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Huckleberries Online

Posts tagged: Tom Hamilton

Lake City School Patrons Face Bond

Some of the oldest, most outdated schools in Coeur d’Alene will be renovated over the next three years if voters in the Coeur d’Alene School District approve a $32.7 million bond measure this month. It’s one of three school measures on the Aug. 28 ballot in Kootenai County. Lakeland Joint School District is seeking voter approval of a five-year maintenance levy, and Kootenai Joint School District is proposing a $2 million bond measure to upgrade its wastewater system. The Coeur d’Alene district proposes major renovations of Borah, Bryan, Sorensen and Winton elementary schools and Canfield Middle School. More than $25 million would be spent modernizing these schools, including adding gymnasiums, removing portable classrooms and upgrading heating and ventilation systems/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Phantom Photographer photo of CSB Chairman Tom Hamilton at Panhandle Pachyderms in Post Falls last week)

DFO: For the first time I'm in a quandary re: a Coeur d'Alene School Board bond or levy. I've never voted against one. However, I have little faith in the Hard Right bent of the current board including its appointees.

Question: What would you do if you were in my shoes?

CdA Board Declares Trustee Vacancy

Nearly three weeks after a district court judge ruled Wanda Quinn's appointment to the Coeur d'Alene School District Board of Trustees to be “null and void,” the four remaining trustees have officially declared a vacancy in the board's Zone 1 seat. At a special board meeting held Monday, trustees also elected to hire outside counsel, other than longtime school district attorney, Charles Dodson, to review and advise them on the process of selecting another appointee. “I think the conflict there is a little too close,” said Trustee Tom Hamilton (pictured), who made the motion to seek alternate representation. The vote was 3-1 in favor of removing Dodson from handling school board business that falls under Idaho Code 33-504, the section of state education law specifically related to school board vacancies. Diane Zipperer cast the lone dissenting vote/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you think the Coeur d'Alene School Board will have an easy time finding a consensus candidate?

Hamilton: I Was Answering Honestly

Tom Hamilton re: possible application of Wanda Quinn for a trustee post in response to Christie Wood comment: “What DFO posted was taken from my (private) Facebook page and posted slightly out of context. That post was in response to a direct question asking me “what it would take to get Wanda back on the Board.” I answered that question as truthfully as I could and if you care to look, there was no political motivation in my statement or in my opinion of Wanda. Frankly, I don’t have the faintest idea what Wanda’s political persuasion may be and neither do I care. You must also keep in mind that any opinion I have of Wanda on the Board is based on my experience serving with her since last July as well as her answers to the interview questions (which I heard in person) when she was selected to the Board. Were Wanda to reapply all of those things would factor into any decision I made as well as my stated opinion that I feel she exercised very poor judgement in how she personally handled the controversy of her own appointment.

DFO: The post wasn't exactly private in that it has been posted on OpenCDA.com for more than a week.

Question: Tom brings up a good question. Should a public figure consider his Facebook page private?

Tom Not Likely To Back Wanda Pick

Coeur d'Alene School Board Trustee Tom Hamilton reacting on his Facebook page to possibility of former trustee Wanda Quinn being reappointed to School Board: “She is certainly welcome to put her hat back in the ring although I don’t have any idea if she intends to. I will be honest with you and tell you that while this was never about Wanda, it will be difficult for me to support her reappointment. I would never besmirch her character, but I do feel she showed very poor judgement in allowing this to go to court. Don’t forget that Terri and I asked no less than 3 times for an administrative solution to this issue. One of those was a motion at a Board meeting that Wanda refused to allow to come to the table. I said all along that I never wanted this to go to court, but I would see it through if I had to. Unfortunately, that is the path they chose…”

Question: Does this statement affect Tom's ability to stay neutral should Wanda apply for reappointment?

CdA Trustees Don’t Declare Vacancy

Item: Coeur d'Alene trustees decline to declar a vacancy/Maureen Dolan, Press

More Info: After ratifying the district's 2011-12 budget, passed in July with Quinn making one of the majority affirmative votes, the trustees did not formally declare a vacancy on the board before adjourning. “I would say that at this time, it certainly is our option to declare a vacancy if we'd like to do so, and frankly, the board has the option at this point to proceed through with an appointment. There may be wisdom in that,” Hamilton said. “I would put forward that during the last election, there was a very close election. That's a possible solution, but I'm not sure that warrants discussion tonight or if prudence would dictate that we seek the advice of legal counsel on how to proceed.”

Also: Huckleberries hears the following witnessed the trustee meeting: Duncan Koler and his wife, Hamilton's attorney, Mary Jo Phinney, Jim Purtee, and Christa Hazel. At one point, Hamilton wondered aloud whether Purtee might be a good choice because he narrowly lost a trustee election 3 years ago.

Question: Should the board appoint Jim Purtee, who lost a close trustee election race three years ago? Or accept applications from everyone interested in the vacancy, including Wanda Quinn?

Wanda Shouldn’t Reapply

A mutual friend asked today if I thought Wanda Quinn should reapply for a spot on the Coeur d'Alene School District Board of Trustees, now that she's been judicially booted to the curb by a 2nd District Judge. I told her Wanda shouldn't. It has nothing to do with her qualifications. I can think of no one in the school district more qualified than she is after multiple terms on the board, including time as chairwoman. I'd guess that , deep down, new Trustees Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour, would admit that Wanda knows her stuff and probably should continue. But they would be in a bind if they decided to reappoint her, after their successful suit challenging the board's unorthdox appointment of Wanda to a vacancy last year. Also they'd have to explain to certain of their conservative supporters why they thought Wanda should continue. Ultimately, the ouster of Wanda could cause a 2-2 tie for months, which would lead to the Board of Commissioners appointed a new trustee. Wanda's too classy and has served this community too well to put herself through a three month ordeal. Wanda should resist temptation to reapply and accept the gratitude for her service from those not blinded by ideology — DFO.

Question: Do you think Wanda Quinn should reapply for the Coeur d'Alene School Board?

Mary Elated By Quinn Ruling

Predictably, Mary Souza is trumpeting the decision by a 2nd District judge that booted appointee Wanda Quinn from the Coeur d'Alene School Board. Mary, of course, views that as good triumphing over, ahem, evil: “And so the fight for honest, legal, responsible government goes on.  More and more people are getting involved and taking a stand.  WE, the people, are making a difference.  Let’s push through our defeats and celebrate our victories.  Every single person who is working for better government here is a star.  Thank you for your efforts! And cheers to Terri and Tom who, with their courage and resilience, have given us all new hope that the system can improve.” Mary is right that the huns are storming the gates, trashing public servants like Wanda Quinn, Sandi Bloem, and others who have done more to improve our community than they ever will. You can read Mary's latest spiel here.

Reaction?

Judge Voids Quinn Appointment

A District Court Judge on Wednesday declared invalid an appointment of a Coeur d'Alene school board member in June, finding the board didn't comply with state law in its appointment process. Coeur d'Alene School District Board members Tom Hamilton (pictured) and Terri Seymour filed a complaint in District Court in Kootenai County questioning the validity of Wanda Quinn's appointment to the board. Quinn was appointed to replace former board chair Edie (Brooks) McLachlan. Hamilton told The Press on Wednesday that he and Seymour sought a judge's decision on the matter only after attempts at an administrative resolution failed/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Will remaining Coeur d'Alene School Board trustees reach a consensus on a replacement for Wanda Quinn who's half as qualified as she is?

Judge Voids Quinn Appointment

A judge in Kootenai County district court has declared the June 6 appointment of Wanda Quinn to the Coeur d'Alene School Board to be null and void. Trustees Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour, who were elected in May and sworn into office on July 1, filed a complaint in district court in July. The complaint alleged that the process the board followed when former board chair Edie McLachlan resigned on May 19 was illegal. It further alleges that the appointment of Wanda Quinn to complete McLachlan's term is invalid/Coeur d'Alene Press.

Reaction?

‘Crazy Love’ Leads To New Shelter

“Crazy Love.” That's the name of the book organizers say inspired a plan to start a new warming center for the homeless in Post Falls that opened Monday night. “No matter what you do to show you love people, you can never really do enough,” said Tom Hamilton, plant manager at Ground Force Manufacturing. The Post Falls company owned by Ron Nilson is donating use of a 4,000-square-foot warehouse at 6001 Seltice Way. It will have heat, lights, a kitchen, bathrooms, tables and chairs. It will be open daily 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. at least through February. Most important, it will provide a nightly shelter for the homeless from North Idaho's cold, wind, rain, snow and ice, said Patty McGruder, homeless outreach worker with the Dirne Community Health Center/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. H/T: JimmyMac.

DFO: Please join me in giving a hat tip to one of our own here at HucksOnline, Tom Hamilton, and his boss, Ron Nilson, for reaching out to the homeless in this terrific way.

Hamilton: Shouldn’t Toe Union Line

RE: Police, fire billboard touts wannabes (John Bruning & George Sayler)/HucksOnline

Tom Hamilton: To put it in my perspective, I view the responsibility of a Trustee to be primarily advocacy for the taxpayer and the parents. The administration should advocate for the district, the CEA should advocate for the teachers and between all of those groups, our mutual goal is to advocate for the student. I view the role of the city council, public unions and city administrators in much the same light. It is not the role of the city councilman to blindly support the public unions. There should be give and take, negotiation and compromise. That’s why I like Dan. He honestly doesn’t tow anyone’s line…he listens, thinks, discusses and decides…just the way I think it ought to be.

Question: What impact does an endorsement from Coeur d'Alene's rank-and-file police officers & firefighters have?

Lake City Trustees Chat Up Luna

Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna (right) talks with new Coeur d'Alene School Board Trustees Terri Seymour and Tom Hamilton at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Kootenai Techical Education Campus in the Rathdrum area Tuesday. (Photo special to HucksOnline)

Christa: IB Audience Misbehaved

Christa Hazel followed a report re: the IB (International Baccalaureate) meeting last night: “I am disappointed that there are so many community members not ashamed to be openly rude and it seemed to fall on one side.  Some people barked at the speakers when they couldn't hear or the speakers were too loud.  One older man interrupted a lady who was speaking about IB teachers like Mr. Ruskovich  and asked why Mr. Ruskovich sends his kids to Charter Academy.  Mr. Ruskovich, from the audience, re-directed the attention by stating, “Why don't you ask me that question, Sir.” As an audience member, it was difficult to hear all of the speakers because of the side conversations in the audience.  One man kept muttering “this is bull****” and kept raising his hand as though he wanted to question each speaker.” Full meeting report here. (Christa Hazel photo: Debbie Morris addressing Wanda Quinn.  Matt Handelmann, assistant Superintendent is seated next to Wanda.)

Question: I noticed this same phenomenon during the final meeting on proposed McEuen Field changes — older adult people in the audience acting like 2-year-olds when they didn't agree with something being said. Why are people in this town so disrespectful in public settings when they disagree with something?

Christie: How About Grants For IB?

Christie Wood: Mr. Hamilton I was on the Board when the decision was made to offer IB. I also worked along side your Board Chair Wanda Quinn for many years to become a school district that did offer as many different opportunities for learning as possible. With that in mind there are often grant opportunities that our district has utilized in the past to fund various programs. Have you or the administration researched the possibility of continuing the programs with grant funding? If funds were made available would you support the continuation of both programs?

DFO: Since the comment ended with a question pointed at Coeur d'Alene Trustee Tom Hamilton, I'll leave this for him to answer rather than post a question of my own.

Hamilton Wants IB, AP Evaluated

A Coeur d'Alene Press story Wednesday reported that the school district had concerns about the performance of students in the International Baccalaureate and advanced placement programs at the Coeur d'Alene high schools. Trustee Tom Hamilton discussed this with a handful of us hung around after the 2011 Hucks Fallfest with Addy & Geoff ended. I noticed he's discussing the topic with Press commenters in a lengthy thread from the article above. He comments: “While there are differences in the approach taken, both programs are designed to challenge advanced learners. Students who will succeed in an IB program will also be successful in an AP program. However, the IB v. AP issue has been argued from ideology and emotion by BOTH sides of the debate and not from a true evaluation of the performance and cost of the program. For this reason, I have asked that the district make available to the public a complete picture of the program which should include academic performance, the true costs of both programs, enrollment numbers, trends, historical and on-going fees / costs, etc.” Tom's full comment at 8:06 Wednesday here.

Question: Do you consider the International Baccalaureate program in local high schools to be valuable?

Kerri: Slimmer Hamilton Keeps Pledge

Back in January I recounted some of my journey to become fit and lose weight, which prompted a reader to communicate his own struggles. He shared a touching story of how last summer he'd taken his daughter to Silverwood but was unable to accompany her on the roller coaster due to his size. He promised her that day that he could do something about his weight and would. And that this summer they'd take that roller coaster ride together. A promise made is a debt unpaid, he said. … I mentioned the story to my friend, Nancy DiGiammarco, who happens to be the marketing director for Silverwood. She mentioned it to owner Gary Norton. They were both as moved as I was with the story and long before the park opened for the summer, gifted the father with passes to the park. I was thrilled to hear that Tom Hamilton kept his promise to his soon-to-be sixth grade daughter, Lizzie this past Sunday/Kerri Thoreson, Main Street, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Tom Hamilton Facebook photo: Tom & daughter, Lizzie)

Question: Have you ever lost a considerable amount of weight — and kept it off?

Discord Greets CdA School Board

Item: Trustees dispute validity of board: New officials: Declaration of vacancy was illegal/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: The first regular meeting of the newly formed Coeur d'Alene School District Board of Trustees was marked by discord. Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour, who were elected in May and sworn into office on July 1, filed a complaint in district court Wednesday alleging that the process the board followed when former board chair Edie McLachlan resigned on May 19 was illegal. It further alleges that the appointment of Wanda Quinn to complete McLachlan's term is invalid. “We're hoping for an administrative solution,” Hamilton told The Press prior to Monday's board meeting which Quinn presided over as chair.

Question: Do you think Hamilton & Seymour are more interested in imposing their ideology on the school district or helping the district work through Tom Luna's education reforms?

Reagan Repubs Target School Board

On his Facebook wall for the Reagan Republicans, Jeff Ward posts this Action Alert: “Please attend this evening's Coeur d'Alene School Board Annual Meeting (5 p.m. at the Midtown Center Meeting Room) and support Terri Seymour's and Tom Hamilton's request that the board follow state law in the filling of Board vacancies. They have filed a lawsuit to stop the installation of an illegally appointed Board Member and Chair. Please turnout to support honest and open government.” Over the weekend, some on the other side of this issue circulated e-mails seeking a turnout for tonight's meeting when Seymour & Hamilton will be present at their first school board meeting since taking office. Looks like a run time will be had by all. (Coeur d'Alene School Board clerk Lynne Towne swears in Trustee Tom Hamilton July 1)

Question: Can someone explain how Hamilton & Seymour will be immune from a suit that they filed against the board on which they now sit? And is this lawsuit an indication that the nonpartisan School Board will become dysfunctional not that partisanship has been introduced?

Brooks Defends Appointment Process

Item: Coeur d'Alene trustees-elect Hamilton, Seymour seek slowdown in appointment process/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: (Resigning CSB Chairwoman Edie) Brooks told The Press that the board won't wait to make a decision, and that she will help select the appointee. “It's my seat that's being filled, and I really have an interest that someone who thinks close to I think takes my seat,” Brooks said. “Everything we're doing is legal.”

Question: Should Chairwoman Edie Brooks have the right to help choose her successor?

Hamilton, Seymour Protest Process

Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour, who were elected in the Coeur d'Alene School District trustee races last month, are accusing the district of “unnecesssarily rushing the appointment process” of Chairwoman Edie Brooks. In a letter sent to Superintendent Hazel Bauman and the Coeur d'Alene Press, Hamilton and Seymour said no reason has been given to expedite the process. And they contend that the district and other trustees are trying to exclude them from providing input. They said in the letter: “We wish to make clear our desire to be included, so that we can start to build a foundation for cooperation among trustees.” You can read the rest of the letter here.

Question: Should Hamilton & Seymour be included in the selection process for a new trustee? Or will that deadlock the process?

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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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