everyone.


Name: Brent Coles

Brent Coles

Brent Coles

  • Age: 67 
  • Education:
    • Master of Public Administration, California State University, Long Beach
    • Bachelors of Political Science, Brigham Young University
    • Borah High School
  • Website: www.colesformayor.com

Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime? No. I pled guilty to two felonies pursuant to Alford vs North Carolina. The Judge withheld judgement and placed me on probation for three years. At the conclusion of those three years, the Judge entered an order setting aside my guilty plea and dismissed the case. Accordingly, I was never convicted.

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy for yourself or for your business? No.

Occupation and relevant work experience:

  • Community Development Department, Long Beach, CA
  • Parks Department, Artesia, CA
  • Assistant to the City Manager, Artesia, CA
  • Planning Department, Boise, ID

Past political experience:

  • Mayor of Boise
  • Boise City Councilmember
  • Boise City Council President
  • Chairman, COMPASS Board of Directors
  • President, Association of Idaho Cities
  • President, U.S. Conference of Mayors

Endorsements: Judy Peavey-Derr, former Ada County Commissioner

Why are you running for this office?

To reduce property taxes, stop spending our hard earned tax dollars on projects like $600,000 on plans to put a train downtown, $300,000 for an out of state consultant to design a land use planning ordinance that will increase residential densities in our neighborhoods, $11 million for an out of state architect to design a $104 million library, $650,000 to move the Log Cabin Literary Center from its historical location on the Greenbelt, $40,000 for facial recognition technology in City Hall, and the list goes on.

What are your top three priorities if elected?

1. Lower Taxes

The current administration thinks it’s ok to routinely raise our taxes. My plan calls for a freeze to the city budget, not taking the full 3% increase annually and re-prioritizing spending to meet our most immediate needs.

2. Public Safety

We are currently 54 police officers short. We will hire those officers to keep our community safe, and not spend $11 million on out-of-state architects to build a $100 million-dollar library.

Additionally, the city has not kept up on construction of fire stations in areas that have been annexed into Boise. I will get those fire stations built.

3. Reduce Traffic Congestion

The spending of money on needless studies for a trolley to nowhere in downtown Boise will stop. Instead, let’s open Boise’s buses and allow free ridership and add more convenient routes. Plus, we have an existing railway – we can put a commuter train on that railway to move people between Caldwell and Boise.

Why should voters select you over your opponents?

Geographically, a majority of the citizens in Boise do not have a voice at City Hall. I lived for 30 years on the southwest area of the Bench. I have lived the past 10 years on the North West edge of the city. We are not treated equally. Our parks are grass with no play equipment or restrooms. Fire stations are planned but not built. Some areas were annexed 5 years ago and not one streetlight, sidewalk, bus stop, or patrol officer has been added to our area.

As Mayor, I would bring a new perspective to what people are thinking and what they need and want from city government. I’ve done it before and will do it again.

People living along Five Mile, Maple Grove, Victory Road, Chinden, State Street, Glenwood Street and in the Eastern edges of town are not looking just to downtown for entertainment and jobs. They also want good bus service, their parks to be completed when they are started. They want a voice at City Hall that is heard and seen and makes an impact. The current mayor and council along with every commission and board have no outside voices. They vote almost always unanimously. It is time for new voices. It is time to have representatives that will at least be willing to challenge the idea that we must bring in people from outside Boise to tell us what to do. We have great minds in Boise. Why do people want to move here? Because we have chosen a different route to almost everything.

Do you support the proposed main library project in its current form? If not, what would you do instead?

I do not support contracting an $11 million architect from out of state. I do not support the expenditure of $104 million for a library in Downtown Boise.

I would, however, support a remodel project. I would definitely include the community. Libraries are important. When I was mayor, the city began the acquisition of library locations in neighborhoods. I would open them to more hours and determine if we need more branches.

I do support the Boise Working Together initiatives. In fact, I carried petitions to the neighborhoods.

What do you think of the City of Boise's direction on public transportation? What, if anything, would you do differently?

It’s a disaster! As I talk to neighborhoods, some have observed that express services we had in past years have been discontinued. They do not use transit because it is not convenient.

I would use the money set aside for studies, such as $600,000 for a trolley downtown and the $650,000 for moving the Log Cabin, and use those dollars to add routes and invite the citizens of Boise to ride for free. I would invite every BSU, CWI, in fact all students, to ride the bus for free. We can reduce congestion on the roads by extensively improving bus service. I would encourage the city council to consider traffic congestion a much higher priority than a new library downtown. We brought the RegioSprinter to Boise almost 20 years ago. Nothing has been done since. If I were elected mayor, I would work to have a commuter train on the tracks between Boise and Caldwell before the end of a 4-year term. We would have many more buses providing service to our neighborhoods as a significant way to reduce traffic congestion and make this a much more livable city for everyone.

What is your position on the F-35s possibly coming to Gowen Field?

The Idaho National Guard is one of the major contributors to the construction of our facilities including runways, lighting, technology, and the control tower. We have been partners and should continue to be partners by working with the Air National Guard to secure the F-35 Mission. As partners, we will have input to the training hours and landing and take off times and conditions. The Air National Guard require significant civilian support services from our workforce in Boise. They are great jobs for the community. Also, when deployments occur, the families of deployed service personnel need significant support from the community. Boise is known for rallying around and helping.

How should the city address the affordable housing crisis?

First, the city council is allowing developers to rezone and tear down the existing affordable housing in Boise’s core. The city should stop that policy now.

Second, where the city owns property, we can collaborate to build affordable housing just as we did in the 1990s when we built Oak Park and other properties.

Third, we should not be leasing city owned property to developers building $600,000 condominiums. Private property owners can do that, but public owned properties should be developed as affordable housing.

We did it from 1993 to 2003 where we went from 30 affordable housing units to over 700. I will do it again, if elected.

I would make affordable housing a significantly more important issue than a stadium. The Redevelopment Agency should be laser focused on affordable housing in the downtown core.


Name: Adriel Martinez

Adriel Martinez

Adriel Martinez

  • Age: 29
  • Education: B.S. in Political Science from Boise State University. HS Graduate from Nampa High School.
  • Website: None

Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime? Wreckless Driving/misdemeanor.

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy for yourself or for your business? No.

Occupation and relevant work experience: I work at Fedex Express. I have worked on Political Campaigns at every level of government from city to national. The best political campaign job I have had was working for the Bernie Sanders Campaign in 2016 in Iowa. I was in the United States Army for four and a half years active duty. I deployed twice to Afghanistan. I have worked closely with local politicians on law changes and ballot initiatives in recent years.

Past political experience: I ran for Boise City Council in 2015.

Endorsements: None

Why are you running for this office? I am running for Mayor of Boise because our city needs a fresh face to fix all the problems plaguing our city during the recent growth.

What are your top three priorities if elected? My top three priorities are to fix the housing problem, economy, and transportation/infrastructure.

Why should voters select you over your opponents? Voters should select me over the other candidates because I represent the average Boise Socioeconomic class. I am not a part of the political oligarchy in downtown Boise also.

Do you support the proposed main library project in its current form? If not, what would you do instead? I do not support the new library or stadium projects because they are at a cost that is unacceptable to the taxpayers. The city government tried to pass these projects through without respecting the taxpayer’s opinions.

What do you think of the city of Boise's direction on public transportation? What, if anything, would you do differently? Boise’s public transportation system is a joke and needs a lot of work in order to better serve the city. Our busing system needs to run 24/7 from Monday through Saturday night to start off with.

What is your position on the F-35s possibly coming to Gowen Field? I support the F35’s coming to Boise, but I also will advocate the people being heard by their government through a policy of 100% transparency.

How should the city address the affordable housing crisis? The city must work with the Boise Ada Greater Housing Authority amongst several other organizations to fix our housing crisis. I will not approve more expensive single-family homes, but rather I will look to build more apartments, townhomes, and other high density living.


Name: Lauren McLean

Lauren McLean mug

Lauren McLean

  • Age: 45
  • Education: BA, University of Notre Dame. Masters of Public Administration, Boise State University
  • Website: www.mcleanforboise.com
  • Bankruptcies or misdemeanor/felony convictions? No

Occupation and relevant work experience:

I own and operate my own philanthropy consulting business. As part of this work, I built a local organization called the Idaho Investor Network. I served as founding Managing Director of the IIN for ten years, passing the reins to new staff this summer.

I currently serve on the New Deal Leaders Climate Policy Group as well as on the Board of Governors at the Andrus Center at Boise State. I’ve also served on the steering committee to develop the Boise Metro Chamber Leadership Boise Alumni Association, was a board member of my neighborhood association, member of the Boise City Planning and Zoning Association, and President of the Boise Parks Commission.

Past political experience:

In 2011, I was appointed to Boise’s City Council, was twice re-elected, and elected as Council President in 2018.

Endorsements:

My endorsements include Conservation Voters for Idaho, Planned Parenthood, Representative Melissa Wintrow, Representative Brooke Green. My campaign has

focused not on traditional candidate endorsements but on conversations with thousands of Boiseans. Our campaign has knocked nearly 40,000 doors and held over 30 listening sessions throughout the city.

Why are you running for this office?

Over the past year, I've sensed a growing dissatisfaction and worry from people as they lived with the impacts of growth and other challenges. In response to that, I increased my outreach to the community through a series of nearly 30 Listening Tour stops, spanning the whole city.

Besides making deep connections with people from all walks of life, I learned that Boiseans were - after 16 years of the same leadership - ready for new vision at the top. I also learned that too many people were struggling to stay a part of the city they know and love, too many were dealing with the impacts of congestion and traffic, too many were feeling talked over and ignored, and too many were dealing with wages stagnant since the Great Recession.

Simply put: we aren’t the city we were 16 years ago and the challenges have changed. I’m committed to providing a new style of leadership with an eye towards the future, not mired in the baggage of the past. Our brightest days can still be ahead, but we’ve got to be bold about keeping our city truly livable for everyone.

What are your top three priorities if elected?

No matter where you go in this city, people are worried about the same basic pressures of growth. My priorities will be to address affordable housing, build a regional vision for transportation solutions to reduce traffic and congestion and protect our air quality, and to increase transparency and accountability at City Hall.

Why should voters select you over your opponents?

It’s not enough to have experience: I have that (as do the current and former mayors in this race.) But I think voters are ready for a new attitude and voice in the mayor’s office: a person with a steady hand and deep well of experience, but without the baggage and long-standing grudges. Voters have told me for months that they’re ready for someone to listen, and I’ve demonstrated a deep willingness to listen to a diversity of voices. This changed attitude will be key in creating the consensus we need right now among cities, counties, ACHD, businesses and other agencies in this valley. Without that cooperation, we have no hope of building a real regional transit plan or a serious strategy for curbing endless (and expensive) sprawl. I’m a realist: I know these rebuilt relationships and regional alliances are not easy tasks. But I am heartened by the next generation of leaders that are increasingly and courageously standing up. With their leadership, and a new openness and humbled tone from the office of Boise’s mayor, we can get there.

Do you support the proposed main library project in its current form? If not, what would you do instead?

As I’ve shared with residents throughout Boise, I truly believe in the power of a strong, well-designed downtown library. Libraries are often called the last of the great public spaces: they are a haven for young and old alike, an incubator for ideas, a vehicle for self-improvement, and a last line of defense against educational and economic inequality. Public libraries are an essential part of our identity as Americans and Boiseans.

I also believe that we must respect the initiative process and the will of the voters. We need to listen to our community. The fact that citizens – who care deeply about Boise, just like we all do – were successful in getting the library and stadium on the ballot tells me that elected officials need to listen more and listen better, myself included.

Many signers of the petition do support the library, but take exception with both the public process so far and the final budget of the library, which has skyrocketed along with construction costs. As mayor, it would be my goal and honor to build consensus around a library that feels right - both in form and pricetag - to Boise’s people.

What do you think of the city of Boise's direction on public transportation? What, if anything, would you do differently?

Acknowledging that our region is 20 years behind on a transportation system, and that we can’t wait for a local option tax to be granted to us, I will set about rebuilding regional relationships to create consensus, forming a regional vision and bargaining power. And then - when a funding source becomes available - we will be ready to act in a united voice. This plan will revisit the potential of our existing rail line (and the space along it)

connecting Caldwell, Nampa, Meridian, and Boise. I will also explore the use of trackless trams running along State Street, connecting Middleton, Star, Eagle and Boise. I will strengthen safe pedestrian and cyclist routes throughout the city with an Urban Trail System, connecting our farmlands to our Foothills and everything in between. I will continue to invest in a user-friendly bus system that can move people to their jobs and lives faster, more frequently, and every day of the week and through the night.

What is your position on the F-35s possibly coming to Gowen Field?

In the recently-released Environmental Impact (EIS), we learn that the proposed F35 mission would make so much noise that 272 homes would be unsuitable for living. That means 655 people would be looking for new places to live, or forced to live with noise throughout the day at unacceptable levels. Schools would be impacted. Homes would be impacted. People would be impacted. And all this in the middle of a serious housing shortage

I’ll always stand by the current servicepeople at Gowen Field, no question. Boise is home to an A10 mission and it’s going to be here for the foreseeable future. Additionally, I believe we could find ways to work with the National Guard to expand some of the current programs at Gowen that have no negative environmental impact on our residents.

As Mayor, I wouldn’t invest taxpayer dollars in pushing for a new mission given the information in this EIS. At a time when we’re in need of more housing – particularly affordable housing – the Mayor shouldn’t be using taxpayer money lobbying for something that renders existing housing uninhabitable.

How should the city address the affordable housing crisis?

Our people need affordable places to call home and measures to keep them from being priced out of our community. We’re in need of bolder housing solutions to address our affordability crisis if we want to get ahead of it and avoid the mistakes of other cities. It is essential that we add more places for people to live in every single neighborhood in this city, at all price points and at all sizes - from microunits to accessory dwelling units, from apartments to condos, duplexes to single family homes. To address these issues, I'll immediately form a Housing Task Force to determine new tools at our disposal. I’ll expand on the City’s current Grow Our Housing Initiative: it’s a good start, but we’re in need of more - including truly incentivizing ADUs, expanding the Community Land Bank, and reforming demolition and impact fees. It isn’t just about adding more places to live: we’ve also got to address some systemic issues (including skyrocketing property taxes) that are pricing our people out. Homes for people has got to be a shared community value in the same way we value parks, our open spaces, and other amenities.


Name: Cortney Nielsen

Cortney Nielsen

Cortney Nielsen

Age: 40 years young 

Education: Attended St. Mark's Catholic School, Bishop Kelly and Boise High.

Website: www.cortneyformayor.com

Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime? (Traffic citations not included.) If yes, what were the convictions and circumstances: Misdemeanor ~ I got 2 DUI's when I was 20 years old. I don't remember the consequences of those 2 incindences, since that was 20 years ago. I was a full time meth user for 14 years and I have 12 and a half years of sobriety.

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy for yourself or for your business? If yes, please tell us when and the circumstances: No bankruptcy

Occupation and relevant work experience: ~ I currently work for Acosta Sales and Marketing Services and Foster Grant. Customer service is key in every job that I have ever had and I value that trait more today than ever, with everything moving towards technology to validate customer service. People are still key to now and the future. I have a section of adopt a highway named after my cat that passed away, 'Big Kitty Inc'. I am a member of the Idaho Water Garden and Koi Society and have advocated for a filtration system and automatic feeder for the Koi ponds at the Boise train depot. I also volunteer with the Idaho State Historical Society and I am on the board for Central Rim neighborhood association.

Past political experience: None

Endorsements: ~ The people

Why are you running for this office: ~I am running for this office because I have a passion for people. I play well with others. I felt that government and politics had become so negative with egos and hidden agendas that the people had been pushed aside. I want to help bring the people back into the equation. Help government and politics change the conversation to positive, engaging, collaboration and opportunity for everyone.

What are your top three priorities if elected: ~My top 3 priorities are... 1. Transportation and working with cities and counties to bring a commuter train to the already available railroads. 2. Wages, wages and wages. 3. Advocate for statewide emissions test to clean our air and pool the money together to take care of our roads and highways. We are all in this together! If you see Boise with opportunity, a positive outlook, collaboration and no limitations to our future success as a community, then I am the candidate for you.

Do you support the proposed main library project in its current form? If not, what would you do instead: No on the library. I listened to many wonderful ideas on what could be done with the library. Move to the location to Shoreline and Americana, the old St. Luke's building now sitting vacant. Open many more library locations across Boise. Since the city is sitting on $55 million in cash for the library project, that money could go to a lot of things, like the commuter train for transportation that we desperately need or stimulate the economy even more and cut the taxpayers a check. The opportunities are endless.

What do you think of the city of Boise's direction on public transportation? What, if anything, would you do differently: Commuter train on already available railroad tracks.

What is your position on the F-35s possibly coming to Gowen Field: The F-35s would be great at the Mountain Home Air Force Base.

How should the city address the affordable housing crisis: There is no housing crisis. It's a wage increase opportunity. If there were $100,000 jobs out there for everyone, then we would not be having this conversation but there is not. The poor are only poor because the minimum wage is $7.25 and no one can take care of themselves at the minimum. When a coffee costs more than a barrista makes, that's a problem. When you pay the minimum how can you expect the best from your employees. Raise the wages so people can buy thier own homes.


Name: Wayne Richey

  • Age: 59
  • Education: BSU Vo-Tech Auto body, Bishop Kelly 1979
  • Website: Facebook, Wayne Richey for Boise Mayor
  • Bankruptcies or misdemeanor/felony convictions? No

Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime? (Traffic citations not included.) If yes, what were the convictions and circumstances? No

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy for yourself or for your business? If yes, please tell us when and the circumstances. No

Occupation and relevant work experience: none

Past political experience: none

Endorsements: none

Why are you running for this office? 20 to 30 thousand people moving to the valley every year has got to stop. Traffic, schools, infrastructure, and resources simply can’t keep up. This has caused property values to climb to unaffordable levels. Our friends and family who call this their hometown can no longer afford to live here. This is unacceptable

What are your top three priorities if elected? The invasion of new people from other states is my only priority. We must do anything and everything to slow it down. It has driven the price of a two bedroom apartment to $1200. Current wages do not support a $345,000 starter home. And elderly have seen their property taxes triple in only a few years. These are the people I’m fighting for.

Why should voters select you over your opponents? I feel I’m the only one in touch with the middle class.

Do you support the proposed main library project in its current form? If not, what would you do instead? A 100 million dollar library is someone’s trophy. I wouldn’t spend a dime on it. However I love the smaller libraries around town. They offer valuable services to the community.

What do you think of the city of Boise's direction on public transportation? What, if anything, would you do differently? If thousands move to the valley like they did last summer its hopeless. ACHD is knocking out four lane roads as fast as they can and not keeping up. We must find a way to slow down uncontrolled growth. Most of our workforce lives in Canyon County and is forced to drive an hour each way to work. Any public transportation would only have a small impact.

What is your position on the F-35s possibly coming to Gowen Field? I would love to see F-35s

How should the city address the affordable housing crisis? The only way to bring down the cost of housing is to slow the invasion of new people to our state. We have got to stop selling off our hometowns to the highest bidder. And.... apparently we have $100 million dollars to spend on a library. Build a few homeless shelters around town. At $1200 for an apartment the homeless situation will only get worse

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