A controversial plan to redesign McEuen Park won’t be put to a public vote, the Coeur d’Alene City Council decided Tuesday night.
The City Council voted 4-3 not to hold an advisory vote on the plan, following two hours of passionate testimony from citizens on the plan to redesign the popular green space on the city’s waterfront. Mayor Sandi Bloem cast the tie-breaking vote.
“I don’t think that good planning can take place in a public vote,” she said. The redesign is still a work in progress, Bloem said.
Council members Deanna Goodlander, Mike Kennedy and Woody McEvers joined Bloem in voting against the public advisory vote. Council members Ron Edinger, Steve Adams and Dan Gookin favored an advisory vote.
“This is a big change for downtown Coeur d’Alene and it’s a big change for the citizens of Coeur d’Alene,” Edinger said. “They should have a vote.”
Supporters of McEuen Park’s redesign say the park is underutilized. They say it’s time to replace aging ballfields with amenities that will attract more use from kids and families. The conceptual plan incorporates a sledding hill, children’s play area, a grand plaza and waterfront promenade.
Detractors say the multimillion-dollar remake is too ambitious. Strong opposition has developed to relocating the ballfields and the Third Street boat launch.
Man arrested after police car crash
A man in a stolen car swerved into a police cruiser during a chase in north Spokane Tuesday afternoon.
The suspect, Aaron D. Lyons, 33, was arrested after he crashed the 1992 Honda Civic into shrubbery while trying to turn into the Rite-Aid parking lot on North Division Street. Deputy Jeff Thurman blocked the Civic with his patrol vehicle and arrested Lyons, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
The chase began about 12:39 p.m. when Thurman tried to stop the Civic in the 8500 block of North Country Homes Road.
Before Lyons crashed near Rite-Aid, Thurman tried to stop the car with a “pursuit intervention technique,” but Lyons swerved into Thurman’s car to avoid the move, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The Civic was reported stolen on Sunday. Lyons also had a stolen credit card with him, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Lyons was booked into jail on felony charges of second-degree assault, attempting to elude police, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, second-degree malicious mischief and possession of stolen property, and misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence and driving with license suspended.
Meghann M. Cuniff