Bieter: 'We're not there yet,' but Boise's economy is rebounding

Mayor Dave Bieter used his weekly e-memo to constituents to provide a snake preview of his State of the City address Tuesday.

And to tout some promising signs in the Boise economy, unfolding over the past 12 months.

Said Bieter: "In the year since, I've sensed a renewed sense of confidence and ambition in our city. We're not there yet, but I think the faith we all have shown in Boise is beginning to be rewarded. From the new Zions Bank headquarters about to rise at Eighth and Main streets (site of the former 'hole in the ground') to the Whole Foods store going up at the other end of downtown on Broadway, Boise's downtown is seeing major investment again. And that means jobs.

"It's not just downtown. Unemployment across Boise dropped to 7.4 percent in March, almost a full percentage point lower than a year ago."

Here's the full Bieter e-memo:

Next Tuesday morning, I'll deliver my ninth State of the City address. I invite you to join me in looking back on a remarkable year in Boise.

Twelve months ago, our local economy was still struggling but saw signs of hope. It was a time when all of us — business people, community leaders and citizens — need to have faith in ourselves, our abilities and our city.

In the year since, I've sensed a renewed sense of confidence and ambition in our city. We're not there yet, but I think the faith we all have shown in Boise is beginning to be rewarded. From the new Zions Bank headquarters about to rise at Eighth and Main streets (site of the former "hole in the ground") to the Whole Foods store going up at the other end of downtown on Broadway, Boise's downtown is seeing major investment again. And that means jobs.

It's not just downtown. Unemployment across Boise dropped to 7.4 percent in March, almost a full percentage point lower than a year ago.

The City of Boise can't turn the economy around single-handedly, but we're using every tool available to support local businesses. The Greenhouse, our sustainable-business incubator, is operating at full capacity with multiple start-ups growing into successful new businesses. In a few weeks we'll dedicate the new River Recreation Park, part of a major plan to revitalize the 30th Street area and provide a catalyst for other development.

We have lots of work to do, and we need the help of everyone to make sure our faith is fulfilled. The State of the City breakfast event begins at 7:30 a.m. next Tuesday, June 5, at the Boise Centre; tickets are available from the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce. If you'd prefer to skip breakfast and just hear the speech, free seating will be available starting at 8 a.m.

I look forward to working together as our city continues its return to full prosperity. I can't wait to see what next year will bring.

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hmm

Taxes are rising and home values are still dropping...hmm funny thing how the politico look out for their own..salaries and all..how's the construction business doing in boise...most home building contractors are out of business only a few have tried to survive. Many have just quit why pay all the graft fees and put up with all the stupid regs it takes to build homes any more...you have yet to understand 40% of the cost of a new home is bureaucracy crap..want to make a wager on that...only the large companies will be able to build any longer...there will no longer be any small builders unless he has deep pockets or has an end with some leach banker or finance co. Bieter and his choo choo game of graff just won't go away..ask him..he and obama green machine scam

Boloney

I just met a guy that built his own home in the hills above Boise. He contacted the mayor about some concerns and was directed to departments within the city and got them resolved. It took a bit of time to iron out, but considering the scope and complexity of the work involved, it was straightforward and reasonable. You sound like one of those people who would complain that your wet dream wasn't long enough. Construction around Boise is off and running. If it doesn't include you it's probably your sour attitude that's gotten in the way.

It seems our good mayor will....

still ask for a 3% increase in property taxes this year. I cannot believe this liberal slug and his cohorts on the council will again ask for this increase despite lower property values, high unemployment and lower wages. CUT city employee wages and personnel!!

As the Former Candidate for Mayor

I think a 1% drop in unemployment over 1 year is hardly worth bragging about.
Bringing in a Banking Headquarter is hardly adding jobs or promoting Downtown development, and seems a moot point when the CCDC had to fork over $4,000,000.00 of the City's funds to get it built.

Boise used to be the National Headquarters for many Corporations. Many of those Companies left Boise because our schools continued a downward trend of less funding and even lesser quality of student scores and achievements. Schools are a Major factor in why Companies and People will move into an area.

Dave is still avoiding the main issue of Public Transportation, another factor in how a business makes a decision to move into or out of an area. Quality of life for a City is another main feature, but quite simply in the 40+ years that I have lived in Boise, little has changed overall, including the quality of life, and to me that is a good thing but Boise is still very stagnant in many other respects.

Part of the Job of Mayor, aside from the daily functions of management, is being a salesman. Not from the point of a politician selling his or hers ability of getting re-elected, but from the position of Selling the Qualities of this City, to promote and encourage development. A successful Mayor is the one that can successfully sell their respective city, quite literally, to the World. A Mayor should be the biggest salesperson and advertiser for their respective city. This was the heart of my platform during my campaign. A Mayor is not just a manager; they are the Cities biggest advocate and supporter.

During my 2011 campaign for Mayor of Boise, I was very careful not to criticize Dave and his performance. It wasn’t my interest to point out failings or besmirch the Mayor. I was running on my own merits, to bring my vision of how to promote Boise to Corporations and Businesses, to encourage their development and integration into our fair city. I feel that although I didn’t spend any money at all on my campaign, I was still able to get my message out to enough people, that I had 26% of those that voted, interested enough in my ideas, to vote for me.

I have always believed that if you have a criticism; you should also have a solution. My solution Mr. Mayor, to Boise’s 7.4% unemployment, is to stop patting yourself on the back for your little victories and get to work on the larger battles.

We still need the effort to reform our schools and our curriculum, to make that feature of our city more attractive as well as helping our young people gain the skills needed to succeed in the modern World.

Requiring land owners in Boise’s Downtown to either develop or beautify their vacant lots is another method that can sell a city, called Urban Beatification. With the loss of so many family homes to foreclosures, property values took a hit, and in relation, so do property taxes, and with loss of those homes our neighborhoods become in need of suburban beautification as well, to help keep property values up and thereby keeping the need for raising property taxes to a nil. The City has a responsibility in this as well, one I think the current Mayor has overlooked.

Boise has needed a complete revamp of its mass transit for years. Dave, right there is a good place to start to effect real change, change that this city can use to promote business and livability of our great City.

Boise isn’t struggling like many other cities around the Nation, but being stagnant is of no benefit either. As I said before, “Not much has changed in Boise over my life. I don’t think much will change in the next 4 years.”
I really don’t like saying that, but that’s how I see it.

David Hall
Former Candidate for the Mayor of Boise
2011

Cause and Effect; Companies Leaving Boise

Your reasoning of why company HQ's left Boise is lacking facts. The demise of the major HQ's (Albertsons, Boise, Washington Group) were all due to external factors such as market repositioning and buy-outs from outside entities. I doubt you could even begin to establish a relationship between Boise schools and these events.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

Mayor Bieter, you need to move

To the Governor's Office!

CCDC's money? It's their job!

Come on ookmon. Quit perpetuating the myth that CCDC is stealing from us. It's CCDC's dang job to aid downtown development. Do you complain when ACHD widens the road that used to delay you due to traffic? That $4 million was not the city's money anyway, thank god, or they would have spent it on fancy new cop cars or a new fountain at city hall or those stupid flags in front of city hall. That $4 million was the tax increment funds that otherwise would have been diverted to suburban expansion. TIF or secession is the only way to redevelop downtown.

Revamp mass transit? You're delusional. I saw the Valleyride Nampa Bus the other day, it was the 4:45pm one and it was almost empty. We have mass transit anyway, it's called the paved road and the automobile. Whether you like it or not, people love their cars AND Boise is not big enough for the bus system is has now.

About schools: The City of Boise has nothing to do with the Independent School District of Boise.