I started to title this newsletter, “Flip Flopper”, because it’s about Councilman Mike Kennedy and his radical opinion changes on McEuen Field. But then, on Sunday, Mr. Kennedy had an unbelievable Letter to the Editor in the Press, which spun the subject way past flip flopping, into the realm of purposeful mistruths with very selective wording.
Let’s start with his letter. First Mike announces that the city is now going to compromise! “This week the Coeur d’Alene City Council voted for significant compromise on the McEuen Park project”, Mike wrote.
No, not really. They had a 3-4 split vote with the Mayor breaking the tie to accept $11.5 Million in taxpayer money from LCDC to fund Phase One of the McEuen Plan. They also split the vote to approve $1.9 Million for Team McEuen (Miller-Stauffer Architects) in a No-Bid contract to create the construction documents.
(I’m told by people familiar with large construction projects that the $1.9 million is way too high. But, with no bids, there’s no comparison for the public.)
The “compromise” Mike Kennedy refers to is simply that the city was forced to temporarily scale back their plans because LCDC couldn’t come up with enough money. It does not mean the original McEuen Plan has been permanently downsized, as implied by Mr. Kennedy.
He says, “The boat launch will stay”. But he does not say for how long. My info is that they are actively working with the Idaho Transportation Dept. to get a Silver Beach location for a new launch. It may take another year, so they’ll leave the 3rd Street launch in place…for now. But they will relocate the trailer parking. My guess is the number of boat launches will drop, due to the parking inconvenience, and the city will then replace 3rd Street with “equal or better” to the less-used boat launch.
On a related side note, the Mayor was on KVNI radio this morning (Tuesday), where she said the first thing they’ll do on McEuen, once the construction documents are done, is to “take the entire area and scrape it”, then install infrastructure and redo Front St. and the parking. I tell you this because when it’s all ripped up, what access will there be for summer boaters to launch at 3rd street?
Do you trust them?
Mike Kennedy also writes in his letter that “Tubbs Hill is not part of the project”. That’s a totally misleading statement because the city is still working on getting the proposed changes to Tubbs, they’ve just made it an independent project. A committee is currently working on a wheelchair accessible ADA pathway on the East side of Tubbs, which I’m told could, “for safety reasons”, end up being forced to go all the way across to the 3rd Street side. Can you imagine the destruction of the Hill needed to get a wide, smooth pathway all the way around? And, I’m told, Mr. Kennedy himself has been talking about the proposed accessible trail on the North face of Tubbs, and pushing for its inclusion in the planning process.
Do you trust them?
And now for the baseball field. Back in October of 2009, when Mike Kennedy was running for re-election in a very close race, he was given a golden endorsement by the American Legion baseball group. Here’s what Kennedy wrote on a local blog back then: “I’m humbled by the support of the American Legion Baseball family and I will always fight to keep Legion baseball on McEuen Field. I respect Coeur d’Alene’s baseball legacy and I am honored by Charlie Roan’s public support.”
Mike won re-election by 3 votes.
In February of 2010, Mike still said,“I’m on the record supporting keeping the Legion ball fields on McEuen, their historic home. I’ll continue to support that.”
But something has changed! On March 7th of this year, he was quoted by the CdA Press saying he will vote to remove the American Legion ball field from McEuen. His reason? “You have to have vision and look out into the future to create great communities,” said Mike Kennedy, councilman. “I think we should move forward with the project and get it going.”
Do you trust them?
Mike ends Sunday’s Letter to the Editor with the old excuse that “when you make an omelet you have to break some eggs”. Is that his smarmy way of justifying broken promises? Has he now been anointed with “vision”, so previous pledges of support are simply tossed by the wayside?
It appears that we, the people of CdA, cannot trust their promises, dedications and commitments. Maybe the old saying is correct, “If their lips are moving…”
On a much more positive note, I’d like to quickly tell you about an interesting effort to refuse Obamacare health exchanges here in Idaho. A group of very experienced people from North Idaho have put together an alternative plan that will improve health care here, save individuals a lot of money and save the State big money too. Sound too good to be true? Well it’s not. It’s real. It’s been presented to the legislature and you can hear the proposed plan this Thursday evening at the CdA Inn. The Idaho Health Care Forum and Dinner is presented by KC Republican Women and will feature my friend Brent Regan explaining this new proposal. Tickets are $15. each (chicken dinner provided). Social Hour at 6pm, dinner and program start at 7pm. Call Jeanette at 215-1895 or Sharri at 771-0332 for tickets. Please call now so they have a head count for dinner. Hope to see you there! –Mary
PS–I know the Zags play at 4:20 Thursday, but the game should be over by 6:30, so you can get there just in time for dinner and the presentation…that’s our plan.