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GBAD district gets two new board members

Jim Walker

The Greater Boise Auditorium District board has two new members after the May 21 election, with firefighter Jim Walker and business consultant Steve Berch taking over the seats held by Rob Perez and Stephanie Astorquia, according to Ada County’s unofficial results.

Peter Oliver also won with a slim 19-vote lead after all precincts had reported for a victory in the only board seat that carried a 2-year term, according to unofficial results. He appears to have defeated travel agent George Tway.

Walker and Berch, who each won six-year terms, were both vocal in calling for action with the district’s $13 million in available capital funding — which goes along with a potential $30 million that might be gained from selling bonds.

Berch said May 22 that he will continue to push for a quick decision making process, so long as it allows board members to vet possible projects the district’s money could be used on.

Peter Oliver

“The new board will have a bias toward action, but not reckless action,” he said.

Walker, who could not be immediately reached May 22, had been the most skeptical candidate about the need for — and the costs of — expanding the district’s convention center. He has said he would be open to the possibility of using the district’s funding to help build a new multi-purpose sports stadium that would house the Boise Hawks and a minor-league soccer team. Walker also said he could be open to using the funding for more performing arts space.

Oliver, a real estate broker, was appointed to his seat on the board just months before the election. He has said that he does not have an opinion on what should be built with district money, but whatever is chosen should give the district its best return on investment.

“Hopefully everybody is going to have an open mind and look at it from that perspective,” Oliver said about the new board.

Steve Berch

Tway could ask for a recount of any number of voting precincts if he chooses, but he would have to pay $100 per precinct to fund the process under state law. An automatic recount is triggered if the vote difference is less than .1 percent of the vote. The difference between Oliver and Tway was a little more than .3 percent.

There will be one more monthly board meeting May 23 with the former board. Assuming that the vote results are certified by both the county and GBAD, the new members will take over their seats in a meeting June 24.

Noah Bard and John May also ran for the six-year term seats, but received the lowest vote totals of the six candidates.

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