City Council, Position 5, City of Coeur d’Alene
In the city known as tree city USA, it’s no longer safe to be a tree. A dozen or so more trees that fronted North Idaho Museum were leveled last week in the name of flood prevention. They join hundreds of trees toppled along waterfront under edict by the Army Corps of Engineers and even some knocked over by Mother Nature during Wind Storm 2015.
Toby Schindelbeck, a relatively recent California transplant, should fire the advisers helping him run his campaign for the Coeur d’Alene City Council. First, he angered some residents in a debate with Councilman Ron Edinger by saying he knows from his experience in California how to help Coeur d’Alene avoid becoming another Oakland. Or Spokane. Coeur d’Alene residents love being told by a newcomer – especially from California – what they’re doing wrong. Not. Secondly, Schindelbeck’s campaign circulated a flier stating that Edinger is a “registered Democrat” and a career politician. Many Lake City residents consider a Democrat to be almost as bad as an ex-Californian. Funny thing, though? Edinger is a registered Republican. Finally, the Second Amendment Alliance of southern Idaho supported Schindelbeck by depicting Edinger on its Facebook page as being anti-gun. But Edinger owns three guns and is part of a gun-loving and hunting family. The Second Amendmenters advocate permitless carry of concealed firearms. They misfired at Edinger because he voted for a city ordinance that banned guns from Coeur d’Alene parades. The ordinance was put in place years ago to prevent the defunct Aryan Nations from carrying loaded firearms during its reign of annoyance. So who’s counting? Is that strike three for Schindelbeck? We’ll find out on Nov. 3. Technical difficulties
Dan English has more interest than most in the stand taken by Kentucky’s Kim Davis. Davis, of course, is the county clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. English, as many of you know, was a multiterm county clerk in ruby-red Kootenai County until that “D” after his name caught up with him. English describes himself as a Christian and a Democrat, as Davis does. Unlike Davis, however, he would have no problem issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple. English told Huckleberries Online ( www.spokesman.com/ blogs/hbo) readers: “I would uphold my oath of office. If I couldn’t do that, my ethics and personal moral compass would require me to resign. I could respect someone who held that position but was also willing to pay the personal price to resign. Maybe they do things differently in Kentucky.” Bear in the ’hood
Dan English is experiencing the ultimate “what goes around comes around” moment. Six years ago at this time, as Kootenai County clerk, Dan was about to circulate instructions to local towns about the approaching city elections. Among the races that fall was the one between Coeur d’Alene incumbent Mike Kennedy and challenger Jim Brannon, then the executive director of Habitat for Humanity. The Kennedy-Brannon race was going to be contested for months after the vote count, as a result of a legal action filed by Brannon and settled by the Idaho Supreme Court. On election night, Kennedy won by five votes. When the dust settled many months later, Kennedy was still declared the winner – by three votes. Now, fast forward to today. English is the executive director of Habitat for Humanity and seeking a Coeur d’Alene council seat held by an incumbent. And Brannon? He’s now the county clerk whose office will count votes in the Coeur d’Alene election in November. English has two wishes at this point: to win the three-way election for Councilman Steve Adams’ seat. And to win by way more than five votes. Sweet deal
Unbowed, Coeur d’Alene Councilman Steve Adams didn’t retreat from criticism on Huckleberries that his ongoing votes against use of federal funding for city purchases, hires and projects are “goofy.” In fact, the conservative hardliner seized on the term “goofy” from Huckleberries Last to launch a counter strike at a council meeting last week. Said he, as the Coeur d’Alene Public TV Channel 19 camera rolled: “What Mr. Oliveria has done has used a juvenile tactic called a ‘logical fallacy’ in the form of an ad hominem attack. The reason he did this is because he didn’t have an intelligent debatable argument to present. So he resorted to name calling, which is very immature in my opinion.”
Councilman Steve Adams of Coeur d’Alene continues to provide evidence that rigid ideology can be harmful to a community’s health. For almost four years, conservative hard-liner Adams has voted against taking federal money for purchases, road construction and city projects. He almost singlehandedly scuttled a mandated, megamillion-dollar expansion of the Coeur d’Alene sewage treatment plant because federal dollars were involved. Last week, he voted in a council subcommittee against federal funding that would help the city of Coeur d’Alene hire three more police officers. The city is several officers short. Adams figures the federal money goes away after three years, and Coeur d’Alene will then have to pick up the whole tab. However, he doesn’t realize that attrition and retirement will allow the department to move those three officers into open spots before the 75 percent federal funding expires. He took his, ahem, “principled” stand despite the outpouring of community support for Coeur d’Alene police after the May 5 slaying of Sgt. Greg Moore. Remember this vote if Adams runs for re-election this year. It’s a joke, son