To the Residents of Boise:
We are with you in this unprecedented health emergency and emerging economic crisis. We share your anxiety, your uncertainty, and your concern about the challenges we are now facing. We love Boise and its people. That means you. We love the welcoming nature of our community and we love that we work together to find the innovative and creative solutions that will help us calm our anxiety and answer our uncertainty.
We will express our collective compassion in those solutions, and we give you our word that each of us will work tirelessly to bring our city through this with unity and in a way that builds on the ties that bind us. We are committed to strengthening our community, to lifting all up, and to offering everyone a chance to succeed as we recover from this crisis. If we do this the Boise way, we’ll come through it stronger than ever.
What has been done to date
We are trying to make the best decisions that we can with information that is, at best, imperfect. COVID-19 is present in our community and its presence is growing. Actions have been aimed at slowing the community spread of the virus. As we have learned, the best way to do that is with a variety of social distancing measures (actually “physical distancing”) as we all try and figure out our new social engagement strategies. Those actions to date have been:
- Adoption of an emergency health ordinance, allowing the mayor to take emergency actions in consultation with city council;
- A call to encourage social distancing by limiting large gatherings, creating 6 feet of space between people, and encouraging work from home for those who can;
- An order to limit in-person public interaction by closing city facilities and suspending meetings of the city’s volunteer boards and commissions;
- An order to close bars and restaurants to dine-in service;
- Action to close playgrounds in city parks
- An order to mandate social distancing of 6 feet between individuals, with exceptions for essential services such as grocery stores, health care facilities, and public transportation;
On March 25, Governor Little announced a statewide stay-at-home Order for 21 days, effective immediately. This mandates that we stay home except to access essential goods and services, exercise outdoors with 6 feet of physical distance from others and work from home when possible. This necessary order will further our ability to slow the virus.
We know that these actions have an impact on businesses and people’s lives. They are not taken lightly. We can’t take the virus lightly either. The best information we have is that this virus is highly contagious and there is no natural immunity. We are all potential patients or carriers. Our actions are designed to slow its spread so that it does not overwhelm our healthcare system.
This virus has been most lethal where it has spread quickly enough to outpace the capabilities of the health care system. It is vitally important that we avoid that here. We must slow the spread now, so our hospitals and clinics have capacity to serve those who are critically ill while at the same making our healthcare workers less likely to become patients themselves.
We have been in contact with our congressional delegation asking for their support for individuals through expanded unemployment benefits, mortgage or rental assistance, and more. We have advocated for small businesses and asked that tax deadlines be extended, and a grant and loan program be created for when we move into recovery. The legislation that has passed contains many of those provisions. As we said before, our focus will now shift to helping residents of our city navigate access to the assistance that is, and will soon become, available.
We want your feedback. Please keep sending your suggestions and comments. Since we can’t lend a shoulder, we can at least lend an ear and a sometimes a hand. These mandates and guidelines will undoubtedly change as the situation progresses and our information improves. For up-to-date information, please continue to check the City of Boise’s COVID-19 page, watch for continued updates here and follow council members on social media for our individual thoughts and updates.
The City of Boise has a strong Mayor-Council form of government in which the Mayor acts as the city executive, overseeing day-to-day operations of the city, while the six-member City Council serves as the legislative body with policy setting and budgetary authority.
Council Members are elected at-large by popular vote of all of the residents of the City of Boise. While they are elected to a particular seat, those seats are not determined geographically. The offices of both mayor and city council are non-partisan and elections are held in odd-numbered years.
City Council Members
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