US Mayor Article

Boise Mayor Coles Sets Example of Regional Cooperation Treasure Valley Partnership Celebrates Third Anniversary

By Kimberly Peterson
May 15, 2000


Led by Conference Vice President Boise Mayor H. Brent Coles, seven Idaho mayors and two county commissioners gathered atop a ski mountain near Boise May 3-5 to plan the future of their region, appropriately named the Treasure Valley.

Treasure Valley, nestled at the foot of the Sawtooth Mountains, consists of Ada and Canyon counties and the cities and towns encompassed within them. Those who had gathered here for the second time in three years were not strangers. They met to figure out new and better ways to cooperate and manage the rapid growth that their cities and towns are experiencing. Mayor Coles, representing Boise, the largest of the city/county partners, willingly shares the floor with all his counterparts - city and county, large and small.

These ten local elected officials are trailblazers in city/county relations. All share the same commitment and vision to protecting their valley and guiding its development smartly for everyone's benefit.

The Treasure Valley Partnership, celebrating its third anniversary this June, gathered for a three day "Summit 2000 - Building Better Places Through Regional Cooperation" along with a resource team of experts in economics and community planning to address the region's rapid growth and to look at transportation and land use planning. Since its inception in 1997 at the urging of Mayor Coles, this formalized Partnership has worked to improve the process of governance in the region so that all of its citizens are better served and policy decisions can be made in a more informed and strategic manner. The Partnership also documented its progress over the past three years and redefined its goals for the next two. Since 1997, the Partnership has tackled water quality, transportation, airsheds, and public safety and will continue to work on rail transit, parks and open space, comprehensive planning and outreach.

Prior to the Summit, all members were assigned homework using a case study related to future growth in the valley. By walking around their neighborhoods, riding the rail system and taking pictures of their communities, the mayors and county officials gained a first hand view of how growth is occurring.

Membership in the Partnership is limited and open to local elected officials of cities and counties in the Treasure Valley. Partnership members meet on a monthly basis.

Current active members include the cities of Boise, Caldwell, Eagle, Garden City, Kuna, Meridian, Nampa, Parma, Star along with Ada and Canyon Counties. For more information on the Treasure Valley Partnership, please contact Elizabeth Conner, Project Manager at 208-869-7298 or  or visit the Joint Center's website located at www.usmayors.org/sustainable.  

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