January 15, 2012

Call to Action!

(Click on image to enlarge.)

In his extremely well-written My Turn column titled Why vote on McEuen is needed, local businessman Jeff Connaway concisely and articulately summarizes the reasons to get behind a public vote on the proposed changes to McEuen Field.  Those changes would spend millions of public dollars to change a park … into a park.  Connaway was slightly off on one point, though:  He apparently accepts that the “Approved McEuen Master Plan” being touted by the City is, in fact, a plan at all.  It is not a plan — it is a concept document.

A master plan would be the next step after the current McEuen concept document.  The Walker-Macy plan submitted in December 1999 came closer in method and form to being a master plan than the architectural vaporware produced by Team McEuen in 2011.


  1. For me the issue is not a ‘vote’. It is the unyielding refusal of the council to take a step back and actually listen to what the citizens are saying. Public ‘meetings’ for the sole purpose of placating the citizens, ignoring the comments, and then moving on to do what they were going to do, is the rub. Honest and attentive listening, with considered modifications to the plan based upon the comments, would replace a vote in my mind. But since the members of the ‘old council’, who are only still in office because they were not up for election in November, are not willing to honestly and attentively listen…a vote is necessary. Kennedy’s position dramatically highlights just how important an accurate election for his seat was in 2009 and how important a new election for his seat still is. Every vote on the council, and in the election, is important.

    Comment by Joe Six-Pack — January 16, 2012 @ 9:00 am

  2. Joe Six-Pack,


    The Mayor and some Council members and their toadies like to tell us they were elected to make those decisions. They are correct — but only as far as they go. They were elected to discern the will of the citizens, and to the greatest extent possible, reconcile differences and implement that will. What they fail to understand is that their certificates of election do not confer omniscience and omnipotence.

    Comment by Bill — January 16, 2012 @ 9:19 am

  3. The city will have a hard time trying to implement a major overhaul of McEuen Field imo, just like they did in 2000; when they got alot of heat from the public. First and foremost, the Field was named after Mae McEuen, because she was a youth sports booster and McEuen Field was supposed to be about sports for kids.
    Now, they want a destination park for tourists, in a desperate bid to save the downtown area. In some minds

    To this native, the Freedom Tree, boat launch, and most of whats on McEuen should stay. Maybe, there’s room to compromise about removing one ballfield off of McEuen and building another ballfield on Person’s Field off of 15th. Maybe?

    Comment by kageman — January 16, 2012 @ 11:49 am

  4. I hope that you guys bring such excellent comments to the City Council meeting tomorrow evening.

    Comment by Dan — January 16, 2012 @ 11:58 am

  5. Hello all….I am new to this site! However, I wanted to make sure and try to get this question to someone who may be attending the meeting tonight. Last weeks paper had an article written by Councilman Kennedy, referring to Federal or State regulations that may require the city to evict the legion team from the legion field. Can someone ask, maybe Councilman Gookin could ask, what law or regulation this is, and why the legion team would be included since other programs are allowed to use the field and surrounding amenities? Mr.Eastwood does not schedule the programs or uses within these fields and it sure is convenient that he now serves on the Conservation board. It would be nice to know what information he provided that would conclude Mr.Kennedy to write in an article that the city may have to evict the Legion team and other sports team from using this field.

    Comment by lexacon — January 17, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

  6. Lexacon: I asked this very question of Mr. Eastwood late last week.

    The letter referred to was from Idaho Dept. of Parks and Recreation. It reminded the City that the Land and Water Conservation Funds used for McEuen prohibit limiting use of the field to just one organization, such as American Legion Baseball. If that were true, then the Legion baseball would have to be removed. It’s not true, though, and Mr. Eastwood replied to the letter stating so. American Legion has ball fields all over the state on LWCF land. It’s very common. They are not being evicted.

    Comment by Dan — January 17, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

  7. Councilman Gookin,

    I appreciate your response. I was just concerned that this information was presented to the public via the press in such a fashion that presented it as true, when it is false. I was also curious to understand the impacts this will have on the Rec. Department since it seems as though Mr.Anthony has not even been questioned of this? I would assume it will have some impacts as the Rec.Department uses both Softball fields nightly during the summer and the recreation programs scheduled uses that take advantage of the green space will shoulder impacts as well. I understand the motion will be made and a vote could take place that places emphasis on the boat launch, the legion field, and the parking structure, however, there are multiple uses that take place during the summer that will have to be implemented at other locations that will impact other programs, such as the Sting soccer leagues. I think it is very important to ask many questions of Mr.Anthony tonight to discover some of the major impacts this could have on many programs within the city, not just within the Recreation programs!

    Comment by lexacon — January 17, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

  8. Lexacon,

    Welcome to OpenCda, and thank you for asking your question. Dan gave you a straight answer, and there may be more discussion of your point at tonight’s meeting.

    Comment by Bill — January 17, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

  9. I hope someone asks the question, ” What negotiations have taken place with the Hagadone Corporation regarding possible trades for land acquisition for the placement of a boat launch along Coeur d’ Alene Lake Drive?”

    Comment by lexacon — January 17, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

  10. Mr. Bill,

    thank you for the ” Welcome” to your site!

    Comment by lexacon — January 17, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

  11. Lexacon,

    I hope that question gets asked, too. The meeting began promptly at 6 p.m.

    Comment by Bill — January 17, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

  12. Marc Stewart
    The city council voted 4-3 against an advisory vote for McEuen Field development.

    Comment by justinian — January 17, 2012 @ 10:16 pm

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