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Press: CdA Faces Leadership Void

Leadership matters. For anyone who believes that great leaders aren't worth their weight in gold - or six-figure salaries, anyway - consider the current plight of the city of Coeur d'Alene. Since last September, when Police Chief Wayne Longo retired, all hell has broken loose. The interim chief, Capt. Ron Clark, sure didn't open those gates. As his nearly 30-year distinguished career attests, Clark has been an exemplary peace officer and supervisor. But interim isn't really leadership. Interim is a cousin to placeholder or, more harshly, lame duck, which describes the last couple months of leadership from former Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem. In fact, Mayor Bloem had announced in April 2013 that she wasn't going to seek a fourth term, so essentially, city government was on hold for the last two-thirds of the year waiting for new leadership. Arguably the second most powerful person in city government, the city administrator, wasn't up for re-election and wasn't on the path of retirement. But Wendy Gabriel appeared to fade more and more into the background until abruptly resigning on May 7 after 25 years of service to the city. That made three high-profile, experienced leaders leaving in a short period of time. Other city managers - parks, human resources and assistant city administrator - also retired last fall, creating even more of a leadership void. Was implosion inevitable?/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree that the city of Coeur d'Alene has a leadership crisis?

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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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