City Council President Lauren McLean is challenging Boise’s longest serving mayor – who handpicked her to serve in 2015.
McLean officially filed her paperwork Monday morning at the city clerk’s office.
She says she’s running to help ease worries by longtime citizens who are unsettled by what they view as unbridled growth and an ambivalence of public input on political lightning rod issues like the new library and sports stadium.
Conversations with frustrated Boiseans are what really thrust her into the race.
“If you had asked me six months ago, I would’ve said no. Six weeks ago I would’ve said, ‘I don’t think so,’” McLean said.
“This last month, talking with people, hundreds of people around this city in my listening sessions have really convinced me that we need to have more conversations about the impact of growth, traffic and congestion and more transparency in government.”
When pressed on what 16-year incumbent Mayor Dave Bieter’s administration has been lacking in terms of transparency, she was careful not to criticize him directly.
“What I’ve heard from the public is they want us to have more and they want their leaders to be accessible, their government to be transparent. Right now, they’re feeling kind of left out of the conversation and not quite sure how decisions are being made.”
Instead, she says she’d post her public schedule online, and hold more community conversations to make herself more available to the public if elected mayor.
She thinks the city is taking “great and important steps” when it comes to handling a significant lack of affordable housing, but that they should do more of it – like looking into a land bank program.
McLean hasn’t taken a position on the proposed sports stadium just off of downtown. She’s a strong supporter of a new library along the Greenbelt but isn’t opposed to the idea of holding a public vote on the issue.
McLean has served on Boise City Council since 2011 when she was first appointed by Mayor Dave Bieter and was elected council president in 2017.
Professionally, she’s a philanthropy consultant and led the first Foothills open space levy in 2001.
In addition to Bieter, McLean will face Adriel Martinez, an Army veteran who has previously run for city council, and Matthew Kilburn.
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