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Water bond, city council incumbents take the day in Boise elections

A sign says to vote here with an arrow pointing to a polling location.
Madelyn Beck
Mountain West News Bureau

An overwhelming majority of eligible Boise voters supported the city’s $570 million wastewater bond, which will go towards upgrades and additions to the sewer system. It’ll also help pay for a proposed water recycling program.

The new bond will mean ratepayers may end up paying more in the long run, but won’t face steep rate hikes in the short term. The city estimates that costs may increase 9% with the bond, but could’ve shot up more than 50% without it to provide immediate cash for necessary repairs.

Incumbent city council candidates who supported the bond also won back their seats. That includes Lisa Sanchez in District 3 (Northwest Boise and North End) and Holli Woodings in District 5 (East End and Downtown).

Another familiar face in Idaho government took the third city council seat up for grabs. Luci Willits is a former Chief of Staff for the Idaho State Department of Education, and will now represent District 1, or West Boise.

The City Council map was reconfigured before this election to comply with a new state law requiring cities of more than 100,000 people to vote by geographic area. Now, residents can only vote for city council candidates who represent the district they live in.

The city council election is also meant to be nonpartisan, which is why there was no political affiliation listed next to each candidate’s name on the ballot.

One of the more successful groups from the night was Conservation Voters for Idaho. At least 12 of the 15 local candidates they endorsed for this election were successful, including Sanchez in Boise, Heidi Husbands in Hailey and Rebecca Casper in Idaho Falls. CVI also endorsed the wastewater bond in Boise.

The Conservation Voters for Idaho Action Fund is the political arm (or PAC) for that group, which used donor funds to help elect candidates they saw as supporting the environment.

Executive Director Rialin Flores said, “We are excited to see that conservation issues continue to win at the ballot box from Boise to Idaho Falls to Hailey.”

This story will be updated as more information and reactions become available.

Madelyn Beck was Boise State Public Radio's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau.

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