Eye On Boise

Issues raised about Idaho’s guv’s mansion, public meeting set for September

The Governor's Housing Committee meets on Tuesday in Boise; several members of the public attended and objected to continuing to maintain Idaho's official governor's residence, in which no Idaho governor has lived; it's the former home of the late billionaire J.R. Simplot. (Betsy Russell)
The Governor's Housing Committee meets on Tuesday in Boise; several members of the public attended and objected to continuing to maintain Idaho's official governor's residence, in which no Idaho governor has lived; it's the former home of the late billionaire J.R. Simplot. (Betsy Russell)

The Governor's Housing Committee meeting today has drawn a number of members of the public who are objecting to Idaho continuing to maintain the former Simplot home as a governor's residence and state event facility, though no Idaho governor has lived there. One even suggested that on an interim basis, the mansion could be used to house the homeless. "We can't resolve the long-term issues here today," said the panel's chairman, Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Meridian. But he said he's "willing to have a process" to take public input on the issue. Today's meeting is to vote on the budget for the upcoming year, which is set at $177,400, with $80,000 of that to go for grounds maintenance.

Said Sen. Les Bock, D-Boise, "We have not really tried to find out what the people want." State Department of Administration Director Teresa Luna agreed to post information about the issue, including its history, on the Internet; and Winder said he'll set a public meeting for September.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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