It's called bragging, people. If you were looking for a politician's unvarnished view of the city and his leadership thereof, then a business organization's sponsored forum just isn't the place for it.
So when Mayor Dave Bieter takes the podium this week for his annual State of the City speech to the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, don't go looking for a lot of navel-gazing about, say, the city's current legal spat with Ada County Highway District, or with Ada County itself. Don't wait for Bieter to talk excitedly about the cost overruns the regional growth planning efforts are facing. And you probably oughtn't to anticipate Bieter's exploration of the city's herky-jerky negotiations with its police union. It's just not done.
Instead, look for a celebration of the good things since Bieter's 2003 election: the recent Boise River float season, which featured more police citations but warmer reviews from participants, according to a survey prepared by the Boise Police Department. You might also hear about the success of the scooter parking spots Bieter and city staff installed Downtown, after citizen requests for them. It's safe to assume there might be a positive remark about the oncoming Boise un-hole project on 8th Street.
In recent weeks, Bieter has hinted he may be ready to unveil a thing or two at Thursday's speech. His lukewarm reception of BoDo developer Mark Rivers' library blocks proposal was in part, he said, due to the fact that a city-based group had a plan of its own for Boise's library system.
"My love for Boise means that I will do whatever I can to ensure that we have the most livable city in the country," said Bieter in a pre-speech statement. "We have done some amazing things in this city and it is important for me to showcase the hard work of so many people. The State of the City Address is my opportunity to do that."
The speech, which begins at 8 a.m. Thursday at the Boise Centre on the Grove, is free and open to the public.