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Huckleberries: Adams touchy about public contradiction

Sun., April 22, 2012

Steve Adams, a new Coeur d’Alene councilman who refuses to support any issue that involves federal dollars, doesn’t like correction.

After being corrected twice by City Attorney Mike Gridley for questionable statements, Adams asked Gridley in writing not to rebut him again during council meetings. Adams wrote that Gridley appeared to be dissing him to the mayor and council, staff and “especially the public.” Adams told Gridley to offer his opinions in private.

Gridley responded that he has “a duty to correct any inaccurate statements of law or fact made by (Adams) or anyone else regarding the legality of city actions.” As an example, Gridley said, he would not say anything if someone opines that 15th Street is rough and should be repaved. However, Gridley wrote, if someone says 15th Street needs to be repaved because the city is violating the law “then I have a duty to express my legal opinion on the matter. It would be malpractice and a dereliction of duty if I didn’t.”

Gridley, by the way, refused to provide Huckleberries with a copy of the exchange, citing attorney-client privilege. But Huckleberries has its ways.

Gookin objection

The other Coeur d’Alene council newby doesn’t like to be criticized either. Dan Gookin was unhappy that Arts Commission Chairman Eden Irgens questioned his neutrality in the attempted recall of Mayor Sandi Bloem and three other council members. In a letter to the Coeur d’Alene Press, Irgens said she didn’t trust Gookin (who, like Adams, is allied with recall organizers).

Huffed Gookin in a letter to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel: “I find it disturbing that the city would allow or tolerate a committee member, let alone a committee chair, to publicly criticize a councilman in that way.”

Gabriel pointed out to Gookin that Sign Board Chairman Jeff Connaway was one of 20 signers of the paperwork that launched the recall. Few residents, wrote Gabriel, would apply for city committee positions if that meant they had to give up their freedom of speech. Rather than trying to muzzle city volunteers, she advised, Gookin could vote against Irgens when her reappointment comes up.

Big boys have big feelings.


The Stop the Recall movement ( www. will be sending out 21,600 letters to registered voters in 14,500 homes this week. Organizers Sara Meyer and Jennifer Drake have also set a rally from 5 to 7 p.m. next Wednesday at Art on the Alley, 107 Fourth St., in downtown Coeur d’Alene. … Pity the guy at the wheel of that logging truck who was trying to get his commercial license Friday when he leveled a Post Falls light pole at Highway 41 and Poleline. … A key economic figure in Post Falls advised in a memo last week that the political unrest in Coeur d’Alene has “shaken the confidence in the region” of several businesses, including one from the Inland Northwest, considering relocation to North Idaho.

Parting shot

Actress/resident Patty Duke is among the growing number of individuals and groups opposing the Coeur d’Alene recall: “I am the proud aunt of City Councilman Mike Kennedy,” she wrote to the Coeur d’Alene Press. “Having stated that, I do recognize that our familial bond does not require me to forfeit my citizenship in Coeur d’Alene and the rights afforded me.” Just don’t volunteer for a city committee under Councilman Gookin’s watch.

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