Cda Incumbents Win Re-Election And Planning Commissioner Chris Copstead Wins Seat On City Council
Incumbent Dixie Reid edged out newcomer Sam Sears to keep her seat on the City Council by less than 200 votes.
Meanwhile, 26-year veteran Ron Edinger easily won another four-year term, collecting the most votes of any candidate. Chris Copstead, who has been on the city Planning and Zoning Commission for eight years, also won with solid numbers second only to Edinger’s.
“I didn’t expect any margins,” Reid said of the returns. “I’m always humbled when people vote me to represent them.” Reid has been on the council 16 years.
Edinger credits his success to his belief in “common sense for the common good.”
“People have confidence in what I believe in and what I stand for,” he said.
Copstead was a mixture of emotions. “I’m ecstatic, … I’m happy … and I’m very relieved,” he said.
Re-electing incumbents is traditional in Coeur d’Alene politics. Though Mayor Ray Stone was turned out of office by voters in 1993, it has been a decade since city voters have denied a veteran councilman more time in office.
This year’s council races barely had a pulse, much less a fiery moment or intense campaigning. There was little disagreement among candidates.
Only Edinger and Sears opposed the city’s decision to annex Blackwell Island, just south of the Spokane River.
There were heated feelings among some citizens about that decision because it extends water and sewers across the river and makes development in the rural area south of Coeur d’Alene much easier. Still, Blackwell Island never cropped up as an election issue.
The candidates talked about growth in general terms, as well as streets and taxes - the predictable salt, sugar and flour of city politics. They offered similar solutions for dealing with increasing traffic and keeping sufficient money coming to the city coffers.
The quiet race “showed people were pretty satisfied with the city and city government,” Edinger said.
The turnout was fairly average for an off-year election. But there were no major issues to draw Coeur d’Alene voters to the polls. Also, the season’s first nasty weather probably kept some people at home.
The election results will mean little to the political disposition of the council. No matter who wins the at-large seats, the new council is expected to continue paving the potholes and approving new housing developments as councils have for years.
The only wild card is the question of whom Mayor Al Hassell appoints to fill Councilman Dan English’s spot. English left last month after being appointed Kootenai County clerk.
Hassell decided to wait until after the election to select English’s successor. The mayor is expected to make a decision in early December.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo