Mary Souza’s Newsletter
Two days ago, CdA City Attorney,Mike Gridley emailed me an invitation to be part of the special breakfast meeting for his Vision CdA 2030 group. A reporter from the Press emailed me moments later for a comment. So I decided the best way to respond was with an open letter to Mr. Gridley, fully explaining my reasons for turning down his invitation. And the Press Editor was willing and able to find room to print my letter as a My Turn column in yesterday’s paper. I thought you might like to read it too:
Dear Mr. Gridley,
Today I received your invitation to be part of the Visioning CdA 2030 group. While I appreciate the consideration, I am choosing not attend. In order to be polite and helpful, however, I will openly explain my reasons for not participating at this time.
Planning is good. Involving citizens is good. Vision is good. But your timing could not be worse.
1. The citizens of Coeur d’Alene have just had a massive “visioning” project called McEuen Park rammed down their throats, and it was done without the Public Advisory Vote that more than half the regular voters here repeatedly and adamantly requested.
2. How could any of us forget the Recall CdA effort last spring, when significantly more valid, registered voters signed the Recall than originally voted to elect Mayor Bloem and Council members Goodlander, Kennedy and McEvers. By changing the rules three times, the City managed to politically quash the Recall, but the Mayor still refused a Public Advisory Vote and kept pushing her own agenda.
3. Promises by this City Administration have been broken time and time again. The latest pledge was the McEuen budget limit at $14.2 million, which has now grown past $20 million.
4. The City has huge liabilities staring the taxpayers in the face: The Dixon Police Department lawsuit is likely to cost over $4 million. The Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade will be $33 million. Storm water fees have now returned under a new name. The Dike Road reconstruction will cost more than $1.5 million. And the list goes on.
5. After a City employee embezzled $365,000 of public money, it was discovered she had a past conviction of felony embezzlement, but no one else at the City was held accountable for any part of the problem.
Without honest, responsive and accountable government, there is no trust. And without trust, how can any visioning effort be sincere? That’s our problem in CdA right now. The citizens have been ignored, disrespected and abused. We don’t trust our city. Now, suddenly, comes a visioning exercise? Is this an move to soften the damages done by the McEuen fiasco in preparation for this November’s City election where Mayor Bloem, Deanna Goodlander, Mike Kennedy and Woody McEvers will have to face the voters?
I have a vision too, Mr. Gridley. Mine is not a vision for 2030, mine is a vision for November 5, 2013, when the voters will finally have a say. My hope is for a new, respectful, honest, accountable city government. And when the newly elected officials earn the trust of the citizens, by sincerely listening and keeping their promises, then it will be the right time to come together and plan for our future.
With hope for CdA,
And so, dear readers, the quest for good government goes on! I have one more important request for you: If you are in agreement with my last newsletter, that Idaho should NOT set up the Obamacare health insurance Exchanges and should join the other 25 states who are resisting, please sign the online petition at the Idaho Freedom Foundation. I don’t sign online petitions very often, but this one is just for our state and I trust the Idaho Freedom Foundation because I know many of them and they do such good work here. Click here to go to their petition: http://idahofreedom.net/petition/
Have a great rest of the week. –Mary