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Huckleberries Online

SR Picks Bloem As Government Official of Year

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When Sandi Bloem ran for mayor of Coeur d’Alene in 2001, she collected three out of every four votes. Four years later, she duplicated that feat in winning re-election. The Lake City obviously likes a leader who follows through on campaign rhetoric. As a candidate five years ago, she said: “My strength is building consensus and seeing things get done. That drives me.” So what’s gotten done? Well, downtown has snapped out its slump with a modern skyline of condominiums and businesses. Exciting, mixed-used developments have sprung up along former mill sites on the Spokane River. North Idaho College, the University of Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College have teamed up to form a higher education corridor that will help plant the seeds for an even healthier future in the region. In 2006, a city that has long been trolling for a community center landed a whopper in the Kroc Community Center, which will be built near Ramsey Park. And a $15 million upgrade to the wastewater plant was completed. Bloem didn’t single-handedly produce these stunning developments, but she took the lead in bringing people together to work toward common goals. Bloem’s lack of ego has made her the perfect mayor for Coeur d’Alene during a time of rapid changes.

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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