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March 23, 2016

Even Later to the Party …

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Bill @ 12:15 pm

EDITBOARDOur post entitled Late to the Party on October 27, 2015, pointed out that even back then, Coeur d’Alene Press Publisher Jim Thompson (left in photo) and Editor Mike Patrick were waaaaay late to the urban renewal agency examination party.

Well, again today Frick and Frack demonstrated their remarkable ability to editorialize in arrears. This morning’s editorial was headlined You can’t blame ’em for asking.

The editorial finally and we suspect begrudgingly acknowledged that for years Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency, ignite cda (née Lake City Development Corporation), had been engaging in “… the practice of lining friendly pockets under the guise of resurrecting worn-down parts of town.”

Honest and diligent citizens like Mary Souza, Dan Gookin, Kathy Sims, Sharon Culbreth, Frank Orzell, and others have been delivering the evidence of that practice for years.    The Press chose not to investigate and then report it as news.

But today’s editorial contained a real whopper.

According to the Press’s editorial today, it was none other than Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer who at a recent ignite cda meeting “… asked the question that should have been posed years ago as the first test of any urban renewal funding request:  ‘The big question would be if urban renewal dollars weren’t available, would you still move forward with the project?’ ”

Except the question was posed years ago.  Repeatedly.  It appears Press Publisher Jim Thompson and Editor Mike Patrick simply chose to ignore it, almost certainly because it was repeatedly asked by the “wrong” people, the aforementioned honest and diligent citizens.

Back then it was those honest and diligent citizens and certainly not Mayor Widmyer who asked the “but for” question:  “But for the LCDC, would the project have been done?”  Senator Mary Souza recently reminded us of that test in her September 3, 2015, “Keeping You in the Loop” Senate journal article entitled Ignite cda:  Try Honesty and Accountability.  Her journal wording says it all.

LCDC takes credit for the Kroc Center and the Library. The Kroc Center did not need LCDC, it would have been built anyway.  It fails the “but for” test, which is this:  But for urban renewal, would the project have been built?  Yes, the Kroc Center would have been built.  Yes, the Library also would have been built without urban renewal—remember, we voted to approve a public bond for the library.

Now that the Idaho Legislature is belatedly being forced to consider the urban renewal agency abuses in Coeur d’Alene and elsewhere as well,  it appears that the Press is trying to come in and salvage some of the rancid bologna sandwiches being offered by ignite cda now that the party is over.

2 Comments

  1. My same reaction. Taking property tax dollars with no voter approval and giving the $ to builders for personal financial gain, lining the pockets by using same engineers and archetics, etc.

    O, it goes on.

    Comment by Sharon Culbreth — March 23, 2016 @ 3:49 pm

  2. The upside is these deteriorating areas which constitute a serious and growing menace, injurious to the public health, safety, morals and welfare of the residents of the state that contributes substantially and increasingly to the spread of disease and crime certainly are rectified by paying a developer who would move forward anyway if not handed public money – really! Granted it’s about the welfare of the residents not the welfare of the developer but who’s counting? The right questions have been asked for years it is no surprise to me that the local toilet paper I mean newspaper just figured that one out.

    Comment by Appalled — March 24, 2016 @ 1:54 pm

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