I am writing this letter in response to the criticism of the CDA 2030 workshops that was expressed by a rural property owner. I attended this same workshop and currently I have chosen to live in the city of Coeur d’Alene while my house is being built outside of the city in Kootenai County.
I disagree that the moderator at the workshop refused to define Greater Coeur d’Alene. Instead, Mr. Steven Ames asked the workshop participants to define it for themselves. For me personally that includes not only Coeur d’Alene, but Post Falls, Hayden, Rathdrum and other surrounding areas. For someone else that may include all of rural Kootenai county. I don’t think you can create a vision for Coeur d’Alene that only involves the boundaries of the city as we are all connected by where we socialize, work and shop. That is, I may shop in Hayden, go to church in Coeur d’Alene and have really good friends who live in Post Falls; this is what defines my community. However, this is different for each individual and that was the point that was made at the workshop.
I think it is important to understand what was done at these workshops. We were asked to work together in small groups and individually to give our ideas on what we see as the future challenges for our area and what some of the solutions may be. It was a great community building process, as everyone had a voice in the mix. There were no right or wrong answers.
It is my opinion that the CDA 2030 project’s purpose is not to create a plan like the recent ULUC, but instead to create a vision for what all the citizens of the area would like to see for the greater Coeur d’Alene region and then reference this vision to guide the plans, decisions and actions of community organizations. I take offense that some of these visions for greater Coeur d’Alene violated private property rights. People are entitled to their opinions. We weren’t creating law, we were brainstorming. The workshops are the opinion of the citizens that participated which was open for ALL to attend.
If the writer of the letter is concerned about participation from other rural Kootenai County residents then she should have encouraged her fellow neighbors to attend the workshops. The one she attended was the first one. There were two more after that one. I believe the CDA 2030 visioning process is very important in preparing our region for the future. I encourage all citizens interested in being involved and having their voice heard to attend the CDA 2030 Visioning Summit on Nov. 16. More information can be found at cda2030.org.