Constitutional conservative Madden hopes to win city council seat


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A constitutional conservative is hoping to land a spot on the Boise City Council and shake up the majority left-leaning city government. 

Steve Madden filed paperwork at the end of August to challenge incumbent city council member Holli Woodings as well as Katie Fite and Crispin Gravatt for a spot on the dais on Capitol Boulevard. He dubbed himself a “political, economic and social refugee” from California on his Facebook page and hopes to oppose Mayor Lauren McLean and the other council members’ policies. 

He declined an interview with BoiseDev for this story and did not respond to an email with a list of questions after two weeks.

“I promise to treat the people and businesses of Boise, Idaho as citizens and not subjects,” Madden wrote on his website. 

Boise City Council Seat 5

Strong opposition to McLean’s housing programs

Madden posted a blog post on his campaign site outlining his opposition to McLean’s strategy to address build more affordable housing in the City of Boise. In the post partially titled “Build It and They Will Come,” Madden shared his opposition to McLean’s affordable housing land trust, housing bonus ordinance, and the “Energize Our Neighborhoods” program. 

“It would appear that Mayor McLean is more interested in attracting people to Boise who can’t afford to live here than those who can,” Madden wrote. “Actually, those who can afford to move to Boise don’t want or need an invitation. Actively inviting ‘extreme low income‘ (the city’s words, not mine) citizens to move to Boise with the promise of ‘taxpayer-subsidized,’ ‘rent-controlled housing,’ will not make the City of Boise a better place to live.”

He noted toward the end of the post that he wanted everyone in Boise to be able to afford their housing and he has had times in his life where he also struggled to afford his rent. Madden noted that the City of Boise can do “much better” to help low-income Boiseans, but he did not list specific alternative proposals he has. 

On his website, Madden also listed several other priorities, including a policy requiring voter approval before buying land and publishing “every single line item” of the Boise City budget for voters to review. He also would like the Blueprint Boise Comprehensive Plan to be subject to “public review, comment and approval.”

Blueprint Boise was adopted in 2011 after public input and public hearings. It serves as a guide for Boise’s growth and zoning decisions.

BoiseDev will profile each candidate for Boise City Council, Garden City City Council and Meridian City Council as they formally file to run for office.

Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at [email protected] or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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