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Clark picked for long-range planner

Duane Rasmussen provides this photo of Scott Clark (with mic) and Todd Tondee taken at a Medimont meeting regarding land use in Sept. 2012

COEUR d'ALENE - Scott Clark, who has been serving as Kootenai County's community development director, has been reassigned to a long-range planner position, the Kootenai County commissioners said Wednesday.

In the long-range planner position Clark will focus his efforts on ongoing development of the Unified Land Use Code, the commissioners said.

He also will focus on comprehensive plan updates in community development.

"In the interim, Commissioner Todd Tondee will be the acting director to provide for continuity of operations," a Wednesday memo from the commissioners said. Read more. David Cole, CdA Press


Press: Don’t Play Online Name Games

No harm, no foul. Of course, that's easy for us to say. We aren't Todd Tondee, the Kootenai County commissioner who was impersonated online last week and incurred the unwarranted wrath of some people who weren't terribly happy with the commissioner anyway.  But like Tondee already has suggested, he's never insisted on imprisonment for his name's assailant. He just wants wrongs to be righted, like:

  • Taking responsibility for the misdeed. Check; local resident Zac Eifler did that first thing Monday morning by calling The Press and confessing, humbly and apologetically. He followed up with a letter to the editor on today's Opinions page.
  • Clearing Tondee's name. Quite literally, check. After all this, anybody who still thinks Tondee wrote the inflammatory comment on the story about the county's controversial land code refuses to face reality - which unfortunately is an all-too-common affliction around here.

We prefer to look at this little mess as an instructional opportunity in the hazily defined world of online communication/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: What is your take-away from the unmasking of the Todd Tondee impersonator?

Impersonator Apologizes To Tondee

In a letter to the Coeur d'Alene Press, Zac Eifler apologizes to Commissioner Todd Tondee for posting an online comment under Tondee's name: "I am writing this to inform everyone, clarify any confusion and accept responsibility for comments that were left in Todd Tondee’s name in an article’s comment section June 18. I didn’t give a lot of thought about what I was doing at the time, or the negative consequences that come along with doing such. My post was meant as a joke and not as a malicious act to harm Todd or any other person that it may have affected. I sincerely apologize to Todd and all those that I have affected by my actions and want those who may be in doubt as to who wrote it, that it was definitively not Todd. While reading The Press on Saturday evening, I realized that it had become an issue that I needed to correct and immediately come forward and let the public know that I was the person who left the comment." More here.

Question: What advice would you give Zac Eifler?

Tondee Impersonator Apologizes

"I would like to just come clean," said Zac Eifler, who called The Press Monday morning to confess that he was the one who impersonated Kootenai County Commissioner Todd Tondee in an online post last week. Eifler read a story about Tondee filing a police report about the impersonation in Saturday's Press, and decided to confess - knowing full well that he could be prosecuted for the alleged crime. "I want to let people know that I wrote that post, and it wasn't Commissioner Todd Tondee. I am sorry for any damage I may have caused him," Eifler said. "It was a stupid, stupid thing to do, and I can't even tell you why I did it"/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Should this case be prosecuted, now that Eifler has admitted he was the impersonator?

Tondee Seeks ID Of Cyber Pretender

It's one thing to hide online behind a veil of anonymity. It's quite another to pretend to be someone else. Somebody impersonated Kootenai County Commissioner Todd Tondee in the comments section of cdapress.com on Tuesday - a crime that could land the perpetrator in jail for up to two years, with a fine of $5,000. And that doesn't include possible civil penalties. Tondee told The Press Friday that he isn't sure he wants his impersonator to end up in jail, but he does want the person to step forward. He said he would probably be satisfied if the person takes full responsibility and makes a $500 donation to a local charity. Tondee also wants the public to know definitively that he did not write the acerbic comments that appeared in his name below an online story Tuesday/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: The Coeur d'Alene Press has announced that it will cooperate fully with the police in this investigation, providing IP address and other information. Is the individual who impersonated Tondee worth protecting in any way?

Bay Views: Recall Jai Nelson

First the firing of the best public defender in Kootenai County History over personal attacks and council bullying, now a country treasurer not daring to retire for fear far right politics will skew what has been twelve years of smooth operation. Perhaps it is time to stop Spencer candidates from being elected from the hinterlands of what ever planet his political persuasion originates from. Jai Nelson (pictured) is misusing the power bestowed upon her and the other two are going along with her. When doing a good job interferes with a political agenda, it is time to replace the political thorn in the county's side. I urge those of you that have been outraged by the antics of the few, guided by the most far right and power hungry of our Republican Party, to select new candidates or even recall those that have abused their positions to settle personal issues/Herb Huseland, Bay Views. More here.

Question: Forget about Nelson for a minute … why did Tondee and Green go along with the firing of competent Public Defender John Adams?

2 Write-Ins Target Tondee

Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes has announced the following changes to November ballot:

  • Tim Herzog and Jack Schroeder have each filed as a write-in candidate for County Commissioner District 1, against Todd Tondee. (There is no Democratic opponent in the race.)
  • Wade M. Larson has withdrawn for North Idaho College board of trustees, Seat C. (Remaining candidates: Vickie Ambrosetti, of Post Falls; Gary W. Coffman, of Coeur d'Alene; James W. Ruch, of Coeur d'Alene; Fritz Wiedenhoff, of Rathdrum; Dean Haagenson, of Hayden; and Ron Nilson, of Coeur d'Alene.)

Unchanged are races for:

  • County Commissioner District 3, where Dan Green is unopposed.
  • Prosecuting Attorney, where Barry McHugh is unopposed.
  • County Sheriff, in which Ben Wolfinger will face independent challengers Joe Bodman, Tom Dickson, and Bob Foster

Question: Can anyone explain to me why people file as a write-in for a race they can't win, like the one for Kootenai County Commissioner Todd Tondee's position?

Tondee Fires Back At Spencer Claims

And now a message from Commissioner Todd Tondee (via Taryn Hecker's Facebook wall): "I was at the Republican Women monthly meeting today and stressed that please ask before just believing what my opponent is saying. We are not building a parking garage. We are brainstorming for the future, thinking of how and where we will put two more judges, additional courtrooms plus the Prosecutor and Public defenders' staff to support the new case load. The parking garage is a small part of the strategic facilities master plan. I think looking to the near distant needs of our county is one of the Commissioners' roles. I am not sure how we would take away your right to vote by allowing you to vote for or against "the alternative form of government" ballot measure. It's your choice. And no we are not making your property unbuildable with the new land use ordinances. The end goal is to actually clarify, simplify and uncomplicate the land use regulations. This will be an open and transparent process that will include multiple opportunity for public input."

Question: Larry?

Clerk: 1 Less Commish Candidate

There will not be seven candidates for County Commissioner District 1 after all. Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes announced today that “Elections staff did not follow all our procedures when handling the candidacy declaration for Steven Peter Benner. We allowed Mr. Benner to file for County Commissioner District 1 without verifying his residency within that district.” County Commissioners are elected county-wide, but Idaho Code 34-617 requires them to reside in the Commissioner District for which they declare candidacy. Mr. Benner resides in Commissioner District 2, which isn’t up for election in 2012/Kootenai County Clerk's Office news release.


Government Change To Be On Ballot

Item: Power to the people: Initiative proposing county manager to be put on ballot/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: The commissioners have asked the prosecuting attorney to draft a ballot measure that, if it passes, would give the commissioners authority to hire a county manager tasked with administrative duties. The same measure would also propose making the offices of county assessor, clerk, coroner and treasurer appointed positions, instead of elected as they are now. The positions of sheriff and prosecuting attorney would remain elected positions. The board of commissioners would also continue to have three full-time members, despite past discussions of expanding to five. … A county manager would handle day-to-day administrative tasks and free up the commissioners' time for policy making, Green said.

Question: How would you change Kootenai County government?

Commissioners Propose Govt Change

Kootenai County commissioners have asked Prosecutor Barry McHugh to draft a ballot measure that would dramatically restructure county government. The measure, which will be on the November ballot, will call for a commission-manager form of government with four current elected offices to be transformed into appointed ones — assessor, clerk, treasurer and coroner. The offices of prosecutor and sheriff would continue to be elective. If the measure passes, the three commissioners will hire an manager whose duties would include hiring & firing and preparing a preliminary budget for review and entering contracts. In a news release, the commissioners noted that they all three ran for office, pledging to present a possible change in county government to voters. Full press release here. (Photo: Commissioner Dan Green)

Question: Do you support a change in Kootenai County government?

Herzog, 5 Others Take On Tondee

Tim Herzog says he has the broad experience necessary to fill the District 1 seat for Kootenai County commissioner. The Post Falls Realtor who filed for candidacy last week said his history as a business owner, lobbyist and member of various community groups sets him apart from the seat's several other candidates. "Besides the experience that comes with my age, I have wisdom," the 64-year-old said. Herzog ran for the same seat four years ago, and lost the primary to Todd Tondee/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

  • Also running for the Commissioner District 1 seat are Gerald Arno, Marc Eberlein, Bruce Noble, Steven Peter Benner, and Greg Wells.
  • Complete list of candidates for Kootenai County commissioner, sheriff, and prosecutor here.

Question: Who is incumbent Tondee's biggest competitor in this race?

10 R’s Running For Kootenai Commish

Huckleberries has just received the list of candidates who have filed for Kootenai County office this spring. No Democrats filed. At the last minute, Republican Donald Gary filed to run against Prosecutor Barry McHugh in the county GOP primary. Ten Republicans are running for the two Kootenai County commissioner posts, including the two incumbents. Three Republicans and three Independents are running for sheriff. No addresses or cities of residence were provided by the Kootenai County Clerk's Office. Here's the list of candidates:

  • Commissioner District 1 (2-year term): Republicans (incumbent) Todd Tondee, Gerald Arno, Marc Eberlein, Bruce Noble, Tim Herzog, Steven Peter Benner and Greg Wells.
  • Commissioner District 3 (4-year term): Republicans (incumbent) Dan Green, Vic Holmes and Larry Spencer.
  • Sheriff: Republicans Ben Wolfinger, Keith Hutcheson and John Green; and Independents Joe Bodman, Tom Dickson and Bob Foster.
  • Prosecutor: Republicans (incumbent) Barry McHugh and Donald Gary. No Democrats or Independents have filed.
  • Complete list of candidates from Kootenai County Election Department

Also: You can find candidates in Kootenai County GOP Central Committee precinct races here

Also: You can find a list of legislative candidates for Districts 1-7 here (click on link at top of page)

2 More R’s File For Tondee Seat

Seven people are now running for the Kootenai County commission District 1 seat now held by incumbent Todd Tondee, all Republicans. The sixth & seventh to file their candidacy papers for office are: Greg Wells & Steven Peter Benner.

Tondee, Holmes File For Commish

Incumbent Republican Commissioner Todd Tondee has filed for re-election against four other candidates in the GOP primary for his District 1 commission seat this spring, according to Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes. Also, Vic Holmes has filed to take on incumbent Republican Dan Green for the District 3 commission seat. Only Republican incumbent Barry McHugh has filed for prosecutor. Four (Republicans Keith Hutcheson, Ben Wolfinger and John Green, and Independent Joe Bodman) have filed for sheriff. Below is a chart of individuals who have announced their candidacies.

Kootenai County Commissioner District 1 2
Gerald Arno R  
Marc Eberlein R  
Bruce Noble R  
Tim Herzog R  
Todd Tondee (I) R  
Kootenai County Commissioner District 3 4
Dan Green (I) R  
Vic Holmes R  

4 Republicans File For Tondee Seat

Four Republicans — Gerald Arno, Marc Eberlein, Bruce Noble, and Tim Herzog — have filed so far for the Kootenai County commissioner District 1 seat now held by incumbent Todd Tondee. The filing deadline, which began Monday will continue until next Friday, March 9. Additionally, three men have filed for Kootenai County sheriff: Ben Wolfinger, Keith Hutcheson, and John Green. In two other county races, the incumbent Republicans are the only ones to file so far — Barry McHugh for prosecutor and Dan Green for county commissioner from District 3.

Wannabes Square Off Over Jail

Kootenai County Commissioner Todd Tondee and challenger Marc Eberlein revealed diverging opinions on county policy Thursday, when they squared off at a forum hosted by the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans. Responding to questions from group founder Jeff Ward, Eberlein criticized the county's past attempts to fund a jail with a bond measure. "This has already been put out two times for a vote, and each time voters said no," said Eberlein, Post Falls resident and owner of a cabinet business. He would rather see more effort invested in programs like work-release to free up space, he said/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: You know what's going to happen, right? Someday, sooner than later, a judge will rule that the jail is too crowded — and the county has to build another one. Happened to the old jail back when. Can you see any other way a new jail will be built?

Commish Tondee To Seek Re-election

County Commissioner Todd Tondee will announce today his re-election bid to serve a two-year term on the Kootenai County Commission.  Tondee, who won election to the District 1 seat four years ago with an over 23% margin, will make the announcement during a meeting of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, Noon today at Fedora Pub & Grille, 1726 W. Kathleen Ave. in Coeur d'Alene. Tondee, 47, has served on the Kootenai County Commission for five years and lives in Post Falls with his wife of 25 years DeDe. They have two grown children/Todd Tondee news release. More below

Question: Are you satisfied with Tondee's performance as commissioner?

Press: Commissioners Are Leaders

They've whacked a failing program, ostracized a bunch of kids and parents, cut here, consolidated there and, in all likelihood, succeeded in getting every single employee to do his or her best work. That's what we call leadership. The Kootenai County commissioners - Todd Tondee, Dan Green and Jai Nelson (pictured) - are cutting expenses because that's the mandate they got from voters. They aren't waiting for the next budget; they're saving money right now. They're also tossing political caution to the wind by considering an unpopular step like eliminating county extension programs, including the popular 4-H program/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the CdA Press that the current Kootenai County commissioners are showing leadership by consolidating, eliminating, & cutting the budget?

Kootenai County ready for change?

The structure of Kootenai County government could face a major overhaul in the next couple of years.

With two newly elected commissioners and commissioner Chairman Todd Tondee ready to change the status quo, the three officials are taking a fresh look at restructuring county government.

Ideas include creating a county administrator position, or adding more county commissioners.

But there are many details to iron out before anything is put to a public vote.

"It takes some time to develop," said Commissioner Dan Green. "I personally don't see it (a vote on any changes) happening until the general election of 2012."

It all comes down to deciding what new positions or officials are necessary, the salaries they would receive and the authority they would wield. Full story. Alecia Warren, CDA Press

Do you think it's time to restructure Kootnenai County government?

NI Blogs: Commish Shirtless In China

“There’s a contingent of local folks in China this week with the chamber tour group, and Pam Houser’s been keeping me updated on their travel experiences,” posts Kerri Thoreson/More Main Street. “She noted that Commissioner Todd Tondee might run out of clean clothes before they leave Beijing for Shanghai.” More here.

Hucks Online numbers (for Thursday): 9729/6347, and (for Wednesday): 9461/5694, and (for Tuesday): 9982/5784.

KEA: Currie, Piazza Punt On Density

In their long slow failure of deliberating the draft Comprehensive Plan, the County Commissioners today voted 2-1 in favor of throwing out thousands of hours of hard work by hundreds of citizens in developing a new comp plan that actually meant something. Over Commissioner Tondee’s strong objection, Commissioners Currie and Piazza voted to remove specific development density ranges for all land use designations in the Plan. In essence, the two Commissioners declined to describe in real and useful terms what levels of development would be appropriate in any area of the county. The density decision, of course, is the most important one to make in a comprehensive plan. Today’s deliberation was the last one scheduled before the primary election/Terry Harris, KEA Blog. More here. (SR File Photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Question: Will today’s vote on the comprehensive plan density make you more or less likely to vote for Commissioners Rick Currie and Rich Piazza in the GOPrimaries?