by Andrew Crisp
Boise City candidates, in an Oct. 24 forum, batted their eyelashes at the North End Neighborhood Association, which represents Boise's oldest neighborhood. The evening brought a mayoral candidate and City Council candidates—all vying for votes—to Hyde Park Mennonite Church at 12th and Eastman streets.
The race for the council’s seat number two is the most contested. Three candidates are running for the seat Lauren McLean is giving up in order to run for Alan Shealy's seat numero uno. Those candidates are Lawrence Johnson, 24, who owns a building company; Michael Cunningham, 59, an area director for the Boise School District; and Ben Quintana, 33, formerly of the Boise Chamber of Commerce.
Johnson supports lowering property taxes but without cutting services. Cunningham believes in a bigger partnership with schools and using a local option tax. Quintana thinks his experience in attracting business to Boise will best fill the seat.
Playing off one another, Lauren McLean and eight-year council veteran Elaine Clegg talked about using a local option tax to fund big projects, creating a circulator in downtown Boise and pushing the Boise School District levy in March. Both Clegg and McLean are running unopposed.
"We have a ton of potential to build a first-class Western city," said McLean.
While Boise’s Mayor Dave Bieter couldn’t attend, his opponent, David Hall, introduced himself. The 42-year-old College of Western Idaho student has said that he’s running because nobody should be unopposed.
“I don’t have a lot of money,” said Hall. He works part-time and attends school full-time. “So I can’t devote a lot of money to this race, but a student budget—that’s a way to learn to stretch a penny.”
David Eberle, also took a stab at the issues, though his opponent, David “Pappy” Honey, was not present. Eberle is running for his current seat, number three, which he has held since 2004. Eberle came out strong on better sustainability practices, and like the others, he, too, strongly supported a streetcar/circulator/trolley.
“Every place that’s put on these in has gotten a 100 percent return on their investment—per year,” said Eberle. “It is a business development not a transportation alternative.”