Local news. Locally owned.

‘Everyone has a development idea:’ Bieter gets to work in new role with Gardner Co.

Fast in the Morning Wild 101
Idaho Business pres. by My 102.7

Former Boise Mayor Dave Bieter served in the top political job in the city for 16 years. He left office in January, after Lauren McLean beat him twice at the ballot box.

Now, the one-time mayor started work at his new job: “development coordinator.” He joined the Boise office of Salt Lake City developer Gardner Company earlier this spring.

Dave Bieter Gardner Co.
Screenshot of a portion of Bieter’s letter.

Bieter sent an email message Tuesday thanking people for past support and outlining some of what he hopes to do with Gardner. He expressed his thanks and then summarized some of his feelings.

“Of course, the results were not what we’d hoped,” he wrote. “However, so many of you worked so hard and showed so much commitment in the face of what were really pretty awful election dynamics. What’s more, you really know who your friends are when times are tough. While many people disappointed me and others in how they reacted to the campaign, so many of you stood steadfast with me and the values that have made Boise such a wonderful place.”

The ‘election dynamics’ line echoes a letter Bieter wrote to a supporter, which the Idaho Statesman’s Hayley Harding obtained. He cited the ballot initiatives over proposals for a stadium and library as factors in his loss, as well as “6 opponents, unfavorable media, tough gender politics, the F35 mission, growth, and rising property values.”

- Story continues below ads -
Boise Regional Realtors
Tamarack Summer

From there, the letter reads much like a set of policy proposals. Before outlining them, Bieter acknowledged that many people think they have a knack for development.

Dave Bieter, Gardner Co.’s newest employee

“I learned as mayor that like everyone has an idea for a movie script, nearly everyone has a development idea! I’m not going to say that all of those ideas are good ones, but we all have a vested interest in how our city develops,” he wrote.

  • “Housing is what our city needs most,” he wrote. “The only way housing will be affordable for us and our children is for good, new residential development to be built.”
    • The price of housing skyrocketed during the tail end of Bieter’s administration. The former mayor and members of city council – including now-mayor McLean and councilor Elaine Clegg worked to prioritize affordable housing. McLean turned even more sharply in this direction as mayor, eschewing some large capital projects like a baseball stadium, streetcar and $100-million plus library in favor of affordable housing.

  • “I believe many if not most undeveloped or underutilized parcels within the city should be used for compact, mixed-use development, especially residential development,” he wrote.

[McLean asks for ‘autopsy’ on Boise’s ties to stadium project]

  • Focus development on the area near the Isaacs’ Canyon interchange. “For years I’ve thought that new residential development should go in the southeast area of town, off the Eisenman and Black’s Creek interchanges,” he wrote. “There is transportation capacity, open land that is unsuited to agriculture, great vistas, and a commute opposite the rest of the valley.”
    • During his time as mayor, he inquired several times about land in this area during open meetings.

[‘It’s a big transaction:’ US Bank, Clearwater buildings get new owners with long Idaho history]

  • “Finally, I am also a firm believer the foothills should not be built on, and that sprawl development and climate change threaten our children’s futures.”
    • Bieter made a pledge during his 2018 state of the city that would stop some future development in the foothills. Lots already entitled could go forward, but new projects would not. The former mayor never put forward a legislative proposal and no ordinance is in place prohibiting additional foothills projects.

At several points in the letter, Bieter pitches for the recipients to reach out with help, ideas or potential partnerships.

Politics on his mind

While voters removed him from his most-visible political post, he remains on the board of the Capital City Development Corporation. He nominated himself to the board as mayor – and which he can retain until 2022. The Idaho State Legislature put forth a bill last year that would have forced him and other former elected leaders from urban renewal boards. It didn’t make it into law.

Bieter noted politics remain on his mind.

“Periodically, I may ask questions of you, or put out an idea or two, including political ideas,” Bieter wrote. “I know you will be candid in your answers.”

BoiseDev is the area's only locally-owned commercial news outlet. Your support will help us cover more stories and bring you more vital information. Become a member today!

Popular

Boise’s mask order: Do you have to wear one at the office?

At midnight Friday, a new emergency ordinance went into effect requiring masks in public in Boise, with a few exceptions.

At least $1.15 billion in loans handed out to more than 7,500 Idaho businesses – see who got the money

The Small Business Administration released data on the Paycheck Protection Program loans it doled out to date early Monday. The PPP...

Related

Taxpayers paid former Bieter aide more than $40,000 after about 23 days of work

An aide to former Boise Mayor Dave Bieter who worked a short time after December’s runoff took home significant compensation in a...

McLean says she’ll appoint herself to CCDC commission if Bieter doesn’t step off

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean said she will appoint herself to the commission of the Capital City Development Corporation if former Mayor Dave...
Holland and Hart

Latest

St. Luke’s, Saint Alphonsus on rising number of COVID patients: ‘we’ve got to be ahead of this’

With the number of cases of COVID rising across Idaho - and the Boise metro area - the leaders at the top...

Sleepier summer in Sun Valley: The only stars are the ones in the sky; Allen & Co. canceled

Typically, the week after the Fourth of July sees the Sun Valley area fill up with big names aboard private jets. ...

Photo essay: COVID brings big changes to Zoo Boise

Last month, Zoo Boise started welcoming visitors again after several months closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The popular...

Boise started an economic recovery task force. Details on its work remain limited

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean launched her economic recovery task force to help the city during the pandemic a little more than a...

Utah company acquires Boise-grown data center business

A longstanding Boise data center business got snapped up by an out of state company recently. Tonaquint Data Centers of St....

Washington credit union formally takes over Boise CU, transition on the way

Icon Credit Union, has agreed to merge with Horizon Credit Union and combine $1.5 billion in assets and over 100,000 members.