November 2016 Treasure Valley Voters Guide

Welcome to our Voter Guide for November's local races, bonds and levies, as well as the presidential election. Compare candidates' views on the issues side by side and create your own ballot, which you can then print or email.

Election Day:

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...Please note: Candidates' responses have not been edited except for libel.

Commissioner District 2

The commission sets policy for the Ada County Highway District, the only countywide highway agency in Idaho, which handles all roads in Ada County, including those within its cities. Commission seats are nonpartisan. More on ACHD's election page here.Term: 4 yearsPay: $1,860/month, or $2,235 for whomever the commission votes its president

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon.

  • Candidate picture

    Rebecca Arnold

  • Candidate picture

    David Eberle

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Biographical Information

Why are you running for office? What is the most important issue facing the county? What in your background qualifies you for the job of commissioner?

What can ACHD do to relieve traffic congestion in places like Meridian’s Eagle-Fairview intersection or Downtown Boise?

What can ACHD do to handle looming traffic problems in places where big housing developments are being proposed, such as Southwest Boise, Meridian, and the Foothills?

For eight consecutive years, ACHD has not taken the 3 percent property tax rate increase allowed under state law. Do you think ACHD should collect the full amount allowed under state law? Why or why not?

The Idaho Transportation Department is considering allowing overweight trucks on some state-owned highways. Do you support allowing them on ACHD-controlled roads? Why or why not?

How many of Downtown Boise’s one-way streets should be converted to two-way streets? All of them? Should any of the streets that have become two-ways be turned back into one-ways?

Have you been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, a misdemeanor or felony or had a withheld judgment? If so, what, when and where?

Have you or a company you owned filed bankruptcy? If so, when and where?

Education Doctorate of Jurisprudence (Law); Master of Business Administration (Finance emphasis); and Bachelor of Science - Business (Accounting)
Prior political experience 12 years as ACHD Commissioner
Civic involvement Please visit for complete details on my 25+ years of Community and Volunteer service in Idaho. Ada County Highway District Commissioner - currently serving in my third term: one of 5 elected Commissioners who make policy decisions and who oversee an agency with approx. 310 employees and an annual budget of approx. $100 Million for the maintenance of 2,400 miles of roadways, the construction of new infrastructure projects and the coordination and planning of regional transportation system. Ada County City Emergency Management Council – Jan 2005 to February 2013, served as an executive committee member making policy decisions and administering emergency preparedness funds, including funding from Department of Homeland Security. Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program/CASA - 1990 to 1995 - provided free legal services to court appointed special advocates/guardians ad litem in child protection cases. Junior League of Boise - 1990 to Present, currently serving as an active volunteer in various community service projects. Received 2006 Community Service Award and for JLB’s 80th anniversary in 2008, chosen as one of 80 honored women over the 80 year history of the JLB that exemplify the spirit and values of the JLB. Idaho Association of Highway Districts – November 2007 to Present, currently serving as President of the association representing 62 highway districts in Idaho and chosen as Commissioner of the Year for 2014. Community Planning Association – January 2008 to Present, currently serving as a board member making policy decisions and administering funding for two-county Metropolitan Planning Organization and 2010 to 2015 Chairman Finance Committee. Ada County Boys & Girls Club – January 2012 to Present, currently serving as a board member. Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation – Boise, Idaho Affiliate, Board of Directors October 1999 through October 2005; Affiliate Treasurer – 2 years; Volunteer - October 1999 to 2012, served as a volunteer for fundraising and education projects. Race for the Cure sponsor. Kare For Kids Project – May 2007 through December 2011, served as a committee member of K4K project, a project of the Junior League of Boise providing support services for children in foster care and foster parents in collaboration with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Idaho Business Review Women of the Year Award Chosen for award in 2006. Idaho Child Abuse Prevention Coalition January 2006 to 2008, served as a coalition member for planning and conducting awareness and prevention activities to reduce child abuse cases and to direct parents and children to appropriate agencies for assistance. The Bridge Committee – May 2005 through May 2007 - committee member of The Bridge project, a joint project of The Children’s Home Society, the Junior League of Boise, and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Coalition for a Healthy Idaho – 2003-4, served as a coalition member and an advocate for legislation pertaining to health issues.
Years living in Idaho 29
Family married 32 years, 1 child
I am running for re-election to ensure that ACHD continues to operate in an effective and efficient manner to reduce congestion, provide safe roads, control costs, and avoid increases to your property taxes. Continuing to improve public involvement and transparency are also very important. One of our greatest challenges is reducing congestion. Reducing congestion improves our economy and quality of life by cutting the time, frustration and money you spend traveling. Less congestion also benefits our air quality. My education and experience as an attorney enables me to provide the quality, professional leadership needed to make tough decisions. Proven accounting and development expertise help me ensure that decisions to tax dollars are made conservatively. These qualifications, coupled with my passion, energy and dedication for serving our community, drive my analytical and pragmatic approach to decision making. For nearly 12 years I’ve been blessed to serve as ACHD commissioner. My peers have trusted and relied upon my expertise by selecting me to serve on the Board and as President of the Idaho Assoc of Highway Districts. For more information, visit
For state highways controlled by ITD (Idaho Transportation Dept) like Eagle Road, Chinden, Front, Myrtle, State, and Broadway, ACHD works with ITD to improve intersections on these roads and to encourage projects like widening Chinden to 4 - 5 lanes. To this end, I’ve been highly effective in working with ITD because of the strong relationships with ITD and our state legislators that I’ve developed over my years of service as commissioner, and my decades of experience working in the business community. In Downtown Boise where widening roads and intersections isn't feasible, ACHD has installed permissive left turn signals, improved signal timing, provided options for walking and biking, improved sidewalks, and encouraged the use of alternative transportation. During my tenure as commissioner, ACHD has also worked with school districts to identify preferred walking routes for students and added sidewalks to keep our children safe while walking to school. ACHD also provides Park & Ride lots outside the cities for vanpooling/carpooling commuters. The work I’ve done as an ACHD commissioner directly improves the lives and economic opportunities for members of our community every day.
As development proposals are reviewed and processed in accordance with the law, ACHD works with the developer and the city or county land use agency to identify needed infrastructure improvements resulting from the proposed development and to coordinate construction of those improvements through developer funded projects, impact fee projects and public-private partnerships. ACHD also engages in long term planning for future infrastructure based upon the comprehensive land use plans of the County and the 6 cities in Ada County to identify infrastructure improvements that will be needed in the future. We regularly update the long term Capital Improvement Plan as conditions change and are continually constructing improvements to our transportation system to decrease congestion and accommodate future traffic. We are currently planning a series of summit meetings to include elected officials, developers, neighborhood groups, and other stakeholders to improve understanding of the consequences of changes to the cities’ comprehensive plans by the cities and proactively plan for those changes.
No, ACHD should not arbitrarily increase property taxes by the full amount authorized by law! ACHD’s admirable record of holding the line on spending and living within its means, just like an Ada County family, is a direct result of the sound financial and planning decisions I’ve helped ACHD make. Citizens are fed up with local governments placing too much of the burden of government on property taxes, and so am I. ACHD has worked to find other methods to fund needed improvements, and, since ACHD revenues from other sources have been higher than projected, raising property taxes isn't justified. Examples: Impact fee collections from developers this year totaled $19.9 Million, about $7 Million higher than anticipated, and HB 312 passed by the Idaho legislature provided a new source of funds for ACHD — a total of $6.1 Million this year. My opponent appears to like property tax increases. Under his tenure on Boise City Council, your property taxes increased about 55%, taking millions of dollars from your pockets and dumping them into the bloated Boise City budget. He also testified at an ACHD budget hearing and chastised the ACHD Commission for refusing to increase property taxes!
Safety is the top priority: I would support allowing the 129,000 pound trucks on ACHD controlled roads ONLY if the trucking applicants can demonstrate with verifiable engineering data that the trucks can be operated safely on ACHD roads and can be operated without damaging our roads and bridges. While I am willing to work with trucking companies to move freight across the valley, ACHD's primary mission is to protect the public and protect the taxpayers' investment in our infrastructure. The Idaho legislature passed legislation allowing the 129,000 pound trucks on the interstate system and wisely specified that the local jurisdictions would control whether and where such trucks could operate on the local highway systems.
ACHD conducted extensive public outreach in collaboration with Boise City, CCDC, VRT and DBA to formulate the Downtown Boise Implementation Plan, which includes the one-way to two-way conversions of several streets. The adopted plan can be viewed at I support the implementation of the plan, which is currently underway. Any decision to turn streets back to one-way is premature until the conversions detailed in the plan are complete and the construction of current major private development projects is finished. Once those items are complete, ACHD can evaluate the full impacts/results in collaboration with Boise City in an open and public process to determine if changes are needed. A downtown business group has approached ACHD about changing plans for 5th Street and 6th Street and converting those to two-way now. ACHD is currently evaluating that request and will seek public input prior to any final decision
In 2000, I pled guilty to inattentive driving in Boise.
Age 67
Education Ph.D. Economics, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, December 1995 M.A. Economics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1976 B.A. Economics, The Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1974
Prior political experience I served on the Boise City Council for ten years from 2004-2014, and served in leadership as Council President and Pro Tempore. I also served on the Capital City Development Corporation and on the board of the Harris Ranch Community Infrastructure District.
Civic involvement I have been deeply involved in the community in numerous ways over the years, beginning with my first job in the Valley at Idaho Power in 1977. At Idaho Power I started the company’s credit union. I was also one of the founders of the Idaho Small Business Development Center at BSU, and the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley. I served on the board of the Boise Coop for five years, and coached metro league soccer for eight years. Currently, I serve on the board of the Harris Ranch Wildlife Mitigation Association helping the Barber Valley protect the natural assets that bring people to Boise. I have also served on a number of citizen advisory committees including two ACHD Capital Improvement Plan Committees.
Years living in Idaho I was born at St Luke’s Hospital and have lived in the Boise area for about fifty years.
Family My wife and I live in Garden City. We have a grown daughter who currently resides in the San Francisco Bay area.
I want safe streets that work for all users, transparent and accountable government, and economic prosperity where growth pays for itself. The most important issue facing our county is planning for the future. Growth projections suggest we will have over a million people in the Valley within the next 30 years, or sooner and it’s important we work together to determine best practices. Doing this creates a better community for our children, a place that attracts good job opportunities, well-designed neighborhoods, transportation options for all residents, and economic prosperity without undue government interference. Roads are the largest single public asset we own and their management requires vision and an understanding of the needs of our communities. As an economist I have worked with communities across the country to build and finance their public infrastructure. I am a businessman who knows paying close attention to details leads to success. I was a Boise City Council member for 10 years and had numerous interactions with the Commissioners and ACHD staff. Lastly, I served on the ACHD Capital Improvement Plan Citizen Advisory Board, the ACHD Registration Fee Advisory Board.
Congestion means economic prosperity, people are shopping, traveling to work, and carpooling children to their events. As we continue to prosper there will come a time when some mitigation measures will be necessary. A more pressing problem today is prioritizing construction so that ACHD gets in and out of intersections that inconvenience neighborhoods all summer long and create safety hazards still around schools when they are in session. As commissioner, I will review the current policy to improve the construction performance and plan construction projects so that we right size our streets by planning for growth rather than simply building for immediate need. By doing this I believe it will help relieve some of our traffic congestion in the Valley.
The fact that people are moving to the Valley means new job opportunities. The municipal governments have management plans or are developing management plans for the areas mentioned. What is missing is the cooperation and partnership between ACHD and the cities to ensure we are planning together. As commissioner, this will be one of my top priorities. Cooperative planning between ACHD and our cities is needed to make sure the major street grid and transportation options are already in set in the growth areas before the developer ever submits their plan. By doing this we ensure future development retains the character and livability we all value.
Everyone believes that government should live within its means; it’s state law. Everyone also knows the Valley is growing and new streets will have to be built and existing streets will have to be upgraded to maintain our quality of life. There are a number of financing options in addition to the 3 percent tax increase that have not been effectively utilized by ACHD. As commissioner, I will ensure that all the options including, but not limited to, new construction, property tax, traffic impact fees, and registration fees are considered to close the current $250 million funding gap created by ACHD not managing their revenue stream relative to their expenditures.
ACHD’s roads were not designed for these large tractors moving through downtown Boise. This issue is reaching critical proportions and pushing traffic onto the local street system causing Ada County residents to increasingly bear the burden of what should be a state responsibility. Commerce is important to our economy and the state highways need to be able to carry Idaho’s resources to our factories and distribution facilities. As Commissioner, I support working with ITD and our state legislature to find the funding to improve the traffic through the urban area on state highways.
This is a land use decision. Two-way streets better serve commercial activities. Boise City has determined that a vibrant commercial district with shopping, eating, and cultural activities is important and two-way streets are an appropriate road design for this activity. One-way streets are better for moving traffic through an area. Front street should operate better once the major construction projects are completed. I believe that municipal governments should have the right and the responsibility for the vibrancy of their downtowns whether it be Eagle, Garden City, Meridian, Kuna, Star or Boise. All of the cities are having this discussion within their communities and what is right for Meridian will be different from what is right for Garden City. It is ACHD’s responsibility to enable the cities to realize their vision for their communities.