Dan Gookin (re: How to heal Coeur d'Alene's wounds): I had an interview today. It was with Mike Gridley and the topic was Vision 2030. Mike fired away a slew of questions about the greater Coeur d'Alene area, what we do well, where we could improve, and my thoughts. After the interview, Mike commented that he was quite surprised. It turned out that many of my answers were nearly identical to … Mike Kennedy's. It turns out that on some of the core issues, we're not really that far apart. Yet, as a community — and as DFO points out above, even as a country — we rally around that small portion of the issues that divide us. We magnify them. We let them embitter us. As a community we need to let go of our differences. That's going to be tough, but I do feel positive about the future.
Question: Are you concerned re: the division in Coeur d'Alene? Or is that simply the fallout from a rapidly growing community?
I know you'll disagree with me on this, Dave, but I feel the current administration in City Hall is purposefully divisive. They aren't inclusive of everyone in the town, which is why I vote against all committee assignments. We need a more diverse representation, but the Mayor doesn't allow unknown people to serve on City committees. Even I have been denied an appointment to any City committee by Mayor Bloem while others serve simultaneously on several committees and have done so for years. You can't call such special treatment fair to the entire community by any means.
As a start toward healing, I hope that whoever becomes the next mayor is more open to appointing anyone who has the time to a City committee. I spoke with a gentlemen the other day who's submitted applications many times and never heard back. I'd like to see the next mayor actually look at his application and appoint him to something. I do believe that will happen, and it will help heal the rift. It will demonstrate that the City is about more than the few and the well-connected.
We must include everyone or the rift will continue.