Geoff Schroeder represents Idaho’s largest legislative district, but he lives in Mountain Home. Here’s City Cast Boise podcast host Emma Arnold asking him about what the town is actually like, and what he thinks of outside influences on his own Republican party.
Q: Has Mountain Home seen the same growth as the rest of the Treasure Valley?
A: Yes, it’s grown from 10,000 when I first moved there to about 15-16,000 now. They’ve formed an urban renewal agency, and that has provided significant funding … funding a complete revamping of the downtown area: wider sidewalks, planters, a big plaza — it’s beautiful. And it’s the core that now the events are more downtown-centered, and it’s just a fun place to walk, an incredible array of very nice parks, some good restaurants and nice patios and bars.
Q: What should someone do on an ideal day in Mountain Home?
A: I guess I’d start out with the parks … Then you’re going to want to come see the Mountain Home Air Force Appreciation Day parade that was at one point the largest one in the state. You’re going to want to come see the Endless Summer of Beer festival that’s in August. … You can visit the airbase, and then there’s the outlying areas — it’s 30 minutes to the Bruneau Dunes [State Park] and the observatory. And it’s kind of counterintuitive to come to Mountain Home so that you can go somewhere else, but it’s really nicely located to be able to reach out and go to these areas that are on the periphery.
Q: The Idaho Freedom Foundation gave you an “F” rating. What’s your reaction to that?
A: It’s a pity that it couldn’t go lower. They’re not serious policy folks, they have exposed themselves as not being serious about [being] being champions of liberty. Nobody knows who is funding them or what they’re about, it’s a hidden agenda. You don’t get to know, and there’s nothing you can do to please them, particularly if you think for yourself.