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An interesting little factoid among all the election statistics that flooded us Tuesday night & Wednesday morning involved the North Idaho College elections. Seems Christie Wood & Ken Howard both won the Post Falls precincts. Christie swept all the Post Falls precincts. And Ken won all but two of them. Before the election, there was some hubbub that Post Falls was clamoring for a change on the North Idaho College Board of Trustees. And that opponents Robert Ketchum (former college work-force training director) and hard-charging Ron Nilson (CEO of Groundforce Manufacturing), who ran as a ticket, were favorite sons in Post Falls.
Free of NIC trustee control and manipulation from the president’s office, Fort Sherman Institute became immediately profitable and is a national leader in its field. The program could be buying a lot of test tubes for NIC chemistry classes and paying instructors of English and math. It could also be a flagship program that would separate NIC from everyone else. Instead, it is making David Dose a wealthy man, in part because he continued to lean on Dr. Ketchum for advice/Mike Patrick, Coeur d’Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.
DFO: I’ve received a coupla inquiries re: this odd editorial in the Coeur d’Alene Press Sunday. Fort Sherman Institute was a colossal flop under the college auspices, sucking more than $800,000 from college coffers. Mebbe the editorial was a means to soft sell Robert Ketchum’s defeat at the hands of incumbent Christie Wood. Who knows?
Question: What do you make of this odd editorial?
All 4 candidates for the North Idaho College Board of Trustees promised to support the development of the NIC education corridor. When the question was presented to him, Ron Nilson answered simply “yes” when asked if he supported the corridor. “I don’t have horns and a tail,” he said. “I support the education corridor. But I don’t support going forward without a plan.” When opponent Ken Howard explained that a plan has been in place for years for infrastructure and that it will continue to evolve with public input, Nilson responded that “there’s a difference between a well-defined plan and a concept.” Robert Ketchum, Nilson’s running mate, said the purchase of the education corridor is final. At this point, “no action could resist” the corridor. Incumbent Christie Wood said she’s committed to developing the corridor because NIC is landlocked and experiencing “tremendous growth.”
DFO: I attended the debate and posted this to ensure that every candidate is on the record supporting the Education Corridor. The property is too precious to the future of our community college and higher-education opportunities in the community to allow this specific question to go unanswered.
Phaedrus: I’m at a loss to figure out why the voc-tech crowd wants to replace Christie Wood. Herb, it’s personal. Robert Ketchum was let go by NIC, the Trustees approved of that action. Ron Nilson’s vo-tech gravy train was disrupted and Ron Nilson belongs to the “My way or the Highway” school of thinking, he is unwilling (perhaps incapable) of seeing another point of view. So he recruits (sponsors?) Ketchum to run. And despite leading the governing board of KTEC he also wants to have input into the governing board of NIC. If Nilson wins, I hear that NIC’s new colors will be yellow and black and the Cardinal logo will be replaced by a bulldozer.
Question: Do you think North Idaho College has a good balance between academic classes and vo-tech/pro-tech ones?
(Ron) Nilson, pictured, and (Robert) Ketchum stand apart because they are committed to helping students in credit and non-credit classes reach their full potential not just intellectually, but economically. They understand that at the end of the educational line, if the graduate doesn’t have a good job, the education probably doesn’t have good value. We’re convinced Ketchum and Nilson will expand and improve relationships within the community and at the state level. Both have earned the respect of Idaho’s state and federal officials, so when they talk about NIC’s needs, those holding the keys to resources will listen/Mike Patrick, Coeur d’Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Agree/disagree with the endorsement?
Luke Malek & Alison McArthur of the Kootenai County Young Professionals are looking for questions to ask North Idaho College trustee candidates at a televised forum from 6 to 7:30 Monday at Post Falls City Hall. I plan to live-blog the event, which will feature separate debates between, first, Christie Wood and Robert Ketchum, and then Ron Nilson and Ken Howard. I’ll forward the questions to Alison by 10 a.m. Monday. Luke will serve as moderator of the event.
Question: Do you have a question you’d like to see answered by NIC trustee candidates?
At OpenCDA, the HBO Commenter Formerly Known As DanG offers his two picks for North Idaho College Board of Trustees: Ron Nilson and Robert Ketchum. He states that the two will be able to unmask the happy face that NIC displays to the community when beneath the surface there’s all sorts of skullduggery going on. Then, he mumbles something about graduation rates and that lawsuit over the Education Corridor lease-purchase agreement (that Judge Mitchell tossed and now is before Idaho Supreme Court on appeal). Seems DanG believes Nilson and Ketchum will put an end to the scam by big developers and LCDC to line their buddies’ pockets in development of the education corridor. DanG believes Nilson will win but doubts that Ketchum can beat Wood because “there are too many doofi in this county who will vote for her because they believe her to be ‘nice.’” Full DanG bloviation here.
Question: Did DanG get it right — Wood & Nilson will emerge as winners of the NIC trustee races? Are you one of the “doofi” who thinks Christie is “nice”?
The candidates fielded a question from the audience regarding their thoughts on whether the mill site land for the education corridor should have been purchased for NIC. (Ken) Howard, pictured, said he supported the acquisition, calling it “a tremendous necessity to the life and vitality of this educational institution.” “If we had not accomplished the feat of adding that mill site to the land surrounding it, NIC would have been trapped in a much smaller footprint, and its opportunity to grow and to meet the needs of this community would have been severely confined.” (Ron) Nilson disagreed with his opponent, and criticized the current board for moving forward on the land deal without a plan/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.
Question: Will a candidate’s stand on the education corridor influence who will get your votes in the North Idaho College trustees’ races?
- Weekend Poll: Christie Wood was the top vote-getter in a weekend poll that asked which 2 candidates do you support for North Idaho College trustees. Wood received 160 of 511 multiple-votes cast for 31.31%, followed by Ken Howard with 141 of 511 votes for 27.59%. Robert Ketchum finished third with 106 votes (20.74%), edging Ron Nilson with 104 (20.35%).
- Today’s Question: Which Kootenai County courthouse race do you consider most interesting?
In the comments section, ThomG points out that OpenCDA.com is claiming incorrectly — what else is new? — that Christie Wood is unwilling to debate Robert Ketchum in their North Idaho College Board of Trustees race. Sez Mary: “Come on, Christie, it’s time to ‘woman-up’ and schedule a public debate!” ThomG points that all four trustee candidates for the two NIC posts will participate in at least two candidate forums — noon Tuesday at the ASNIC forum on NIC campus and noon Friday at the Democratic Club luncheon. (The Young Professionals are also scheduling an NIC forum next week.) Seems Christie doesn’t have time for a Reagan Republicans forum that Mary favors. Also ThomG: “It is surprising that Dan Gookin an author and notoriously anal-retentive critic of bad grammar and misspelling would actually misspell Christies name (as “Christy”). Multiple times.
Question: Is two or three debate forums enough for any candidate. Or do they also have to attend Mary & Dan’s Reagan Republicans forum to make things official?
In case you were wondering who to support in the North Idaho College trustees’ races, you should consider the endorsement this morning by Mary Souza/OpenCDA. Mary’s smitten with the tag team of Ron Nilson, pictured, & Robert Ketchum. Ketchum is an “amazing professional” — Mary’s description, not mine — who’s running against incumbent Christie Wood. Nilson, according to Mary, “is a smart, practical, successful businessman who lives in the real world. He knows budgets, sales, hiring, firing and making a business grow. He is also a terrific mentor of young people” Nilson is running against Ken Howard, the Coeur d’Alene attorney who helped bankrupt the Aryan Nations, for the seat now held by Rolly Williams. Mary goes on to harangue Wood & Howard for not agreeing to participate in a debate that the Reagan Republicans are trying to put together. Do you blame ‘em? Mary also hearts Cliff Hayes for county clerk.
Question: How will Mary Souza’s endorsements affect you?
Associated Students of North Idaho College is hosting a board of trustees candidate forum at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 19, in the Edminster Student Union Building Lake Coeur d’Alene Room. The one-hour forum will consist of timed answers to questions gathered from student input followed by some questions from the audience. All four candidates have confirmed that they will attend. Robert Ketchum is running against incumbent Christie Wood for Seat B. Ken Howard is running against Ron Nilson for Seat A, which is currently held by Rolly Williams who is retiring.
DFO: I have a question that should be posed to Ron Nilson (pictured) during this forum or some other. In mid-November 2008, he attended a Education Corridor forum as an observer. I kept a note that Jay Baldwin sent me the next day in which Jay told me that Nilson was upset about professional technical education at the college. At one point during the night, Baldwin quotes Nilson as saying re: news that Idaho ranked 47th of 50 states in the number of citizens per capita with a 4-year degree ” … maybe being 47th in the country [in terms of the number of college graduates per capita in the state] is a good thing. Maybe Idaho doesn’t need people with 4 and 6 year degrees.” In his note Nov. 13, 2008, Baldwin said, “I almost fell out of my chair.” My question for Nilson: Do you still feel that a four-year degree isn’t that important? BTW, I contacted Baldwin today, and he stands behind the note that he sent me.
I wrote this on Jan. 8: “As I read between the lines re: the stepped up attacks on North Idaho
College leadership by the usual suspects and the Coeur d’Alene Press, I
had one of those “aha moments.” Can the increasing hysteria about NIC
leadership, and especially Trustee Christie Wood, have anything to do
with the fact that Christie’s term expires this year. She’ll have to
seek re-election in November, if she wants to continue serving the
college.” The question I offered at the time was: “Question: Is the college Board of Trustees the next focus of attack
by local partisans who came thisclose to winning two seats on the Coeur d’Alene City Council in November?” About the same time, in the Coeur d’Alene Press, Ron Nilson and District 5 legislators (Bob Nonini, Frank Henderson, and Jim Hammond) were haranguing the board’s decision to dump Robert Ketchum as workforce training center director. (Photo: NIC trustee candidate Robert Ketchum)
Question: What do you think is going on with the attempt by Ron Nilson and Robert Ketchum to win two seats on the North Idaho Board of Trustees?
… does every online story in the Coeur d’Alene Press open up to paid advertising of quixotic Ron Nilson and his Sancho Panza, Robert Ketchum? I don’t have a subscription for news — if there’s any — behind the Brand X firewall. But I just clicked on the top 6 or 7 stories online that are free to all. Most have an ad for either Nilson or Ketchum in their bid for the North Idaho College Board of Trustees. Some have ads for both. That’s either a good advertising buy. Or extra good ad placement by an accommodating newspaper.
Question: What do you think?
Here’s the billboard promoting the challenger team of Ron Nilson and Robert Ketchum for the North Idaho College Board of Trustees. It’s located on Northwest Boulevard, north of the Highway 95 overpass, by the state liquor store. Kathy Plonka, my SR buddy, snapped this for me. I published the billboard with incumbent Christie Wood’s advertisement (at north entrance to NIC on NW Blvd) Thursday. You can see it here. You also learned yesterday that Christie’s husband, Dave, is the ad exec for both billboards. See here.
- Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
- Thursday Scanner Traffic/DFO, Huckleberries Online
- Homelessness increases 50% in Kootenai County/Alecia Warren, CdA Press
- Rathdrum couple aims to build $2.5M science center/Tania Dall, KXLY
- Sheriff drops the wait in shooting investigations/Meghann Cuniff, SR
- Idaho Supremes to hear Highway 12 mega-load case today/Betsy Russell, EOB
- Blanchette: A conversation with Chiefs, Indians owner Bobby Brett/SR
- PHD, IDEQ issue alert for Hauser Lake/Brian Walker, CdA Press
- Post Falls stops Lake City to win IEL title/Mark Nelke, CdA Press
Question: Which billboard do you like best?
One of you Berry Pickers submitted this photo of Christie Wood’s new billboard advertisement along Northwest Boulevard, at the northern entrance to North Idaho College. Wood, of course, is running as the incumbent to retain her college trustee spot against ex-college workforce training director Robert Ketchum. Ketchum is running on a ticket with Ron Nilson, who opposes Coeur d’Alene attorney Ken Howard for the position being vacated by Rolly Williams. A billboard featuring Nilson & Ketchum is located further north on Northwest Boulevard. One Hucks quipster noted that Wood’s billboard leads to the college while the other is near the liquor store. BTW, I’ve asked photographer Kathy Plonka to snap some shots of both billboards.
Question: Can you remember a time when candidates for North Idaho College trustee spots advertised on billboards?
Item: Wood seeks second term on NIC Board of Trustee/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press
More Info: A Coeur d’Alene police sergeant, Wood is a supervisor in the department’s detective division and serves as the agency’s public information officer. She has 22 years of law enforcement experience. Wood believes her professional work, and as a member of two other boards - an eight-year stint from 2000 to 2008 as a trustee for the Coeur d’Alene School District, and a current position, for more than two years, on the Kootenai County Task Force for Human Relations - keep her plugged in and aware of the needs of those served by NIC.
Question: Who do you support in this race — Christie Wood or Robert Ketchum? (BTW, what do you make of Ketchum & Ron Nilson running as a team for the NIC board)?
Item: Ketchum running against Wood for seat on NIC Board of Trustees/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press
More Info: Ketchum is campaigning with Ron Nilson, who is running against Ken Howard for Seat A on the college board. … Ketchum is aware of critics who say he is seeking election to the board because he has an ax to grind. “Of course, I’m disappointed. However, I have nothing but a desire to see North Idaho College continue to be a leader in academics and workforce development,” Ketchum said.
DFO: I’m surprised that Ketchum wasn’t asked about the Education Corridor. That’s a critical issue in this campaign.
Question: Do you think Ketchum has an ax to grind re: his forced ouster at the workforce training center?
As reported her via Rumorama last week, Ronald Nilson, president of Ground Force MFG in Post Falls (pictured left), and Robert Ketchum are running as a tandem to seek North Idaho College seats in this falls trustee elections. Nilson, who led the successful campaign for the Kootenai Technical Education Campus levies, and Ketchum, the former workforce training director whose contact wasn’t renewed, filed today. Ketchum will run against incumbent Christie Wood for Seat B, while Nilson will face Coeur d’Alene attorney Ken Howard for the open Seat A being vacated by retiring Rolly Williams. In another expected move, place holder Ronald “The Dragon Slayer” Johnson dropped out of the race against Wood.