Meet the 2017 Boise City Council Candidates

On Tuesday, November 7, we encourage you to vote in the Boise City Council election. Polls will be open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Click here to find your polling location.

We reached out to the candidates and asked them four questions about current issues and trends in the city. Topics included the potential for a downtown stadium and opportunities for public transportation.

  1. The City of Boise is a partner with several entities for the construction of a downtown stadium. Do you support this partnership?
  2. The Idaho Air National Guard creates a total of 2,801 jobs and has an economic impact of $155.4 million of our region. Do you support the F-35 aircraft being assigned to Gowen Field?
  3. How do you see the City of Boise being economically competitive with other communities in the Valley?
  4. What are the City’s options in funding public transportation?

Meet the candidates and read their responses to those questions below.

CLICK HERE to read answers from candidates for Seat #2.
CLICK HERE to read answers from candidates for Seat #4.
CLICK HERE to read answers from candidates for Seat #6.


SEAT #2

Paul Fortin

  1. Downtown Stadium: I support the concepts for this stadium 100%. After hearings are held on financing, traffic, noise levels and other issues, I believe Boise citizens will give their approval.  
  2. F-35 Aircraft: Being a Vietnam veteran, I will support whatever plane the Air Force decides will be stationed at Gowen Field after issues are addressed.  Meeting with all neighborhoods affected should reach an agreement that should not allow adverse effects on the citizens of Boise.
  3. Economic Development: After selecting what types of companies we want to move to the area, Boise should give tax breaks based on size and type of business.  I know the Chamber of Commerce spends a lot of time figuring out the businesses that would fit into Boise’s long-term growth.
  4. Public Transportation: Put in a combination of charging passengers for services, taxes and seek state and federal funding.

Logan Kimball

  1. Downtown Stadium: I am 100% opposed to the downtown stadium project. I am also opposed to the City partnering with CCDC, GBAD and private developers to complete the proposal.  I am open to a privately funded stadium.
  2. F-35 Aircraft: I understand the major concerns raised by citizens regarding noise pollution. I also understand the economic benefits of the F-35 replacement would bring. However, I ultimately believe the issue is out of the control of the City Council and Mayor.
  3. Economic Development: Boise is doing a great job to champion innovation and entrepreneurship seen through recent startup projects and ventures. I believe a major pillar of our community rests with our small business owners and we should look to our small businesses to strengthen our local economy.
  4. Public Transportation: I am opposed to spending millions of dollars on a downtown circulator before we commit to bettering our own bus system. There are numerous ways to fund public transportation, including rider fees, specific taxes, general revenues, development fees and additional funds from the federal government.

Rachel Misnick

  1. Downtown Stadium: I do not support this endeavor as I have many concerns, including the financial risk the City would be taking. The City should look more closely into the negative effects the project would have on many residents, schools and the police department.
  2. F-35 Aircraft: I wholeheartedly support the assignment of the F-35 aircraft to Gowen Field and the Idaho Air National Guard. Sustaining or growing our military activity at Gowen Field benefits the entire region.
  3. Economic Development: Boise has a higher cost of housing, limitations on available space and aging infrastructure as compared to our surrounding area. In order to remain competitive with other communities, we must carefully and intelligently plan the growth and livability of the City.
  4. Public Transportation: One of the core stances of my candidacy is increasing public transportation. Funding through setting proper fares, offering discounted bulk transit passes to organizations, advertising revenues, initial federal assistance and introducing a strictly limited local option sales tax (possibly on event ticketing) are ideas I have been researching and considering.

Frank Walker

  1. Downtown Stadium: I do, so long as it makes sense fiscally and the returns anticipated by the development are guaranteed. Main Street, Fairview and Americana corridors have great potential for the extension of the downtown core. The prudent use of tax increment is an appropriate method for steering development and ensure that future projects are compatible with City goals.
  2. F-35 Aircraft: I do stongly support the Air National Guard and its mission and strongly oppose any suggestion that it be moved away from Gowen Field. If the F-35 is located at Gowen Field, I promise to be available to make sure citizens have every opportunity to participate in the EIS process and understand the mitigation efforts that will be taken by the USAF.
  3. Economic Development: I see Boise as being economically competitive currently with other communities in the Valley. I favor the redevelopment of the Bench between the rim and Cole Road via urban renewal. Orchard Street is a prime example of an area with great business potential. I believe the City should have the final say in the design of its streets.
  4. Public Transportation: I do not believe that public transportation should be funded by property taxes. Local improvement districts are a proper means to support public transportation when created through the support of local property owners. Local option is really the only means to finance public transportation and unfortunately that has been foreclosed by the Legislature.

 Lisa Sanchez: No response


SEAT #4

Crispin Gravatt

  1. Downtown Stadium: I support public-private partnerships that are conducted with the utmost transparency with an eye toward improving the lives of area residents. The downtown stadium has the potential to bring a cultural currency to the West Downtown neighborhood-as well as a big economic impact.
  2. F-35 Aircraft: The decision on the F-35 mission is largely out of the Boise City Council’s hands and will likely be made before the new Council members are sworn in. While I would support the F-35 mission, my focus is on contingency plans. What can Boise do to capitalize on the new mission? I will leverage additional infrastructure funding to develop the area around the base as an industrial sector, offering a sound barrier between the City and the base.
  3. Economic Development: Boise has the workforce other cities don’t, and that puts us leagues ahead of any other part of Idaho. I am working to retain more of the best talent in Boise by addressing the needs of the next generation of our workforce. I am working with the groups from our local university, nonprofit organizations and the business sector to capitalize on the best that each has to offer.
  4. Public Transportation: I want to see Idaho’s cities working together to take back local controls, like local option taxes and wage ordinances. Until then, I will support the innovative, out-of-the-box ideas brought forward through stronger partnerships between the City staff, ACHD and higher education.

TJ Thomson

  1. Downtown Stadium: I support the public-private partnership between the City of Boise, CCDC, GBAD and Agon. Based on feasibility studies and proposed financing, we can ensure completion of this project with limited risk to Boise taxpayers. $3 million is no small investment, but the long-term economic, civic and cultural benefits it brings to Boise make it a prudent one.
  2. F-35 Aircraft: Yes. In 2010, I voted in favor of the City Council resolution passed in support of the F-35 and have championed the Gowen Strong campaign.  I believe it is vital that we find a replacement for the retiring A-10 aircraft. 
  3. Economic Development: Boise’s focus on livability is what sets us apart and makes us economically competitive with our neighbors. Planning for growth strategically and sustainably, providing infrastructure and incentives to accommodate new and expanding business, commitment to preserving open spaces and providing a myriad of amenities makes Boise a place where people want to live and companies want to do business
  4. Public Transportation: Funding options are somewhat limited.  Property taxes can be used for these projects but that revenue faces heavy competition from other needed services.  The most feasible manner I see for an LID to be leveraged is in conjunction with TIGER funds, to create a circulator or streetcar system.  Better still would be a local option tax- the valuable tool other cities across the nation have used to fund these projects

Nicolas Way

  1. Downtown Stadium: While a downtown stadium undoubtedly has its appeals, I have some reservations about using City funds to subsidize construction. My worry is that the proposal does not come from the position of improving the lives of the Boise citizens, but does serve to line the pockets of a wealthy out of state land developer.
  2. F-35 Aircraft: I am open to hearing more about the possibility of bringing the F-35 to Gowen Field. I am also aware that the Vista Neighborhood Association has voiced concerns that this project will diminish the quality of life for many citizens living near the airport. I would insist that these concerns are properly heard and evaluated before supporting the F-35
  3. Economic Development: The best investment we can make is an investment in people.  Having a talented, innovative workforce is key to attracting new companies to Boise and enabling startups and small businesses to be competitive and thrive.
  4. Public Transportation: The City is proposing to spend $100 million on a fixed-rail streetcar project that would only serve downtown and the Boise State campus, a region that is already quite walkable. We already have a rail system in place that could be used for public transit.

Naomi Johnson: No response


SEAT #6

Michelle Doane

  1. Downtown Stadium: I support developments that strengthen our community relationships.  I understand that there are some who find this development to be wrong for Boise. I would take the time to hear all sides, look at the pros and cons and work with everyone to find a reasonable solution.
  2. F-35 Aircraft: I support the mission at Gowen Field.  While I understand the arguments of the noise, I feel this mission is important. I would like to work with the people who feel this will be a detriment to Boise. I’ll work to understand their perspective and take time to sort through the issues.
  3. Economic Development: Do we have to be competitive about it? Can we find the strengths within each community and work together to celebrate and promote our strengths as the Treasure Valley? What might work in one community might not be suitable for another; finding the balance is critical. I believe together we can make the Treasure Valley economically strong.
  4. Public Transportation: I see opportunity to work with the Idaho Transportation Department and organizations like COMPASS to find funding solutions. Maybe as a united Treasure Valley we can find additional funding opportunities that will improve public transportation for everyone.  

Nick Jones

  1. Downtown Stadium: Yes.
  2. F-35 Aircraft: Yes. But it is not a perfect plan as it stands now. I am concerned about the impact it will have on the schools along the strip. I have some lingering questions we will have to address for the people. For example, how are homes that lose their value because of the booming deal for the City going to be compensated.
  3. Economic Development: Recreation and the proper growth metrics and infusions allow Boise to be competitive. Every development decision has to weighed against a single question- “Will this increase the quality of life for all Boise citizens?” If the answer is yes to that, my answer is yes. If it is no for some and yes for others, there is more deliberation that has to take place.
  4. Public Transportation: Rail is an obvious no at this time. However, expanding the bus routes and times is important. For example, I have an employee at one of my companies who doesn’t drive. He can take the bus into work but then has to take an Uber home because the buses stop running 30 minutes before he gets off work. Too many people are in this situation and that needs to change.

Holli Woodings

  1. Downtown Stadium: Multi-use stadiums can be a huge boost to a city’s vibrancy and economy, revitalizing blighted areas and creating more opportunity for recreation and entertainment. I would like to see a multi-use stadium near downtown that leverages significant private investment so residents can enjoy outdoor concerts, a better home for the Boise Hawks and potentially minor league soccer and Boise State baseball, without being burdened with excessive debt.
  2. F-35 Aircraft: The Air National Guard is a huge asset to our community. Those close to the airport are already aware of the current impacts of air traffic and are understandably concerned about additional noise created by louder aircraft at Gowen Field. I  look forward to reviewing the environmental impact study currently underway to make sure we have all the facts as we continue this community conversation about the F-35 program.
  3. Economic Development: Boise is the economic heart of Idaho. As Boise grows, we need to encourage collaboration in order to create the jobs of tomorrow and retain and attract a diverse workforce. Boise’s startup community is one of our biggest assets and our homegrown entrepreneurs benefit from these collaborations.    
  4. Public Transportation: Public transportation is a critical piece of our city’s sustainability. Without the ability to pass a local option tax, we are limited in the ways we fund public transportation. Building a strong coalition of cities around the state to lobby the Idaho Legislature for the local option tax would be something I would work hard on the City Council.

Caleb Hansen: No response