2019 Voter Information

It’s Election time, and we’ve got all the information you need right here! Election Day is Tuesday, November 5th so be sure to cast your ballots before polls close!

For a full list of BRR’s endorsements and recommendations for your vote this year, please click HERE.

Interested in Early Voting in-person?

GEM
Early voting is underway and ends November 1st. You may cast your early in-person vote at the clerk’s office inside the Gem County Courthouse.

ELMORE
“Early in-person absentee voting” begins October 15th and ends November 1st. All early in-person voting will take place at the Elmore County Courthouse.

ADA
Early voting begins on October 26th and ends November 1st. All Ada County early voting can be completed at any one of three locations: Ada County Elections Office, Boise City Hall, and Meridian City Hall.


BRR’s Public Policy Committee, made up of volunteer REALTORS®, extends candidate questionnaires to various local candidate races within Ada, Elmore, and Gem counties. Based on these responses, candidates are invited to be interviewed by the committee and share their views on housing, private property rights, education, transportation, and other issues affecting the community. From there, the Public Policy Committee provides recommendations for endorsements which are reviewed by BRR’s Board of Directors for final approval. For questions regarding BRR’s endorsement process, contact Soren Dorius, BRR’s Director of Government Affairs, at 208-947-7237 or soren@boirealtors.com. You may also reach Government Affairs Manager, Cameron Kinzer, at 208-947-7237 or cameron@boirealtors.com.

UPDATE: Boise’s Proposed Short-Term Rental Regulations

STR Update (003)Boise Regional REALTORS® recently conducted a local “Call-for-Action” in opposition to the City of Boise’s proposed restrictions of short-term rentals such as Airbnbs and Vrbos. We want to thank all of you participated during the City’s comment period, and for helping spread the word that this was a bad policy idea.

I’m pleased to report that through BRR’s advocacy efforts, and all of your support, we were able to help hit the brakes and bring this regulation proposal back to the drawing board. It was reported that over 1,200 people responded to the City’s proposal during the public comment period, with 67% of Boise residents opposed to the ordinance change. This is an overwhelming response against these restrictions and certainly give local officials reason to pause before moving ahead with such an unpopular and unnecessary restriction.

So what’s next? Mayor Dave Bieter has announced he would like to form an advisory group to look into short-term rentals and identify a better way to address the community concerns. The Mayor also stated in a recent interview with Morning Edition host George Prentice, following the gathering of comments from the public on this proposed regulation the City will “gather those comments and then get a group together, including realtors”. We are thrilled to hear that REALTORS® are being invited to these discussion, and look forward collaborating and helping the City identify common sense solutions.

This is a big win for Boise Regional REALTORS® and the Boise residents who chimed in during the proposal comment period. I’m sure there will still be many more discussions and ideas to weigh in the coming months, and we plan to be a part of those. More details and updates to come later.

Thank you for your support and participation in our local advocacy efforts. If you have any questions or ideas, including participation on a potential advisory committee for short-term rentals, please contact me at soren@boirealtors.com.

Soren was interviewed by Boise State Public Radio regarding this issue and was featured in the following two stories:

Boise REALTORS React to Proposed Rules On Short-Term Rentals

To Address Affordable Housing, Bieter Proposes Targeting Short-Term Rentals

REALTORS® Endorse Local Candidates

After numerous candidate interviews and completed questionnaires, Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) is pleased to announce the following candidate endorsements for upcoming local elections in Ada, Elmore, and Gem counties.

Boise

  • Rebecca Arnold – Boise Mayor
  • Patrick Bageant – Boise City Council Seat 1
  • Meredith Stead – Boise City Council Seat 3
  • Debbie Lombard-Bloom – Boise City Council Seat 5

Eagle

  • Jason Pierce – Eagle City Mayor
  • Charlie Baun – Eagle City Council

Emmett

  • Steve Nebeker – Emmett Mayor
  • Brett McGann – Emmett City Council

Garden City

  • Pam Beaumont – Garden City, City Council
  • James Page – Garden City, City Council

Glenns Ferry

  • Susan Case – Glenns Ferry City Council

Kuna

  • Briana Buban-Vonder Haar – Kuna City Council
  • Ramona Martin – Kuna City Council

Meridian

  • Robert Simison – Meridian Mayor
  • Brad Hoaglun – Meridian City Council Seat 3
  • Jessica Perreault – Meridian City Council Seat 5

Mountain Home

  • Rich Sykes – Mountain Home Mayor
  • Mark Bryant – Mountain Home City Council
  • Brad Stokes – Mountain Home City Council

Star

  • Trevor Chadwick – Star City Mayor
  • Kevin Nielsen – Star City Council Seat 1
  • Jennifer Salmonsen – Star City Council Seat 2

“Each year we have the honor of interviewing many qualified candidates for elected office. It’s rarely an easy decision determining which candidate best reflects our views on growth, governance, and the importance of private property rights. After careful review, the candidates we’ve chosen to endorse are uniquely qualified to lead our community through challenging growth management decisions. These candidates understand the importance of private property rights, managing growth, and the important role REALTORS® have in the local economy and community,” said Phil Mount, 2019 President of Boise Regional REALTORS®.

BRR’s Public Policy Committee, comprised of volunteer members of the association, invited over 80 candidates across the three counties to fill out candidate questionnaires focused on private property and growth-related issues. After careful review of the responses, over half of the candidates who filed for candidacy were invited to take part in interviews with the committee. Based on these interviews, the committee sent their recommendations to the BRR Board of Directors for final review and approval.

“We wish to thank our volunteer Public Policy Committee members, and all those who assisted with the candidate endorsement process. We appreciate the time and dedication of these individuals, and their commitment to identifying the candidates who are best suited to represent the voice of real estate and private property rights,” said Josh Cummings, BRR’s Public Policy Committee Chair.

Elections will be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

“We urge Boise Regional REALTORS®, as well as the rest of the community, to get out and vote this November and support these candidates who’ve received the endorsement of local REALTORS® throughout Ada, Elmore, and Gem counties,” said BRR Director of Government Affairs Soren Dorius.

For information on the candidates, registration, and where to vote, please visit idahovotes.gov, adacounty.id.gov/electionsgemcounty.org/elections/ and elmorecounty.org/elections-2018/. 

PRESS COVERAGE:

Arnold, Bieter, McLean pick up endorsements ahead of mayoral election

BRR’s Public Policy Committee, made up of volunteer REALTORS®, extends candidate questionnaires to various local candidate races within Ada, Elmore, and Gem counties. Based on these responses, candidates are invited to be interviewed by the committee and share their views on housing, private property rights, education, transportation, and other issues affecting the community. From there, the Public Policy Committee provides recommendations for endorsements which are reviewed by BRR’s Board of Directors for final approval. For questions regarding BRR’s endorsement process, contact Soren Dorius, BRR’s Director of Government Affairs, at 208-947-7237 or soren@boirealtors.com. You may also reach Government Affairs Manager, Cameron Kinzer, at 208-947-7237 or cameron@boirealtors.com

REALTORS® OPPOSE CITY OF BOISE’S PROPOSED SHORT-TERM RENTAL RESTRICTIONS

BRR’s call-for-action for members and consumers can be found at boirealtors.com/short-term-rental-restrictions.


September 20, 2019 Press Release:

Idaho REALTORS® (IR) and Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) oppose a recent City of Boise proposal to regulate and restrict short-term rentals.

“We are fundamentally opposed to this restriction of private property rights,” said Phil Mount, 2019 BRR President. “This is a significant overstep that threatens one of the most basic precepts of property ownership; the right to rent. We understand and appreciate the concerns of affordability, safety, and neighborhood nuisance violations that are trying to be addressed by the City, but this is the wrong approach. Instead of creating new regulations or restrictions, let’s use the code enforcement tools that are already in place should an issue arise, instead of singling out short-term rentals as the neighborhood scapegoat.”

“The proposed short-term rental ordinance from the City of Boise is a clear overreach, attempting to skirt Idaho code. Idaho law and city ordinance already offer remedy for the issues that the City of Boise wants to address. Idaho REALTORS® have worked to codify legislation that protects the right to rent across the state and we are committed to defending those efforts,” said Raphael Barta, President of IR.

“REALTORS® are deeply invested in this community and strive to maintain it as a great place to live, work, and recreate. We look forward to collaborating with the City to find common sense solutions that embrace private property rights, rather than restrict them,” said Soren Dorius, Director of Government Affairs for BRR.

###

Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) is a 501(c)(6) trade association, representing real estate professionals throughout the Boise region. Established in 1920, BRR is the largest local REALTOR® association in the state of Idaho, helping members achieve real estate success through ethics, professionalism, and connections. BRR has two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Intermountain MLS and the Boise Regional REALTORS® Community Foundation.

Idaho REALTORS® (IR) promotes the business interests of its members, advances the high standards of business conduct expressed in the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and protects private property rights.

 

Interview with Kit Fitzgerald, 2019 RPAC Hall of Fame Inductee

Kit Fitzgerald, Equity Northwest RealtyOn May 15, 2019, Kit Fitzgerald was inducted into the RPAC Hall of Fame for contributing over $25,000 to RPAC in her lifetime. For over 50 years, RPAC has continued to grow and support the real estate industry through local, state, and national legislation and advocacy, none of which would be possible without the support of REALTORS® like Kit.

In honor of her achievement, we decided to interview Kit and ask her a few questions about what RPAC means to her and how she became a Major Investor.

Q: Congratulations on being inducted into the RPAC Hall of Fame. This is a big deal! How do you feel about this recent recognition of your commitment and investments into RPAC?

A: I think its very kind of NAR to recognize this level of commitment. I would gladly give without the recognition as I believe so strongly in working to defend our REALTOR® Party Issues. 

 Q: Well, your passion and dedication to RPAC is definitely worth recognizing. I mean, $25,000 is a lot of money! Why are you so committed to RPAC and its success?

A: We are the only organization in this country fighting for homeownership. Its the foundation of our economy, our citizens, and the American Dream that so many people desire. RPAC and the REALTOR® Party ensures that we have protection for private property rights, flood insurance, no taxes on services, access to financing for our consumers, and so much more. I firmly believe that investing in RPAC is a protection of not only my business and livelihood, but also ensures that Americans have an opportunity to build wealth via equity, have safe neighborhoods, stronger schools and a place to make memories. So many other countries in this world do not have the same opportunities as we do, and REALTORS® are the people who ensure we do.

 Q: Well said! You obviously know a lot about RPAC and its impact on homeownership rights. But that wasn’t always the case, right? How did you become a REALTOR® and how did that lead to you becoming a committed investor in RPAC?

A: I became a REALTOR® after building a home in Meridian in 2002. I’d just moved here from Washington, DC, became quite close with the onsite sales team and was lucky enough for them to offer me an opportunity to sell homes. As for my investment, Id given small amounts to RPAC via dues, but it wasnt until I became involved in the volunteer world of our association for me to learn the extent of what the organization does to protect our business and homeowners everywhere. I was approached by fellow REALTOR®, Jim Johnston from Pocatello, to truly look at what my investment in RPAC means for REALTORS®, and once I learned more, I was all in. 

 Q: Thanks to your “all-in” attitude, many BRR members have stepped up their commitment to RPAC and become Major Investors, largely because of YOUR influence and example. Why do you go out of your way to encourage other REALTORS® to invest into RPAC?

A: For many of the reasons Ive previously stated, Ive encouraged my fellow colleagues to step up their investment. For my friends that have very successful businesses, they have so much to lose if we dont protect homeownership. I also believe that many of our fellow REALTORS® just dont know enough about RPAC to understand the impact of their contributions. I didnt, and it wasnt until I was educated that I understood the needs of grassroots education for our government and the importance of electing or keeping folks in office that support homeownership and private property rights. I truly believe that being educated by a peer, especially who is successful in our industry, helps any active REALTOR® feel more inclined to participate at a higher level.

 Q: Peer-education is a great tool to get others involved! But what do you tell people who say they don’t invest into RPAC because they didn’t like a specific candidate or issue that their association made?

A: RPAC and the REALTOR® Party are not about a candidate or issue. They exist to ensure that REALTOR® issues, important to homeownership and our business are protected. No one in the country is ever going to agree 100% of the time with a politicians votes, or with every single issue impacting our world. However, when it comes to making sure our clients can close on a home that requires flood insurance, a first time homebuyer has access to financing, extra taxes arent passed on to our consumers and so much more, its pretty hard to tell me that you cant get on board to support the industry that keeps food on your table. We are the REALTOR® Party, not any other party.

 Q: One last question: Is there any other piece of advice you have for your fellow REALTORS®?

A: Contribute. Even small contributions are incredibly important. We all go through challenges, but without protecting our industry, the very business in which you make a living can be swept away in a heartbeat. Each of us can make an investment in our industry. Were protecting, ourselves, our families and our economy. Even if its just $30-$50 in a year, every dollar is incredibly important. It doesnt seem like much, to ensure we have a future.

 

To learn more about RPAC, visit boirealtors.com/what-is-rpac or contact Director of Government Affairs, Soren Dorius.

REALTORS® Endorse Meridian Library District’s Plant Levy

Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) is proud to endorse and support the Meridian Library District’s Plant Facilities Levy. If approved, the levy will fund the building of two new branches (one in North Meridian at the Linder Village Complex and one in South Meridian at the Hill Complex), pay for the renovation of the Cherry Lane location, and a renovation of the downtown building for the unBound technology branch.

“This levy is a great value as it expands library opportunities for all residents and increases the library’s footprint in underserved areas of Meridian,” said Phil Mount, 2019 BRR President and REALTOR® with Front Street Brokers. “We’re happy to support the Meridian Library District’s goal to expand education and learning opportunities for residents of all ages.”

Learn more about the plan and ballot measure at mld.org/2019levy.

BRR’s Public Policy Committee, made up of volunteer REALTORS®, carefully vets and considers all housing, private property rights, education, transportation, and other public policy matters and issues in Ada, Elmore, and Gem Counties. From there, the Committee provides recommendations for endorsements which are further reviewed and approved by BRR’s Board of Directors. For questions regarding this endorsement or the endorsement process, contact Soren Dorius, BRR’s Director of Government Affairs, at 208-947-7237 or soren@boirealtors.com.

###

 Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) is a 501(c)(6) trade association, representing real estate professionals throughout the Boise region. Established in 1920, BRR is the largest local REALTOR® association in the state of Idaho, helping members achieve real estate success through ethics, professionalism, and connections. BRR has two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Intermountain MLS (IMLS) and the REALTORS® Community Foundation.

RPAC 50th Anniversary

NAR-RPAC 50th Anniversary
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC)!

To celebrate, BRR and NAR will be sharing specialized content throughout the year that features some of RPAC’s accomplishments over the last 50 years. Each week, NAR will share a new photo on their social media account highlighting the work of RPAC and its impact on our industry.

You are encouraged to share these images on your own social media accounts. If you want to catch up on some of the images you might have missed, check back here periodically — we will add them to this page as they become available. You can also apply the RPAC 50th anniversary filter to your profile picture to show your support.

If you are looking for other ways to celebrate, be sure to check out RPAC’s 50th anniversary website throughout the year for updates and merchandise to honor RPAC’s contributions to REALTORS® and the real estate industry.

Learn more about RPAC’s History by checking out this video.

###

The REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) protects homeownership and the real estate industry by fighting issues and electing pro-REALTOR® and pro-real estate candidates. RPAC dollars are used on the federal, state and local level to support issues critical to the future of real estate and REALTORS®. Learn more about RPAC at boirealtors.com/what-is-rpac.

REALTORS® Endorse Boise’s ADU Proposal

Boise Regional REALTORS® is proud to endorse and support Boise’s Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) proposal. If the update to the ordinance is approved, these changes will:

  • Expand private property rights
  • Provide homeowners and investors a tool to increase housing supply and provide affordable housing options to the community
  • Allow for creative financial opportunities for homeowners to maximize the value of their property
  • Increase flexibility for homeowners, allowing them to rent out both the primary residence and ADU

Home prices in Boise region have been driven by a lack housing inventory compared to buyer demand — putting pressure on affordability. Boise’s ADU expansion plans are a great step in the right direction toward increasing our housing supply and helping families achieve the dream of homeownership. BRR is excited to see cities having open discussions and looking for creative solutions to address this growing need and demand for affordable and workforce housing.

You can learn more about the City of Boise’s ADU proposal at www.livboise.org/liv-stories/2019/accessory-dwelling-units.

BRR’s Public Policy Committee, made up of volunteer REALTORS®, carefully vets and considers all housing, private property rights, education, transportation, and other public policy matters and issues in Ada, Elmore, and Gem County. From there, the Public Policy Committee provides recommendations for endorsements which are reviewed and approved by BRR’s Board of Directors.

November 2018 Election Recap

Below is a summary of the candidates and initiatives that BRR endorsed in this week’s election. It’s important to know that our endorsements aren’t about placing bets whomever or whatever is most likely to succeed; but rather, we support people and ideas that best reflect our ideals and interests as REALTORS®, as well as our desire to make the community a better place for everyone. Oftentimes this is a very difficult decision, as there are many great and qualified candidates running for office — which was certainly the case this year.

That said, here is the breakdown of our recent endorsements:

  1. Ada County Commissioner District 1: Endorsed Jim Tibbs LOST to Diana Lachiando
  2. Ada County Clerk – Endorsed Phil McGrane WON
  3. Ada County Assessor – Endorsed Robert McQuade WON
  4. Ada County Treasurer – Endorsed Elizabeth Mahn WON
  5. ACHD D3 – Endorsed Paul Woods LOST to Mary May
  6. Ada County Vehicle Registration Ballot Measure – Endorsed a YES vote but measure FAILED (more on this below)
  7. College of Western Idaho Plant Facilities Reserve Fund Levy – Endorsed a YES vote measure need 55% approval blended result in Ada and Canyon. The vote hasn’t been certified yet, but it appears to have FAILED by less than 1/10th of a percentages point with a combined approval of 54.94%.
  8. Gem County Assessor – Endorsed Hollie Ann Strang WON
  9. Gem County Clerk – Endorsed Shelly Tilton WON
  10. Gem County Treasurer – Endorsed Megan Keene WON

As for the Ada County Vehicle Registration Ballot Measure, BRR endorsed this as part of a coalition of elected officials, builders, developers, and other business and community leaders, and we were able to utilize REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) funds and a grant from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) to support it. Because it was unsuccessful, we wanted to share our analysis on it, both why we supported it and why it likely failed.

BRR endorsed this user-based fee because we felt it was the fairest way to address road congestion rather than the all too commonly used increase in property taxes — and to add more bike lanes and improve the safety of children’s routes to school.

Unfortunately, the majority of Ada County voters did not agree. There are many reasons this ballot measure failed. Here are a few:

  1. False information promoted by anti-growth groups and local media. An example of this, many voters believed ACHD chose to increase registration fees on regular motorists instead of commercial, simply because they didn’t want to ask heavy vehicles to pay their share of road usage. The truth is that ACHD does not have the legal authority to do this, only the state legislature can determine whether to increase fees on heavy vehicles (those weighing 8,000 lbs. or more.)
  2. Some voters voiced their desire for “someone else” to pay for more transportation funding, especially developers and new families moving to the area, by raising impact fees or property taxes; however, this would only put more pressure on housing and home prices, exacerbating the concerns over affordability.
  3. Other voters seemed to think these vehicle registration fees were already increasing each year, and that our fees were already too high. They have not gone up since 2008, and we would have continued to have some of the lowest registration fees in the western United States, even if the increase was approved.
  4. Many believed a vote against this ballot measure would improve the chances of getting public transit. This is simply not the case, and ignoring the immediate need for improved funding of our roads and infrastructure only distances community transit from becoming a reality.

Ultimately, supporting this campaign was the right thing to do. We tried to find a fair and balanced solution, through a simple user-based fee. The coalition we worked with on this initiative allowed us to make new friends and demonstrated that REALTORS® have powerful resources and are willing to invest into their community. Looking beyond this issue, we sincerely congratulate every candidate on hard-fought races and wins, whether or not they received our endorsement. We look forward to continuing to build upon existing relationships and forge new ones as we work together to address the opportunities and issues in our community.

Lastly, thank you to the members of BRR’s Public Policy Committee, Board of Directors, and everyone who invested in the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) for supporting these advocacy efforts. If you have further questions about the elections, our endorsements, or to learn more about RPAC please don’t hesitate to contact me at soren@boirealtors.com.

 

REALTORS® in Canyon and Ada County Endorse CWI Levy

On November 6th, the College of Western Idaho will be asking voters in Canyon and Ada counties to support a $39 million plant facilities levy to add a health and science building to the Nampa campus. All three REALTOR® associations in Ada and Canyon counties, including Boise Regional REALTORS®, Caldwell Board of REALTORS®, and Nampa Association of REALTORS®, are united in support of the levy.

“CWI adds incredible value to our community as an affordable option for higher education,” noted Gary Salisbury, 2018 President of Boise Regional REALTORS® and senior sales consultant with Equity Northwest Real Estate. “We fully support the efforts of the college to expand their healthcare education and training programs.”

Chris Mooney, Chief Executive Officer of the Nampa Association of REALTORS® and co-owner of EnVision Real Estate School and Consulting, Inc., added that “the Nampa campus has been a boon to our growing workforce. CWI has proven itself to be a wise and prudent investment for our community.”

“We’re thrilled to see the continued success and growth of CWI,” said Arvid Salisbury, President of the Caldwell Board of REALTORS® and Associate Broker at Keller Williams Realty. Salisbury went on to say, “This new health and science building will be a fantastic and much-needed addition to our local college.”

Elections will be held on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018. For more information on voting, please visit idahovotes.gov. For information requests regarding these endorsements, please contact Soren Dorius, Boise Regional REALTORS® Director of Government Affairs, at soren@boirealtors.com; Chris Mooney, Chief Executive of the Nampa Association of REALTORS®, at cmooney@nampaboard.com; or Jill Stone, Chief Executive of the Caldwell Board of REALTORS®, at jillstone99@gmail.com.