Posts tagged: Coeur d'Alene City Council
Item: City Council candidates speak: McEuen Field plan, employee salaries emerge as top issues/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: Perhaps unsurprisingly, the three bigger issues centered around city employee pay and raises, what to do with McEuen Field, while looking at what aspects City Hall has handled well in the last few years, and what could have been handled differently.
DFO: I attended this meeting and will be posting observations from it throughout today.
Question: If you voted today, which candidates would you support for the three City Council seats up for election? Why?
JimmyMAC & The Coeur Group have organized a Coeur d'Alene City Council candidates' forum for 5:30 this afternoon at the Coeur d'Alene Inn. Jimmy emails: “The goal of this event is to provide an opportunity for each and every candidate in the upcoming Coeur d’Alene City Council election to let their voices be heard. While we do not take collective stances when it comes to local politics, we are very engaged in the community and passionate about being as informed as possible. As a group with all members being under the age of 40, it is our hope that this forum will include areas that you believe are important to our particular demographic.” All City Council candidates have confirmed that they'll be at the debate except Annastasia Somontes, who is one of five seeking the open seat now held by retiring Al Hassell. You can read more about the event and the Coeur Group here.
Question: What question would you like answered by City Council candidates?
In a presentation to the Kootenai County Pachyderm Club Friday morning, Coeur d'Alene City Council candidate Steve Adams said the city staff of 350 employees was up to 100 jobs too many. All this pased on an article published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, an Austrian school of economics and libertarian political and social theory. Reporter Tom Hasslinger of the Coeur d'Alene Press quotes Adams as saying: “That doesn't mean my top priority is going to be to chop 100 jobs right away, but it's something to look at,” said Adams, following a Seat 5 candidate debate Friday morning, where he announced his stance. “Maybe we could trim 25 or 50 (positions.)” You can read the entire story here. (Facebook photo of Steve Adams)
Question: What do you make of a political candidate basing a call of at least 25 to 50 layoffs of city staff on an Austrian libertarian polical theory?
In “other business” tonight, the Coeur d'Alene City Council will discuss formation of a Dike Road ad hoc committee, to fight the demand by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clear cut trees, including viewtiful ponderosas, along Rosenberry Drive (b/n the waterfront & North Idaho College). After much uproar, some City Council members have shifted position from reluctant acceptance of the demand to opposition. Many in the community are dead set against cutting the trees as a possible deterrent to a major flood. The army corps has received much criticism in communities around the West, including Sacramento, Calif., for issuing a one-size-fits-all demand to remove trees from flood-prevention levees. The corps maintains that the tree roots weaken the levee. But a study it conducted sez that they sometimes don't. Meanwhile, the Kootenai Environmental Alliance has collected 3,000 signatures in opposition to removing the trees. You can read the council's agenda for tonight's meeting here. (SR file photo: Kathy Plonka)
Question: Have you signed a petition in opposition to tree removal, either on line or in person?
Now, several of the people running for (Coeur d'Alene City Council) list McEuen Field as either as one of, or their top issue in the race. And many favor putting the matter to a public vote. Others favor moving ahead with the plan or say a public vote would be moot because the four other sitting council members oppose the public vote. Other issues raised by Coeur d’Alene challengers and incumbents are: oversight of the city’s urban renewal agency, preparing the city to attract business in a global economy, support for people with mental illness, and the city’s recent pay raises for employees/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.
Question: Who will the abundance of candidates help most — incumbents? Or main challengers to the incumbents like Steve Adams and Dan Gookin?
More Info: In a procedure that will set up action at the next City Council meeting, Councilman John Bruning made a motion (seconded by Councilman Edinger) that would have the city formally opposing the Corps position, and would set up an ad hoc advisory committee to help the city fight the Corps and protect the trees. The motion passed unanimously setting up final action at the September 20th meeting. Councilman Bruning, reading from prepared remarks, said that the City needed to be clear in its opposition and needs to “draw a line in the sand and say no to a federal agency.”
Question: Is this a signal that the City Council was listening to the community?
The Coeur d'Alene City Council will discuss a possible second dog park in Coeur d'Alene when it meets at 6 o'clock tonight. Discussions have been under way to install a second off leash dog park at Cherry Hill Park off 15th Street. The proposed site is approximately 3/4 of an acre just north of the tennis courts. The proposed dog park will be fully fenced with an entry bull pen, small dog section, benches, a pet drinking fountain, pet waste cans, and trees and shrubs among other things. Parking, rest rooms and a play ground are already in place at Cherry Hill. More from Kootenai County Dog Park Association here. H/T: Benjamin Jet Drake, via Facebook.
Question: Have you and your pet used the dog park on the edge of the North Shire subdivision, off Atlas, yet?
I'm not sure who Amber Copeland is. But OrangeTV posted a link to her new Facebook page: “Amber Copeland for Coeur d'Alene City Council.” I appreciate her introduction to us on her site: “I am not a business owner. I am not on any commitees or a member of any organizations. I am not wealthy. I am not married or well connected. I am a single parent. I struggle to make ends meet. I want the best for my family and neighbors. I want the best for my community. I am a majority of the population. I am a representation of who the decisions made by city council affect. It is time for someone like me to be a part of those decisions. It is time to elect a citizen to city council who has been in the trenches, who knows what it is to drown. That is the kind of person who has learned what it takes to swim and I am that person.” She was born on Halloween, and she (hearts) Ayn Rand's “Fountainhead.” You can find much more info about her here. She's running for Seat No. 5 (now held by Councilman John Bruning).
Question: Can a City Council candidate effectively use social media in a campaign?
(Coeur d'Alene City Council candidate Steve) Adams said he would look into reducing city department head wages by 10 percent each, giving 5 percent back to city coffers and 5 percent to the “rank and file” employees. He said he would implement this first for the police and fire departments, but consider it for all employees. He said he would also be interested in exploring ways to do away with the city's collective bargaining groups. “I would not have voted to accept those increases, but it's deeper than that because of the contracts,” he said about the proposal to give 3 percent cost of living raises for city employees. “I think I would support going the way of Wisconsin and getting rid of any union representation for government employees”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Do you think department heads in the city of Coeur d'Alene are paid too much?
Long-time Coeur d'Alene Councilman Ron Edinger told Huckleberries moments ago that he planned to seek re-election this fall. Edinger said he was gathering signatures for his candidacy petition and will submit them to the city clerk's office next week. Edinger has been on the City Council since the 1960s, serving as mayor in the late 1970s. He told Huckleberries that he's in good health after a scare earlier this year. His doctor confirmed that during an examination last week. He said he's still looking for a second to his motion to put proposed changes to McEuen Field to a public vote. Otherwise, he said he's eager to seek another term, commenting: “It's hard to put us old guys down.” Edinger becomes the second candidate to indicate his candidacy for council. Dan Gookin announced Thursday that he'll seek the seat currently held by former mayor Al Hassell. Hassell has been leaning all year toward not running again.
Predictably, Mary Souza of OpenCDA.com is in high lather today, claiming that the “fix was in” last night when the City Council voted 5-1 to overhaul McEuen Field. Foams Mary in her newsletter: “True colors were showing last night. Not only did the council seem predetermined in their views but they lacked any courage at all (except Ron) because they just sat there, totally silent, unwilling to explain to the citizens their reasons for removing the boat launch, ball fields and why this enormous, contentious project should not be put to a public advisory vote.” Mary fails to explain that the council were wise not to make a statement because many in the crowd organized by Friends of McEuen were hooting and stomping at anything with which they disagreed. It was Mary's kind of crowd. You can read the rest of Mary's blow-by-blow report on the McEuen Field “fix” here.
Question: Do you suppose the fix was in for Edinger, too? After all, he had his mind made up before the meeting re: what to do, because he read from a prepared statement before public comment. Or do “fixes” only apply to those you disagree with?
Originally posted at 10:40 p.m. Tuesday (also see KXLY video below)
The Coeur d’Alene City Council on Tuesday voted 5-1 to move forward on a plan to dramatically update its aging downtown park, McEuen Field, despite extensive opposition, mostly to removing the baseball fields and the Third Street boat launch. “You can beat on me. You can not like me. My next time around if you don’t re-elect me, that’s fine,” said Councilman Woody McEvers. But, he said, “I’m going to do the best job I can for the future. I’m doing the best I can and that’s how I came to this decision.” Councilman Ron Edinger cast the dissenting vote. “I’ve got a clear conscience. I can get up and look in the mirror and say, ‘Ron, you did one hell of a job,’” Edinger said to wild applause from the crowd, most of whom favored putting the matter to a public vote/Alison Boggs, SR. More here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)
You can read my posts from Tuesday night's meeting below:
Question: Do you agree with the council's 5-1 decision to move ahead with McEuen Field changes?
Item: Table set for McEuen decision: City Council may vote Tuesday on highly-debated conceptual plan/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: After five months under the microscope, the McEuen Field conceptual plan is going to the Coeur d'Alene City Council for a vote. More than 50 public presentations since its January unveiling - not to mention thousands of submitted surveys, letters to the editor, online comments and spur-of-the-moment public gatherings both in support and against the park's redesign - the up or down, yay or nay, vote will be at the six-member council's doorstep Tuesday. So yes or no?
Question: Which way do you think the council will go on the McEuen Field renovation plan?
Is Dan Gookin tipping up to the lake's edge to dip his toe in the water, testing for another possible run at the Coeur d'Alene City Council. A comment DanG made on the Coeur d'Alene Press site seems to lean that way: “If I were to run again in the Fall, an announcement would be more appropriately made in a mid-summer time frame, say August. I'm still singed by the nasty campaign against me in 2009. Given the innuendo cast in the recent SD271 Trustee race, I doubt whether anyone is eager now to get into the political fray. Still, in my opinion, the City Council remains arrogant and dismissive of a great portion of the public, not to mention their neglectful attitude toward fiscal responsibility.” He goes on to say that he'll support change in the status quo, if he's not a candidate. But “I have not ruled out another run.”
Question: Would Dan Gookin win if he ran this fall for the Coeur d'Alene City Council?
Councilman Mike Kennedy: But Susie Snedaker prompted this commentary by calling the council out publicly from the dias as though we weren’t paying attention because some were taking notes. I was rather stunned at Susie’s caustic approach, even though I’ve come to expect Susie to be caustic. Mary Souza is right that I stopped taking notes during Susie’s remarks after she said what she said. I had actually thought that Susie had an interesting idea regarding traffic flow (albeit one that has been discussed by staff before), but after she was so pointedly rude in her comments, I Iost interest in what she was saying and simply waited silently for her to complete her statements. (Full comments by Mike Kennedy and Deanna Goodlander here.)
Question: How much rudeness from the audience should an elected official be expected to put up with?
Item: McEuen vote supporters try again/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: A week after a subcommittee killed the request of a public vote regarding the McEuen Field redesign project from reaching the Coeur d’Alene City Council’s desk, around 100 vote supporters attended the council’s Tuesday meeting to ask that the topic come forward anyway. It didn’t. “You heard tonight a lot of questions, and that’s where we’re at, too,” Mayor Sandi Bloem told The Press after the council listened to an hour-plus of public testimony, but didn’t motion for the topic to be added to a future council agenda item. A final design, cost estimates, and funding sources all need to be figured out before the council could make any decisions on the plan.
Question: Do you expect to see a ticket of candidates running on the McEuen Field issue this fall in the Coeur d'Alene City Council elections? Would you support such a ticket?
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about the possibility of a long departed carousel making a return to its home town. I'm happy to report a very generous couple has purchased it from the current owners and are already packing it for the trip. The question is where should it go. Many have suggested it be incorporated into the plans for the revitalization of McEuen Park. When suggested the Mayor commented, “We're not looking at buildings, per se, so I don't know if it could fit.” My question is if the plan they were unveiling was merely a concept, why not? Her statement, knowing the council's history, suggests an already done deal. Nothing more to be done than go through those pesky motions/Mari Meehan, Dogwalk Musings. More here.
Question: Is it too early in the planning process for McEuen Field to say that Mayor Sandi Bloem and the City Council aren't listening to suggestions (like putting the Carousel at McEuen) from the public?
More Info: Decades-old federal dollars already spent on McEuen Field won't hamstring any future plans to change the downtown park - or its boat launch, officials said on Wednesday. Nor will a public vote be held on whether the community should adopt the conceptual plan for the future park. That vote will be up to the City Council at some point down the line, which is the standard method of approval for city park purchases and public space proposals.
Question: Should proposed changes to McEuen Field be put to a public vote?
Item: Cd’A City Council awards McEuen contract: Miller Stauffer Architects to draft new look for downtown park/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press
More Info: Discussions about restructuring the treasured downtown park have taken place for more than a decade. This is the first actual movement toward devising a plan that will be carried out. The city and its urban renewal agency, Lake City Development Corp., are partnering on the expense of the contract with LCDC paying $100,000 and the city providing $25,000 from its parking lot fund.
Question: Do you plan to participate in the public meetings to discuss changes to McEuen Field?
Item: Goodlander recovering after heart attack/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press
More Info: Deanna Goodlander is back at home, a little tired, but better than ever, she said. The 13-year Coeur d’Alene City Councilwoman suffered a heart attack on her son’s birthday, July 7, but was released from Kootenai Medical Center on Wednesday. “I’m back at home just recuperating,” Goodlander said Thursday. “And the doctor hasn’t given me any restrictions.”
Question: Do you know individuals who fully recovered from a serious heart attack?