ACHD Welcomes Two New Commissioners

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Kent Goldthrope is sworn in as ACHD's newest commissioner Wednesday morning. - JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri
  • Kent Goldthrope is sworn in as ACHD's newest commissioner Wednesday morning.

The Ada County Highway District's auditorium has been packed with people often throughout the past year, over bike lanes and roundabouts—the mood usually contentious. This morning, however, it was packed with the friends and family of ACHD's newest commissioners as they were sworn into their new positions. This time, the mood was all smiles and handshakes. 

In November, Paul Woods won the election for ACHD District No. 3—including much of northern Ada County—and Kent Goldthrope was elected to take over ACHD District No. 4, covering the southwest portion of the county. The newest commissioners replacd Michell Jaurena, who lost reelection, and John Franden, who retired. 

Mayor Dave Bieter and a few other Boise city council members came to the ceremony to show their support, intertwined with chatter of a 50-ton boulder that fell onto Warm Springs Avenue early this morning.

Woods told Boise Weekly now that he has a seat at the commission table, he plans to be consistent with the promises he made in his campaign, such as creating safe routes to schools, showing fiscal responsibility toward current operations and cooperating with all municipalities.

That, of course, may be the most interesting and challenging work that lays ahead of him.
New ACHD commissioner Paul Woods addresses his friends and family after being sworn in, with a message of thanks. - JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri
  • New ACHD commissioner Paul Woods addresses his friends and family after being sworn in, with a message of thanks.

"I believe in cooperating with the cities and trying to have as little friction as possible," he said. "The cities make the land-use decisions and the highway district supports those and completes construction." 

ACHD and the city of Boise's working relationship became increasingly chilly in 2014, over disagreements on bike lanes, smart meters and roundabouts. But Woods said he doesn't have a knot in his stomach when it comes to bettering relations.

"I'm only one commissioner, so my vote is only one vote," Woods said. "I hope to be persuasive and I look forward to the opportunities."

Kent Goldthrope, on the other hand, said the change to be "real slow."

"I expect a lot more dignity and respect amongst the commissioners themselves," he told BW. "This has been described to me in a lot of ways, none really positive as far as like, kind of a little kingdom here in the valley. I tend to disregard all those comments. I'll find all this out for myself."

Jim Hansen is one of three ACHD commissioners who remain in their seats after the election (his term doesn't end until 2016). He said he looks forward to the new perspectives Woods and Goldthrope will bring to the board.

"I don't think there will be any monumental changes," he said. "I think we'll start to see the perspectives of the two new commissioners being incorporated into the discussion. ...  Some issues will be challenging, some less. Just pick an issue."

The commissioners held their first meeting together at 12 p.m., after the ceremony.