The Players 

City Council Candidates

[ Maryanne Jordan ]
click to enlarge ERIN RUIZ

Age: 49
What kind of Boise-ite?: West Boise-ite
Background: Bachelor's in political science; served on Boise City Planning and Zoning Commission
Campaign budget as of 10/31: $1,988
Major contributors: Terra Nativa subdivision; Brighton Corporation, real estate developers; W.H. Moore Corporation, developers; the Vern Bisterfeldt for City Council campaign
Trouble: None
Google hits: 292
What's her deal?: Jordan lost elections to both Bisterfeldt and Mapp before being appointed to the council in 2003 when Mike Wetherell resigned mid-term. That November, she whomped challengers Jerry Carter and David "Pappy" Honey. She became council president this January, and she is council liaison to the city planning and development services, public works department and information technology division and the department of finance and administration. Jordan is also a council representative for the Downtown Boise Association and to local senior services organizations. She has supported banning alcohol on the Boise River, building a downtown convention center and was a major force behind reducing the Cresent Rim condo heap from 98 units and five floors to 79 units and three floors. She has also been active in the Boise Foothills Open Space Campaign and Bench to Valley study. She and her husband Rocky own Cop Shop, Etc., a store on Overland that sells pepper spray, black-ops outfits and (to cops only) bulletproof vests.

[ Brandi Swindell ]

Age: 28
What kind of Boise-ite? North Ender.
Background: All church, no state, no college
Campaign budget as of 10/31: $860, with additional $2,000 arriving shortly
Major contributors: Glen Liberty, her treasurer and Keep the Commandments crony; $1,000 pledged from the Christian Defense Coalition of Fredericksburg, Virginia; another $1k pledged from CDC Communications director Kathleen Mahoney
Google hits: "About 660" (666, perhaps?)
Trouble: Resisting and obstructing arrest, January 2005; April 2004; speeding in a school zone, 2002; speeding, 1995
Recent triumphs: Tied with St. Sebastian for "Best Christian Martyr" in the 2005 Boise Weekly Best of Boise issue
What's her deal?: Swindell co-founded the anti-abortion, pro-chastity, anti-condom, anti-stem-cell, pro-feeding-tube group Generation Life. Her major contributor, the CDC, made headlines for a heap of holy hemming and hawing including nearly losing its tax-exempt status after staging public prayers for Dubya's victory in the 2000 election; threatening litigation if crosses were prohibited from his inaugural parade route; and sending angry letters to politicians who stray from the Bible's explicitly stated stance on stem-cell research (Oh, wait ...). Aside from getting arrested, Swindell's hobbies include speaking at anti-abortion summits, circulating pictures of dead babies and pushing the Bible's explicitly stated stance on preserving the comatose (Oh, wait ...). Make no mistake, Boise: If you elect someone who has appeared on The 700 Club, you get what you pay for.

[ M. Jerome Mapp ]

Age: 57
What kind of Boise-ite?: East-ender
Background: Degrees sociology and architecture; former Boise City zoning analyst and design analyst; past president of Idaho Planning Association
Campaign budget as of 10/31: $3,340
Major contributors: Leftovers from previous elections; a few chip-ins from private citizens
Trouble: Failure to obey a yield sign, 2003; speeding, 1988.
Google hits: 688
What's his deal?: Mapp is the council's rock, having been on board since Kurt Cobain was alive. Mapp was appointed in 1993 to replace Brent Coles, and got the chance in 2003 to try the mayor's hat on too, albeit only for the four days between Coles' resignation and the council's election of Carolyn Terteling-Payne. Mapp's background is in community planning. He is the council liaison to the Boise Airport, parking services and legal services, among others. He is also the council representative for ValleyRide, the Ada County Highway District, Treasure Valley Regional Transportation Authority and is vicechair of the board of directors of Capital City Development Corp. Recently, Mapp has been very polite when making unpopular decisions. He voted to ban alcohol on the river, but said he did it to save lives. He voted to remove the 10 Commandments from Julia Davis Park--and called for an end to the council's debate on the issue (if only we could do the same for the electorate!)--but said it would be a totally different matter if the city couldn't boot Moses' rock over to St. Michael's. Mapp also dissed Tibbs by not voting for him to be named police chief in 2003.

[ Jim Tibbs ]

Age: 58
What kind of Boise-ite?: Bench-ite.
Background: Bachelor's in criminology; 34 years in the Boise Police Department, where he served as Lieutenant, public information officer, watch commander and hostage negotiator, among others; interim police chief for one year; board member for Ada County Human Rights Task Force; chairman of the Idaho State Board of Correction.
Campaign budget as of 10/31: $17,659
Major contributors: Over 100 private citizen donations
Trouble: Failure to maintain insurance, 1988 (dismissed)
Google hits: 398
What's his deal?: After Don Pierce was asked to resign as Boise police chief, Boise Mayor David Bieter named Tibbs the interim replacement. Then, in circumstances that rubbed Tibbs' supporters the wrong way, he was replaced by Mike Masterson in 2004. Immediately, a bunch of "Tibbs for Mayor" buttons began popping up among the ex-interim chief's supporters. Don't think the thought isn't still around. Both Bisterfeldt and Jordan supported Tibbs' bid for police chief--not Mapp. Tibbs' superhuman fund-raising---over $5 for every $1 of Mapp's--screams revenge. Tibbs has also since criticized the council for not holding a public embarrassment, er, public hearing before removing the 10 Commandments from Jesus Davis Park. This local conservative poster-boy is the only of the three challengers in this year's election with serious political ambitions, and has the immense budget to back them up. This should be the most interesting race of the three.

[ Vernon L. Bisterfeldt ]

Age: 66
What kind of Boise-ite?: Bench-ite
Background: Graduated from the FBI academy and the National Intelligence Academy; 28 years in Boise Police Department; Ada County Commissioner from 1987 to 1999; chaired the Ada Planning Association Board (now COMPASS) and the Ada City-County Emergency Management Board
Current campaign budget: $15,500
Major contributors: Hubble Homes, Brigton Corporation; J. Ramon Yorgason, local developer; Golden Star Restaurant
Trouble: None
Google hits: 290
Google hits for "Know what I mean, Vern Bisterfeldt?": 0
What's his deal?: If the U.S. government ever dissolves and we're left with a bunch of feudal lords overseeing filthy laborers, expect to be fiefs of Bisterfeldtistan. After a career that most people would be perfectly content with, Bisterfeldt was elected to the City Council in 2001. He is a council liaison to the city legal services and police, and is council representative for COMPASS and local emergency management services. On the other side, Bisterfeldt's time in office, like all council members, has been dominated by a pair of headline-grabbing issues: the fiasco surrounding the city's unceremonious dumping of the Community House homeless shelter, and the never-ending 10 Commandments jive. Bisterfeldt was the sole council member running for re-election who voted last year to keep the rock in the park for birds to poop on, as opposed to its clean, well-attended new home.

[ Mark Seeley ]

Age: 44
What kind of Boise-ite?: West Boise-ite.
Background: Bachelor's in political science
Campaign budget as of 10/31: $0
Major contributors: None, except maybe the company making the pen he used to write the zero
Trouble: Disturbing the peace, resisting and obstructing arrest, 1994; trespassing, 1995; criminal trespassing, disturbing the peace, 1997
Google hits: 61 (But as far as we can tell, 55 of them referred to a University of Minnesota meteorologist of the same name).
What's his deal?: Seeley, who works in the hardware department at Wal-Mart, is a classic "issue candidate." His issue: homelessness. As such, we feel it's best to let him speak for himself. Seeley was homeless from 1994 to 1995 and occasionally contributed columns to BW about homeless-related issues. He says he doesn't intend to defeat incumbent Vern Bisterfeldt. "Heck, the guy has a building named after him, and he's still alive!" Seeley told us. But he says Bisterfeldt has made several insensitive comments, both to homeless people and about them, which deserve to be recognized. On other issues, Seeley says he has no stance, but about Community House, he says, "I don't think any consideration was given to, 'What can we do to be responsible for a building and a program that have been in place for 10 years in this community?' There are many fingers to point, but the bottom line is the city shouldn't just walk away from it. I just want to give voters a way to express their frustration, because I don't think at this point [Community House] could be saved. Not by this council."

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