February 22, 2011 in Idaho, News

Public vote unlikely on McEuen Field

By The Spokesman-Review

Click the thumbnail to see a graphic of proposed changes to McEuen Field.

A public vote on a plan to remake a popular park in downtown Coeur d’Alene is unlikely following rejection of the idea Tuesday by a city committee that forwards agenda items to the City Council.

The city’s General Services Committee — comprised of councilmen Mike Kennedy, Ron Edinger and John Bruning — voted against forwarding the idea to the full council. Edinger, who has been outspoken in his opposition to key components of the McEuen Field plan, made a motion to forward the idea to the council, but it died for lack of a second.

“This is gonna be a big issue. It’s going to be a change for downtown Coeur d’Alene,” Edinger said. “Myself, I say let the public vote.”

But Bruning and Kennedy disagreed. Bruning, a member of the 21-person steering committee that created the plan with help from a professional design team, said the committee has listened to the public and is still tweaking the plan based on that input. He said it’s the job of elected officials to weigh public input and make the best decisions possible for constituents.

Kennedy agreed, saying he doesn’t support every aspect of the plan, but that he “wasn’t elected to dodge the tough issues.” He said if the city can’t find “equal or better” replacement sites for park features slated for removal — such as the Third Street boat launch and ball fields — he won’t vote for the plan.

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