The Boise State Political Science Association will host a forum for the 2015 Boise City Council candidates starting at 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 15 at the Interactive Learning Center, Room 402, at Boise State. Check back here for our liveblog during the event.

There are three council seats up for election, and five candidates in the race. Election Day is Tuesday, November 3. Information about voter registration, absentee ballots and polling places can be found at the Ada County website.

Running for Council Seat 1 is incumbent Lauren McLean, a small business owner and two-time recipient of Idaho Business Review’s Woman of the Year. McLean is running unopposed.

In the race for Council Seat 3 we have two candidates:

  • Scot M. Ludwig was appointed to the council last winter by Mayor David Bieter after the spot became available, and is therefore running as incumbent. A former Boise State basketball player, Ludwig is founder of law and litigation firm Ludwig Shoufler Miller Johnson, LLP, and managing partner of Broad Street Properties, LLC.
  • And 25 year old Adriel J. Martinez, who recently returned from four and a half years of service as an airborne and mechanized infantry soldier in the U.S. Army, a stint which included two deployments to Afghanistan. He is currently attending classes at Boise State.

Council Seat 5 also features an incumbent and challenger:

  • Elaine Clegg has held her seat for the last 12 years. Clegg was elected in 2003, 2007 and 2011.  She is noted for her work updating city zoning codes, planning Whitewater Park Boulevard, and helping extend bicycle and pedestrian networks. She is the program coordinator for Idaho Smart Growth.
  • Facing off against the longtime incumbent is Andy Hawes, a University of Idaho law school graduate who served first as commissioner, and later president of the Idaho State Bar. He is currently general counsel for Western Pacific Timber, LLC.

Candidates may use the forum as opportunity to explain their goals for the city, and to reach out to potential voters on campus.

Join us here, just before 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15, as we blog about the candidates along with several Boise State political science students.

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Tim Atwell October 15, 20155:50 pm

Getting ready to kick off the forum! Looking forward to hearing from the candidates.

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:00 pm

Hello all,

My name is Josh Scholer and I will be live blogging this Boise City Council Forum. Really looking forward to hearing from each of the candidates on the pressing issues facing Boise. 

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:07 pm

Starting by allowing the candidates about two minutes to introduce themselves to the audience. Will move on to questions from Dr. Castellano then will move to questions from the audience. 

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20156:10 pm

Scot Ludwig, Incumbent Candidate for Council Seat 3, is a Boise State alumnus and owner of a law practice in Boise. Ludwig was chosen for the Boise City Council by Mayor Bieter last year. 

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:14 pm

First question revolves around Boise State: How can City Council help the university? 

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20156:15 pm

Ludwig: “Connectivity to the new computer science building downtown is critical.”  #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:15 pm

Ludwig emphasizing safe routes to and from the university to the downtown area is critical for students. #BoiseCouncil

Tim Atwell October 15, 20156:16 pm

Ludwig stresses the importance of supporting a university district downtown.

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20156:17 pm

Martinez: “We need to get students out there, more involved in state government and local government.” #BoiseCouncil

Tim Atwell October 15, 20156:18 pm

Martinez on Boise State’s transportation, “Parking issues, transportation issues are a mess.”

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:18 pm

Martinez begins by talking about an issue that is very important to faculty and students of Boise State. “Parking is a mess.” Wants the City of Boise and Boise State to work together on fixing parking problems/disputes. #BoiseCouncil

Tim Atwell October 15, 20156:18 pm

Tim Atwell October 15, 20156:20 pm

Martinez: “We need more apartments, mixed housing downtown.

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:20 pm

Second question: “How do you plan to prepare the city for increased growth in the future?” 

Martinez: “We need more apartments and mixed housing. We don’t need more condos or hotels that will sit empty when people need the housing.” 
McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20156:21 pm

Martinez: “If you don’t have high paying jobs, how are you going to afford an apartment or a house?” 

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:21 pm

Martinez says one of the foundations of his campaign is focusing on affordable housing. Argues what the city is doing now is currently unsustainable. #BoiseCouncil

Tim Atwell October 15, 20156:23 pm

Martinez: “We need more apartments, mixed housing downtown.”

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20156:23 pm

Hawes: “I believe in bottom up leadership.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:24 pm

Andy Hawes: Triple-I Program:

1.) Incentivizing – Create incentives for building affordable housing.” 
2.) Infrastructure – If we don’t have good infrastructure, our city will suffer. 

3.) In-Depth – Continue to look inward and have a more developed relationship with neighborhoods to understand what is most important to them. #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:24 pm

Ludwig: “Good jobs, good growth, good life.” #BoiseCouncil

Tim Atwell October 15, 20156:25 pm

Ludwig stresses importance of growth in the hotel industry.

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:25 pm

Ludwig: “Right now, nothing would pull the plug worse than to not have the hotel industry. Hotel availability is very limited.” #BoiseCouncil

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20156:26 pm

Martinez: “We need affordable housing, and that’s just the truth.” 

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:27 pm

Hawes agrees with Ludwig on hotels. “There is a great need for those.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:28 pm

Ludwig: “Affordable housing is important, but it has to be on the private industry to develop that. The City has to monetize its assets to develop that.” #BoiseCouncil

Tim Atwell October 15, 20156:29 pm

Question: “How should the city address the homeless problem?”

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:29 pm

Next question: How do we specifically address the homeless problem that we have?

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20156:29 pm

Hawes: “There’s a dark cloud over the city, and it’s the homeless issue.” 

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:30 pm

Hawes: “Facilitate better access to affordable housing. We need to move from this idea that it’s a societal issue, not a city issue. We need to act and stop talking.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:30 pm

Ludwig: “We all bear a responsibility to make sure people have a roof over their head.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:32 pm

Martinez: “One of the first things I would do is repeal the anti-camping ordinance. Your tax dollars are spent on housing homeless people in jail.” #BoiseCouncil

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20156:33 pm

Martinez: “Anti-camping is pure discrimination […] We have to stop handing out tickets and putting people in jail.” 

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:33 pm

Martinez: “You are pushing these people to the wall. Homeless shelters here are not the nicest places in the world.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:34 pm

Hawes: “85% of the homeless from the figures I seen are people who are down and out and just need assistance to get back out there and be productive members of society.” #BoiseCouncil

Tim Atwell October 15, 20156:34 pm

Martinez wants to consider alternative solutions to the homeless housing situation, such as tents and temporary living places.

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:35 pm

Ludwig: “The anti-camping ordinance is not going away. The city supports it fully and the courts support it fully.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:36 pm

Ludwig: “Anti-camping ordinance intention was to try to get homeless to go to the shelters when there is space availability.” #BoiseCouncil

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20156:36 pm

Ludwig: “I’m not sure why the other homeless people won’t go into the shelters when there’s availability.” 

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:36 pm

Ludwig: “Anti-camping ordinance intention was to try to get homeless to go to the shelters when there is availability.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:37 pm

Martinez: “We have to do something now. The city can do a lot.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:37 pm

Ludwig: “The coalition of 40+ stakeholders isn’t just faking it. They are really working hard for it.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:39 pm

Next question to Ludwig: There’s some critics that say the city is favoring the North and East ends of Boise. What do you say to that? #BoiseCouncil

Tim Atwell October 15, 20156:39 pm

The Boise Weekly recently covered the anti-camping ordinance:

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:42 pm

Here is the article referred to in the question on favoring sections of the city:

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:43 pm

Martinez: “We do need district representation. […] It will force candidates to knock on doors that they never have before. It definitely will change things.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:44 pm

Hawes: “The fact that there is even a question about this shows there there definitely is a disconnect. There’s not a lot of civic participation. There tends to be a void and not much dialogue.” #BoiseCouncil

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20156:44 pm

Hawes: “I will listen to what’s going on in the streets.” 

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:45 pm

Hawes: “I will go to the Home Owner Associations (HOAs) to resolve issues what they see as important. This is the type of bottom up leadership that I think will help and fix this disconnect.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:48 pm

Martinez really emphasizing district representation to fix the disconnect. Says if every district has representation, the city has to listen. #BoiseCouncil

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20156:49 pm

Hawes: “I would be interested in putting together an east-end collaborative. That way, when issues like this happen, we have a continuing dialogue.” #BoiseCouncil

Tim Atwell October 15, 20156:49 pm

Ludwig responds to Martinez about the disconnect: “I’ve never gotten an email from you, AJ.”

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:49 pm

Ludwig: “Someone needs to make a decision because if we don’t, it’s going to freeze development because their damn city council isn’t doing anything.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:50 pm

Next question around the all-important open spaces and clean water levy. How do you feel about this? #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:50 pm

Martinez: “I do support it, I just wish it was a bond.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:51 pm

Hawes: “I think open space is critical. I think the larger question is what else can we do as a city as far as supporting open spaces. It’s the backdrop of every picture on a magazine. But we need to focus on preserving open space throughout neighborhoods.” #BoiseCouncil

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20156:52 pm

Hawes: “As city council member, I will be aggressive about looking to preserve open spaces.”  #BoiseCouncil

Tim Atwell October 15, 20156:52 pm

Here’s KTVB’s coverage on the levy:

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:52 pm

Hawes: “The levy is a little ambiguous on how when the money is raised, how it will be spent. We need to make sure we use the funds for the purposes that they were raised.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:53 pm

Ludwig: “It encourages philanthropy. This is very important not only for quality of life but for economic development. It’s one of the selling points of the city, especially when you trying to pull businesses away from Silicon Valley.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:54 pm

Ludwig with a pretty brave prediction on the open spaces levy: “I think this is going to pass 70%+.” #BoiseCouncil

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20156:54 pm

Ludwig: “This is important, not only for the quality of life, but also for the economic development of the city.” 

Tim Atwell October 15, 20156:55 pm

The levy would apportion $10 million over the next two years to preserve the environment around Boise. It could be funded by an increase in property taxes.

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:56 pm

According to KTVB: 

“City officials estimate the levy would raise monthly property taxes by $2.39 per $100,000 of taxable property value for homeowners.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20156:57 pm

Ludwig: “Coach Leon Rice is the only basketball coach in America that says he can kayak to work.” #BoiseCouncil

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20157:00 pm

Ludwig: “I would urge developers to be more conscious of sustainability. The problem with most parking garages in the city is they aren’t designed to add more floors.”  

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20157:01 pm

From the audience: If elected, what are your thoughts on public transportation in Boise? 

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20157:02 pm

Ludwig: “Employers need to incentives their employees to ride their bike or walk to work.”  

Tim Atwell October 15, 20157:03 pm

Ludwig cites St. Luke’s as an example of a business with good incentives for their employees to ride their bikes to work.

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20157:03 pm

Ludwig: “The city needs a light rail system eventually. The challenge is finding a way to pay for it.” 

Tim Atwell October 15, 20157:04 pm

Martinez wants to improve the public transportation system: “We should have a light-rail right now.”

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20157:05 pm

Martinez: “People have to be able to get to work without taking cars. There are too many cars on the road.” #BoiseCouncil

Tim Atwell October 15, 20157:06 pm

In 2014, Boise spent $563,000 researching a light rail system.

Josh Scholer October 15, 20157:08 pm

As a personal anecdote — I lived in Phoenix for my freshman year of college. They have a light rail system and it is extremely effective. It is unacceptable that the legislature taken away local control and ability to pay for a system like the light rail. Would be hugely beneficial for residents in Boise and reduce congestion on the roads. #BoiseCouncil

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20157:12 pm

From the audience, what would you do about expanding bus hours so people can get to work before and after hours? 

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20157:13 pm

Martinez: “I would expand hours dramatically. Maybe not 24 hours, but close.” #BoiseCouncil

Tim Atwell October 15, 20157:19 pm

Hawes wants to work with schools to educate kids about bike safety.

Josh Scholer October 15, 20157:20 pm

Closing remarks are beginning here at the Boise State City Council Forum. #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20157:21 pm

Ludwig: “I’ve enjoyed the heck out of it and I’ve been humbled. I’ve pushed philanthropy and helping people. That’s critical to the livability of the city and I’m looking forward to serving for another four years on City Council.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20157:22 pm

Martinez: “I’m trying to start a new political revolution for young people.” #BoiseCouncil

Tim Atwell October 15, 20157:22 pm

Martinez: “I’m trying to start a new political revolution.”

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20157:22 pm

Martinez: “I think more people in the military should be in elected office.” #BoiseCouncil

Josh Scholer October 15, 20157:23 pm

Hawes: “One of the principles is to participate in public service. That means we leave our homes, jobs, and take time to engage in society. I entered this race because I love this city and think it can do a lot more and do much better.” #BoiseCouncil

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20157:23 pm

Hawes: “I have a vision that the city can do better and do more in dealing with the homeless situation.” #BoiseCouncil

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20157:28 pm

Take aways from tonight: There is a consensus that Boise needs improved transportation, relations between council members and constituents, and improved facilities and policies for the homeless population and affordable housing. The candidates expressed their views and proposals tonight. Make sure to cast your vote on November 3! 

McKenzie Perkins October 15, 20157:29 pm

Thanks for following along with us tonight, and we’ll see you at the voting booth! 

Tim Atwell October 15, 20157:38 pm

We learned a lot about the candidates tonight! Elections will take place on Nov. 3. Also on the ballot is the Clean Water and Open Spaces Levy.

The candidates all seem passionate about dealing with the homeless problem in Boise, and affordable housing. Looking forward to seeing what progress can be made in the near future.
Thanks for joining us tonight!
Josh Scholer October 15, 20157:43 pm

A couple of takeaways from tonight: 

1.) Public transportation is a going to be a huge issue going forward for the next 5-10 years. Boise is one of the fastest growing cities in the West and there isn’t much room to expand. All three candidates seemed to recognize this and all agreed that there needs to be expanded public transportation through a light rail, expanded times for buses, etc. 

2.) What to do with the homeless problem? Should the City directly intervene and start projects? Or should it incentivize the private sector to build affordable housing? I don’t see this issue coming to a close any time soon, but hopefully there is a consensus within a year or two. 

3.) There was a consensus on the Open Spaces Levy across the board. The only discrepancy was on the part of Martinez who said he wished it would have been a bond instead of a levy. 

Josh Scholer October 15, 20157:43 pm

Thanks for tuning in! Be sure to show up on November 3rd and vote! 

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of Boise State University, the Center for Idaho History and Politics, or the School of Public Service.