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Legislative Town Hall Meeting

Mar 05

I hope you can join us at this meeting with our legislators.  Questions from constituents will be a part of the morning meeting.

Testing an audio upload for Kerri Thoreson

Feb 20

Kerri Thoreson Morning Show Promo – Anna

Government Cloud Computing May Sustain Public Records

Feb 09

“But the fate of may, ironically, contain the outlines of a model for sustaining digital records. “We think that startups could take these apps (and the underlying data) that are built and turn them into cloud-based businesses,” says Abhi Nemani, the director of Strategy and Communications for Code for America (CfA), a self-described nonpartisan, nonprofit incubator for doing government differently through technology.”

Jury clears Cd’A police in another Purviance lawsuit

Feb 08

Nine lawsuits filed by this attorney against the police department, nine lawsuits dispensed with, either by judges or juries.  Total waste of taxpayer dollars.

Homelessness is a National Issue

Aug 05

Read this story from Virginia Beach, Virginia.  Homelessness is not a problem facing Coeur d’Alene because there are service providers here.  It’s a problem because poverty, joblessness, and a sluggish economy is affecting people all over the country.

Spring is coming…

Mar 28

Vote Today for School Levy

Mar 08

Today is Election Day for school levies in many districts around North Idaho.  My family is in Coeur d’Alene School District 271 and I voted YES on both parts of the levy.  Times are tough for many – no doubt.  But I genuinely believe that this levy – both parts – are about attempting to sustain services and not adding anything new.  The cuts coming from the state are going to be major and the effort here is merely to minimize the damage.  Education is the one true predictor of future success and economic growth, and we can’t abandon it in tough times – that’s when we need to invest for the future.


Because of changes in Idaho law, the election is being conducted by Kootenai County, and thus voting will not be at any school, but rather at your normal precinct location.  Here’s a link to the county’s Polling Place Locator that you can use should you want to confirm your voting location.  You can also call the County Elections office at 446-1030.

SVDP Warming Centers Open

Feb 22

With another cold blast coming through, St Vincent de Paul’s 2 Warming Centers will at least be open Wednesday, February 23rd through Sunday night, February 27th. Future nights will be extended as extreme cold persists. As the sub-20 degree temperatures continue, St Vincent’s shelters will always be open from 6:00pm-7:00am.

For more information click on this flyer:

Warming Center Flyer Feb 22

The Post Falls Shelter located at 202 W. 7th Street in Post Falls, behind the Post Falls St Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, in the Kamps Apartment basement. And the Coeur d’Alene Shelter located at 117 E Walnut. Between the 2 sites St Vincent de Paul is able to shelter 62 individuals and will have available sleeping bags, blankets, gloves, stocking caps, coats, a full bathroom, warm food and drinks.

City Update – February 18th

Feb 18

More McEuen Doings

Two items of note on this topic:

1)   This coming Tuesday, February 22, the General Services committee (which I chair) will be hearing testimony on the topic of putting the idea of modifying McEuen Park to a public vote.  The meeting will be at Noon in the Library’s Community Room downstairs.

2)   A City Council Workshop with the McEuen Steering Committee has been scheduled for Thursday, March 3rd, from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., at the Parkside Tower, 601 Front Street, on the Third Floor.  If you have any questions regarding the workshop itself, please contact Parks Director Doug Eastwood.

The feedback continues, I have heard a great deal from the public, and the open and transparent process continues.  I’ll keep you posted as events warrant.

Legislative Initiatives on Urban Renewal – My Two Cents

There are a number of bills coursing through the Legislature on this topic.  Some are constructive, others are not.  All municipal governments around the state are watching them closely.  In our community the urban renewal agency LCDC has come under fire from city opponents.  It is perhaps one of the most misunderstood topics in city and state government.  Here are some of my thoughts.

Everything cities do in Idaho is regulated by the state.  The state legislature does not allow cities many of the tools that other states and cities have to recruit businesses and have local control in economic development.  I have asked some legislative leaders around the state who otherwise support local control why that is and there has never been a solid answer other than “the Legislature doesn’t want to give that kind of control to local governments.”  Honest answer, but not helpful in my mind.

For example Idaho cities with a population over 10,000 aren’t allowed to let voters decide if there should be a hotel/motel tax for tourists to recoup some of the expenses of providing services to them.  Moreover, cities can’t offer most incentives to companies or organizations considering relocating here without going hat in hand to the state government for approval.  And sometimes that process takes too long and the opportunity is lost.  A strong city helps businesses create jobs by doing things like rehabilitate closed mill sites (like at the US Bank Call Center or the Riverstone complex) and partner with the private sector to fund public improvements like roads, sewers, and parks.  If the legislature takes urban renewal authority away there will be no tools with which to do that, and competing with other cities and states for economic development to improve the economy will be that much harder.

I understand that urban renewal is a complicated tool.  But the bottom line of why I continue to support it is because I believe a key job of city leadership is creating the conditions for economic prosperity for all of our citizens.  And the most important element of that is ensuring that we control our own destiny and manage our growth locally.  Local governments, school boards, highway districts, etc. which are closest to the people understand the needs of local people best.  Thus I do not want the Idaho Legislature to take away the one tool cities have had to remain competitive for business growth and ensure public participation in the future growth of the city.

City Commissions

Serving as a volunteer on City Commissions is a great way to contribute in an area that is of interest to you.  Things like CDA-TV, the Parks Commission, the Parking Commission, Childcare Commission, Arts Commision, Planning and Zoning, etc. are just a few of the areas where you could get involved.  For more information on getting involved, visit the city’s website here: Boards, Committees, Commissions.

In closing, an old story…

A man went in for a brain transplant operation and was offered a choice of two brains by the surgeon. He could choose either the Architect’s brain which would cost him $10,000 or the Politician’s which was $100,000.

“Does that mean that the politician’s brain is much better than the Architect’s?” exclaimed the clearly puzzled man.

“Not exactly” replied the surgeon, “the politician’s has never been used.”


Crime Reports, McEuen Park, and Helping a Neighbor

Feb 09

Crime Reports Online

This is really a reminder of a service to citizens that has been running for a while, but it’s a valuable one for which reminders make sense.  I’ve been receiving Crime Reports for Coeur d’Alene for the last year or so.  The program was begun by the Coeur d’Alene Police Department in conjunction with .  You can log in, create an account, and determine if you want to be notified of crimes (and the type) and what frequency for notifications.  You are also able to check on registered sex offenders that live nearby.  Best of all – the program is free to residents.  Log on – and keep plugged in with what is going on in your neighborhood and your city!

McEuen Park Feedback Meeting

This Thursday, at 6 pm at Woodland Middle School Team McEuen will be taking feedback live and in person on the McEuen Park project.  Members of the committee appointed by Mayor Bloem will be there.  I think there will be a three-minute time limit so everyone will be able to give their feedback, and my guess is that if there are a lot of people in attendance another feedback meeting will be scheduled.  I will certainly encourage that.  If you haven’t yet filled out the survey, please do so at .  This process has encompassed more public input than any other item in my almost five years on the Council, and I encourage the feedback and dialogue to continue.

Giving a Hand to Someone who has Helped so Many

Kevin Kram is the leader of Cherished Ones Ministries, which has served tens of thousands of meals to homeless and impoverished North Idahoans for a long time.  Now, Kevin and his wife Danette are in need of help.  Danette is awaiting a liver transplant in Seattle and Kevin is faithfully by her side.  John Corcoran, a great friend and leader of ElderHelp, is organizing a Spaghetti Feed this Sunday at 3 pm at Cherished Ones Ministries in Coeur d’Alene.  John has challenged me – along with several others – to try and raise $1,000 toward the overall goal of raising $10,000 to help Kevin and Danette offset their mounting costs.

So if you are able to make a contribution of any size, please email me and I’ll give you the details on where to send the donation.  We’d like to raise the money both in person this Sunday, or in pledges that can be sent in by February 19th.  I hope you’re able to help and/or attend the Spaghetti Feed – let me know!

Thanks for Your Feedback – Keep it Coming!

I’ve been receiving a lot of good input on these occasional notes to constituents and interested citizens – and I’ve received some grumbling, too.  That’s fine – that’s the job.  As always you can unsubscribe if you wish below, or hit reply and send me a note via email.  Thanks for participating in your community!