Posts tagged: judicial confirmation
Question: Any thoughts about Adams' prepared statement?
The election is off. Coeur d'Alene City Councilman Steve Adams said he will withdraw his pledge to appeal a judge's ruling that green-lights major upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant, meaning the city will secure roughly $33.5 million for the project through a judicial confirmation after all. It also means the May 21 election will be called off. Adams said Tuesday evening he was satisfied with 1st District Judge John Luster's decision issued hours before the City Council meeting that declared the project was “ordinary and necessary,” and voter approval to secure the debt obligation wasn't required/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: So why did Adams say “uncle”?
Judge John Luster has given approval, through the judicial confirmation process, for the city of Coeur d'Alene to spend $36M for a federally mandated expansion of the wastewater treatment plant. The judge deemed the project an “ordinary and necessary” expense — and, therefore, it doesn't require a public vote. The city is moving ahead with a public vote because Councilman Steve Adams has threatened to appeal the decision, tying up the project in court for possibly up to a year and endangering federal loans and funding. Full judge's decision here.
Question: Do you think someone can talk some sense into Councilman Steve Adams before tonight's meeting, to avoid an unnecessary expense of $75,000 to conduct a bond election in May?
In the draft minutes below, City Clerk Renata McLeod offers a good recount of the debate among the City Council re: the decision to go ahead with a public vote on the wastewater treatment plant (special meeting March 28). Even council ally Dan Gookin is urging Councilman Steve Adams to switch from his dug-in position against judicial confirmation (see link below):
Councilman Adams stated that from a principal standpoint he could not compromise the integrity of the Idaho Constitution for a couple of interest points. Councilman Kennedy stated that the Boise case contains a different set of facts, and Councilman Adams is misapplying the facts to this situation. In the Copsey case, it was reasonable but not necessary and was for a parking garage, not like our case that is both reasonable and necessary. He stated that there is a lot of misinformation and it should be clear that it is a different point than the Boise case. Councilman Adams stated that it is arguable that it is ordinary and necessary; however to spend half of the City’s annual appropriation is not ordinary. Councilman Gookin thinks Councilman Adams has made his point and that in this case it would be best to move forward and fight the battle another day. Full discussion here.
Question: Gotta give Gookin credit for trying to talk sense to Adams, right?
Coeur d’Alene’s plans for a $36 million upgrade to its wastewater treatment plant took a strange turn when a lone City Council member decided he knew more about the Idaho Constitution and the environmental challenges cities face removing phosphorus from the Spokane River. Councilman Steve Adams was on board with the upgrades until last month, when he announced that the city’s funding plan was unconstitutional. He then leveled a threat to delay the project for up to a year, forcing the City Council to put the project to a vote May 21. The irony is that this anti-government ideologue’s antics will end up costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars to stage and promote the election, and potentially millions more if the voters say no. This is what happens when officeholders try to dismantle government, rather than run it/SR Editorial Board. More here.
In the letters to the editor section of today's Coeur d'Alene Press:
Question: Has your view of Adams changed since the flap over judicial confirmation for the wastewater treatment plant expansion?
After almost a year and a half of on-the-job training, the Adams saga just gets weirder. It reached a low-water mark last week in yet another heated debate over the city's wastewater treatment plan, this time a post-meeting whizzing match first with City Attorney Mike Gridley and then with Mayor Sandi Bloem. Bad words, pointy fingers and clenched fists all reportedly were wielded. Feelings ended up being the only articles that were actually bruised in the final act of this particular high schoolish drama, but some very real concerns are emerging among the electorate. When it comes to ideology vs. policy, is Adams just playing devil's advocate, or is he actually the devil?/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.
Possible change of course. The city of Coeur d'Alene is considering asking voters for approval for millions of dollars in upgrades for its wastewater treatment plant instead of getting the go-ahead from a judge because of one councilman's pledge to tie up the matter in court. The City Council voted 4 to 2 Tuesday for staff to begin crafting what language on the ballot could look like if the city should send the issue to ballot in May. A couple months ago, the city unanimously sought a judicial confirmation that would allow the city to spend at least $33 million in upgrades to the plant in light of stricter federal discharge requirements. But Councilman Steve Adams - who voted in favor of the judicial confirmation - reversed his stance about a month ago and said he would appeal 1st District Judge John Luster's decision should Luster rule in favor of the city/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
DFO: This reckless action by Councilman Adams could cost the city $1 million per month in EPA fines and lead to a moratorium on sewer hook-ups, stopping the resurgence of the local housing industry. Also, it could lead to sewer fees in five years of $70 per month. It was amazing to watch Adams stubbornly shrug off those warnings from the city attorney and wastewater treatment manager last night.