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Month of meetings

ACHD tries to cut down on luncheons, Boise protests

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In late November, Ada County Highway District commissioners tallied up one segment of their meetings—quarterly luncheons with each city and with the Ada County commissioners—and realized it came to a short month of meetings: 28 lunch sessions a year.

And that's on top of their own public meetings and a newly formed planning group called the Ada County Alliance, which meets monthly.

"They were just kind of getting weary of going to all of these meetings and thinking that there was a lot of expense and effort to put on these joint meetings," said ACHD spokesman Craig Quintana.

So ACHD wrote to each city and the county and asked to eliminate the quarterly conclaves, instituting instead gathering on a need-to-meet basis.

Boise officials decided it would not be prudent to cancel the one-on-one meetings.

"The joint meetings between the highway district and the individual municipalities need to continue because that's when you get down to the detail," said Boise City Council member Maryanne Jordan.

Boise wrote back to ACHD suggesting that a different set of meetings be consolidated: "In the interests of reducing redundancy, the City of Boise would like to suggest an alternative: scheduling Ada County Alliance meetings to coincide with the regular meetings of the Blueprint for Good Growth Consortium."

Both of those meetings involve officials from across the county and deal with planning and transportation needs.

Meridian also prefers to keep the one-on-one quarterly meetings, but Garden City, Star and the county have indicated an interest in "only-when-an-issue-merits" meetings, Quintana said.

ACHD commissioners are open to continuing the regular meetings with Boise and Meridian but would like to revisit the frequency, he said.

Boise hoped to iron out this discussion over meetings on Dec. 11 at one of the agencies' quarterly visits. But a majority of ACHD commissioners were not available.

The meeting was canceled.