City Administrator Wendy Gabriel provided this response to Councilman Gookin's complaint about a critical letter to the Coeur d'Alene Press editor from Arts Commission Chairwoman Eden Irgens:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. However, I think we should be careful about going there. Has Jeff Connaway, Chair of the City’s Sign Board, disgraced and disrespected the Mayor and three Council members by his signature on the petition in favor of a recall? How is his signature on a public document in favor of a recall accusing the Mayor and three Council members of wrongdoing any different than a Letter to the Editor accusing you of wrong doing? Has Kathy Sims who represents the citizens of CdA disgraced and disrespected the citizens of Cd’A by her signature on the recall petition? The citizens of CdA voted for the Mayor and the three Council members and Sims now wants them recalled. She has expressed her views in several public venues. More below.
I think if we told our volunteers or our representatives for that matter, that their agreement to participate on a City committee or in the Legislature meant that they could no longer exercise their freedom of speech, we would not likely have many volunteers looking to participate. If you or any other City Council member feels Ms. Irgens behavior is inappropriate, you have the freedom to choose to not vote to reappoint her. Your email was to me. These are my thoughts.