March 11, 2016

Suspicion Confirmed

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 11:48 am

man peering around corner at cameraIn our March 8, 2016, post entitled A $315,000 SNAFU at McEuen?, OpenCdA observed that Coeur d’Alene’s city government sometimes buries items in the Council meeting’s Consent Calendar.  The  rationale for this practice stated on the Council agenda is a buried item is “considered routine by the City Council.”  No need to inform the public by discussing the meat of such a buried item.

In our March 8 post, we expressed some concern this procedural interment might occur with an item, a contract change order, approved by the City’s General Services Committee at its March 3 meeting.  We were right.

The online agenda for the March 15, 2016, City Council meeting lists this item G.6.b. on the Consent Calendar:  Approval of Change Order No. 1 to the contract with Ednetics, Inc. for the IP Camera Surveillance System — Recommended by General Services Committee.

OpenCdA thinks this change order ought to have closer scrutiny before the casket is closed and buried by the City Council in the privacy of the Consent Calendar. (more…)

March 8, 2016

A $315,000 SNAFU at McEuen?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 12:12 pm

man peering around corner at cameraOpenCdA happened to look at the online packet of information for the March 7, 2016, Coeur d’Alene General Services Committee meeting.  This staff report associated with the meeting agenda item captioned “Change Order for the Public Safety IP Camera Surveillance System — Brandon Russell, Database Administrator” really got our attention.

Since this item was discussed by the City’s General Services Committee at the meeting, it will likely go before the entire City Council at an upcoming meeting.

The City sometimes buries items like this in the Consent Calendar to limit discussion.  OpenCdA thinks this item in particular needs a great deal of discussion about possible wasteful expenditures based on inadequate information.

Our concern is the staff report contains compelling evidence causing us to question if an  adequate imagery survey had been done to determine the actual needs and costs of the Public Safety IP Camera Surveillance System.  (more…)

September 12, 2014


Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 9:00 am


In its September 12 article headlined Artist defends rainbow, the Coeur d’Alene Press reports that artist Howard Meehan has agreed to work with the City to “enhance” his art piece titled Under the Rainbow.

Our OpenCdA post on June 25, 2014 titled Remember This? outlined several of the issues prompting today’s Press skewspaper article.  One of the most tasteless and offensive comments we reported came from now-Arts Commission Chairman Jennifer Riggs Drake. As the minutes of the June 17, 2014 meeting of the Arts Commission recount, “Commissioner Drake said that she thinks that a lot of people agree that the arch is under-performing and that putting the [McEuen] logo on it doesn’t take care of that issue.” (more…)

August 4, 2012

Undivided Loyalty

Public policy demands that an officeholder discharge his or her duties with undivided loyalty.  When an official is elected by her constituents to a position of public trust and responsibility, those constituents have every right to assume that the official will put the duties of that office ahead of those duties required of any and all other offices the official may hold.  Indeed, the official’s constituents have every right to assume the official will voluntarily and even automatically vacate any office whose duties are incompatible with those of a position she already holds.  This is the common law doctrine of incompatibility of office.  The Idaho Legislature and the City of Coeur d’Alene have chosen to ignore this. (more…)

June 23, 2012

Let’s Play Make-Believe…



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. (more…)

January 15, 2012

Call to Action!

(Click on image to enlarge.)


January 6, 2012

To Vote or Not To Vote?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 11:22 am

According to the occasionally accurate but rarely complete Coeur d’Alene Press, a motion to put the McEuen Field renovation project to a public advisory vote will be offered and seconded, then discussed, at the January 17 Coeur d’Alene City Council meeting.

Do you believe there should be a public advisory vote on this issue?  If so, who should write the ballot wording, and why?  Who should administer the vote, and why?  Who should be allowed to vote?

This would not be a statutorily required general or special election, so Idaho’s  election laws would not necessarily control the conduct of the election.

Here’s another question:  If a public vote were held and if it indicated the voters did not favor the project, would that outcome be interpreted as a vote of “no confidence” in the Mayor and those still on the Council who supported the project and did not want a public vote?

October 23, 2011

Cover Up? Yes!

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 3:30 pm

Who owns the Coeur d’Alene Public Library?

On October 11, Sharon Culbreth, Representative Kathy Sims, and Mary Souza revealed to about 80 citizens at the Lake City Center that the Library was owned by the Lake City Development Corporation (LCDC), an Idaho urban renewal agency.

Mary Souza’s post on on October 16 linked to the documents showing the Library is owned by the LCDC.

Then on October 20, the Coeur d’Alene Press ran an article headlined Book it:  City owns library.  Clever headline, but the article did not produce any documentation showing City ownership.

Representative Kathy Sims’ “My Turn” column in the October 22 Coeur d’Alene Press is headlined “Exposing the city’s cover up.”  Is that too harsh?  After all, “cover up” alleges an action or series of actions done intentionally to hide something.  In this instance, it is exactly the correct terminology. (more…)

October 8, 2011

McEuen Field Advisory Vote?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 11:56 am

An article in today’s Coeur d’Alene Press  reported two City Council candidates’ ideas about an advisory vote on the proposed McEuen Field project.  One candidate, Dan Gookin, said he favored the vote.  The other candidate, George Sayler, said he would second a Council motion for a vote so the merits of an advisory vote could be discussed.

How do you feel about an advisory vote?  Should one be taken?  If so, who would administer it fairly and honestly enough for you to trust the results? (more…)

August 28, 2011

Yes, Shame on You!


The Sunday, August 28, 2011,  Coeur d’Alene Press contained an unattributed editorial comment decrying the deceptions the Press had supposedly uncovered in actions taken by the Coeur d’Alene city government and the North Idaho College Board of Trustees.  One of the lines in the editorial read, “Shame on us for believing and reporting what city sources had told us, for accepting their word that no raises had been given the previous year.”

Yes, Press owner Hagadone Corporation.  Yes, Press Publisher Jim Thompson.  Yes, Press Editor Mike Patrick.  Shame on all of you.  (more…)

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