Monday, July 16, 2007

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Posted By on Mon, Jul 16, 2007 at 4:00 AM

It seems the City of Boise and the Ada County Highway District are determined to butt heads, regardless of the issue.

Just hours after Mayor Dave Bieter announced his recommendation for Chuck Winder to serve as the chair of a new joint taskforce to look at area roads issues, ACHD issued its own statement.

“While ACHD is moving forward with the Urban Land Institute’s recommendations to form an alliance and supports those recommendations, any conversation on who should lead the alliance at this point is premature,” said ACHD Commission President John Franden in the written release.

Seriously guys; can’t we all just get along? Just once?

As recommended by the ULI three weeks ago, the taskforce would represent an alliance of all Ada County governing agencies and ACHD, and would be headed by a non-affiliated citizen.

Bieter spokesman Michael Zuzel said putting Winder’s name forward was “only a suggestion.”

“These kinds of recommendations [the taskforce] tend to just sort of whither away,” Zuzel said. “Mayor Bieter wants to keep the discussion going, and he felt the nomination would help keep it going.”

ACHD seemed to take exception to this. “The alliance is meant to be a team effort, not a unilateral effort. In its preliminary report, the ULI said that this type of unilateral thinking has to stop and ACHD, the cities and the county need to start working as a team,” said Franden in the release.

Zuzel said the city was disheartened by the fact that, while ACHD has planned a summit to being discussing the taskforce, it isn’t scheduled until the end of August, and for only two hours.

“That’s a pretty long lag time and not a lot of time to move things forward,” Zuzel said.

He said Mayor Bieter felt that Winder offered a unique set of qualifications, including time as an ACHD commissioner, on the Idaho Transportation Board and as a private businessman. Of course, Zuzel said the city is not tied to the idea.

“The mayor is certainly open to other suggestions,” he said.

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