Advertise Here

Huckleberries Online

Posts tagged: Coeur d'Alene School Board

Hearn Addresses Personal Attacks

Moments ago, Chairman Tom Hearn of the Coeur d'Alene School Board issued this statement re: Monday's meeting:

I apologize to the patrons in our district who feel I have let them down.  Everyone has a right to their feelings and opinions but I am compelled today to clarify facts regarding the events that led up to Ms. Susan Moss speaking at our Board meeting Monday night.  I will, however, not allow mudslinging or personal attacks on my character to stand without setting the record straight. I have been a Board member for eight months and have taken the role of Chairman seriously.  I received communications, starting earlier this fall, regarding Susan Moss’s desire to present to the Board her concerns regarding our non-discrimination notice.  It was my responsibility as Chair to begin to manage this situation, as I knew it could easily become emotionally charged.  Were there communications on how and when she wished to address the school board? Yes. Full statement here.


CSB OKs $450K Emergency Levy

An increase in the number of students attending Coeur d’Alene public schools this fall prompted the school board Thursday night to approve an emergency tax levy of $450,000. Daily attendance averaged 10,173 this week, up from 10,046 in the first three days last year. The district’s K-12 enrollment is 10,337. The board voted unanimously for the one-time levy, which property owners will see on their tax statements in December and next June. The levy rate may come in at 6.9 cents per $1,000 of taxable property. Such emergency levies are allowed without voter approval. The money will be used to hire more teachers and classroom aides and buy curriculum materials, Superintendent Matthew Handelman said/SR. More here.

Question: Any problems with unanimous School Board vote?

Poll: Agree With School Board Vote

  • Tuesday Poll: A solid majority of Hucks Nation agrees with decision by Coeur d'Alene School Board to approve curriculum, prepared by local teachers, to align with Idaho Common Core standards. 62 of 111 respondents (55.86%) agreed with the decision. 39 of 111 respondents (35.14%) disagreed with the decision. 10 (9.01%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you agree with decision by state of Idaho to allow megaloads to use Highway 12?

CdA School Board OKs Common Core

Originally posted at 9:41 p.m. Monday …

The Coeur d’Alene School Board voted Monday night to approve new curricula, developed by local teachers, to align with the Idaho Common Core standards. The curricula will guide instruction from kindergarten through 12th grades starting this fall. The math and English/language arts curricula were approved 3-2 with new board members Tom Hearn, Christa Hazel and Dave Eubanks in favor, and trustees Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour opposed/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Agree/disagree with this decision?

Christa: Kudos To New Chairman

On her Facebook wall, new Coeur d'Alene School Board Trustee Christa Hazel writes: “Kudos to Tom Hearn for setting a positive tone in yesterday's contract negotiations. It felt good to sit in on negotiations knowing that we WILL reach an agreement that will be positive for our community. Two more days scheduled later this month to hear counteroffers and hash out what I hope to be a final contract.”

Question: Do you like the new tone of the Coeur d'Alene School Board? Or do you prefer the tough stance taken by the previous one in an attempt to change things?

CSB Chairman Salutes Teachers

Speaking for himself, new Coeur d'Alene School Board Chairman Tom Hearn made the following statement to re-launch negotiations with the Coeur d'Alene Education Association this morning:

First I want to thank the teachers for the tremendous work that you do and for your loyalty to the children and to the Coeur d’Alene community. You are a gift to our community and we wouldn’t have the high quality education in the Coeur d’Alene School District that we have without the daily hard work and dedication of the teachers and staff. I have never met a teacher, who went into the teaching business for the money,….but of course it is also their job and they expect to be paid fairly and treated with respect. More here.

Question: Do you notice any difference between the approach to teachers taken by the new School Board and the old one? Or izzit just me?

Marketer Responds To Ex-Trustee

Adam Graves (re: Regan targets foes on way out): I loath responding to this apparent sour-grape attack but, I should enlighten the public on this drivel before someone actually buys into it. I am not speaking for the School or the Magnet Committee here but personally…The auction this year brought in a total of $95,455.97. The total spent for marketing the event was $5,666.95 not the lessor amount Brent said. So, roughly around 6% of the gross sales of the event went to market the event. This is well under the typical % of gross sales allocated for marketing a niche-target event. Every marketing item has an estimate submitted and purchased order created after it is decided on and approved by the auction/magnet funds committee. My time as Chair and the hours and hours of time spent strategizing, planning, meeting, organizing, procuring, etc. is all donated as a volunteer. More here.


New Trustees Shake Up Leadership

The conservative grip loosened Monday on the Coeur d’Alene School Board after a threesome of new board members were sworn in to their elected positions and quickly took control. Moments after the new trustees – Christa Hazel (pictured), Dave Eubanks and Tom Hearn – took their oaths, Eubanks nominated Hearn to serve as the board’s chairman and Hazel to serve as vice chair. Both were selected by the board’s new majority bloc, whose members also are Republican but describe themselves as moderates. The sudden change in leadership was nearly as abrupt as a year ago, when now-former board Chairman Tom Hamilton and now-former Vice Chair Terri Seymour took their positions. Hamilton and Seymour, halfway through their terms, were serving with three other conservatives appointed in the past 12 months to fill vacancies/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR. More here.

DFO: I'm amused re: how hard the Hard Right tried to keep Christa Hazel off the School Board — and now she's the vice chairman. Hats off to Christa for hanging in there.

Question: Do you approve/disapprove of the new leadership on the Coeur d'Alene School Board?

Christa: Ready To Hit Ground Running

On her Facebook wall, Coeur d'Alene School Trustee-elect Christa Hazel posts: “July 1 is fast approaching. As an update, I wanted to let you know that I have been studying our district's business, budgets, funding mechanisms, contracts, issues, etc., in order to hit the ground running when I'm sworn into office this next Monday. The official oath of office will take place at noon at Midtown Center. The July regularly scheduled school board meeting will convene later that day at 5pm, also at Midtown Center. I am even more optimistic today than I was during the election that we CAN successfully tackle the tough challenges ahead while working for the best interest of our students in our classrooms.”

Question: Do you think the hold-over trustees — Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour — will work with or against the three new trustees who will form a board majority as of July 1?

Regan Blasts Teachers Union

The appointed trustees who lost their election bids to hold on to their positions on the Coeur d'Alene school board aren't leaving quietly. When the trustees met Monday to vote on the proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, Brent Regan said he could not “in good conscience” give his blessing to the budget. Regan, whose term ends June 30, blasted the Coeur d'Alene Education Association during the meeting, stating that the teachers union members engaged in bad faith negotiations last spring before the election. “They came to the table wanting to, I guess, demonize us,” Regan said. Because of the teachers union's lack of good faith, the current board members are faced with the prospect of approving a budget that “hurts kids,” because it includes cuts, Regan said/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Would teachers say that the Coeur d'Alene School Board negotiated in good faith?

Trustees Pass Anti-Union Resolution

Item: Cd'A board supports anti-union resolution: Right to work prohibits union membership as a job requirement/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: School trustees in Coeur d'Alene on Monday voted unanimously to, as a board, support the Idaho School Boards Association's efforts to lobby state lawmakers for legislation that would tighten Idaho's right to work statute in the state's schools. It was one of the last official acts of the board before June 30, when the terms of three trustees - Ann Seddon, Brent Regan and Jim Hightower - come to an end, and their seats are filled with three newly elected board members. “I was the one that asked to have this included in the agenda,” said Tom Hamilton, board chair. Hamilton said that in order for the Idaho School Boards Association to bring suggested legislation forward in Boise, the organization needs a sponsoring school board.

Question: Do you think this resolution would have passed if the new School Board was in place?

SR: School Vote Was Good Sign

On Tuesday, North Idaho politics returns to full boil as the Coeur d’Alene City Council votes on a human rights ordinance that would bar discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We’ve endorsed the ordinance and are encouraged that it’s reached this point. Lake City residents might’ve thought things would simmer down after contentious campaigns for school and hospital boards culminated in a May 21 vote that repudiated the far-right’s push for partisanship in all areas of government. But it’s unlikely to cool off any time soon. Mayor Sandi Bloem has reiterated her decision to leave office, setting up a big battle to replace her. She told Dave Oliveria, of Huckleberries Online, she’s “tired of all this,” a reference to the failed recall bid against her and three council members and the amped-up battles over, well, everything. The battles themselves are part of a larger war for control of the Republican Party/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

Question: How will the vote on the antidiscrimination ordinance come out Tuesday?

Reed: Right-Wing Takeover Averted

Blow the trumpets! Bang the drums! The sound of joy in Coeur d’Alene over last week’s election of three new school board members should be heard ricocheting down the I-90 corridor all the way to Spokane. All three of the super-conservatives in the Coeur d’Alene School Board election battle ran as Republicans in nonpartisan races. “REPUBLICAN” blared out in large type on yard signs and all campaign material. But Christa Hazel, Dave Eubanks and Tom Hearn won anyway in a landslide of transparency and responsiveness over right-wing policies and blatantly partisan tactics. … In this issue, you’ll read about the right-wing migration from Orange County to North Idaho, raising the question of whether conservatives here have gone too far in seeking to control every facet of local government. The answer from the voting public was clearly yes, the right-wingers have indeed gone too far/Mary Lou Reed, Inlander. More here.


Question: Do you consider Coeur d'Alene more moderate than the rest of Kootenai County?

Lake City Moderates Counter-Punch

After a string of victories for the far-right wing candidates they endorsed, it may have seemed like the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans were the only major force in North Idaho politics. But in last week’s election, the script changed. Neither Reagan Republican candidate won a Kootenai Hospital District board seat. And voters rejected the Reagan Republican-endorsed incumbents on the Coeur d’Alene school board in favor of a moderate Republican, an independent and even a Democrat. “On Tuesday night, it’s like we ripped back the curtain and found the Wizard of Oz was shorter and less powerful than we had feared,” Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Mike Kennedy says. The far-right had been bested by an alliance of moderates/Daniel Walters, Inlander. More here.

Question: Inquiring minds want to know: Will the Empire strike back in November?

Hearn: Thanks To Facebook Friends

On his Facebook page, Trustee-elect Tom Hearn writes: “I took a few days off for some badly needed rest at our little lake cabin after the election campaign. While cutting grass that was up to my knees, (since I hadn't been there for a couple of months) I was thinking this weekend of all the people I have yet to thank for their help in this election. Many of those people are “friends” on Facebook. I just want to thank all of you for your help. Many people gave advice, money, their time working on the campaign, walking door to door with me or for me, distributed literature, made phone calls, gave words of support, sent me interesting article to read, wrote letters to the editor, showed up at the Fort Grounds Tavern last Tuesday night to cheer us on, “shared” Facebook posts, etc., etc.” More here.

Question: What role did social media play in the recent Coeur d'Alene School Board and Kootenai Hospital Board elections?

Poll: Hazel For School Board Chair

  • Weekend Poll: Trustee-elect Christa Hazel received 113 of 204 legitimate votes 55.4%)  from Hucks Nation, which wants to see her become the next Coeur d'Alene School Board chairwoman. Current Chairman Tom Hamilton was second, 37 of 204 (18.1%); Tom Hearn third w/34 of 204 (16.7%), Dave Eubanks fourth w/19 of 204 (9.3%) and Terri Seymour last with 1 of 204 votes (0.5%). Hazel had more than 60% of the vote Friday evening when someone hacked in 160-170 votes in a short period of time. I removed 160 votes.
  • Today's Poll: What do you want Councilman Mike Kennedy to do re: re-election plans?

Joker’s Election Postmortem

Jeff Ward’s feeble attempt to explain what went wrong with the Coeur d’Alene School Board election and the Kootenai Health Board of Director election is eerily similar to Karl Rove’s exasperation after President Obama was re-elected. Ward was paid a nice chunk of money by the candidates and their supporters to win. Rove was paid an exorbitant amount of money to make sure Mitt Romney won. Neither paid political consultant were successful. The underlying reasons weren’t lies or some underground political activity.  The best candidates won. The Reagan Republicans got sloppy and arrogant. They mistakenly believed they could send anybody in front of the voters and walk away with a victory.  They foisted radical and unqualified candidates on the school board and it bit them in butt. More below.

Question: Will founders Ron Lahr and Jeff Ward of the Reagan Republicans be able to hold their star-struck followers together if they keep losing elections?

Quotable Quote — Jeff Ward

“Relationships trump ideology. Relationships trump partisanship. Relationships even trump the truth,” he said, explaining how he believes his opponents used their neighborhood relations to perpetuate a “lie.” “The lie was simple,” he said. “They told everyone that disaster would happen if our people were re-elected. The impact of that was tremendous” — Reagan Republican founder Jeff Ward of Post Falls. More here.

Question: I'm trying to figure out what the “lie” was here. Anyone?

Ward: Teachers Didn’t Sway Elections

For the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, Tuesday's school board elections were all about education - and they were the students. “On election night I was totally confused,” Jeff Ward, treasurer of the Republican group, told about 30 of his members during a Thursday debriefing at Fedora Pub and Grille. “Ann (Seddon) and Brent's (Regan) races were well run, but that didn't achieve a victory.” Ward said he spent Wednesday in a foul mood until his wife told him to snap out of it, and then it came to him. “It wasn't until late at night that it finally began to gel,” he said, explaining how he has analyzed the absentee ballots. “We had about 500 to 700 new people enter the race and they showed up in very conservative precincts”/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Duane Rasmussen photo: Jeff Ward at Reagan Republicans luncheon Thursday)

Question: Ward goes on to say that the opposition “exploited” neighbors talking to neighbors in rejecting Reagan Republican candidates. Exploited?

Hamilton: Challenges Face Newbies

Board chair Tom Hamilton said he's not sure what to expect from the trustees-elect. Hamilton and Trustee Terri Seymour were elected in 2011 with the support of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans and anti-International Baccalaureate activist Duncan Koler. By December 2012, three Republican activists, including Regan and Seddon, had been appointed to fill out the five-member board. Hearn, Eubanks and Hazel were supported by Balance North Idaho, a new political action committee that does not align itself with any one political party. “The business of the board goes on, and elections happen every four years,” Hamilton said. “I hope they take the time to educate themselves on the issues, to learn the depth and complexity of the issues rather than handling things the way they did during the campaign”/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you think hold-over Trustees Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour are going to play well with the new trustees?

Get blog updates by email

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.

Find DFO on Facebook

DFO on Twitter

Betsy Russell on Twitter

HBO newsmakers Twitter list

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Huckleberries Online.

Take this week's news quiz ›
Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here