Paid for by Mike Dittenber for City Council. Mike Dittenber, Treasurer

Mike Dittenber

Privileged to serve the residents of Caldwell 

I will use my thirty-three (33) years of experience to help guide Caldwell into the future by listening to the experts and citizens, carefully weighing information, and making decisions that best represent the needs of Caldwell.  

I have experience communicating with and interacting with city, county, state, and federal officials for many different job-related tasks over my career and feel I can represent the citizens of Caldwell well in many different capacities.

I understand the role and responsibility of the office and I simply believe I have important experience to contribute on behalf of the residents of Caldwell. 


Paid for by Mike Dittenber for City Council. 

Mike Dittenber, Treasurer


Mike's Biography

A blessed life with a lot of experience

I was born in Tacoma, Washington in 1967. My father worked for Boeing at that time and relocated back to Nampa in 1968. I spent most of the remaining years of my youth in Nampa until graduating from Nampa High School in 1986. 

1986-1990 United States Marine Corp. Before graduating high school, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. My primary military occupation specialty (MOS) was infantry, and my first duty station was Ground Defense Forces Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. After a year in Cuba, I was transferred to 29 Palms, California and assigned to First Battalion-Fourth Marines (1/4). There, I spent a few months in a weapons platoon before testing and being transferred to the Surveillance Target Acquisition (STA) team attached to Battalion Intelligence Office (S-2). There, I attended Combat Squad Leader Course, Regimental Scout School, and Marine Corp Scout Sniper School. I participated in various training including water-borne raid training, advanced swimming techniques, and cold weather training. Across-the-board defense cuts mandated by the Gramm, Rudman, Hollings Act of 1985 prohibited my reenlistment.

1990-1994 Boise State University. I returned to Nampa after my military service and enrolled at Boise State University. I majored in Political Science with an emphasis in Public Law and Philosophy. I was particularly interested in and excelled in statistics and analyses. Although I was on track to graduate in the Spring of 1994 with a BA in Political Science, I was offered a full-time permanent position with the Boise Police Department in February of that year after a lengthy internship and put my education on hold. While in college, I interned with a law office and with Boise City Human Resources. 

1994-2000 Boise Police Department. As mentioned previously, I was offered a full-time permanent job with the Boise Police Department as a Law Enforcement Analyst and later was promoted to Law Enforcement Planner. Both were non-enforcement positions that existed primarily to develop resource modeling, research/test new law enforcement equipment, and provide command staff with management information and resource allocation suggestions. During my seven years with BPD I developed and implemented law enforcement programs, such as: Community Oriented Policing Teams; Gang Enforcement Teams, Explosive Ordnance Teams and helped secure funding under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1994 to increase the number of School Resource Officers, Bicycle Patrols, and Canine Handlers. I secured funding for Idaho’s first bomb robot, explosive containment trailers, a mobile command center, and the first department-owned firearms training simulator (2nd to ISP’s FATS System). Among other policy work, I helped develop investigative policies and protocols that were instrumental in changing state domestic violence laws and traffic laws. 

2001-2006 Idaho Housing and Finance Association. My experience administering department of justice programs with the police department prepared me for my work as the Special Needs Housing Officer with Idaho Housing. There, I applied for, administered, and monitored federally funded homeless programs, implemented management information systems, and was the primary author of Idaho’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness. I managed and facilitated statewide and regional homeless coalitions. I implemented processes and protocols for determining end-user compliance with federally funded homeless programs. In this capacity, I frequently traveled throughout the state meeting with local officials, volunteers, and housing advocates. 

2007-current Caldwell Housing Authority. During my seventeen years of employment, some of my prouder accomplishments are: 

Working closely with law enforcement to eradicate a longtime gang problem at Farmway Village; working with Caldwell City staff to bring city sewer service west of the Boise river into the new impact area; financially separating from the federal government and allowing the housing authority to meet local housing priorities; collaborating with the College of Idaho to engage in affordable housing research; preserving and fostering a strong sense of community among residents of Caldwell Housing Authority. I am currently working to bring city water to Farmway Village as one of the first steps in advancing our recently approved Master Plan (scheduled to be completed by October 2023). 


Family and Community

Committed to Family and Community

Family Status. I have been married to my wife, Tammy Dittenber, for the last 27 years. She was born and raised in Caldwell and has remarkable memories of growing up and working in Caldwell. We have a daughter and I have a bonus daughter and son. My daughter is a journalist for a local news organization. My bonus daughter is an executive for an ammunition manufacturer in northern Idaho and my bonus son is Construction Superintendent for a local concrete placement company. I also have three grandgirls, 21, 19, and 10. 

Service in My Community. I moved to Caldwell in 2017 after my daughter graduated from high school. Before living in Caldwell, I lived in Middleton for 20 years, but made Caldwell my community of choice. My work was in Caldwell, my extended family lived in Caldwell, and I served the community of Caldwell. I have been blessed to contribute to the community in several different volunteer capacities: Chair the Board of Trustees for West Valley Medical Center and board member since 2016; Chair the Board for the Friends of the Caldwell Historic Train Depot; Recently appointed to the City’s Impact Fee Advisory Committee; member of Caldwell Rotary since 2012, serving as President, and have spent many hours volunteering during the Caldwell Night Rodeo and other events; participated in serving at Let’s Move Caldwell, Caldwell Christmas Nightlight Parade, and many other community building events. Beyond the Caldwell community, I served a short time on the Idaho Department of Labor’s Workforce Investment Board (committee) and the Regional Coordination Committee for Valley Regional Transit. 

Why I deserve your vote

Wisdom-Experience-Common Sense

My background and experience over the last thirty-three (33) years qualifies me to represent the citizens of Caldwell, by stewarding the best interests of the community. Over the last twenty-nine (29) years of my professional life I have had the chance to be a part of local governance at different levels, by frequently attending and participating in City Council meetings, conducting Strategic Planning for nonprofits and public agencies, serving on various Boards and Commissions, drafting contracts and agreements, managing multi-million-dollar budgets, and managing long-term planning processes. I have experience communicating with and interacting with city, county, state, and federal officials for many different job-related tasks over my career and feel I can represent the citizens of Caldwell well in many different capacities. Caldwell deserves experienced Council members equipped to make well-informed and value-based decisions. Caldwell is a growing and thriving community and I understand complex issues and can use my experience to effect needed changes. I understand the role and responsibility of the office and I simply believe I have important experience to contribute on behalf of the residents of Caldwell. I believe firmly in private property rights, low taxes, and the rule of law. Those basic tenets will act as my filter as City Councilman.


Major Focus as a Council Member

Property Rights-Rule of Law-Fiscal Responsibility

Ensuring adequate personnel and resources are committed to regularly updating the City’s Comprehensive Plan and ensuring zoning laws and land use ordinances are consistent with the plan. 

Workforce stabilization is critical as the city faces the future. Twenty percent turnover in the last 8 months and forty percent in the last 18 months is unprecedented and expensive. Staffing shortages often manifest in service gaps and perpetuate burnout and additional turnover. Lack of affordable housing, low wages, and morale issues all contribute to difficulty attracting and retaining top talent. These issues have solutions, but it takes political courage and experience to implement them. 

Public Safety will be a serious focus moving forward. The current Mayor and Council have seemed committed to providing staffing and equipment for both Police and Fire departments. Two new Chiefs have important insight and fresh eyes with which to review staffing levels, staff allocations, facility needs, and the culture of their departments. As a Council member I will listen and employ critical thinking as well as my public safety planning background to ensure community needs are met.

Fiscal responsibility begins with transparency and sound processes. City Council members need to be versed in public records and meeting law and look to the subject matter experts in providing detailed rationale for expenditures. Unprecedented growth has outpaced the provision of resources, equipment, and staff to many city departments. Rectifying this will save tax dollars and be more fiscally responsible over the long haul. 

Final Thoughts. I am happy to announce that I will be funding my campaign with my own personal resources as much as possible. Any donations accepted will be from private citizens, not businesses, contractors, or PACS. Residents should not try to link my candidacy to any cause or party. City Council elections are non-partisan and the community benefits most from a vibrant discussion among candidates without partisan rhetoric. The citizens of Caldwell need someone committed and focused on city governance and that is my commitment to Caldwell and its citizens. I am very fortunate and blessed to have had the opportunities and successes I have realized. I am not seeking this position to gain notoriety or status or to supplement income or benefits. Regardless of the outcome of this election, you will still find me an active and a contributing member of the Caldwell community.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will you demand a moratorium on Housing or growth?

City Council is a collective body. Each member gets a say, gets to ask questions, and gets an opinion, and when issues are presented to the body, individual members get a vote. There is no room on a City Council for “demanding” and it is not my way. If there are legitimate reasons to declare a moratorium, I’m happy to hear facts and vote accordingly. 

What are your feelings on the growth we are seeing in Caldwell?

Growth is imperative to a healthy community. If cities are not growing, they are regressing. There is no way to freeze Caldwell and keep it the same. Caldwell saw decades of vibrancy, followed by decades of boarded up businesses, and no economic vitality. The growth we are seeing requires city leaders to anticipate service gaps, staffing shortages, infrastructure needs, and many other aspects of additional people, traffic, students, etc. We need to be strategic, current, and wise in our growth management. Best practices in urban planning are not secrets. One thing I’d like to focus on is preservation of farmland through cooperative agreements with Canyon County and the State of Idaho through proven solutions like conservation easements, tax reduction programs for farmers who commit to not develop land for a specified length of time, tax breaks for farmers who retain land in agricultural production. 

Growth is a complicated thing, and many issues council members decide are in a quasi-judicial capacity. Stating how I would vote on specific projects or proposals would be inappropriate.

What are the biggest issues facing Caldwell? 

I like to take a bird’s eye view of problem areas and then hone in on root causes. I have the same frustrations as just about everyone I have talked to regarding slow construction projects, slow infrastructure improvements, traffic, parking, and the list goes on. 

Many of the visible issues boil down to understaffed, overworked, underpaid, departments and divisions of the city. From the Fire and Police Departments to the fact the water department for 70,000 residents has been staffed by three men. Because of salaries well below market, when employees are hired, city taxpayers invest in their training, certification, etc., and they immediately move on to higher paying positions, sometimes just a mile down the road. Turnover costs taxpayers millions in hard dollar costs. Staffing and providing market wages will always be more fiscally conservative than hemorrhaging employees. 

More and more property is being purchased by wealthy out of state owners who have zero stake in the Caldwell we know and love. I don’t have an answer, but it is something City Council needs to be aware of as building standards, planned unit developments, conditional uses are reviewed, to ensure the City has adequate insurance and follow through to hold builders, developers, and rental owners accountable for compliance. 

One of the ongoing issues I have observed as I have attended meetings over the last 16 years is a public often confused about civic process. I would love to see some effort by the city toward a podcast or series of interactive education videos on everything from what each city department does, to the process involved in effectively testifying at a public hearing. I think public engagement is underrated, and Caldwell residents deserve to understand how governance works. 

Caldwell Police recently had a federal investigation resulting in several officers leaving the department, and one being convicted of criminal charges. How do we avoid that moving forward?

The City Council and Mayor need to know what signs of law enforcement culture breakdown look like. We need to know we can trust our Chief and command staff to immediately deal with any issues in an open and forthright way. We need open door policies so those community members who are marginalized or may feel disenfranchised feel safe stepping forward with concerns. 



Contributions to the campaign are welcome

While I am not accepting corporate or PAC donations, your personal donation of any amount is appreciated. Every dollar raised counts.


Thank you for your willingness to make a small donation to my campaign. 

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Vote Mike Dittenber  on November 7, 2023

Paid for by Mike Dittenber for City Council. Mike Dittenber, Treasurer

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