The next Coeur d’Alene City Council election is shaping up to be a referendum on the multimillion-dollar plan to remake McEuen Field, downtown’s popular, but aging, waterfront park.
Friday was the filing deadline for city council races. Three open seats have drawn 11 contenders. Numerous candidates also filed for mayoral and council races throughout North Idaho.
The Coeur d’Alene City Council voted 5-1 in May to move forward on a plan to update McEuen Field with multiple features that would open it to a wider array of people. However, the plan also includes removing the baseball fields and the Third Street boat launch and placing them elsewhere in the city. Only veteran Councilman Ron Edinger voted against the plan. None of the current council members seconded his motion to put the matter to a public vote.
Now, several of the people running for council list McEuen Field as either as one of, or their top issue in the race. And many favor putting the matter to a public vote. Others favor moving ahead with the plan or say a public vote would be moot because the four other sitting council members oppose the public vote.
Other issues raised by Coeur d’Alene challengers and incumbents are: oversight of the city’s urban renewal agency, preparing the city to attract business in a global economy, support for people with mental illness, and the city’s recent pay raises for employees.