Boise politics: Bieter honors retiring parks chief

During his State of the Cityaddress last week, Mayor Dave Bieter gave a shout out to a City Hall veteran, retiring parks and recreation director Jim Hall.

In his weekly e-memo to constituents, Bieter expanded on the theme, praising Hall's work on projects such as the Foothills open space initiative, Marianne Williams Park and the new Boise River Park.

"No one has planned better or worked harder over the past two decades than Jim Hall," wrote Bieter.

Here's the full Bieter e-memo:

Year after year, Boise receives national accolades for its abundant outdoor recreation opportunities, especially our parks, our riverfront Greenbelt and our many miles of Foothills hiking and biking trails.

Those amenities are possible thanks to an outstanding natural setting − but they come to fruition only through lots of good planning and hard work. And no one has planned better or worked harder over the past two decades than Jim Hall, who retires this month as Boise's Parks & Recreation director.

It would be difficult to overstate the many positive contributions Jim has made to our community's parks, open space and recreation programs. Go down the list:

• Expansion of our "Ribbon of Jewels" waterfront park system, including Bernardine Quinn Park, Esther Simplot Park, Alta Harris Park, Marianne Williams Park and the soon-to-open Boise River Park.

• Implementation of the Foothills Serial Levy, leveraging $10 million in voter-approved funds to acquire and protect more than 10,000 acres worth $34 million (with another $4 million still to be used).

• Acquisition of Idaho IceWorld as well as partnerships with the Boise Noon Optimist Club on the Optimist Youth Sports Complex and the YMCA on the Boise City Aquatic Center.

• Enhancement of youth recreation programs to deliver services to neighborhoods where they're needed most through three new community centers, two Mobile Recreation vans and countless other programs.

Jim has been a driving force behind these important initiatives and many more. We'll celebrate his accomplishments with an event beginning at 4 p.m. Monday, June 18 at the Boise Depot.

I invite you to join me in thanking Jim Hall for a stellar career and for helping to make Boise a more livable − and fun − city.

Get Twitter updates on my blog and column and Statesman editorials. Become a follower. You can also get updates on Facebook's Idaho Statesman Opinion Page.