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Today’s Top Post: Troy Time?

COEUR d'ALENE - The Coeur d'Alene City Council agreed Tuesday night to reopen discussion of replacing the city administrator position.

During the May 20 council meeting, the mayor appointed Finance Director Troy Tymesen as the interim city administrator while the city set up an open application process.

At that May meeting, Mayor Steve Widmyer said he wanted to discuss recruitment options for the city administrator position with the city council. He suggested the city could begin an open recruitment in July with the intent to fill the position by Oct. 1. Widmyer said Tymesen was amenable to an open recruitment and agreed to throw his hat into the ring.

Councilman Dan Gookin said Wednesday that an open recruitment is a good idea, and that if an internal candidate gets the job it would confirm that person was the best fit for the job.

But at Tuesday's council meeting, Councilman Woody McEvers made the case to reopen that discussion to consider foregoing the selection process and hire Tymesen.

“I don't think we should have to prolong this process until October,” McEvers said after listing a number of accomplishments Tymesen has been associated with over the past decade. More here. Jeff Selle, CdA Press

Agree or disagree with Woody?

Mary: To the victors go the spoils

In her latest newsletter Mary Souza writes:

You might remember that on Dec. 6, 2013, the CdA Press ran an article announcing that Jack Riggs is buying the Coeur Building on Front street, right across from McEuen Park. It is right next to the parking lot on Front Street owned by KXLY.
You also probably remember that Jack Riggs owns the Pita Pit downtown and its franchises all over the West, and his life partner/wife?, Sandi Patano, used to be former US Senator Larry Craig’s North Idaho representative. Mayor Steve Widmyer told me that Jack and Sandi ran his campaign. Both Jack and Sandi were strongly in favor of all the spending on McEuen, even the original plan for up to $40 million, and were very outspoken against any public vote on that spending and against allowing citizens to vote on the Recall in 2012.
Now McEuen’s big renovation is underway and Jack is buying one of the key properties along the “pearl necklace” fronting McEuen Park. My theory is that Jack needs more parking as well as more land for future development (condo building?). What better way to solve the problem than a tunnel access to the parking structure paid for by the taxpayers, without a vote. Watch for his probable purchase of the KXLY parking lot on Front St.  More below

Souza, Widmyer Debate Before Dems

A few jabs were traded between Coeur d'Alene mayoral candidates Mary Souza and Steve Widmyer at the Kootenai County Democrats luncheon on Friday, but Joe Kunka was a no show. Tamara Poelstra, who moderated the event, said Kunka did not respond to repeated requests. Souza and Widmyer responded to 17 questions ranging from whether they will support the Arts Commission - which they both said they would - to how they differ from their opponents. Those differences were probably best illustrated when the candidates debated over the city's anti-discrimination ordinance which followed Poelstra's question about their positions on it and whether they believe the ordinance creates a special protected class. Souza said she had a couple of issues with the ordinance. She said the process used to pass the ordinance was rushed, and should have included more public input/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Shawn Gust CdA Press photo: Steve Widmyer and Mary Souza debate at the Democratic Club luncheon Friday)

DFO: Souza and Widmyer will debate again today at North Idaho College, from noon to 2 p.m., sponsored by the NIC Republican Club.

Widmyer Owns Press Word ‘Mayor’

Coeur d’Alene businessman Steve Widmyer isn’t mayor. Not yet. But for now, in the Coeur d’Alene Press, he owns the word. “Coeur d’Alene, meet your next mayor,” begins a Press editorial previewing its mayoral coverage. Like every mention of the “mayor” since the first week of September, the word is underlined and highlighted in blue. But click on the link, and it doesn’t lead to mayoral candidate profiles, the City Hall website, or previous Press articles. Instead it links directly to Widmyer’s campaign site. The context doesn’t matter. Stories mentioning Coeur d’Alene mayor Sandi Bloem, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, mayors in Rathdrum and Post Falls — all had the word “mayor” linked to Widmyer’s site/Daniel Walters, Inlander. More here.


Kunka Makes It 3-Way Mayor Race

Joe Kunka, as expected, filed his candidacy papers for the Coeur d'Alene mayor's race. Those signing his petition area: Kunka himself, Darron & Jill Cole and Harriet & Delmore Moug. Kunka, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor against incumbent Mayor Sandi Bloem four years ago, joins restaurant owner Steve Widmyer and activist Mary Souza as candidates to replace Bloem, who is stepping down after three terms. Kunka attracted 37.49% of the vote (2,388 votes) in his unsuccessful run against Bloem. Jim Brannon announced earlier that he will also seek the mayor's position but hasn't filed yet. You can see all the filings for mayor and council here.

Steve Explains His Walks

Steve Widmyer emails: “Just a clarification on the walk. I am walking all the streets of Coeur d Alene but at this point I am not making door to door stops. If I see people on the road or in their lawns I wave and if it looks like they would like to talk I will stop. Everyone is very busy in their lives and I respect their privacy. I, for one, have never really liked someone coming up unannounced to my door. This walk puts me out there and lets people know I am available to talk if they wish..It also gives me a chance to see all of the areas of Coeur d Alene up close. Someone asked me why I just didn't drive all the streets because it would be much faster. My answer is that I want to see as much as I can and give those people that wish to talk an opportunity. I want to be the most available and approachable Mayor that Coeur d Alene has had. I think the walk is just part of it. I worked the street fair for 3 days and I will be at the North Idaho Fair for 5 days. My email address is Steve@widmyerformayor.com for anyone that has a question for me.

Question: Do you mind having candidates knock on your door?

On The Road w/Steve Widmyer

On his Facebook page, Coeur d'Alene mayoral candidate Steve Widmyer writes:Today we finished walking the final streets in Indian Meadows and Queen Anne Estates. A total of 5.2 miles. So between Indian Meadows, Northshire, Queen Anne, and Orchard Park there are over 12 miles of roads. I would have never guessed that. We saw a number of joggers, bicyclists and walkers. All were enjoying the sunshine. We are on to Fairway Hills tomorrow.”

Question: Are shoe leather campaigns effective?

Running Hard For Mayor

Steve and Marie Widmyer are shown in this Facebook photo at their booth at the Downtown Street Fair, which is attracting buckets of rain this afternoon. Steve, who is running hard for Coeur d'Alene mayor, plans to be at the street fair from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. today and Saturday — and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. His booth is located between 4th and 5th streets on the north side of Sherman.

Question: Who is running harder for mayor at this point — Steve Widmyer, Mary Souza, Jim Brannon or Joe Kunka?

Widmyer For Mayor On FB, Twitter

Steve Widmyer's candidacy for mayor, in what is now a four-way race, has hit the social media. Widmyer, owner of the Fort Ground Grill, has started a Facebook page. Which announced today that Widmyer is also on Twitter. You can check out the Facebook page here.

Question: Has social media had an impact in recent local elections?

My 2 Cents: Welcome To Fray, Steve

I've been waiting to exhale since I learned that anti-City Hall activist Mary Souza was running for mayor. I knew someone would step forward to oppose her — and I don't mean Jim Brannon or Joe Kunka. However, I was hoping it wasn't some self-diluted individual who would pull votes from a stronger, nonpartisan candidate. Now, that Steve Widmyer has stepped forward, I can exhale. Widmyer, the owner of the historic Fort Ground Grill, has a solid business background and deep roots in the community. Also, he's his own man, without ties to the divisive Far Right politics that threatened to tear this community apart before voters erected a resounding stop sign during the recent Coeur d'Alene School Board elections. Given the alternative choices, Widmyer's bandwagon is worth jumping on. However, Widmyer's decision to step forward is only the first step in keeping our City Council out of the hands of radical ideologues. It'll also be important to keep the free seats now held by Woody McEvers, Deanna Goodlander and Mike Kennedy. Kennedy has already announced his decision not to run again. McEvers and Goodlander are testing the political waters for possible re-election bids. I like the incumbent council members. But it is possible that they acquired too much baggage in their decisions to back the McEuen Field makeover, urban renewal, and the controversial antidiscrimination ordinance. The strongest nonpartisan candidate for those seats should get support, whether it's one of the incumbents or someone else. The Far Right will certainly have its own candidates for those seats. Widmyer has a good chance to keep the mayor's seat out of radical hands. Now, it's time to focus on the best nonpartisan candidates for the three council seats/DFO.


Widmyer Running For CdA Mayor

Longtime businessman Steve Widmyer, 52, threw his hat in the ring Wednesday, saying he is definitely going to run for mayor of Coeur d'Alene. Widmyer is mostly known as the owner of Fort Grounds Grill, but he also owns two women's boutiques with his wife and several commercial and residential buildings in Coeur d'Alene. He said he has been kicking the idea around for the past month or so, but one phone call pushed him over the top. “I got a call from an 80-year-old resident of Coeur d'Alene this week, and he told me that he was worried about the future of the city,” Widmyer said. “That's when I thought I need to be paying attention to that”/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Facebook page photo of Steve Widmyer)

Question: Who will win in a four-way battle among Steve Widmyer, Mary Souza, Jim Brannon and Joe Kunka?

NIdaho Blogs: Blogfest ‘12 Saturday

We're less than 24 hours away from Blogfest 2012 — from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Fort Ground Grill on River Avenue in the historic Fortground area. The SR is picking up the tab for food & pop, including Bent's BBQ pulled pork, the Grill's famous Mac & Cheese, BBQ beans, and Marie's famous cookies. Bent/Keith/Stickman may have samples of their own “pop.” Also: Door prizes from Joe Butler & the SR. And 4 $25 gift certificates from Steve Widmyer & the Fort Ground Grill. Drop by any time during the 3 hours & say, “Hi!”

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday): 10,244/6416, and (for Wednesday): 8993/5622

Blogfest Now Has Door Prizes, Too

If Bent's BBQ pulled pork, the Fort Ground Grill's Mac & cheese, & Marie's famous cookies don't attract you to Blogfest 2012, how about door prizes? Joe Butler's busy stealing assortment of SR goodies to serve as door prizes for Blogfest attendees. Writes Joe: “We have a lot of Spokane7 items like hacky sacks, drink cozies, seat cushions and keyrings, and some Forkfly stuff like Frisbees. Plus some of the Down to Earth or Kiss the Bride items.” Blogfest 2012 is scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Steve Widmyer's Fort Ground Grill on River Avenue in the historic Fortground area, near North Idaho College. The SR underwrites the food & pop. Huckleberries hears Keith/Ben/Stickman may bring some of their homemade suds, too. See you there? (Blogfest Logo: Don Sausser)

Question: Who would you nominate as the most valuable commenter for HucksOnline over the last year? Why?

Blogfest 2012 To Lift Off Saturday

Final preparations are being made by owner Steve Widmyer at the Fort Ground Grill for Blogfest 2012 — 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday in the historic Fortgrounds area near North Idaho College. Dunno if Steve has settled on pasta or heavy finger foods. But I do know that the food and soft drinks are free for followers of HucksOnline blog, Twitter & Facebook. Are you planning to attend?

Question: How many of the faces above from a Blogfest Past at Capone's can you name? And can you guess what we're watching?