The Boise City Council lost a memorable face--and voice--when Jerome Mapp lost the November 8 election to Jim Tibbs. Mapp held the longest tenure on the council out of current members, and he was the first African-American elected to the council in Idaho's capital city. So what's next for him?
JM: I'm not looking at serving as an elected official anywhere, but I've always been involved in Boise City. I've done historic preservation reviews, and I'll still serve on Capitol City Development Corporation. Participating in community and planning issues has been a big part of my life so that's not going to change. I'm taking time off right now to rejuvenate my body and my mind. Twelve years takes a lot out of you. In that time, I attended something like 15 meetings a month, which translates to 45 to 60 hours in meetings alone.
BW: What about work?
I own a consulting business called Planning and Facility Management.
What do you hope your legacy on the City Council will be?
Well, there are a number of things. One, I was the first African-American elected to City Council in Boise. I also developed a master plan for the Basque block. I worked with City of Boise, CCDC, the Basque community and property owners to get funding to get it built in 1998. I'm also the first person who publicly stated that we needed to have regional transportation planning in the valley, and I advocated buying a rail line between Nampa and Boise. I'm a promoter of a rail system downtown, a downtown circulator.
What were your favorite committees to serve on?
My two favorite boards were the airport parking garage design committee and CCDC. With the airport, I just had a fascination with the workings of the airport ... and got to use my architectural skills. And with CCDC, downtown is the heart of our community, and I've had the opportunity to help downtown grow for the last 12 years.
What decision or decisions do you wish you could make again to vote the other way?
None, because I made decisions based on information I had at that time. I think the decisions were correct and I don't think that I should have done something different.
In your twelve-year tenure, what was the most difficult obstacle?
The most difficult were those people who didn't agree with me. I had people mad at me because I didn't approve a request, but I made decisions based on information I had, and I had to go with it.
Where would you like to see Boise another 12 years from now?
I would hope to see the city with a regional transportation system and rail system and more diverse businesses downtown. I hope ... a convention center will be built downtown, and that we have additional museums so we can celebrate our culture and to show the people in the city, state and world. I see the Basque block extending further east and hope we'll have more housing in the downtown core, and affordable housing throughout the city.