BOISE, Idaho -- We're just two days from the general election, and the big issues on the ballot here in Idaho are still propositionss 1, 2, and 3 (the education referendums). However, several local issues are also expected to drive people to the polls in their respective communities.
Among them is Garden City's Greenbelt initiative. Here, voters will focus on two initiatives that would change a section of the Greenbelt near the Plantation community.
It seems to be a really hot issue in Garden City, said KTVB political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby.
Initiative 'A' would repeal a bike ban on a on-and-a-half mile stretch of the Greenbelt, while Initiative 'B' would mean any restrictions on non-motorized travel would have to go before voters in the community.
Those for the initiatives say they ensure openness of the Greenbelt. Those against the initiatives say they would force costly changes. Weatherby says it's one of the few hotly contested races the small town has ever seen.
There have been few, if any, contested races for mayor and city council, said Weatherby. But, this is a huge issue.
According to Dr. Weatherby, the race in District One of the Ada County Highway District is fairly heated, as Jim Hansen and Neil Piispanen vie to topple incumbent Carol Ann McKee in a race important to the county.
The Ada County Highway District is a very important entity, Weatherby said. It's a unique entity in the country, in that it's responsible for all the roads and streets in Ada County.
While somewhat heated, Weatherby the interest in that race hasn't been high. He says interest is even lower in ACHD Two, where incumbent Rebecca Arnold faces John M. Carver.
Meanwhile, Sara M. Baker is running unopposed in ACHDDistrict Three. A decade ago, when the county's population was still exploding, Weatherby says these would've been feature races.
Growth isn't the issue today it once was, said Weatherby.
Weatherby also says many state legislative races will have a big impact on the entire state -- even though few will be close. That's because many longtime moderate Republican senators have retired, a number of house Republicans are trying to win their spots on Tuesday, and many are favored to win.
With a number of house conservatives, many of them are here in this valley, moving to the Senate, the Senate will probably become a more conservative body, and the question is, hHow conservative?' asked Weatherby.
He also says all that shifting in the Republican Party will likely lead to big battles for leadership positions at the statehouse next year. We should know a little more about those, when the dust settles on Tuesday.