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Gookin Balks At Council Guidelines

At the North Idaho Pachyderm Club last Friday morning, Coeur d'Alene City Councilman Dan Gookin complained that the “Council Member Information Packet” (which he is holding in the inset) is inadequate. Also, according to a Berry Picker who recorded Gookin's talk to the Pachyderms, Gookin said he's not happy with the agreement he was asked to sign as a member of the City Council. Gookin said he refused to sign. Curious, I checked to see who onerous were the council's 24 “standards and norms.” 

  • 1. I will maintain confidentiality on personnel and other matters that are discussed in executive session.
  • 2. I will show respect to Department Heads.
  • 3. We acknowledge the Department Heads are a team and we respect open communication between them.
  • 4. If I have an issue with a Department Head, I will bring it to them first and then to the City Administrator.
  • 5.The citizens are our customers and their problem is our opportunity.
  • All 24 “standards & norms” here.

Question: Would you want your City Council members to abide by the guidelines of the “Coeur d'Alene City Council Standards and Norms”?

Mary Defends Dan’s Meltdown

On the Coeur d'Alene Press Online thread Friday afternoon, Mary Souza was busy defending Councilman Dan Gookin's email outburst at City Administrator Wendy Gabriel that was originally printed at Huckleberries Online: “Dan is unveiling the culture of intimidation at city hall, and he's doing it with a bold dose of humor. Look at the problem: Dan is an ELECTED city council member. Elected by the people of this city to represent them. Yet a major decision was made yesterday at a non-public meeting of Team McEuen, where the only council member present was Mike Kennedy. It was a decision that changed an item the city council voted on last month, but Dan and the other council members were not informed, they had to read about it in the Press online. That's not good management. And this was not the first time these kinds of things have been kept from the other council members.Who's running this city anyway? Is it our elected representatives or is it a small group of powerful insiders pulling the strings? So now the Mayor and Wendy are pointing fingers at Dan? Ha. They are showing poor leadership and management of our city. Dan is standing up for his responsibility as our elected representative on the council. Thank you Dan!”

Question: Did Mary know that Dan had apologized profusely re: his email to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel? So what happened here? Did he exhibit a “bold dose of humor”? Or boorish behavior? And what would Mary be saying if Councilman Mike Kennedy had sent that email to a city employee?

Gookin: But I Apologized

Dan Gookin filed this comment in the SR.com online thread under my Huckleberries column (re: Huckleberries: Councilman mighty testy over early news report/DFO): If Oliveria honestly wanted to report about me, he would have discovered that I apologized to Ms. Gabriel less than an hour after the email was sent. I drove to City Hall and explained that the email was inappropriate and disrespectful. Ms. Gabriel acknowledged my apology, but insisted that I had every right to be “pissed.” Even so, I apologized an additional two times. Oliveria’s pro-status-quo agenda in Coeur d’Alene is well-known. He consistently derides me as a lesser member of the City Council, a “Neanderthal,” and with other immature, name-calling attacks. It is obvious to me and many others that he is actively promoting only one side of City Government in Coeur d’Alene. Caveat lector.

DFO: H/T to Green Libertarian for pointing this out to me in the comments section. I find this comment by Councilman Gookin odd because Gookin interacted with Huckleberries Online and me Friday afternoon, saying nothing about an apology. I appreciate that he did apologize to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel for his nasty email. He was completely out of order in slamming City Administrator Wendy Gabriel the way he did. BTW, you notice how Dan's trying to make this about me rather than his own action?

Thoughts?

Gookin Responds To HBO Post

Moments ago, Councilman Dan Gookin copied the following email to Mayor Sandi Bloem, City Administrator Wendy Gabriel, City Clerk Susan Weathers, Councilman Steve Adams, City Attorney Mike Gridley, Editor Mike Patrick of the Coeur d'Alene Press, Mary Souza & yours truly:

So yet another time, an email sent at City Hall suddenly, and unexplainably, ends up being specifically requested by Dave Oliveria at the Spokesman’s HBO blog. I know that I’ve discussed these “leaks” with you before and each of you has scratched your head, wondering who the staff person or elected official is who is passing along the information. My guess – and this is just a guess – is that the status quo crowd is behind this covert operation to make the “Save McEuen” councilmen look bad. Or, perhaps, it’s just dirty CdA politics being played out, as it always has been. Or it could be that someone is just not used to having head-nodders as councilmen. What. Ever. So I think, in the name of transparency, that I will now start automatically carbon copying Dave on all the emails I send to City Hall. All of them. More below.

Thoughts?

Gookin Blasts Gabriel For Story

Speaking of Gookin, Huckleberries Online has received, via a public information request, an email that he sent to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel, pictured, chastizing her for not giving him a heads up on that McEuen Field announcement Thursday — you know, the one about a possible compromise for boat-trailer parking. City officials are suppose to provide the mayor and council members a heads up in such instances. And Wendy had told a Coeur d'Alene Press reporter not to post his story before she alerted city officials, including Gookin. But the Press inadvertently jumped the gun (for which Editor Mike Patrick properly and commendably apologized to Wendy in writing. Also, Patrick just posted this on his Web site here). Here's the note Gookin fired off to Wendy:

“I find it telling that I have to learn of this move through the Press website and not from City Hall. In fact, it pisses me off. Who is in charge? Are you in charge? Do you ever plan on telling ALL of the council these things are will there be a continuing pattern of my learning about changes at City Hall through the blogs and newspapers? Isn’t there a big sign right outside your office that says, “Have we informed the council?” Can you read? This move doesn’t make me think too highly of your administrative and communications skills.

Thoughts?

Gookin: You Done Me Wrong, DFO

Dan Gookin (re: Gookin's State of the Union to Pachyderms): Thans(sic) for the misinformation, Dave, but it’s what I’ve come to expect from someone who isn’t willing to give me a fair shake. Your bias against me is overt. Whatever. This morning I wasn’t asked to predict the outcome of the recall, and I didn’t make any such a prediction. I referred to the four being recalled, not that they were “going” to be recalled. Your “berry picker” is not a journalist, after all, and you weren’t there.

DFO: @ 11:30 a.m., Dan Gookin challenged the report made out front re: what he said to the North Idaho Pachyderm Club this morning, denying he’d said that Mayor Sandi Bloem & the 3 targeted City Council members would be recalled. Now, I have the exact wording from his speech today: “Those four that, you know, are being recalled … they are not listening to the public and they don’t understand that … umm … this is a tremendous burden.” That’s dang close to what was originally reported … Also, the individual who quoted Dan told him before the meeting that he was taking notes, photos and a recording for Huckleberries Online — at which point, my Berry Picker said, Gookin outed him to others near them at the back of the room in a loud voice. My Berry Picker also offered to let Gookin look at his notes after the meeting to ensure that they were accurate. But Gookin declined to do so. You judge whether or not the proper steps were taken to ensure accuracy — and whether or not the first version was very far off from what was reported: “Those four who are going to be recalled … . ”.

Thoughts?

Gookin State Of Union To Pachyderms

At the Pachyderm Club meeting this morning, Coeur d'Alene Councilman Dan Gookin complained that the “Council Member Information Packet” he's holding is inadequate.  He also was not happy with the agreement the council wanted him to sign as a member of the City Council which can roughly be described as an agreement to cooperate.  Gookin refused to sign.

This morning Coeur d'Alene City Councilman Dan Gookin spoke to the North Idaho Pachyderm Club which is a local Republican organization.  Following are some quotes from his talk (according to an embedded Berry Picker):

  • Gookin commenting generally about the City of Coeur d'Alene:  “Like Congress, the City doesn't necessarily have to follow their own rules.”
  • Gookin in reference to Councilman Mike Kennedy:  “Last Council meeting Mr. Kennedy berated me.”  Kennedy said, “there are no secret meetings.”
  • Gookin speaking of the City's view of LCDC:  “They do not levy taxes, they impact them.
  • Gookin speaking of the City:  “They can use urban renewal as a bank of convenience.”
  • Gookin, in reference to certain members of the City Council who make up the majority:  “Those four that, you know, are being recalled … they are not listening to the public and they don’t understand that … umm … this is a tremendous burden” (from a tape recording).
  • More below

Gookin Now Against Public Art, Too

“Kate,” a statue by David Clemons, is one of the pieces of public art that adorn Lake City. It depicts a turn of the century lady cyclist accompanied by two dogs. You can see it at Riverstone Park. You can also view the many pieces of Coeur d'Alene public art here. (Photo courtesy of city of Coeur d'Alene Web site)

From the City Clerk Susan Weathers' notes from last night's Coeur d'Alene City Council meeting: “Councilman Gookin believes that the Consent Calendar contains too many items to be considered routine.  He also believes that if he requests an item be removed from the Consent Calendar then it does not need to be done by a motion of the full Council but should be automatically taken off the calendar.  He also noted that he opposes spending the dedicated Art Fund during the recession and if spent it should be spent on public property and not NIC’s property.   Councilman Goodlander asked Steve Anthony, Arts Commission liaison, to explain the Art Fund.  Steve Anthony reported that the Arts Commission looked at all areas in town and selected these sites in the public roundabouts.  He noted that the majority of those funds come from the Lake City Development Corporation and funds also come from public works construction contracts which are a dedicated fund that can only be used for the purchase and maintenance of public art.”

Question: Do you support Coeur d'Alene's public art?

Hucks: Adams Touchy About Rebuttals

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”/DFO, Sunday Huckleberries print. More here.

Question: Do you like being corrected by someone?

Bent: Gookin Should Man Up

Bent: Gookin doesn’t have the luxury of remaining neutral on this issue. He has publicly stated his agenda is to eliminate LCDC and his past actions have been laser focused on unsuccessfully opposing and trying to disrupt anything having to do with urban renewal. He is a founding member (along with many other failed city council and mayorial candidates) of OpenCda.com which was designed for the sole purpose of criticizing the elected officials who support urban renewal. Now as an elected representative for the citizens of Coeur d’Alene he is being called on to clarify the obvious misinformation that is being spun by his washed up cronies at OpenCda which launched this recall effort. As a councilman he is OBLIGATED to clarify the city council’s position on the park, and he is refusing to do so. That is both pathetic and true to form for this man… At one point I actually thought Gookin was going to man up and represent the people who elected him, but obviously he chosen to represent and handful of bitter and hateful has-beens at OpenCda.

Thoughts?

Gookin Continues To Claim Neutrality

A Coeur d'Alene City Councilman defended his neutral position Tuesday, despite believing some in City Hall want him to take a stand on the recall issue. The city said that's not the case. Any city employee or committee member may become involved in the recall effort - or its counter movement - so long as it's done on their personal time, City Administrator Wendy Gabriel said. And that includes criticizing council members publicly. “If they want to be involved, they have a right to,” Gabriel said Tuesday. “As long as they're not interfering with city business or using city resources.” The issue stems from a Press letter to the editor from the city's Arts Commission chair, Eden Irgens, published April 13, that described Councilman Dan Gookin's relationship to some people tied to the recall group, RecallCdA/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you think Councilman Dan Gookin is really neutral re: the RecallCDA attempt?

Gookin’s Complaint Brings Response

City Administrator Wendy Gabriel provided this response to Councilman Gookin's complaint about a critical letter to the Coeur d'Alene Press editor from Arts Commission Chairwoman Eden Irgens:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.  However, I think we should be careful about going there. Has Jeff Connaway, Chair of the City’s Sign Board, disgraced and disrespected the Mayor and three Council members by his signature on the petition in favor of a recall?  How is his signature on a public document in favor of a recall accusing the Mayor and three Council members of wrongdoing any different than a Letter to the Editor accusing you of wrong doing? Has Kathy Sims who represents the citizens of CdA disgraced and disrespected the citizens of Cd’A by her signature on the recall petition?  The citizens of CdA voted for the Mayor and the three Council members and Sims now wants them recalled.  She has expressed her views in several public venues. More below.

Thoughts?

Gookin Complains About Press Letter

Councilman Dan Gookin sent the following letter to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel complaining about a letter to the editor of the Coeur d'Alene Press from Eden Irgens, who chairs the city's Art Commission: “A citizen has pointed out a concern to me. I understand that there's a lot of political B.S. floating around out there, but Mr. Irgens has written a letter to the Editor, published in today's CDA Press, wherein she states, “I personally cannot trust [Councilman Gookin] now.” I've learned that Ms. Irgens is chair of the City's Arts Commission. 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. In know that Ms. Irgens has every right to criticize me as an elected official, and I would encourage anyone to express their rights to criticize the government. But this situation presents an incongruity I'd like to address. More below.

DFO: Eden Irgens is a woman, BTW.

Question: Should a member of a Coeur d'Alene city committee be prevented from writing letters to a newspaper or speaking openly re: opposition to a City Council member?

Sara: A Question For Dan Gookin

Stop the Recall co-organizer Sara Meyer has this question for Councilman Dan Gookin: “As a council member you were at the March 6th meeting where the revised plan was discussed and it was discussed at length, so why did you not respond accurately to Ms. Irgens question? You were also aware that the revised plan and costs were on the parks website. Isn’t it your duty as a council member to present factual information, especially since you have stated that you are not taking a position on the recall?”

  • From Coeur d'Alene Press story today:While the old site was taken down Wednesday, City Councilman Dan Gookin had emailed a citizen Tuesday that the high-end estimates were still online. Eden Irgens, according to the email, asked Gookin, acting as a councilman, to clarify that the park cost $14.2 million, not $40 million. Gookin emailed Irgens back that the roughly $40 million figure was on the old McEuen park website. Full story here.

DFO: I confused things here by switching out Sara Meyer's comment from a recent thread with a letter from Eden Irgens from yesterday to which it referred. I'm reposting the original comment by Sara Meyer with a link to Eden Irgens' letter to Councilman Gookin.

Question: Mr. Gookin?

‘Mayor’ Gookin: Pledges To Kill LCDC

In a March 23 OpenCDA thread (comment No. 15 here) re: Eagle ending its urban renewal program, Councilman Dan Gookin responds to a question from Joe Six-Pack by saying he'd kill Lake City Development Corp, if elected mayor of Coeur d'Alene. Quoth: “Even if you want to belabor that point, we still wouldn’t get the majority vote needed to shut down LCDC. There are plenty of other things going on in the City that need addressing, items we can hopefully build a majority on and move forward. If you want the LCDC gone, then elect me a Mayor or two other conservative councilmen and I’d be happy to kill it.”

DFO: Under a scenario in which Mayor Sandi Bloem & 3 council members are recalled, Gov. Butch Otter would appoint a fourth council member to fill a quorum. Ron Edinger, Steve Adams, Dan Gookin and the new member would then appoint a mayor who could be Gookin. The mayor would nominate to other potential council members for approval by the council.

Question: Have we stumbled on the real reason for the recall — Gookin as mayor and a council loaded with Steve Adamses, to shut down the Lake City Development Corp?

Dan/Steve/Ron Would Fill Vacancies

Arsaken: To recall the Mayor and Council means that this group wants to take away our right to vote. They are attempting to invalidate my past vote for Mayor Bloem and these three councilmen. In addition, if the recall is successful, then Gookin, Adams, and Edinger get to select their personal choice as Mayor and Council, thus taking away our choice to vote. The idea of Mayor Souza (someone who ran for office and could not get elected) is enough to make me spend every waking hour trying to stop them.

DFO: I just talked to City Clerk Susan Weathers (who had discussed this with Coeur d'Alene legal counsel) about the progression should Mayor Sandi Bloem & 3 council members be recalled. Gov. Butch Otter would appoint a fourth City Council member to create a quorum w/Steve Adams, Dan Gookin and Ron Edinger. The new quorum would then appoint the mayor. Could be someone inside or outside the council. The mayor would then nominate individuals to fill the two remaining City Council seats. A council with only three voter-approved members would continue to hold office until the 2013 municipal election.

Question: Would you want Councilman Ron Edinger, Steve Adams and Dan Gookin to fill vacancies for the mayor and two council positions, if the recall is successful?

OTV: Where Does Gookin Stand?

OrangeTV: I’m also curious what Gookin’s thoughts are on this recall effort. He’s been suspiciously silent on the issue. Could it be that once he got into his position of city councilman he came to realize that the city council wasn’t all the smoke-and-mirrors, backroom dealing shadiness that he had been harping about for so long and that his co-council members are just normal people following due process and not the conspiracy laden bunch of folks he once imagined?

DFO: I also want to know where Steve Adams and his new best buddy, Ron Edinger, stand on this issue. It's one thing to disagree with other members of the City Council on a major issue — and quite another to support a recall attempt or remain mum while colleagues are trashed.

Question (for non-targetted half of the City Council): Where do you stand on this recall bid?

DanG: Costco Dumps Self Checkout

On his Facebook wall, Councilman DanG reports: “Self-checkout is gone at the CdA Costco. Apparently there were too many missing items for the store to continue the practice.” And comments later that customer service is important to him: If you're going to succeed in business, you need damn fine customer service. I'd rather wait in line at Albertsons for Patty or Denise than use the self-checkout. I think wise businesses will recognize that top-flight customer service is better than being checked out by a robot.”

Question: Which do you prefer? Self checkout? Or check out by a store clerk?

Gookin, Adams No On Corridor Zone

The notes of the Coeur d'Alene City Council meeting last night may explain why new Councilmen Dan Gookin and Steve Adams voted against the proposed zone change to commercial of part of the Education Corridor: “.  “Councilman Adams expressed his belief that his constitutional right to vote on the funding of this project has been violated and therefore will vote against this zone change.  Councilman Gookin voiced his concern of the shoreline regulations and the impact to the alleyways as a result of the eastern parking garage abutting the residents along North Military Drive. ” The motion carried 4-2. (Facebook photo from Steve Adams page)

Question: Can someone explain why Councilman Adams would think he has a constitutional right to vote on the funding for the Education Corridor?

Gookin Opposes Bruning Appointment

Interestingly, new Councilman Dan Gookin was the only City Council member to oppose the appointment of former Councilman John Bruning to the Natural Open Space Ad Hoc & Arts Commission last night. Even Councilman Steve Adams, who defeated Bruning in a three-way race in November, voted for the appointnments. Here's how the minutes read: “Motion by Goodlander, seconded by Kennedy to appoint John Bruning to the Natural Open Space Ad Hoc Committee and the Arts Commission, to re-appoint Kelly Ostrom to the Personnel Appeals Board, and re-appoint Jim VanSky to the CDA TV Committee.  Councilman Gookin believes that John Bruning is already serving on two committees and, therefore, will vote against him being appointed to these two committees.  Mayor Bloem noted that the two committees the John Burning is currently a member of, as mentioned by Councilman Gookin, are ad hoc committees and not standing committees.  Motion carried with Gookin voting no. ”

Question: Do you agree with Gookin's reason for voting no?

Edinger Will Get McEuen 2nd Tonight

Time for a vote one way or the other. The Coeur d'Alene City Council will consider whether to put the conceptual plan for the McEuen Field redesign project out to a public advisory vote at 6 tonight.  The agenda item, scheduled under old business, was requested by City Councilman Ron Edinger. Edinger requested a handful of times in 2011 that the multi-million park proposal be put in the hands of the voters to gauge the public's support on the project before any of the proposed changes are put in. It never received a second in 2011, so the council members never had to vote up or down on the idea. New city council members Dan Gookin and Steve Adams, who earned their seats after the November election, have said they plan to second Edinger's motion this time around, so that should change tonight/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: I believe the City Council will vote 4-3, with Mayor Sandi Bloem casting the tie-breaker, to oppose a public vote on McEuen Field. What do you think?

DanG: Don’t Blame Me For Doomsday

“Contrary to what they're saying in various parts of town, the decision to move the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight has nothing to do with my recent election to City Council” — Councilman Dan Gookin re: “Doomsday Clock moves one minute closer to midnight.”

Question: Do you expect nuclear war in your lifetime?

Edinger Motion Likely To Get A 2nd

Councilman Ron Edinger's motion will receive a second. Then whether the McEuen Field project should be put to a public advisory vote will be up for the City Council to decide Tuesday, Jan. 17, the first full meeting for new councilmen and vote-supporters Dan Gookin and Steve Adams. Councilman Ron Edinger's motion will receive a second. Then whether the McEuen Field project should be put to a public advisory vote will be up for the City Council to decide Tuesday, Jan. 17, the first full meeting for new councilmen and vote-supporters Dan Gookin and Steve Adams. With the election of Adams and Gookin, who were seated Tuesday, that's expected to change/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you expect a 4-3 vote against Councilman Ron Edinger's motion when he gets a second (from either Gookin or Adams), with Mayor Sandi Bloem casting the tie-breaker?

Gookin, Adams Join CdA Council

Item: Change comes to Cd'A council: Adams, Gookin take oath; Bruning, Hassell honored/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: After the presentations, Adams, Gookin and Edinger took their oaths, and the victors were seated. Their first order of business included voting for Mike Kennedy as Council President. Kennedy earned the title unanimously. After the meeting, Edinger, the former president, said he was content giving up the title since he had served in the role several times, for different mayors. Gookin acknowledged he'd had different opinions than Kennedy in the past, but it was a good move as the new members work together with incumbents.

Question: What do you make of move by Dan Gookin and Steve Adams to support the motion to make Mike Kennedy president of the Coeur d'Alene City Council?

Dan, Steve, & Mike Do Lunch

On his Facebook wall, Councilman-elect Dan Gookin posts: “Went to councilman school today. Very interesting. I relish wielding my new-found elected power. Seriously: It was informative, though most of it was quite familiar. Ate lunch with Steve Adams and City Attorney Gridley.”

Question: Anyone want to make up dialogue re: what was said among Dan, Steve Adams, and City Attorney Mike Gridley at lunch today?

Kennedy: Go Slow On McEuen Field

It's not getting shoved through. In fact, before the Coeur d'Alene City Council takes up McEuen Field again, it should wait until new members take their seats, City Councilman Mike Kennedy said. It would be prudent to wait for Dan Gookin and Steve Adams to become council members in January before the body tackles anything to do with McEuen Field again, he said late last week. “People spoke this week and we have two new council members, so we'll see where it goes,” Kennedy said Friday/Tom Hasslinger, CdA Press. More here.

Question: Do you endorse Mike Kennedy's wait-until-new-guys-sworn-in approach to McEuen Field?

Mary Gets Around To Gloating

In case you were wondering when Mary Souza would get around to gloating re: the election results Tuesday, you need wonder no longer. She does in her weakly newsletter. “Well, the good news is there will be two new voices on city council now.  I know their votes may not carry the issues but they can speak out in public, televised meetings and ask questions.  They can make a motion on a topic and get a second, so the whole council is forced to discuss the issue in public.  Wow, that's big.  Even if the final vote does not go the way many of us want, at least the council members have to give some sort of rationale for their decision.  It’s a great step in the right direction.” Mary sez the three biggest issues in the election were: 1. Public vote on McEuen, 2. High salaries & raises at the city, and 3. Arrogance & disrespect from mayor & council. Funny, Dan Gookin, who knocked on many doors, said the issues were but three: 1. McEuen vote, 2. Are you an incumbent, and 3. Are you a Republican. I'll trust Dan on this one.

Question: Will one of the other council members change his/her position on a public vote on McEuen Field?

RRepubs Felt In Nonpartisan Races

Coeur d'Alene Councilman-elect Dan Gookin hangs out with Reagan Republican brain trust Ron Lahr, left, and Jeff Ward at the North Idaho Pachyderm Club meeting Friday morning.

After Tuesday's election, Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem attributed KCRR's influence as a key factor in the election's outcome. Both Steve Adams, who won seat 5, and Gookin are KCRR board members and were supported by the political group during the campaign. Both won easily. But how much influence the political group deserves is split. Even the group's president, Jeff Ward, who also worked with KCRR member Ron Lahr on Strategery, thinks it's getting too much credit. “It's nice to get those kind of kudos from the mayor, but she actually over-emphasizes our importance in the elections,” he said. “It was a series of things; it was McEuen Field, it was pay increases - and Republicans turned out to vote.” With the help of KCRR/Tom Hasslinger, CdA Press. More here.

Question: What factor had a bigger impact on the outcome of the Coeur d'Alene City Council elections — McEuen Field controversy or Reagan Republicans involvement?

DFO: Another Look At McEuen Field

In discussing his election win Tuesday, Dan Gookin told HucksOnline that people wanted to know about three things when he knocked on their doors: Where did he stand on the McEuen Field public vote? Was he an incumbent? Was he a Republican? That might explain the mood of Coeur d'Alene voters Tuesday. Meanwhile, Mayor Sandi Bloem & the three council members who'll face re-election in 2013 are determined to move ahead with changes to McEuen Field. That would mean a 4-3 vote is in place, opposing a public vote. That would also mean that the 4 incumbents are gambling with their political careers that the improvements will be so impressive that many residents will take a second look at their opposition to moving the boat launch, American Legion Baseball diamond, and 3rd Street parking lot. On the other hand, with the effectiveness of the Reagan Republican machine, Sandi Bloem, Mike Kennedy, Woody McEvers, & Deanna Goodlander may figure that they're toast in two years any way. So why not proceed? I hate to see the CAVErs (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) be given a stick to beat the Bloem administration for another 2 years. I'd also like to see changes to the under-utilized green space. If nothing else, I want to see the lower boat-trailer lot & the 3rd Street lot moved, to expand green space. I suspect most residents want to see some change. I'd also like to see some sort of compromise at this point that would bring an end to the war on McEuen Field. It's past time for this community to come together — DFO.

Question: Is there room for compromise on McEuen Field?

3rd Times The Charm For Gookin

JohnA: My hat’s off to Dan (Gookin) and to all of the candidates. I have no idea why anyone would want to run for City Council. 750 bucks a month for the beating they take? No thanks. Al told me once that serving on the Council cost him tens of thousands of dollars because the time requirements took him away from his business. Of course, in Dan’s case, I imagine he could always write ‘City Council for Dummies’ during the meetings when the boring stuff is considered. In the meantime, congrats Dan. The third time was truly the charm. :)

Question: Have you ever run for office, at any level, from student body offices to local and beyond? Did you win? If not, did you try again?