Anti Recall people have been slinging personal insults, calling childish names and organizing intimidation against local businesses. They are trying to act big but, in truth, they are incredibly small.
And at last Tuesday’s city council meeting, they even tried to blame the Recall effort for all the personal anger and vitriol. That’s simply not true. This Recall is not personal.
The Recall is about the behavior of Mayor Bloem and Council members Kennedy, Goodlander and McEvers in their capacities as elected officials; the way they have treated the citizens and the decisions these officials have made. It’s about the issues of our town: The public vote they denied us on McEuen, the removal of the ball fields, boat parking and eventually the boat launch, the excessive city salaries and major spending of taxpayer money by our unelected LCDC urban renewal board…all without a vote of the people, of course.
But the Anti Recallers don’t want to address these issues. Instead, they behave like the mayor’s son, Kurt, who drove by Sherman Hardware last weekend and heckled a former co-worker who was helping with the Recall. Kurt yelled that the Recall guy was “a loser” and that he “had no friends” and “your own family doesn’t even like you”. He also wrote a similar message in an angry personal email to a different Recall helper because of a Letter to the Editor supporting the movement.
Are they stuck in elementary school? There are serious problems to discuss, people. Can’t we talk like grown ups?
But the Anti Recallers don’t want to talk about the city’s plan to use $14.7 million for Phase 1 of the renovation plan to make a park into a park, most of which is money borrowed from a bank against future tax revenues, while our town is littered with empty houses and businesses in foreclosure; while unemployment remains a serious problem and folks on fixed incomes are struggling and worried.
They don’t want to talk about high city salaries and unbelievable benefits; that 19 people in the City of CdA make over $100,000 per year while the only other Idaho cities near our size, Twin Falls and Caldwell, have only 1 and 0 positions, respectively, that make $100,000 or more. (updated info). And they certainly don’t want you to ask why city employees were given raises in the middle of the recession, when businesses all over town were cutting salaries and benefits just to survive.
The Anti Recallers have to paint this whole grassroots effort as a personal attack against Sandi, Mike, Deanna and Woody. It’s not true but it’s the only way they can keep the spotlight off the decisions these officials have made. Distraction. That’s their plan.
I’m sure they have other plans too. There’s far too much money at stake for this Recall effort to go forward smoothly. They will continue to throw roadblocks in our way, trying to stop the locomotive of public opinion which is now barreling down the tracks.
Climb on board with us, people, and together we can overcome their obvious efforts to avoid the voters and sidestep the real issues. We are advancing beyond the 4000 signatures mark, (we need 4,311) but we must have at least 6,000 to send a strong message.
Will you be part of the solution? Will you join the thousands and thousands of your fellow independent, liberal, conservative, libertarian and unaffiliated citizens who are joining shoulder to shoulder in this effort? More than 200 new people have registered to vote just so they can sign the petitions. Please join us! And bring your friends. Together we can be part of Coeur d’Alene’s long history of people standing up for McEuen, Tubbs and citizens’ rights.
The RECALL CdA office is located in the Sunset Mall, just across Hwy 95 from Fred Meyer. www.recallcda.com 704-1596, and look for our signing locations scattered around town as well. Please honk and give a thumbs up to our great volunteers!
Mary Souza is a 24 year resident of CdA, local small business owner and former P&Z Commissioner. Her opinions are her own. To sign up for the free weekly newsletter, or access a free archive of past columns, visit www.marysouzacda.com Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit the local issues web site www.OpenCdA.com for more discussion.