OpenCDA

May 21, 2012

Correct Information

Those of us who have been out gathering signatures on the petitions for recall of Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem, Council President Mike Kennedy, Councilman Woody McEvers, and Councilman Deanna Goodlander have become accustomed to people expressing both agreement and disagreement with the recall effort.

Sunday afternoon between noon and 4 p.m. my wife and I were twirling recall signs and gathering signatures just north of the Midtown Shopping Center (Safeway, Joann Fabric) between Birch and Miller on 4th Street.  A man whom I recognized as a high-level employee of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library left the shopping center parking lot, and as he drove past me at a distance of 8-10 feet, he shouted, “You’re responsible for taking away my vote, A__h___e!”  Then he went north on 4th and turned right on Birch.

It wasn’t so much who he was that concerned me, though I would have thought a City Library employee might be more careful about yelling  an obscenity that could be heard by nearby children.  Rather, he was simply wrong in his belief the recall petition signature gathering effort would somehow negate or deny his vote.

The recall petition signature gathering effort is collecting valid signatures from voters legally registered to vote in Coeur d’Alene City elections.  By themselves, those signatures will not result in anything other than putting one or more of the named officials on a recall election ballot where all legal City voters will be able to decide whether to recall them or retain them.   It will be the outcome of a recall election that determines those officials’ retention or recall.

In even simpler terms, Recall CdA is gathering signatures to enable all Coeur d’Alene city voters, even the Sunday Screamer, to choose to retain or reject Bloem, Kennedy, McEvers, and Goodlander.   While those officials may not want Coeur d’Alene citizens to have a vote, Recall CdA does.

33 Comments

  1. Wow, Bill, I don’t understand how people like this can twist the truth to say that the Recall will take away their vote. It’s the Anti-Recall, “Decline to Sign” who are trying to suppress the public vote!

    Here are the basic facts: The Recall will give every voter in CdA a chance to vote for or against the Mayor+3. If you “decline to sign”, you risk the Recall not having enough signatures which would then prevent EVERYONE from voting.

    Sign the petition = get an up or down vote
    Don’t sign the petition = risk having NO vote at all.

    …and there is NO excuse for that kind of language. A library guy?…you’d think he would have a bigger vocabulary than that!

    Comment by mary — May 21, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

  2. Mary,

    There was also a younger woman on foot who said essentially the same thing but without the expletive. Her words were that Recall CdA was trying to throw out the people she had voted for!

    Neither she nor the Library guy clearly understand that Recall CdA can’t throw anyone out. All the recall petitions do is get the officials’ names on a ballot so that everyone who can legally vote in a CdA city election will have a vote whether to retain or recall them.

    The Library guy showed extremely bad judgment in that he is recognizable as an employee of the Coeur d’Alene City Library. His public behavior and language reflects on the Library and the City whether he wants it to or not.

    Comment by Bill — May 21, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

  3. Didn’t the mayor want to be informed of the names of such people? Perhaps a letter to the mayor detailing this high level city employee’s actions, and his name, is in order?

    Comment by up river — May 21, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

  4. up river,

    Assuming the Mayor and the Library Director do not condone his conduct, they have enough information to counsel him.

    Comment by Bill — May 21, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

  5. Now, wait a minute, Bill. If the four are recalled, and that’s a big if, would not the remaining three APPOINT the other three? Is that not taking away the vote of those citizens who may be in opposition to you? Boy, I can’t figure out your reasoning, any more than I can figure out Mary’s ‘bathtub’ explanation caught on tape.

    Comment by John Austin — May 21, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

  6. Then I guess john, the majority WOULD have in fact spoken on the trust, and faith in the remaining three rather than your spin and twist FAB4.

    If you rally want to keep your cohorts in you “GO AND VOTE”! There, you get a say and so do I.

    Comment by concerned citizen — May 22, 2012 @ 5:42 am

  7. John Austin,

    It would take a vote of the electors legally eligible to vote in a Coeur d’Alene City election to recall any or all of the four. The key word there is vote . No one’s vote is being taken away. Those who support the officials subject to recall can still vote for them to be retained. The statutorily prescribed procedure to fill the vacancies would come after the statutorily conducted recall election in which the people could vote.

    What may be throwing you into a tizzy, John, is that we are following the law. If you don’t like the election law in Idaho, go to the Legislature and get it changed. If you don’t like the provisions of the Idaho Constitution that allow the citizens to recall elected officials except judges, amend the Constitution. Or you can simply convince the county prosecuting attorney, the local judges, and the Secretary of State to ignore the law and the Constitution — that’s probably easier anyway.

    Comment by Bill — May 22, 2012 @ 6:42 am

  8. That’s pretty darn clear, Bill. Can’t imagine JohnA doesn’t understand your statement:

    Those who support the officials subject to recall can still vote for them to be retained.

    Comment by mary — May 22, 2012 @ 9:28 am

  9. Rumor on the street is that the City of Corrupt d’Alene (i.e., the Mullan Avenue Gang) is going to do everything possible to ensure that the recall election will not coincide with the November 2012 general election. The reason is that the Mullan Avenue Gang expect more voters will turn out for the November 2012 General Election because it is a presidential election. A large voter turnout at the recall election would be disastrous for the Mullan Avenue Gang.

    Comment by Bill — May 22, 2012 @ 9:42 am

  10. Bill,

    They are wrong. The worst choice for them is a by-election. Only the motivated will show. They will lose by a giant margin if it is an August election, by only a super majority in November.

    Just my opinion. Just

    Comment by justinian — May 22, 2012 @ 9:59 am

  11. Justinian,

    You may be correct, but the word is they’re shooting for March 2013 and not before. I suspect their hope is that the overall voter turnout at an August 2012 or March 2013 election would not result in totals that meet the requirements of Idaho Code §34-1712 which reads in part:

    To recall any officer, a majority of the votes cast at the special recall election must be in favor of such recall, and additionally, the number of votes cast in favor of the recall must equal or exceed the votes cast at the last general election for that officer. If the officer was appointed or was not required to stand for election, then a majority of the votes cast in the recall election shall be the number necessary for recall.

    Comment by Bill — May 22, 2012 @ 11:01 am

  12. Mary, since the gist of this thread is ‘Correct Information’, do you care to expound on your ‘bathtub’ analogy that was caught on tape? This is a key component of the recall, that you and I are paying more in taxes because of LCDC.

    Thanks in advance.

    Comment by John Austin — May 22, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

  13. John Austin,

    No, you are not going to take this post off-topic and launch on another of your diversionary harangues about urban renewal.

    The topic of this post and comments related to it will be broadly limited to the Sunday Screamer’s assertion that the recall effort was somehow responsible for taking away his vote. That is a seriously inaccurate assertion that has been made by others as well.

    You’re welcome in advance.

    Comment by Bill — May 22, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

  14. The point of taking away a vote is pretty simple to understand in relation to the attempted recall. If the recall attempt is successful than the four seats are going to be appointed without a vote from me. You can go on about how we get a chance to vote if this make it to the ballot, but that doesn’t change the fact that our current elected officials could potentially become appointed officials. If they are recalled then you are taking away and invalidating the vote that I cast for Bloem, Kennedy, McEvers, and Goodlander when they were elected by the people. Because you disagree with the direction of the current administration, wouldn’t it make more sense to take this to the polls during the next election cycle instead of attempting a recall?

    Mary when you say ‘If you “decline to sign”, you risk the Recall not having enough signatures which would then prevent EVERYONE from voting.’ This is not a basic fact. I am not preventing anyone from voting by not signing the petition. If they want to vote, they just have to be a registered voter and come cast their vote in 2013. The fact is if you ‘Decline to Sign’ then you are making the conscious decision that the recall is unwarranted and you believe a special election is unnecessary. To try and twist it the way you are is absurd.

    While you are potentially taking away our vote for who will represent us, here is a list of some other things we could lose due to your attempt at a recall:

    -Our sense of community
    -Around $20K taxpayers dollars for election
    -New business/job growth in North Idaho
    -A McEuen Park that truly serves the greatest number of uses for the greatest number of people, of all ages and abilities, throughout all seasons; stimulating economic benefits to the community; supporting regional events and recognizing the legacy of the McEuen Field area.
    -And to top it off, four leaders that have done great things for our city

    So in my opinion:
    Recall = Negativity
    Bloem + Kennedy + McEvers + Goodlander = Positive Future for CdA

    Comment by meesterbox — May 22, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

  15. meesterbox,

    The recall effort is constitutional and lawful. If you don’t like it, amend or repeal either or both. The fact is that the framers of Idaho’s constitution recognized that the people of Idaho may have sufficient cause to recall elected officials before their term of office expired. The framers of Idaho’s constitution wisely trusted the voters to decide in the voting booth whether the reasons for the recall are sufficient or not. Likewise, the Legislature prescribed how recalled officials would be replaced.

    It is the Mullan Avenue Gang that demonstrated its unwillingness to trust the voters, and as a result, the two-step recall process was begun.

    It is ironic that the Mullan Avenue Gang expects and in fact arrogantly demands that the voters trust them while the Gang does not reciprocate by trusting the voters.

    Comment by Bill — May 22, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

  16. “-And to top it off, four leaders that have done great things for our city”

    Except a large enough group is so immensely unhappy with those four “leaders” that they have started what appears to be a successful effort to put a recall election on the ballot. An election that could have been avoided had the recall targets noticed the political winds had changed and a new “vision” was being formed. Instead, with evident disdain and clear arrogance, they have chosen to jam spending down the throats of the voters. Bad leadership decision have consequences meester, and this is a classic example of same.

    Just my opinion. Just

    Comment by justinian — May 22, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

  17. Bill – I understand it is constitutional and lawful, apparently you could attempt to recall a person because you don’t like his/her haircut, but I don’t think it is justified. I do think it would be wise for the Idaho Constitution to be amended so the system cannot be abused as it is being here locally. When the framers of Idaho’s constitution recognized that the people of Idaho may have sufficient cause to recall elected officials, they probably didn’t think improving a park that is barely used with funds readily available would be a sufficient cause.

    Justinian – I wouldn’t have an issue with a recall being put on the ballot, but I can’t consider it successful since the reasons I have heard and or been told for the recall have not been 100% accurate. $40 million dollar price tag, increase in property taxes, removal of a boat launch, commercializing Tubbs, etc. If there was a clear reason why they should be recalled, then sure go for it, but it currently seems muddled.

    Comment by meesterbox — May 22, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

  18. meesterbox,

    And if any or all of the officials named are subjected to a recall election, you will be perfectly free to express your opinion by voting alongside those of your friends and neighbors. One person – one vote.

    By all means, start a movement to amend the Idaho Constitution if you believe that is the right course of action.

    Comment by Bill — May 22, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

  19. “I wouldn’t have an issue with a recall being put on the ballot, but I can’t consider it successful …”

    Meester – it is “successful” at getting on the ballot, apparently, as the reports are that the minimum signature requirements are met. That is a massive and difficult hurdle. Had the targets been more open and less arrogant, this would not be happening.

    “If there was a clear reason why they should be recalled, then sure go for it, but it currently seems muddled”

    In your opinion, not that of the thousands who have signed. The last election should have been a wake up call for the targets, instead it made them more hard line. Sad. Bad leadership decisions have consequences – in this case a divisive and ugly recall campaign.

    Just my opinion. Just

    Comment by justinian — May 22, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

  20. ‘No, you are not going to take this post off-topic and launch on another of your diversionary harangues about urban renewal.’

    I didn’t expect an answer, Bill. Mary knows she was caught spreading misinformation and unfortunately won’t own up to it. That says volumes about this whole process.

    Comment by John Austin — May 22, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

  21. John
    YOU are the one always telling the rest of us that if we do not like the current UR laws do something to amend, repeal, either or both.

    Here is your chance. Eat your own words my friend.

    Comment by concerned citizen — May 22, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

  22. John, an fyi regarding independent perspectives, I have no idea who Rochereau, Justinian, Concerned Citizen, or Pariah is; we don’t collaborate, talk, or email. I have not met Mary or Dan but as a result your ramblings in short order I found a bunch of common ground and with little research discovering identical problems with the LCDC. Amazing when considering they have been at this for years.

    When you and I began to butt heads it was you callously throwing support to anyone of elected position as being beyond reproach, until you learned several here have taken so called public service to an unscrupulous all time low. You then slipped away into unconsciousness or something, but here we are again the past few weeks with the – they could never ever do no wrong attitude that in no way pans out once again. Everything they touch is golden and you can’t comprehend for one second why the social unrest that is more then obvious.

    You shock the conscious with baseless comment after comment; it is simply too much. I’ve bit here and there; competitively disadvantaged border community that you brought into this in a big way was a complete fabrication and ruse. The LCDC not needing to follow changes in the UR laws, here we go again, then when we get down to it your long gone in terms of responding – seen this again and again. Here comes Johnny to make a ridiculous set of comments he can’t support then change the subject.

    Based on a completely one sided meeting with Mr. McDowell, it’s now trust you – you got it all figured out while at the very same time ignoring the information in black and white that he posts on the counties website about URD, just unreal. No tax increase or tax shift – just not possible. Where land was vacant before and now needs snow plowing, street cleaning and such, bless those City workers for doing this on their own time for no pay and not even using city equipment bringing their own brooms and snow shovels. All applicable services that come with a price tag magically are now free to the tax payers.

    I may not be up to speed on many things that others are but to repeatedly fall back on everything is just fine (not one thing wrong here) because I say it is just couldn’t be more self absorbed and WRONG. Everyone’s happy why aren’t you – is pure delusion, then what about that weather. Why aren’t all of those beyond reproach do gooders flocking to support and defend you – not hard to figure out why. Your repetitive activity and tactics is not just something I’ve taken issue with. Correct information you are far from it!

    Comment by Appalled — May 22, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

  23. I didn’t expect an answer, Bill.

    What a windbag.

    Q.E.D.

    Comment by Pariah — May 22, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

  24. As I approach a stop sign I can see well in all directions, there is no traffic. I do not make a complete stop and I roll through the sign. I broke the law. I could get a citation. But I determined that saving the brakes on my vehicle and the gas to be saved to power the lost momentum were worth this infraction, and it was safe.

    The problem is that Bloem, et al, employ this same logic to state laws intended to protect the citizens from gov’t abuse. There is a reason we keep church and state separate. Idaho does not allow state colleges to enter into multiyear financing for good reason. But like the stop sign, these leaders looked and figured it was safe to proceed, to work in the grey area and legally maneuver some very sizable expenditures passed the intent of the law. But they did not adequately gauge public sentiment or more likely, they did not care. And now the legal mechanisms put in place to remove these very sort of elected leaders are being used to try and remove them from office. And people like our Mr. Austin wonder why it looks like the recall will succeed. Well Mr. Austin they misbehaved and we hope to give them their much deserved citations. Recalled, rejected, dismissed and disrespected. All adjectives which seem to apply to any number of people who have allied themselves with how this leadership operates.

    As I have said in the past. If they worked above board and got the real public support they needed, worked clearly within the bounds of the law….. there would be NO problems.

    Comment by Wallypog — May 23, 2012 @ 8:08 am

  25. JohnA, I’m not avoiding you, I’ve just been busy and have not read your comments until now. The bathtub analogy for urban renewal is a great way to explain things to people who have not been familiar with the concept of TIF and how it works. I’d love to take credit for it but I can’t. A brilliant local inventor, Brent Regan, used it in his presentation on urban renewal at the Senior Center a couple of weeks ago.

    He also again de-bunked the “tax neutrality” quote that both you and Tony Berns love to use. Brent shows the entire quote, not just the snippet you and Tony use, and it’s quite obvious that the State Tax Commission guy, Alan Dornfest, was putting it in perspective, saying the new legislation helps make urban renewal more tax neutral. He did not say it is tax neutral.

    Our own Kootenai County Assessor says it’s not tax neutral, and his brother the County Treasurer agrees. As does Erick Keck, Post Falls City Administrator. And most anyone with an ounce of common sense.

    Comment by mary — May 23, 2012 @ 8:46 am

  26. The Anti-Recall people are trying to convince the public that signing the Recall will take away the votes of those who originally elected these 4 officials. It’s not true, but that’s what the guy yelled at Bill and his wife last weekend, with an angry expletive thrown in. “You’re responsible for taking away my vote…!”

    When the Recall has enough certified signatures to be placed on the election ballot, every legal voter in CdA will have a chance to vote. They can vote to keep the officials or vote them out. They’ll GET a vote, not lose a vote.

    Comment by mary — May 23, 2012 @ 8:55 am

  27. JohnA,
    This recording you are referring to…
    Would that be the one where nic denied he was recording the conversation?
    Can you say inadmissible?

    Comment by KimKnerl — May 23, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

  28. meesterbox:
    In reference to your list of things “we could lose due to the recall”, I have news for you. You have the blame aimed at the wrong group.

    -Our sense of community was lost when the City put on public meetings with absolutely no intent to actually listen to the concerned citizens that took their time to show up and voice their opinions. One specific fact I remember is that most of the city council and mayor Bloem did not even look up from their papers to look at the person speaking to them. How do I remember this fact? Well, because I was one of the many speakers asking them questions and pleading for them to reconsider and allow a public vote. THAT is shameful.

    -the $20K for the recall election and any disturbance to the business growth is reflected back to the city council and mayor being defiant to the citizens/voters. This recall did NOT have to happen. They earned the recall against them. Regardless of how the recall turns out, I will never regret the recall process.

    -the 4 leaders have been involved in scandal and back room deals for every project that has taken place. I don’t dispute the benefits of the Kroc or the library, etc., but the processes they went through to acheive the results are way less than savory and cost the taxpayers more than they should have.

    -We all would like to see improvements in McEuen Park, but the motivation behind the build it to the hilt is what most object to. We don’t need a mega-park. Less parking lot is a good idea. Moving the boat launch and boat launch parking is a bad idea. The $40 million approval is STILL on the books as approved. The current PHASE 1 is just that. Phase 1…more to come.

    And now with the knowledge that Tubbs Hill is still on their slate is just the icing on the cake. They just can’t control themselves!
    THAT IS WHAT DEFINES “LOSING OUR SENSE OF COMMUNITY”.

    Comment by chouli — May 23, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

  29. Chouli,

    Very nice comment. Thank you.

    Comment by Bill — May 24, 2012 @ 6:52 am

  30. Chouli – what you told me isn’t news. I also spoke at the public meetings and I was heard. The only person that showed up with no intent to actually listen was the council member that had a prepared statement against McEuen. Did he listen to what I had to say before he had his mind made up…no. As for the $20K, this is squarely sitting on the shoulders of the recall group. The recall did not have to happen, it shouldn’t happen, and hopefully it doesn’t. Scandals and backroom deals…really? Why don’t you go ahead and make up some other fake dubious dealings of these leaders and throw them on a blog. As for Phase 1, I hope there are other phases in the future, but as it currently stands there are no other phases and the boat launch is staying.

    As for the knowledge that Tubbs Hill is still on their slate – this is false and you know this, but you (like Mary did) will grasp onto the fact that something in a draft unrelated to the council could have a negative implication and help you cause. Sad.

    Comment by meesterbox — May 24, 2012 @ 9:31 am

  31. Excuse me, meesterbox, but you are calling me a liar for information that is actually part of the city’s draft plan. I didn’t bring it forward to the public, the TUBBS HILL FOUNDATION did. And they are correct.

    Here’s what I wrote in my Newsletter, please tell me what is “false” about it, and please be specific:

    “This morning’s Press reveals that a north side trail on Tubb’s is in the City’s new draft of their Natural Open Space Plan. One of the things the Press did not reveal is that the north side trail language was “slipped into” the city’s plan after the Tubb’s Hill Foundation had given the plan their tentative approval, according to Foundation President Jennifer Johnson’s open letter to the public, which was online last week. You can read her letter here: http://www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_012121da-a07c-11e1-b1b4-0019bb2963f4.html

    Comment by mary — May 24, 2012 @ 9:54 am

  32. The false part is trying to tie this to the current council in order to fuel your recall efforts.

    Comment by meesterbox — May 24, 2012 @ 10:20 am

  33. Mary: ‘Our own Kootenai County Assessor says it’s not tax neutral, and his brother the County Treasurer agrees. As does Erick Keck, Post Falls City Administrator.’

    Excuse me, Mary, but the County Treasurer is Tom Malzahn, who is NOT the County Assessor’s brother. Mike McDowell’s brother Dave is the county’s finance director (the same job I held from 1987 to 1991) and he works for the County Clerk, Cliff Hayes.

    Meanwhile, I have neither heard nor read ANY comments from Dave McDowell or Erick Keck regarding this issue. Please back up your claims that these two have validated the ‘bathtub’ analogy, because the facts are that your analogy, no matter from whom it originated, is simply false and not allowable under Idaho law.

    I’m sorry, but the city can’t just arbitrarily ‘fill up’ a bathtub when water is diverted to LCDC. They are limited by law to just 3% annually. There is simply no other way to replace all the water being drawn for LCDC. Here are the actually numbers: The city levies about $18 million a year. With a 3% maximum increase, the most they can increase their budget each year is $540,000. Meanwhile, over $3 million of taxes are paid annually by city property owners that flow to LCDC. Clearly, $540,000 is a far cry from $3 million, so your analogy is false.

    Further, the city has opted NOT to ‘refill’ it in recent years EVEN with that 3% allowable by law. Neither has the county, under the direction of the Assessor’s brother, Dave McDowell. So, not only can they NOT make up the money being to diverted to LCDC, they have not even TRIED to refill it with money allowed them by law. That means both the county and the city, the biggest governments in Kootenai County, are able to get by just fine without the money being diverted to LCDC.

    So, again, your analogy is false and means to mislead people who have no concept of Idaho budget law. I would urge you to reconsider its use when gathering signatures or you could possibly threaten the legality of the process.

    Comment by John Austin — May 24, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

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