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Posts tagged: dan gookin

Gookin Asks Longo To Watch Vagrants

Responding to a constituents concern (and photo) re: the increasing number of vagrants, homeless in Coeur d'Alene, Councilman Dan Gookin exchanged emails with Police Chief Wayne Longo (which Huckleberries Online obtained via a public records request). This is the first of those exchanges, sent at 3 p.m. Thursday — from Gookin to Longo: “I'm not happy with this (email attached). Is it 'profiling' to stop a vagrant walking around East Sherman with a parcel in his possession? I would argue, 'Not now.' Also, in the picture, anyone pushing a shopping cart through the streets is guilty of grand theft. I believe stopping someone pushing a cart like this is probably cause, not profiling, and not picking on someone who is 'homeless.' Given that the Post Office will no longer leave parcels at the front doors, it's no longer a choice in my opinion. This situation is not going to look good. I don't believe my constituants moved to Coeur d'Alene so that they could live with this kind of stuff going on. They expect packages to be left on the front porch and not stolen by vagrants. Thank you for your time.”

  • Gookin sent this email to Longo the day before re: crimes of opportunity. Click here.

Question: Are you concerned with possible criminal activity created by the increasing number of homeless and vagrants in the Coeur d'Alene area? And/or: Should Coeur d'Alene police profile individuals who appear to be homeless?

CdA Budget Calls For 2% Tax Hike

On a 4-2 vote, with Councilmen Dan Gookin and Steve Adams (pictured) dissenting, the Coeur d'Alene City Council supported a 2% property tax hike for the 2012-13 budget. The action came after Adams reminded the council of his pledge not to vote to increase property taxes. This is from Susan Weathers' rough draft of the budget meeting minutes: “Councilman Adams asked about pay grade projections.  He asked if the top 20% of employees took a pay reduction.  Mr. Tymesen explained that to adjust pay grade would disrupt the scale by which positions are paid. Councilman Adams recommended that staff not be given the COLA and reduce employee wages as he believes that good leadership comes through sacrifice.  Councilman Adams also noted that pledged he will never approve any property tax increase and he is standing by that pledge.”

  • You can read the rough draft of the minutes here and here.

Question: Do you agree with Councilman Adams that the city should balance its budget by not giving a 3% COLA to employees and reducing their wages?

Edit: Gookin’s Right, It Isn’t Fair

Darn it, Dan, you're right. It isn't fair. We're referring to Parental Frustration No. 4,366, Article 119, subsection B. You could look it up. We're paraphrasing here, but this particular fairness doctrine involves difficulty in effectively communicating with college-aged children. In this particular case, Dan Gookin — a local author, member of the Coeur d'Alene City Council and proud pop — wrote a letter to the editor expressing his angst over several aspects of PF 4366. One of Dan's sons didn't see a “tuition due” email he'd been sent from North Idaho College, leading to his tuition not being paid, NIC withholding the son's certificate and rendering credit for summer courses in doubt. News flash: Many college-aged children have moved past email at lightning speed. It is as antiquated to them as snail mail has become to many a middle-ager. These days, as Mr. Gookin points out, text messaging and social media like Facebook and Twitter are not just the preferred methods of youthful communication, but in some instances are seemingly the only ways they communicate/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: How often do you use traditional email to communicate with others?

Trustee Responds To Gookin Letter

On Sunday, the Coeur d'Alene Press published a letter to the editor from Councilman Dan Gookin in which Gookin criticized North Idaho College for sending a son's tuition notice via email. Gookin's son apparently didn't open his email and see the bill. In today's Press, NIC Trustee Mic Armon responds to Gookin's criticism:

I can understand your concern. I have had three of my own children/students enroll for classes at the University of Idaho, the University of Arizona, online at Boise State University, online at Brigham Young University and as a dual enrolled student at NIC. Every one of these institutions has the same policy. They are all very succinct in informing the incoming student that all communication including billing, grades, updates, etc., will be through their college email account. It is truly the student’s responsibility to stay informed and read their emails. Also, once the student reaches the age of 18, they are an adult, and even though you may be paying the tuition bill, all information will only be released to the student. More here.

Question: How responsible were you at 18?

Christie: Time For Sonny To Grow Up

Item: Gookin unhappy with North Idaho College email/Coeur d'Alene Press letter to editor

NIC Trustee Christie Wood: “Dan, If you are checking in here I certaily agree with your statement of “NIC is a great learning institution.” As for the rest of your concern it is really not an issue for the Board of Trustees. If your son is over 18 years of age then he is considered an adult and you are not privy to his bills or grades even if you pay the bill. It is up to your son to inform you. All of the students are assigned an email account and they are told upfront that is how they will receive their tuition notice, any communication from instructors, and their grades. Trust me I have been in your shoes. My son was attending U of M and I did not have access to any of his records even though I paid the bill. He seemed to like that set up. He also signed up for a few on-line classes that I paid for at NIC and he never bothered attending or dropping them. I responded by dropping him from my college banking account. If he wants to finish his degree he will have to pay for it. Love him dearly but I am insisting he take responsibility. I will let you know some day how it all turns out!

Question: Tell us a time that you stepped back and let your kid learn a valuable but tough lesson.

Gookin Unhappy With NIC Email

I’m a big fan of going paperless. I’ve opted to receive my phone and cable bills through email. I also receive my bank statements online. It’s very convenient, but in all cases I chose to receive email notifications as an option. In my books, I explain to my readers that email is not the first choice to receive any important information; notices from the government or bills come through regular mail. It’s official. Email is not. Email can get lost, and not everyone checks email. For example, my son rarely checks email, especially his MyNIC account he received when he enrolled in North Idaho College last year. Many his age don’t check email, preferring text messaging, Facebook and Twitter. So it was with some surprise that I learned how NIC no longer sends out notices of tuition due. I find it especially frustrating, not only because my son doesn’t check his MyNIC email, but also because he doesn’t pay the bills. I do. We weren’t given a chance to “opt in,” we were thrown in/Dan Gookin, letter to the editor/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: College students don't check their email? Really?

Hucks: Councilman Changes Tone

Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Dan Gookin recovered well from a recent political faux pas. Gookin, an outspoken critic of proposed changes to McEuen Field, offered verbal balm to the town a day after the recall petition drive against Mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members failed. At the Tuesday council meeting, Gookin said he told recall allies that “it’s over” and insisted that they file no lawsuits to extend the controversy. Gookin said he was ready to move forward with the McEuen Field work and promised to bird-dog spending on the $14.2 million project. His conciliatory tone contrasted sharply to the angry email he fired off to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel (Huckleberries, June 17), belittling her for accidentally leaving him out of the loop in a media announcement about a proposed McEuen Field compromise (for which Gookin later apologized three times). Gabriel wasn’t present Tuesday when Gookin remarked that the public accuses the council of not listening when it is/DFO, HucksOnline. More here.

Gissel Warns Re: Hostile Environment

Although he never mentioned Councilman Dan Gookin by name or his dust-up with City Administrator Wendy Gabriel, Coeur d'Alene attorney Norm Gissel warned City Council members to avoid creating a hostile work environment for staff. Speaking during the public comments period of the council meeting Tuesday, Gissel, a long-time leader in the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, said: “All of you have an affirmative duty to make sure none of you harass staff.” On Thursday, Gookin fired off an email to Gabriel in which he belittled her for failing to alert him before a story appeared on the Coeur d'Alene Press Web site that Team McEuen had proposed a change to boat-trailer parking in the McEuen Field upgrade. Gissel recommended that council members  “get ahold of counsel and review matters pertaining to a hostile environment.”

Thoughts?

Gookin: Let’s Move On, No Lawsuits

Early in the Coeur d'Alene City Council meeting Tuesday evening, Councilman Dan Gookin said that he didn't want to see the Recallers sue as a result of the failed attempt to trigger a recall election for Mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members. “This is over, done,” Gookin said. “I've talked to the recall people … we need to move on.” Then, he said that the city is going forward with the upgrade to McEuen Field, adding that his job is to ensure the process is open and transparent and to make sure that the city saves every nickel possible. Later, he added that the job performed by City Clerk Susan Weathers during the trying 75 days (remember the first day wasn't counted because the Recallers had to refile the petition to trigger the petition drive) was “outstanding,” calling Weathers “phenomenal and fair.”

Question: I'm beginning to think that we may be allowed to move on without a lawsuit. How about you?

Gookin Balks At Council Guidelines

At the North Idaho Pachyderm Club last Friday morning, Coeur d'Alene City Councilman Dan Gookin complained that the “Council Member Information Packet” (which he is holding in the inset) is inadequate. Also, according to a Berry Picker who recorded Gookin's talk to the Pachyderms, Gookin said he's not happy with the agreement he was asked to sign as a member of the City Council. Gookin said he refused to sign. Curious, I checked to see who onerous were the council's 24 “standards and norms.” 

  • 1. I will maintain confidentiality on personnel and other matters that are discussed in executive session.
  • 2. I will show respect to Department Heads.
  • 3. We acknowledge the Department Heads are a team and we respect open communication between them.
  • 4. If I have an issue with a Department Head, I will bring it to them first and then to the City Administrator.
  • 5.The citizens are our customers and their problem is our opportunity.
  • All 24 “standards & norms” here.

Question: Would you want your City Council members to abide by the guidelines of the “Coeur d'Alene City Council Standards and Norms”?

Mary Defends Dan’s Meltdown

On the Coeur d'Alene Press Online thread Friday afternoon, Mary Souza was busy defending Councilman Dan Gookin's email outburst at City Administrator Wendy Gabriel that was originally printed at Huckleberries Online: “Dan is unveiling the culture of intimidation at city hall, and he's doing it with a bold dose of humor. Look at the problem: Dan is an ELECTED city council member. Elected by the people of this city to represent them. Yet a major decision was made yesterday at a non-public meeting of Team McEuen, where the only council member present was Mike Kennedy. It was a decision that changed an item the city council voted on last month, but Dan and the other council members were not informed, they had to read about it in the Press online. That's not good management. And this was not the first time these kinds of things have been kept from the other council members.Who's running this city anyway? Is it our elected representatives or is it a small group of powerful insiders pulling the strings? So now the Mayor and Wendy are pointing fingers at Dan? Ha. They are showing poor leadership and management of our city. Dan is standing up for his responsibility as our elected representative on the council. Thank you Dan!”

Question: Did Mary know that Dan had apologized profusely re: his email to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel? So what happened here? Did he exhibit a “bold dose of humor”? Or boorish behavior? And what would Mary be saying if Councilman Mike Kennedy had sent that email to a city employee?

Gookin: But I Apologized

Dan Gookin filed this comment in the SR.com online thread under my Huckleberries column (re: Huckleberries: Councilman mighty testy over early news report/DFO): If Oliveria honestly wanted to report about me, he would have discovered that I apologized to Ms. Gabriel less than an hour after the email was sent. I drove to City Hall and explained that the email was inappropriate and disrespectful. Ms. Gabriel acknowledged my apology, but insisted that I had every right to be “pissed.” Even so, I apologized an additional two times. Oliveria’s pro-status-quo agenda in Coeur d’Alene is well-known. He consistently derides me as a lesser member of the City Council, a “Neanderthal,” and with other immature, name-calling attacks. It is obvious to me and many others that he is actively promoting only one side of City Government in Coeur d’Alene. Caveat lector.

DFO: H/T to Green Libertarian for pointing this out to me in the comments section. I find this comment by Councilman Gookin odd because Gookin interacted with Huckleberries Online and me Friday afternoon, saying nothing about an apology. I appreciate that he did apologize to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel for his nasty email. He was completely out of order in slamming City Administrator Wendy Gabriel the way he did. BTW, you notice how Dan's trying to make this about me rather than his own action?

Thoughts?

Gookin Responds To HBO Post

Moments ago, Councilman Dan Gookin copied the following email to Mayor Sandi Bloem, City Administrator Wendy Gabriel, City Clerk Susan Weathers, Councilman Steve Adams, City Attorney Mike Gridley, Editor Mike Patrick of the Coeur d'Alene Press, Mary Souza & yours truly:

So yet another time, an email sent at City Hall suddenly, and unexplainably, ends up being specifically requested by Dave Oliveria at the Spokesman’s HBO blog. I know that I’ve discussed these “leaks” with you before and each of you has scratched your head, wondering who the staff person or elected official is who is passing along the information. My guess – and this is just a guess – is that the status quo crowd is behind this covert operation to make the “Save McEuen” councilmen look bad. Or, perhaps, it’s just dirty CdA politics being played out, as it always has been. Or it could be that someone is just not used to having head-nodders as councilmen. What. Ever. So I think, in the name of transparency, that I will now start automatically carbon copying Dave on all the emails I send to City Hall. All of them. More below.

Thoughts?

Gookin Blasts Gabriel For Story

Speaking of Gookin, Huckleberries Online has received, via a public information request, an email that he sent to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel, pictured, chastizing her for not giving him a heads up on that McEuen Field announcement Thursday — you know, the one about a possible compromise for boat-trailer parking. City officials are suppose to provide the mayor and council members a heads up in such instances. And Wendy had told a Coeur d'Alene Press reporter not to post his story before she alerted city officials, including Gookin. But the Press inadvertently jumped the gun (for which Editor Mike Patrick properly and commendably apologized to Wendy in writing. Also, Patrick just posted this on his Web site here). Here's the note Gookin fired off to Wendy:

“I find it telling that I have to learn of this move through the Press website and not from City Hall. In fact, it pisses me off. Who is in charge? Are you in charge? Do you ever plan on telling ALL of the council these things are will there be a continuing pattern of my learning about changes at City Hall through the blogs and newspapers? Isn’t there a big sign right outside your office that says, “Have we informed the council?” Can you read? This move doesn’t make me think too highly of your administrative and communications skills.

Thoughts?

Gookin: You Done Me Wrong, DFO

Dan Gookin (re: Gookin's State of the Union to Pachyderms): Thans(sic) for the misinformation, Dave, but it’s what I’ve come to expect from someone who isn’t willing to give me a fair shake. Your bias against me is overt. Whatever. This morning I wasn’t asked to predict the outcome of the recall, and I didn’t make any such a prediction. I referred to the four being recalled, not that they were “going” to be recalled. Your “berry picker” is not a journalist, after all, and you weren’t there.

DFO: @ 11:30 a.m., Dan Gookin challenged the report made out front re: what he said to the North Idaho Pachyderm Club this morning, denying he’d said that Mayor Sandi Bloem & the 3 targeted City Council members would be recalled. Now, I have the exact wording from his speech today: “Those four that, you know, are being recalled … they are not listening to the public and they don’t understand that … umm … this is a tremendous burden.” That’s dang close to what was originally reported … Also, the individual who quoted Dan told him before the meeting that he was taking notes, photos and a recording for Huckleberries Online — at which point, my Berry Picker said, Gookin outed him to others near them at the back of the room in a loud voice. My Berry Picker also offered to let Gookin look at his notes after the meeting to ensure that they were accurate. But Gookin declined to do so. You judge whether or not the proper steps were taken to ensure accuracy — and whether or not the first version was very far off from what was reported: “Those four who are going to be recalled … . ”.

Thoughts?

Gookin State Of Union To Pachyderms

At the Pachyderm Club meeting this morning, Coeur d'Alene Councilman Dan Gookin complained that the “Council Member Information Packet” he's holding is inadequate.  He also was not happy with the agreement the council wanted him to sign as a member of the City Council which can roughly be described as an agreement to cooperate.  Gookin refused to sign.

This morning Coeur d'Alene City Councilman Dan Gookin spoke to the North Idaho Pachyderm Club which is a local Republican organization.  Following are some quotes from his talk (according to an embedded Berry Picker):

  • Gookin commenting generally about the City of Coeur d'Alene:  “Like Congress, the City doesn't necessarily have to follow their own rules.”
  • Gookin in reference to Councilman Mike Kennedy:  “Last Council meeting Mr. Kennedy berated me.”  Kennedy said, “there are no secret meetings.”
  • Gookin speaking of the City's view of LCDC:  “They do not levy taxes, they impact them.
  • Gookin speaking of the City:  “They can use urban renewal as a bank of convenience.”
  • Gookin, in reference to certain members of the City Council who make up the majority:  “Those four that, you know, are being recalled … they are not listening to the public and they don’t understand that … umm … this is a tremendous burden” (from a tape recording).
  • More below

Gookin Now Against Public Art, Too

“Kate,” a statue by David Clemons, is one of the pieces of public art that adorn Lake City. It depicts a turn of the century lady cyclist accompanied by two dogs. You can see it at Riverstone Park. You can also view the many pieces of Coeur d'Alene public art here. (Photo courtesy of city of Coeur d'Alene Web site)

From the City Clerk Susan Weathers' notes from last night's Coeur d'Alene City Council meeting: “Councilman Gookin believes that the Consent Calendar contains too many items to be considered routine.  He also believes that if he requests an item be removed from the Consent Calendar then it does not need to be done by a motion of the full Council but should be automatically taken off the calendar.  He also noted that he opposes spending the dedicated Art Fund during the recession and if spent it should be spent on public property and not NIC’s property.   Councilman Goodlander asked Steve Anthony, Arts Commission liaison, to explain the Art Fund.  Steve Anthony reported that the Arts Commission looked at all areas in town and selected these sites in the public roundabouts.  He noted that the majority of those funds come from the Lake City Development Corporation and funds also come from public works construction contracts which are a dedicated fund that can only be used for the purchase and maintenance of public art.”

Question: Do you support Coeur d'Alene's public art?

Hucks: Adams Touchy About Rebuttals

Steve Adams, a new Coeur d’Alene councilman who refuses to support any issue that involves federal dollars, doesn’t like correction. After being corrected twice by City Attorney Mike Gridley for questionable statements, Adams asked Gridley in writing not to rebut him again during council meetings. Adams wrote that Gridley appeared to be dissing him to the mayor and council, staff and “especially the public.” Adams told Gridley to offer his opinions in private. Gridley responded that he has “a duty to correct any inaccurate statements of law or fact made by (Adams) or anyone else regarding the legality of city actions.” As an example, Gridley said, he would not say anything if someone opines that 15th Street is rough and should be repaved. However, Gridley wrote, if someone says 15th Street needs to be repaved because the city is violating the law “then I have a duty to express my legal opinion on the matter. It would be malpractice and a dereliction of duty if I didn’t”/DFO, Sunday Huckleberries print. More here.

Question: Do you like being corrected by someone?

Bent: Gookin Should Man Up

Bent: Gookin doesn’t have the luxury of remaining neutral on this issue. He has publicly stated his agenda is to eliminate LCDC and his past actions have been laser focused on unsuccessfully opposing and trying to disrupt anything having to do with urban renewal. He is a founding member (along with many other failed city council and mayorial candidates) of OpenCda.com which was designed for the sole purpose of criticizing the elected officials who support urban renewal. Now as an elected representative for the citizens of Coeur d’Alene he is being called on to clarify the obvious misinformation that is being spun by his washed up cronies at OpenCda which launched this recall effort. As a councilman he is OBLIGATED to clarify the city council’s position on the park, and he is refusing to do so. That is both pathetic and true to form for this man… At one point I actually thought Gookin was going to man up and represent the people who elected him, but obviously he chosen to represent and handful of bitter and hateful has-beens at OpenCda.

Thoughts?

Gookin Continues To Claim Neutrality

A Coeur d'Alene City Councilman defended his neutral position Tuesday, despite believing some in City Hall want him to take a stand on the recall issue. The city said that's not the case. Any city employee or committee member may become involved in the recall effort - or its counter movement - so long as it's done on their personal time, City Administrator Wendy Gabriel said. And that includes criticizing council members publicly. “If they want to be involved, they have a right to,” Gabriel said Tuesday. “As long as they're not interfering with city business or using city resources.” The issue stems from a Press letter to the editor from the city's Arts Commission chair, Eden Irgens, published April 13, that described Councilman Dan Gookin's relationship to some people tied to the recall group, RecallCdA/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you think Councilman Dan Gookin is really neutral re: the RecallCDA attempt?

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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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