Posts tagged: sandi bloem
More Info: Kennedy supported McEuen Field's reconstruction, now well underway. He is the second of the four park supporting incumbents targeted in the recall not seeking re-election. Mayor Sandi Bloem is the other. The two remaining council members, Woody McEvers and Deanna Goodlander, haven't declared. City Councilman Dan Gookin (pictured) said McEuen Park will be a mandate this election, as it was in 2011. He said regardless of what incumbents say, a major decision not to rerun is because victory at the polls will be hard to achieve over of the public's dissatisfaction with McEuen Park. “I think that's absolutely why they don't run,” Gookin said. “They don't want to face an angry mob”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Do you think that, deep down, Mayor Sandi Bloem and Councilman Mike Kennedy decided not to run for re-election because they feared facing fallout for supporting McEuen Field reconstruction?
Mary Souza, long-time critic of the Bloem administration, announced her candidacy for mayor of Coeur d'Alene this morning near the Third Street dock. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
In the Examiner.com, reporter Joe Newby writes about today's mayoral announcement by City Hall critic Mary Souza:
Speaking at the Third Street boat launch — also in need of repair — Souza said she's running for mayor to “include everyone.” “Let’s start to heal the divides. We can bridge the gaps and work together. And when there are major issues that will cost a great deal of money or change something sacred to our history, we’ll have a public vote,” she said. She also promised to hold city council meetings that are respectful and professional. “We won’t allow name-calling or juvenile behavior, and we’ll listen to citizens when they speak, and they’ll be treated well,” she said. Full article here.
Question: Can Mary Souza win a race for mayor in Coeur d'Alene? Or does she have too much baggage?
At the LCDC strategic planning session, Mayor Sandi Bloem said good growth doesn't happen simply “organically” and called for formation of an East Sherman Avenue urban renewal district:
Mayor Sandi Bloem applauded the agency's efforts in stimulating the economy and underscored that many of the major economic development projects in the Coeur d'Alene area would not have been possible without partnership from the LCDC. The mayor discounted recent public comments that growth should to occur “organically,” without urban renewal or any public assistance. “So many great projects have occurred in Coeur d'Alene with help from the LCDC … that otherwise would not have happened,” Bloem said. Some level of growth would occur without LCDC funding, the mayor said, but not at nearly the rate the LCDC has created through its partnership initiatives. Regarding the LCDC's future, the mayor, who recently announced she would not seek a fourth term in November, said the agency must move forward and resist political opposition. “You must continue to share your message with the community on the great things the agency has accomplished,” she said. The mayor also said she supported creation of a new urban renewal district to enhance East Sherman Avenue, calling it the “perfect area” for urban renewal financing/Keith Erickson, LCDC. Full report here.
Question: Should an urban renewal district be created for East Sherman Avenue?
Mayor Sandi Bloem said Wednesday she will not seek a fourth term this fall. Bloem, the city's only three-term mayor — and its only female leader - cited personal and professional reasons for not running for re-election Nov. 5. Bloem didn't elaborate on those reasons, but said she still intends to be involved in the community after she steps away, calling her 12-year run as head of the city “an incredible honor.” “It's the right thing for me now,” Bloem said. “It was a very difficult decision but I have a few opportunities in front of me and I feel if I don't take those opportunities, and wait four more years, they might not be there.” Bloem said she made the decision a few weeks ago and told some staff and council members. But then rumors of the decision circulated online Wednesday, which she confirmed/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Besides Dan Gookin and Mike Gridley, is there anyone else that you'd like to see run for mayor?
Item: Personal politics: Coeur d'Alene City Council members look to put personality conflicts, testy meetings behind them/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: The longest tenured city councilman said he has never served on a council where arguing has been so commonplace. Disagreements in politics are par for the course, Councilman Ron Edinger said, but never has he served on a council where personality clashes and personal digs have occurred so frequently. “I think that sometimes it gets a little carried away,” Edinger said Friday, a day after an at-times testy council workshop on Thursday in what has been a month full of testy city meetings. “Personal things get involved, and I think that's wrong.”
DFO: I can't blame the majority of the council for being testy toward Councilmen Dan Gookin and Steve Adams, who rode into office by trashing the City Hall and the McEuen Field project — and then sat back arms crossed while allies of theirs led a recall effort. Is the majority of the council suppose to grin and bear it when Adams throws a monkey wrench into a well-devised plan to pay for a sewer expansion because he's received some sort of divine insight into the Idaho Constitution? Civility is nice. But I also want elected officials to challenge colleagues when they are doing — or have done — something that the public should know about.
Question: Do you agree with Edinger that City Council members need to be more civil to one another?
I wasn't able to post the audio of Councilman Steve Adams' 911 call until late yesterday afternoon — you know, the one claiming that City Attorney Mike Gridley had threatened him after the City Council meeting Tuesday. It's definitely worth a full day of discussion today. You can read the actual text of that discussion here.
The lone city councilman who opposes the city's request for a judicial confirmation said his opposition to the issue earned him threats from the mayor and city attorney following a meeting late Tuesday - claims the two officials deny. Steve Adams, the second-year councilman who opposes paying for $33 million in upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant, said City Attorney Mike Gridley told Adams to “(bleep) off” following the four-hour meeting and Mayor Sandi Bloem said she wanted to punch the councilman's nose off. “For the City Attorney to verbally assault me, twice now, with inflammatory and derogatory comments, is a violation of his attorney code of ethics and, according to the city's personnel rules, is insubordination,” Adams stated in a press release, calling for Gridley's termination and an apology from Bloem. Bloem and Gridley said they didn't threaten the second-year councilman/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: How do you think this is going to play out?
Councilman Steve Adams is demanding an apology from Mayor Sandi Bloem and the immediate firing of City Attorney Mike Gridley for an incident that happened after Tuesday night's council meeting. The Coeur d'Alene Presss Online just filed a story. Here's Adams' explanation of the incident:
“While still in the community room after last night's city council meeting, City Attorney Mike Gridley approached me and asked if I was going to provide him with a copy of the ethics complaint I filed against him. I told him the Idaho State Bar would likely send him a copy with a request to respond. He then proceeded to get in my face and told me was a “moron”. I asked him If he was threatening me, he said no, but that in 30 years of practicing law he had never had anyone make a complaint against him, and again he told me I was “moron”. He was still in my face at this point, just inches away, leaning in on me. I again asked if he was threatening me and he said no, but that I could “(bleep) off you stupid moron.” At this point I grabbed my cell phone and called 911 to ask for officer assistance as I perceived this as an assault. Mr. Gridley walked away saying he was going to his office and then home. I walked through the library and into the ante room where the Mayor, Mike Kennedy, Deanna Goodlander, Wendy Gabriel and Jon Ingalls were standing. Mike Kennedy told me I should calm down. I told him about the exchange I had with Mr. Gridley and he responded with surprise and expressed dissatisfaction. I turned to the Mayor and pointed at her exclaiming that she should take disciplinary action against Mr. Gridley. She told me not to point at her, so I apologized for pointing. She then said not only would she not be disciplining Mr. Gridley but, raising her fist at me, she said she had half a mind to 'punch my nose off of my face'.” More of Adams' statement below. More of Tom Hasslinger's Press report here.
Question: Who owes whom an apology here?
I always knew I’d one day have to step in and do the mayor’s dirty work. Not that I’d characterize helping a charity as dirty. But when Spokane Mayor David Condon wimped out, The Salvation Army emailed me to ask if I would “serve as Mayor Pro Tem” in its annual red kettle Ring Off against Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem. Who am I to dodge the Army? Well, except for the time I ran off to college in 1969, that is. So mark your calendars for Dec. 15. That’s the day you’ll want to stop by the Spokane Fred Meyer store on Thor, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. I’ll be there along with a soon-to-be-named “Dream Team” of yuletide jingle-janglers. … Meanwhile, over in the Lake City, Bloem and her minions will be ringing away at the Fred Meyer. The less said about the opposition the better. The contest is simple: Whoever raises the most money wins bragging rights/Doug Clark, SR. More here.
Question: Who do you think'll win?
If a group of concerned citizens appeals a commission's approval of a proposed downtown high-rise to the City Council, Mayor Sandi Bloem said Thursday she would recuse herself from the process. Bloem's son, Century 21 real estate agent Kurt Lundblad, has a personal and professional relationship with Colorado developer Greg Hills, who is proposing to build a 14-story apartment building on First Street and Lakeside Avenue. “I don't know by law if I would have to, but I absolutely would recuse myself just by appearance, because my son is involved,” Bloem said. Lundblad helped facilitate Hills' purchase of the Mudge building where the proposed development would go, and could help market apartments in the future, Hills told The Press Thursday/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Can you remember other times when elected local officials recused themselves from a decision, citing a possible conflict of interest?
Mayor Sandi Bloem acknowledges the loud applause from the crowd as she walks to the microphone during ground-breaking ceremonies this morning. Do you see your Huckleberry Hound in the background. Also, the two women instrumental in stopping the recall effort against Mayor Bloem and three City Council members can be seen over Bloem's shoulders — Sara Meyer (holding the baby) on the left and Jennifer Drake on the right.
For those keeping score at home, about 100 people showed up at City Hall at 10 o'clock this morning for the ground-breaking ceremony at McEuen Field. Mayor Sandi Bloem and two City Council members — Mike Kennedy and Woody McEvers — were there, along with two former council members, John Bruning and Al Hassell. None of the three council members who fought the makeover every step of the way — Dan Gookin, Ron Edinger and Steve Adams — attended the event. Also, there were no protesters. Bloem was greeted by loud applause, shouts and whistles as she delivered a short statement, culminating with the statement: “This took courage, it took passion and it took endurance.” 4 piece of heavy equipment were sitting in the right field area of the old McEuen softball field No. 1 as Bloem and 10 others with shovels tossed a symbolic shovel full of dirt to launch the project that is now 27 months in the making.
Question: Does the McEuen Field ground-breaking ceremony make you happy or sad?
The petitions with the certified signatures have been scanned and can be accessed through the following link: ftp://ftp.cdaid.org/RecallPetition/Recall_Petitions-Verified.zip, according to City Clerk Susan Weathers. Through the scanning process it was discovered that 3 petitions for Mayor Bloem and Councilman Goodlander were incorrectly placed in the certified boxes as received from the County. … The end result is that Mayor Bloem’s final count is 6 signatures less than original reported for a corrected total of 4,120 signatures and Councilman Goodlander’s final count is 6 signatures more than originally reported for a corrected total of 4,079. These corrected totals do not affect the final disposition of the petitions.
Question: Are you satisfied that the offices of City Clerk Susan Weathers and County Clerk Cliff Hayes did the best job possible in handling and/or verifying the Recaller petitions?
DTSinIdaho: Democracy is not clean and pretty. There are many wounds that need to be healed. To start with, I hope the council takes a bit to ponder this whole situation to figure out how it all grew to such a rediculous spectacle. First of all, Mayor. This is not your second grade class. They will not do something, just because YOU say it is right. You need to look into getting a professional marketing person to show you guys how to communicate to the general public. SELL your ideas to the public at large… don’t just plop down a very large, and expensive product with out a nice fanfare. Analyse where people were getting their incorrect infromation from and work with those outlets… I realize the opencda site will always be the negative, sour, hateful face of Coeur d’Alene, but you need to follow it so you can be ahead of the propoganda curve.
DFO: I agree with DTS that Mayor Sandi Bloem & the better half of the City Council have done a poor job explaining Lake City Development Corp. and the tremendous progress in this community to the public. They shouldn't waste a minute on the OpenSewer-Dot-Com site, trying to explain that progress. But they no longer can allow Mary Souza, Kathy Sims and other political opponents to define the issues and questions. Propaganda and quarter-truths need to be confronted in print, online, on the air and anywhere else with facts.
Item: Recall effort fails: RecallCdA organizer Frank Orzell has no plans to pursue litigation/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press
Mayor Sandi Bloem: “This isn't a victory celebration … It's difficult it happened. I think anyone can say it's been difficult and tough, no matter what your view is on the recall. One has to look at what has happened and say, 'What have we learned from this? What is positive out of this?' And I do think there are some positives. One is, I think a lot more people were engaged and tried to know the facts and tried to know what's going on and listening to both sides and getting involved. And particularly with younger people, I saw. And the community needs that. In order to be more healthy, we need to be more engaged.”
Question: What do you see as the silver lining to the recall attempt?
Just returned from City Hall, where City Clerk Susan Weathers declared all the petition drive to recall Mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members “null & void ab initio.” In other words, the recall effort has failed. Recaller Frank Orzell was in the audience when Weathers read the total number of valid signatures for each of the 4 drives, with 4,311 signatures needed to trigger a recall. Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander was the first petition to be declared null and void. Goodlander had 4,073 valid signatures. Next was Councilman Mike Kennedy with 4,077 valid signatures. Then, Councilman Woody McEvers with 4,060 valid signatures. Finally, Weathers declared the petitions for Mayor Sandi Bloem null & void with 4,126 valid signatures. Weathers concluded: “As city clerk for the city of Coeur d'Alene, I now declare this Coeur d'Alene recall process to be closed.” Some 25 individuals who fought the recall cheered the announcement. Orzell was the only Recaller that I saw in the old City Council chamber. Afterward, Sara Meyer of the Decline to Sign group said to Orzell: “I hope you want to come together as a community and move forward in a positive way,” adding, “No lawsuits.”
The attempted recall of Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and three City Council members apparently has failed. With 98 percent of the signatures on recall petitions verified, County Clerk Cliff Hayes announced this afternoon that 24 percent of the signatures had been disqualified. A 20 percent disqualification rate was needed for Bloem & and three council members (Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy) to survive the recall attempt. This is Hayes' press release: “This afternoon Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes announced further progress on signature verifications for the Coeur d’Alene Recall petitions. “We’ve completed verification and checking on approximately 98% of the petitions. The cumulative reject rate is now running approximately 24% for the three Council members and for the Mayor,” Hayes said. “We will finish the verifications on Monday and forward them to the City of Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday,” Hayes concluded. 4311 valid signatures are needed to trigger a recall election against the four targeted elected officials. At 24 percent, the final total would be as follows:
This morning Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes announced further progress on signature verifications for the Coeur d’Alene Recall petitions. “We’ve completed verification and checking on approximately 40% of the petitions. The cumulative reject rate is now running about 20% for the three Council members and for the Mayor,” Hayes said. At the 20% disqualification rate, the targeted elected officials would have the following number of valid signatures against them — and would survive the recall election (4311 needed for recall election):
If the recall attempt fails (according to City Clerk Susan Weathers):
In a Coeur d'Alene Press story today, national recall expert Jason Spivak says Mayor Sandi Bloem and other targeted city elected officials would have a better chance of surviving recall election if it was held on Nov. 6 rather than Aug. 28: “That's because an August election would see lower than normal voter turnout, and the petition gatherers have already proven they're motivated enough to go to the polls. In a presidential election - Nov. 6 - more people will be casting votes for incumbents anyway, and that higher turnout could be more likely to vote in favor of the targeted city incumbents.” This, of course, if another valid signatures were gathered to trigger a recall election. More here.