The GBAD nation has spoken and the resounding echo seems to be “Play Ball.”
Fairly low voter turnout combined with luke-warm interest combined with a perfect storm of circumstances may pave the way for a Greater Boise Auditorium District-backed “multi-use” sports facility that no doubt will host some Bieter Ball down the road.
The debate about what to do with GBAD’s $13 million nest egg and $2 million annual revenue stream — not to mention the borrowing power this affords — could soon end.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter’s two endorsed candidates, Boise fireman Jim Walker and business consultant Steve Berch, are in. This is impressive because they defeated well-respected incumbents Rob Perez and Stephanie Astorquia.
If we can assume the Walker-Berch votes are a lock, they combine with the vote of present GBAD-Chairman Hy Kloc — there’s your 3-2 majority that could act swiftly and decisively in a new direction. Though Peter Oliver survived to GBAD for another two years, his vote and that of Judy Peavey-Derr appear to be the new minority.
Walker campaigned as “Mr. Action” and openly scoffed at the idea that throwing more money at convention center enhancements would produce the “allure” that justified bang-for-buck. Walker earned more votes than anybody in the six-year-term race.
We had a feeling GBAD voters were going to swing one way or the other on the two slates. We were concerned that a mixed board wouldn’t be able to find progress in any direction. But the New-Sheriff-In-Town team of Walker-Berch-George Tway came within 19 votes of winning it all. Tway, a travel professional, lost to incumbent Peter Oliver by the slimmest of margins.
Is there a mandate to put GBAD’s assets to work in a new direction? The easy answer is yes. But is it the right direction?
Only time and some finesse marketing will be able to prove that a multi-use sports facility that serves locals and visitors was the right call. But we have to acknowledge that Boise made that call in a resounding manner.