ADA COUNTY HIGHWAY DISTRICT COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 4
A 46-year resident of Ada County, Married, with 7 children, and 21 grandchildren. Former Republican precinct committeeman, Former District Chair in Districts 21 and 22. Retired businessman, also owned livestock (cattle) breeding operations in the 1980s.
TOP 3 ISSUES
Dealing with transportation-related issues concerning growth. The issue is complex with many facets including ACHD funding sources, accommodating the priorities of our municipal partners as well as accommodating the needs of our citizens and neighborhoods. Idaho has become a magnet to the rest of the country in terms of being an attractive place to live, work and raise a family. We in Idaho are a tremendous success in creating an environment that others want to be a part of. Our ACHD share of property tax revenues, etc. hasn’t kept up with the tremendous growth in our population here in Treasure valley. Since the tens of thousands of Treasure valley residents coming from surrounding counties into Ada County pay no taxes to support our roads, and yet we in Ada County are required to maintain excellent road condition, additional means of increasing the ACHD revenues without increasing taxes must be found, are being found and will soon be a reality for us in Ada County. This has been one of the current ACHD commission’s top priorities and will stay that way.
Assist the land use planning entities (city councils and county commission) in creating adequate transportation infrastructure which can, as quickly as possible, address the decisions they make about how land will be used, i.e. where residential development is allowed, industrial parks, shopping centers, and schools. Revenue limitations have made this all but impossible in the past but additional revenues appropriated by the Idaho legislature in the past 2 sessions will greatly assist ACHD in addressing a “project backlog”. The real solution to congestion is to provide housing closer to where folks shop, work and recreate. Our job at ACHD as a commissioner is to support and help create these scenarios, allowing for a much shorter commute and less traffic congestion. We are actually attempting to do this in all of our areas in Ada County. If the cities and counties surrounding Ada County would do the same thing our congestion would be minimal. This is going to take time to work out. The increase in growth rate and the increasing housing inflation have made this much more difficult, but the goal should be the same nonetheless.
The safety of all users of our transportation system is critically important. Ada County has over 400 miles of roads with either no sidewalks or huge sidewalk gaps. This creates a very dangerous atmosphere, especially for children who might wish to ride their bikes or walk to school. When you notice that so many schools are on busy collectors or arterials (not residential roads), it is easy to see the danger that this sidewalk gap situation creates. In the fiscal year 2021, I tried an experiment by requiring an additional $3,000,000 allocated from our budget to go towards filling these gaps. Most of these funds were spent within my district 4 in the areas surrounding Lake Hazel Elementary and Middle schools. Today you see much larger bike racks and much shorter lines of parents dropping off their kids at school, hence, fewer cars on the road in the morning. In 2022 I obtained another $5,000,000 with yet another $5,000,000 in the fiscal year 2023. I anticipate a great increase in pedestrian and bike traffic county-wide as a result. The amazing thing is that this kind of small improvement costs only a fraction of what it costs to add additional lanes to the roads in the same areas. The miracle has been that during the fiscal year 2022 there hasn’t been even a single pedestrian or bike fatality in Ada County, something almost unheard of until this year.