Making a Great City Even Greater
Eight years ago, Dave Bieter ran for Mayor to restore faith and ethics in city government, improve service and accountability while protecting and enhancing Boise’s livability and bring a sharper focus to the needs of Boise’s neighborhoods. Dave also put a strong emphasized an economic development and revitalization program that has been especially important as we weather the national economic recession.
Here are just some of the results:
Ethics and Open Government
“Best town in America”
— Outside Magazine, August 2010
- Enacted a new ethics policy and created Idaho’s first citizen ethics commission to ensure that city government lives up to the highest standards of conduct.
- Launched live broadcast of City Council meetings on Treasure Valley Community Television and, the following year, live streaming on the City of Boise’s website.
- Met with all 32 neighborhood associations in the city to hear their concerns and inform the city’s policy decisions.
- Began “Saturday Office Hours” on a regular basis, opening his office without need for appointment, listening to citizens one on one to gain insight and address problems.
- Launched a website to provide citizens with full accounting of how federal economic stimulus dollars are being spent in Boise.
- While city services have improved and expanded, over the past 10 years, the city’s budget has increased less than 1 percent, adjusted for inflation and growth.
- Since 2009, the City of Boise has eliminated the equivalent of more than 40 full-time employee positions citywide, resulting in an annual savings of $5.4 million.
- Since 2008, actual general fund spending has been cut by almost $4 million per year.
Jobs and the Economy
Top 10, Population 500,000 to 1 million, “Healthiest Independent Retail Markets in the Nation”
— American Booksellers Association, January 2011
- Authorized up to $5.2 million in industrial revenue bonds for Western Trailers Co. to construct new 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and hire 50 additional employees.
- Worked with Meadow Gold on environmental, planning, and building issues to help the company complete expansion of its downtown facility, one of the last major industrial employers downtown.
- Worked with Winco Foods to build a state-of-the-art distribution center and 200 jobs to Boise.
- Signed agreements to study a new freight rail facility and provide maintenance and service along the 18 miles of city-owned rail, and a $1-million-plus lease of the tracks for car storage to Union Pacific.
- Leased a dilapidated warehouse near the Main Library for use as the new headquarters of BioMark, a high-tech firm that will spend more than $1 million in improvements.
- Opened the Greenhouse, a business incubator focused on supporting and advancing alternative energy and sustainable businesses, operated by the City of Boise project in partnership with BSU’s Idaho Small Business Development Center.
- Enhanced the city’s economic development efforts to work in tandem with Boise Valley Economic Partnership.
- With the help of customers — architects — developers, builders, and realtors — streamlined the permitting process to make it more efficient and customer-oriented.
America’s Most Livable City
No. 7 “Best Cities for Women”
— Women’s Health Magazine, December 2010
- Preserved hundreds of acres of Foothills open space – from Hammer Flat to Stack Rock to Polecat Gulch – for wildlife and recreation.
- The River Recreation and Esther Simplot Parks are scheduled to open this year.
- Joined businesses, volunteer organizations and citizens to host the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games.
Stronger Neighborhood Services
- Opened three new neighborhood libraries without increasing taxes, borrowing money or cutting programs.
- Opened three new community centers without spending city money to build them.
- Doubled the size of the annual Neighborhood Reinvestment Grant program, from $200,000 to $400,000, and then increased it again to $500,000, giving Boise residents greater opportunities to direct improvements in their own neighborhoods.
- Created “Porch Talk,” a quarterly neighborhood newsletter.
- Opened City Hall West, a public-service facility and headquarters for the police and fire departments, using savings rather than bond financing.
A Safer Boise
- Crime rates in Boise have been reduced year after year.
- Increased the number of patrol officers by using civilians to perform administrative functions, freeing up more officers for patrol.
Helping Our Neighbors
- Opened Allumbaugh House, a cooperative facility with other government and social service agencies, to provide detox, sobering, and crisis mental health services.
- Developed a transition plan for Community House to ensure that shelter and transitional housing remained available for individuals and families in need; used proceeds from the sale of the facility to create an endowment for programs addressing the root causes of homelessness.
- Launched Project CATCH (Charitable Assistance To Community’s Homeless), a cooperative project of the city, local businesses and communities of faith, to provide housing for homeless families and youth.
- Instituted the Youth Partnership between the city, the Boise Metro Chamber, United Way, Boise School District, and Boise State University to produce a dedicated United Way fund for children and youth programs.
- Created Mayor’s Council on Children and Youth to work with educators, businesses, non-profit community, service providers, and parents, developing partnerships needed for preschool and after-school programs that directly benefit children.
- Created “Our Troops, Our Families,” a program to provide military families a variety of free family recreational activities during the year-long deployment of the Idaho National Guard’s 116th Cavalry Brigade deployment to Iraq.
- Launched “Boise’s Best: A Celebration of Thanks,” with a steering committee co-chaired by former Governors Cecil Andrus and Phil Batt, to welcome home the Idaho National Guard and others who had served in Iraq.