Posts tagged: Person Field
On Tuesday, the Coeur d'Alene City Council gave final approval to the purchase of Person Field and Bryan Field from the Coeur d'Alene School District. But two council members weren't happy about it. In her draft minutes, City Clerk Renata McLeod reports comments made by Councilmen Ron Edinger and Deanna Goodlander during the discussion:
Councilman Edinger stated that he would be voting against the agreement because he does not believe in buying something that is already owned by the City. Councilman McEvers wondered if the City voted against it, what would the neighbors say, and what is the alternative? Councilman Edinger stated that the School District would have a problem because they have already moved into their new building, and maybe they would be willing to negotiate. Councilman McEvers expressed concern that the parkland could become homes. Councilman Edinger does not believe the land would be developed as homes and that the 1995 agreement was legal. Councilman Goodlander stated that she believes the City is paying a ridiculous price for something they already own and it is hard to vote yes.
Question: Did the Coeur d'Alene School District get the better end of this deal, as Councilmen Ron Edinger and Deanna Goodlander seem to believe?
Christa Hazel reports: The meeting was convened with 4 Trustees present: Hightower, Seymour, Hamilton and Seddon (pictured). Two City Councilmen, Ron Edinger and Dan Gookin were in attendance. One member of the public, a teacher from Lakes Middle School asked to address the board and the board granted this request. The teacher stated how important Person Field is to our community and our students. The board amended Monday night's action to declare Person Field surplus for disposal through sealed bid. The amended action will now give 60 days for the City to find a resolution that will be beneficial to both entities. It was referenced by Mr. Hamilton that no matter who owns Person Field, both entities wanted it to remain as is. Ann Seddon voted against the sale of Person Field last Monday night. Today, she voted yes on the amendment to allow 60 days for the city and school district to work out a compromise. The amendment passed unanimously with the 4 trustees present. Mr. Purtee was absent.
The Coeur d'Alene School Board has scheduled a special meeting at 3:30 p.m. today in the district office, 311 N10th, to discuss a “possible amendment to action taken (on Monday) regarding disposal of property.” As you know, the School Board voted 3-1 Monday to dispose its 3.8 acres at Person Field at 15th & Garden. On Tuesday, the Coeur d'Alene City Council unanimously instructed staff to work with the School District to purchase that property. The city owns an eastern portion of Person Field, consisting of the softball field, located on about 3 acres. CSB Chairman Tom Hamilton and Superintendent Hazel Bauman were at the meeting to assure the council that the board and district would work with the city to make the purchase possible. Also today, the School Board is expected to authorize the sale of general obligation bonds. (Coeur d'Alene School District photo: Trustee Chairman Tom Hamilton)
Question: Are you glad to see city and School Board seemingly working together to save Person Field as green space?
The Coeur d'Alene City Council wants to keep Person Field green. Council members agreed unanimously Tuesday to direct city staffers to find a way to acquire the portion of Person Field now owned by the Coeur d'Alene School District. The Person Field issue was a last-minute addition to the regular council meeting agenda, placed there in response to the Coeur d'Alene school board's decision Monday to move forward with a plan to sell the school district's portion of the 7-acre field. Councilman Dan Gookin told The Press on Wednesday that he asked for Person Field to be added to the agenda for discussion and possible action after learning of the school district's decision to sell the property on the open market. “People in that neighborhood love having that park there. They've been nervous about what might happen with it,” Gookin said/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Shawn Gust Press photo: Cameron Chun, left, collides with Brody Lundblad, both eight graders in the Coeur d'Alene Jr. Tackle football program Wednesday at Persons Field)
Question: Are you glad to see the council agree unanimously to save Person Field as a green space?
Chairman Tom Hamilton of the Coeur d'Alene School Board: I attended the council meeting tonight together with Trustee Seddon and Superintendent Bauman. In addressing the council, we made it clear that the district and the Board truly desire to keep Person Field as a green space / park for the local community but that the District should not be the steward of that park space any longer. I am happy to report that the council agreed and have directed city leadership to work with the district to find a way to transfer ownership of the parcel to the City where it rightfully should be. Mike’s statement that an exchange of property is the statutory requirement for a public entity to acquire property from another public entity is correct. The solution here is simple and I remain hopeful that this can come to fruition quickly. Tom Hamilton's full comment.
Question: Sounds like a good copromise to me. How about you?
Chairman Tom Hamilton of the Coeur d'Alene School Board:
The fact that the mayor elected to not involve the council is certainly no fault of the Board. The Board also did not “lecture the city”…the Board and the Administration simply said “we need the cash more than the property and we hope the city will find a way to keep this as green space”. The city has always said they wanted to purchase the park when the district no longer could keep it…so find a way to make that happen Mike. The city, not the district, should be in the park business don’t you think? The city was offered an opportunity not an ultimatum. The School District’s facility use policy was out dated and meant that most of the time facilities were being rented at a loss. That’s not good practice, so the fee schedule was modernized. That’s not “punishing” anyone, that’s good fiscal responsibility.
DFO: The School Board must do everything it can to work with the city of Coeur d'Alene to preserve Person Field as a green space. Should this under-utilized park in the middle of an old part of town be lost to development this current School Board will shoulder the blame for decades for rushing the process in order to meet some bottom-line goal. Green space is too valuable and important to sacrifice in the name of someone's business model — or to save a few dollars. My 2 cents.
Originally posted at 9:30 Monday
With little advance warning, the Coeur d'Alene School Board voted 3-1 to sell Person Field tonight, prompting Mayor Sandi Bloem and City Administrator Wendy Gabriel to make an unplanned visit to the meeting. The board also decided to take no position on Propositions 1-3 (the Luna Laws), although all trustees expressed support in favor of the ballot measures that are strongly opposed by the teachers throughout Idaho. As reported by Christa Hazel for Huckleberries, Trustee Ann Seddon voiced reservations about the decision to sell the district's 3.7-acre part of Person Field at 15th & Garden with little advance notice other than an agenda item that read “disposal of real property” — and cast the lone vote against the proposed sale. Seddon wants the city to step up its efforts to maintain the green space as a park. At the end of the four-hour meeting, City Administrator Gabriel said the city would continue working to keep Person Field as a city green space. Mayor Bloem agreed with that comment. You can read Christa Hazel's complete thread covering the School Board meeting here. (SR file photo: A high school lacrosse team takes a lap around the track at Person Field in the snow)
Question: Should the city buy Person Field and try to preserve it as a park?