Let’s play make-believe. Let’s make believe that Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Mayor Sandi Bloem is able to be honest when talking with citizens.
At the Coeur d’Alene City Council meeting on June 19, 2012, citizen Charlotte Gherke addressed the Mayor and Council during public comments concerning the recently-concluded effort to recall the Mayor and Council President Mike Kennedy and Councilmen Woody McEvers and Deanna Goodlander. One of the issues leading to the recall was the Council’s approval on May 24, 2011, of the McEuen Park Master Plan. The cost estimates in the approved Master Plan ranged from $36 million to $42 million. Here is a YouTube of Charlotte Gherke’s exchange with the Mayor.
At about 4:44 into the almost 8-minute YouTube presentation, Ms. Gherke asks the Mayor about the $14 million “Phase 1″ of the project. The Mayor denies that this is only “Phase 1″ and says that it is a park project. The City taxpayers have been concerned that the Mayor and Council have been deceiving the people by saying the project never was a $40 million project, that we were wrong, and that it’s really only a $14 million project. When the community heard the Mayor and Council using the term “Phase 1″ before the recall began, we just naturally assumed that’s because there would be more money spent on Phase 2, then Phase 3, and so on. Again, listen to the Mayor’s denial of Phase 1 in the YouTube response to Ms. Gherke.
Now look at the professional services agreement signed March 6, 2012, between the City (signed by Mayor Bloem) and Miller/Stauffer Architects. The City agreed to pay the architects just under $2 million to perform the services described in the agreement and its exhibits. It is an 8-page agreement and 25-page exhibit. On page 6 of Exhibit A, it clearly states under Task 2… Background Information, “McEuen is a large, likely multi-phased project”! In particular, note the number of times the expression “Phase 1″ is used on Exhibit A pages 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 15, 16, 20, 21. The kicker, though, is on page 21 of Exhibit A under the heading Phase 1 – 1. Mass Grading/Site Utilities – c. That reads, “Preliminary engineering and infrastructure provisions … for all future Phase II components which are listed below.” [emphasis mine]
So tell us again, Mayor Bloem, how there is no Phase 1. It’s just a park project. Yeah, right.
Let’s play make-believe that Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem has changed her ways since the recall effort and has begun being honest with the citizens. We have to make believe, because it certainly isn’t reality.