Boise residents voted down two bonds Tuesday. Together they would have generated more than $30 million for the city’s fire and parks departments and for buying land to set aside as open space.
More than 60 percent of Boise voters cast ballots in favor of the bonds. But the bonds needed a two-thirds majority to pass. Fire Chief Dennis Doan wanted the $17 million from the fire bond to build a new training center and upgrade and replace some old stations.
“We’ll just have to go back to the drawing board as a city as a whole,” Doan says. “And we’re going to take these projects and they’re going to have to stack up against everything else, Parks and Rec and libraries and police headquarters and we’ll just have to prioritize and I don’t know which one will end up on top. And it’ll be a long, long time - if ever probably - that we get the training facility.”
The other bond would have been used to build three city parks and upgrade three others. It would also have been used to increase dedicated open space in the foothills and for the first time in other parts of the city as well.
The mood at Tuesday night’s pro-bond party started out festive, then grew somber as results began to stream in.
Despite glum faces, there were pockets of victory celebrations as people congratulated the three city council incumbents who were on the ballot.
All three incumbents, Ben Quintana, TJ Thomson, and Maryanne Jordan were reelected for another four-year city council term.
Boise mayor Dave Beiter quietly left the gathering without commenting on what’s next. But city councilman Ben Quintana articulated his disappointment at failing to pass the bonds he endorsed.
“I think the number one thing is just the fact that we got so close for something that so many people did support,” Quintana says. “We didn’t quite cross that large threshold of getting that 66 and two-thirds [percent]. So for all the thousands of people who did come out to vote, they’re not going to be able to see these projects realized in the time frame that we had talked about."
Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio