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Posts tagged: Eden Irgens

Regan Targets Foes On Way Out

(Former Trustee Brent Regan) said that while considering ways the district could save money, he noticed that the district had paid about $4,700 to Range Northwest, a downtown design firm, for graphic design work and printing work for Sorensen Magnet School's spring fundraiser auction. He noted that Range Northwest's owners are Eden Irgens and Adam Graves. Irgens sits on the board of Balance North Idaho, a political action committee, he said. Balance North Idaho endorsed Regan's opponent, Hazel. Graves chaired the Sorensen fundraiser, Regan said. “I'm not giving any allegation of wrongdoing here, but what I am saying is that things like this can put the board in a difficult position, because the optics on it are very bad,” he said. He said that the $4,700 would have been better spent on something for the district rather than for printing services. Lisa May, a Sorensen mother and parent who has worked on the school's auction, said the funds spent on the event were not school district dollars. They were raised by the parents at the school, she said/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


Balance, Reagan Repub PACs Battle

Reporter Jeff Selle of the Coeur d'Alene Press provides an in depth look at the PAC battle between Balance North Idaho and the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans in the nonpartisan races this spring:

We can try and finesse this all we want,” said Jeff Ward, founder or the Reagan Republicans. “But the reality is, this is an old-fashioned partisan election - it always has been.” That sentiment was prompted the formation of the new Balance North Idaho PAC, which brands itself as a non-partisan political action committee that will support “qualified” candidates, regardless of which political party they belong to.”These races have nothing to with how left leaning or right leaning the candidates are,” said Eden Irgens, co-founder of Balance North Idaho. “These races have everything to do with our kids' education and the way our hospital is run.” More here.

Question: Has Balance North Idaho done a good job challenging the more entrenched Reagan Republicans this spring in the nonpartisan races?

Balance Group Backs Nonpartisanship

Candidates seeking election in nonpartisan races in Kootenai County will now have an opportunity to receive endorsements and campaign funds from a newly formed political action committee. The founding board of the PAC, Balance North Idaho, announced the committee's formation Monday in Coeur d'Alene.  “The name that we've selected is very meaningful to our cause,” said Eden Irgens (pictured), a downtown business owner and the PAC's board president. Several nonpartisan elections, with ballots that do not indicate the political party affiliations of candidates, will take place in Kootenai County on May 21. …  Irgens said political party members tend to take their voting cues from candidates' party affiliations rather than the individuals' qualifications. “Everything is moved very far to the right in this town,” Irgens said/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Does this mean that the Reagan Republicans will have to work harder to foist their Hard Right “Republicans” (see: Steve Adams) on unsuspecting Coeur d'Alene voters?

Huckleberries Q&A w/Eden Irgens

Balance North Idaho PAC emerges to restore nonpartisanship in city, school and hospital elections.

Huckleberrries is interviewing President Eden Irgens of Balance North Idaho, a new group that's formed for endorsing candidates and issues in nonpartisan races in Kootenai County. You can find the Balance North Idaho Facebook page here. And the Balance North Idaho Web page here. Following is a question & answer:

Huckleberries — Is your group a response to the Reagan Republicans or any other partisan group in the area?

Eden Irgens — Our group formed because we felt that there are several groups promoting their ideologies in positions where we feel ideologies shouldn't reside.

  • Q — How would you combat a charge that you're simply an ideological group from the other side?
  • Irgens — If they look at voting records and registrations of the five board members, they'll find we aren't very different from them. The five are: Mic Armon (treasurer), Steve Widmyer (of the Fort Ground Tavern), Elva Allan (Chief Allan's wife) and Sara Meyer (of Citizens for a Positive Coeur d'Alene).
  • Q — What do you hope to accomplish first?
  • Irgens — We will be interviewing candidates for the Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls and Lakeland school boards and the Kootenai Health Board of Trustee races in next few weeks.
  • Q — Why Kootenai Health?
  • Irgens — Kootenai Health has ability to levy and has about $17M in foregone taxes that (ideological groups) could go after. The two seats that are up in May will have more than one candidate vying for each seat.
  • More below

Eden: Pay Attention To Our Schools

On the new Citizens for a Positive Coeur d'Alene, Eden Irgens sounds the warning call re: the Coeur d'Alene School Board: “Our school board of trustees voted out IB last night. What other items may be on their target list? Trustee Ann Seddon was adamant that the new Sorensen principal not be officially hired without board approval. Could Sorensen be next on the list? Sorensen has proven results and amazing test scores, so if it IS on the list — why? It's very important that parents with kids in school, or who will be attending school in the future, become knowledgeable and involved in this ultra important element of our community. The best public school system is something we must all demand - and there have been rumors and discussions about what the true goals are for this school board. School board meetings are the first Monday of each month. Attending them will open your eyes.”

Question: How much attention are you paying to Coeur d'Alene schools and the Coeur d'Alene School Board?

Gookin’s Complaint Brings Response

City Administrator Wendy Gabriel provided this response to Councilman Gookin's complaint about a critical letter to the Coeur d'Alene Press editor from Arts Commission Chairwoman Eden Irgens:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.  However, I think we should be careful about going there. Has Jeff Connaway, Chair of the City’s Sign Board, disgraced and disrespected the Mayor and three Council members by his signature on the petition in favor of a recall?  How is his signature on a public document in favor of a recall accusing the Mayor and three Council members of wrongdoing any different than a Letter to the Editor accusing you of wrong doing? Has Kathy Sims who represents the citizens of CdA disgraced and disrespected the citizens of Cd’A by her signature on the recall petition?  The citizens of CdA voted for the Mayor and the three Council members and Sims now wants them recalled.  She has expressed her views in several public venues. More below.


Gookin Complains About Press Letter

Councilman Dan Gookin sent the following letter to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel complaining about a letter to the editor of the Coeur d'Alene Press from Eden Irgens, who chairs the city's Art Commission: “A citizen has pointed out a concern to me. I understand that there's a lot of political B.S. floating around out there, but Mr. Irgens has written a letter to the Editor, published in today's CDA Press, wherein she states, “I personally cannot trust [Councilman Gookin] now.” I've learned that Ms. Irgens is chair of the City's Arts Commission. I find it disturbing that the City would allow or tolerate a committee member, let alone a committee chair, to publicly criticize a councilman in that way. In know that Ms. Irgens has every right to criticize me as an elected official, and I would encourage anyone to express their rights to criticize the government. But this situation presents an incongruity I'd like to address. More below.

DFO: Eden Irgens is a woman, BTW.

Question: Should a member of a Coeur d'Alene city committee be prevented from writing letters to a newspaper or speaking openly re: opposition to a City Council member?

Sara: A Question For Dan Gookin

Stop the Recall co-organizer Sara Meyer has this question for Councilman Dan Gookin: “As a council member you were at the March 6th meeting where the revised plan was discussed and it was discussed at length, so why did you not respond accurately to Ms. Irgens question? You were also aware that the revised plan and costs were on the parks website. Isn’t it your duty as a council member to present factual information, especially since you have stated that you are not taking a position on the recall?”

  • From Coeur d'Alene Press story today:While the old site was taken down Wednesday, City Councilman Dan Gookin had emailed a citizen Tuesday that the high-end estimates were still online. Eden Irgens, according to the email, asked Gookin, acting as a councilman, to clarify that the park cost $14.2 million, not $40 million. Gookin emailed Irgens back that the roughly $40 million figure was on the old McEuen park website. Full story here.

DFO: I confused things here by switching out Sara Meyer's comment from a recent thread with a letter from Eden Irgens from yesterday to which it referred. I'm reposting the original comment by Sara Meyer with a link to Eden Irgens' letter to Councilman Gookin.

Question: Mr. Gookin?

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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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