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Group asks Boise’s city council to directly adopt library & stadium petitions

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The group that successfully landed petitions over the Boise Public Library campus and potential Boise Sports Park formally asked the Boise City Council to adopt the intent of the petition – circumventing an election this fall.

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Boise Working Together sent a letter yesterday to each member of the Boise City Council asking them to hold a public hearing adopting the language of the petitions into city code.

The petitions don’t stop the library or stadium projects — but instead, if adopted, would require such projects go to a public vote. In essence, the petition calls for a vote — to require a future vote.

[Boise State won’t be part of Downtown Boise sports park]

BWT cites a provision in Idaho Code that says the city council can hold a hearing within 30 days and decide to just adopt the petitions. From Idaho State Code:

The city council shall have the option to adopt the ordinance proposed by initiative within thirty (30) days after the notification pursuant to section 34-1807, Idaho Code, provided that the petition has the required number of signatures. The city council shall hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance within the thirty (30) day period,

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“As sponsor of these two ballot initiatives, Boise Working Together believes that immediate codification int law is the council’s most-prudent option,” Boise Working Together President Adelia Simplot wrote in her letter to the council. “It would reflect the council’s prompt responsiveness to your constituents and demonstrate your respect for citizen engagement, which the mayor and President (Lauren) McLean have recently embraced in public statements.”

McLean, who is also running for mayor, issued a statement to supporters Monday expressing continued support for the library, echoing comments provided to BoiseDev last week.

“The fact that citizens – who care deeply about Boise, just like we all do – were successful in getting the library and stadium on the ballot tells me that elected officials need to listen more and listen better,” she wrote. “And many signers are unconvinced of the value a public investment in a private stadium might create. I hear that, too. I am among them.”

She also said the stadium project had been “opaque not only to the public, but to me.”

Bieter also issued a statement of respect for the petition process.

“What we see here is the democratic process at work. I respect the citizen engagement behind it and the passion for our community it represents,” he wrote.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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