Survey says ... - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Survey says ...

Team McEuen releases numbers, seeks more feedback

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Posted: Friday, January 21, 2011 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - It's a sign of approval, says Team McEuen - so far.

The first wave of surveys has been tallied and their numbers crunched, rating the public satisfaction level for 24 components tied to the McEuen Field conceptual plan.

Generally speaking, it's thumbs up, the design and engineer team said, but a lot of feedback is still needed before anyone is ready to say yay or nay.

"I think they're optimistic to this point," said Dick Stauffer, Team McEuen architect. "I think everyone would appreciate feedback like that."

The numbers are drawn from two survey brackets - the written form handed out at public meetings and the surveys submitted online.

The written surveys say 75 percent of its 133 responders approve of the project, and 17 percent disagree with 8 percent no response.

Online reaction is slightly lower, but still positive, the team said.

From the first 358 online responders, 66 percent overall agree with the plan, and 29 disagree, with 5 percent no response.

Questions on both surveys are the same, asking the public to rank by degree their approval or disapproval of 24 different aspects of the proposed redesign on the downtown park.

The 24 aspects focus on what's proposed, not what's missing. Does the citizen like or dislike the idea of changing Tubbs Hill, the stacked parking or the pedestrian connections?

Between the survey brackets, the highest mark was 87 percent approval for the children's play area, and the lowest mark was 53 approval for the skate park.

The 50 percent mark is likely the failing point, Stauffer said, where it could be time to ditch the idea.

Generally, the online feedback received lower marks across the board. The team said that could be due to online responders not having anyone there to answer questions on specific parts of the project should they arise.

The top three approvals for the presentation surveys are child's play area at 87 percent, Centennial Trail at 86 percent, and Front Street Promenade at 85 percent.

The same three are the top voter getters online, but with 76, 75 and 73 percent approval.

Last place for written survey is urban water at 60 percent.

Still, this is the first round and the team wants more feedback.

"We want thousands, not hundreds," said Team McEuen's Monte Miller.

Two rumors the team hears that it wants to correct are that people who favor the whole project don't need to vote, or people who disapprove of the project shouldn't vote because the plan is set in stone.

Still, big portions of the project have critics.

Already the Tubbs Hill Foundation has come out against the proposed changes to the hill.

"We sincerely believe that nothing in the McEuen Field re-design should impact the public's ability to enjoy the traditional visual feast Tubbs Hill provides," a letter from foundation president Peter Luttropp to the city of Coeur d'Alene reads. "Tubbs Hill must be kept in its natural state."

On Thursday, questions about the possible replacement boat launch near the wastewater treatment plant came up, including how difficult the Spokane River current will make it for people trying to drop their boat.

"It'll be hard with the pilings right there," said Rick Williams, a Coeur d'Alene boater attending a presentation at the Ironhorse on Thursday.

That difficulty can be eased with proper engineering, the city said.

Stauffer said the biggest issue tied to the project so far has been removing the boat launch. The surveys don't ask yes or no whether the responder approves of removing the launch, but the team is monitoring its popularity through the comments being submitted.

The comments will be typed up, and given to the City Council for review before they would vote on it.

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  • tomanylaws posted at 7:40 pm on Sat, Jan 22, 2011.

    tomanylaws Posts: 47

    That survey was flawed. They lumped so many ideas into each question and the answers were not clear. They made it so that it was impossible to really see what people want or dont want. Make it simple. Do you want the boat launch to remain or move it? Do you want fountains or not? I DO NOT WANT THE BOAT LAUNCH TO BE MOVED TO ANOTHER LOCATION. HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST US? I think they should wait until after LCDC has run its course so that the tax dollars they are collecting can go to pay for all city expenses and then if there is money in the budget build your park. How about wait until the city saves enough money to pay for the project. Didn't NIC buy that property where they want to move the boat launch for 1 million dollars?

    This is no different than the Dalton Sewer LID. The commercial property owners between Dalton and Hanley did not want or need sewer but the city rammed it down our throats anyway.

  • Randy Myers posted at 12:23 pm on Sat, Jan 22, 2011.

    Randy Myers Posts: 1635

    Well said I Carry! I'm with you.

  • gcfb1414 posted at 9:52 am on Sat, Jan 22, 2011.

    gcfb1414 Posts: 81

    Dan, there was that part about a 30 year loan that I didn't quite get in article 8, section3 of the Idaho state constitution. Also, who calls for the vote? Which agency? has that oversight? And if they can ameliorate the cost over 30 years so that the annual budget is met then is a vote even legal?

  • I Carry posted at 9:24 am on Sat, Jan 22, 2011.

    I Carry Posts: 559

    I am a transplant----and do not support the removal of the 3rd St ramps or the ball fields!!! I'm not against the project entirely, but funding is a huge issue. We don't seem to even be able to support schools or safety. Folks, dollars are dollars, and when I don't have many of those dollars to throw around, I make priorities. This park might have to be forgotten because of costs.
    Bring it to a vote.
    Bring it to a vote.
    In closing, Bring it to a vote.

  • Claire_S posted at 11:15 pm on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    Claire_S Posts: 9

    Dan, they aren't listening now. To let this go any further is to get stuck with a huge bill.

    Since they won't listen, after they've been told NO repeatedly, they need to be fired (via recall) now.

    A recall would send a loud, clear message that the taxpayers of this city will not be trifled with.

    "Do as we say, or lose your job." It's time for the elected to show proper respect to the electors.

  • Dan Gookin posted at 11:04 pm on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    Dan Gookin Posts: 761

    gcfb1414: Yes. The Idaho State Constitution wants to ensure that people are the final say-so when it comes to the public purse. Any public expense that must be paid for longer than the current budget cycle (one year) has to be voted on and approved by a super-majority. That's all I'm asking on this: A public vote on the funding. (Well, and transparency.)

    I see a lot of people are worked up. Obviously there is passion in this community. City Hall would do us all a service to step back and slow down.

    Claire_S: Recalls are impractical. A better approach is to show up at a City Council meeting and let your voice be heard.

  • Claire_S posted at 10:51 pm on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    Claire_S Posts: 9

    Man are they full of it. Who do they really think they are fooling?

    Enough of this nonsense, time to recall the lot of them and throw them out on their butts.

  • chouli posted at 5:28 pm on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    chouli Posts: 1294

    Cody Wiench,
    Glad you asked...Moving the boat launch is a big deal for many reasons, only a few of which are these:
    • the proposed NIC location is next to the sewage treatment plant. It isn't hard to understand the aromatherapy going on on a hot summer day. How about a site that is equal to or better.
    • The Spokane River is not suitable for YEAR ROUND deep water launching.
    • The river also has bull trout spawning area and sensitive.
    • The installation of a boat ramp in the Spokane River will stir up and release contaminants in the riverbed and banks (remember the super fund designation the COC and KC fought so hard to avoid)
    • It will affect the city downstream, Post Falls, that is dealing with Washington DOE on pollutant loading and other issues.
    • The removal of the launch will impact the water quality of CDA Lake, sediment control, nutrient management, concrete steps & wading area into the lake, ice rink, etc…
    Nothing is ever easy...this proposal needs time to figure out the best course of action and the best alternate location for a new boat ramp. The City needs to slow down and do it right or not do it at all.

  • bionic man posted at 3:17 pm on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    bionic man Posts: 347

    Anyone, correct me if I'm wrong. Isn't their a requirement for public officials to declare their financial (tax forms) to the public? It would be interesting to see where our council & LCDC officials get their "reported" income from. The FBI just arrested the "major crime gangs" on various charges. Maybe it's time they start on some or the "minor crime gangs" starting with CDA.

  • gcfb1414 posted at 2:49 pm on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    gcfb1414 Posts: 81

    Dan, so is it a 2/3 or majority vote from the electorate for a specific expenditure only if the amount of funds needed exceeds the yearly revenue?

  • gcfb1414 posted at 2:43 pm on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    gcfb1414 Posts: 81

    Sorry Dan you are absolutely right about my blathering. I just get a little frustrated at times. I certainly would not express myself in this manner in a more serious forum. AND I do appreciate your posts sir.

  • bionic man posted at 2:42 pm on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    bionic man Posts: 347

    Sorry Rad, I forgot about the library ans salvation army. Just more examples of Blo em and the GOB's lining their pockets.

    As for Cody wench, definately apparent by all your comments, you're a transplant. That's the problem with this area now. All the transparents trying to make this area like what they left and our city officials lining their pockets with the money from the transplants and their friends benefitting on the backs of the local/resident taxpayers.

    Dan, for once I have to disagree with you. This is a crisis. We are having a project shoved down our throats and we will be paying for it for many years to come. We need to stop the corruption now and take hold of this community and give it back to the people. There are the few who will benefit and there are the many who will end up paying for it.

    Team McEuen is probably raking in the dollars now. All the engineers I've known are paid by the dollar amount of the project, so with them being in the back pocket of BLO EM and LCDC, they'll all make money at our expense.

    The original Boston Tea Party had an effect on taxation, maybe we need to do the same with the city council, team Mceuen and the LCDC. CDA Lake is the perfect temperature right now.

  • Dan Gookin posted at 2:08 pm on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    Dan Gookin Posts: 761

    Oh please. gcfb1414: McEuen Field is not a crisis. It's a decision that affects the entire community. We deserve a vote. Read the Idaho Constitution if you plan on blathering about power and authority with regard to public spending. Article 8, Section 3.

  • Cody Wiench posted at 1:38 pm on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    Cody Wiench Posts: 355

    What is the big deal with getting rid of the boat launch? Does loading your boat by NIC make the lake ANY different? It strikes me as an inconvenient place for a boat launch anyway. If they put in a new boat launch somewhere near (within 1 or two miles), I promise, you'll not see any impact.

  • gcfb1414 posted at 12:04 pm on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    gcfb1414 Posts: 81

    Representative democracy versus direct democracy,... Just imagine what it would be like if there was some sort of national crisis where communities had to stand on their own. This bunch of yahoos would have their own shooting wall for unruly citizens that did not agree with them. All the arguments I have seen about this issue are at the root arguments for personal freedom and CHOICE. Give power AND authority to people over other people and they will inevitably abuse it. If you have a manager who treats those under him/her poorly then the general manager/owner can replace him/her immediately, not so in politics though. "My wife told me to leave my guns at home..." , the uproar created by this flip statement demonstrates how paranoid and implicitly violent the city council and the office of the mayor would be if isolated from the world at large and reliant upon only themselves. So, direct democracy: 'we' have a choice about the issues that affect us, that can run contrary to what the elected officials wish, and restores the power and authority more firmly into the hands of the people,..'us'.

  • Randy Myers posted at 11:32 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    Randy Myers Posts: 1635

    The survey (I filled it out) doesn't take into account ANY leaving things as they are parts. It's possible to like the whole plan...I mean what's not to's a beautiful and extravagant plan...BUT I might LIKE the plan and NOT want the launch, ballfields, or Tubbs tampered with. Plus there is NOTHING there about cost. I spent some time in the "comments" section making those points yet they COULD count my responses as being "positive" due to survey bias.

    A public vote on this issue is necessary.

  • chouli posted at 11:22 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    chouli Posts: 1294

    There is no single question on the survey that asks if we agree or approve of the overall plan. How then can they skew the results to say “75% approve of the project” and “66% overall agree with the plan” as stated in this article?? Does one single click of agree give overall approval??

    The residents of CDA are who will foot the enormous bill and deserve to have a vote on this project. Please give us a scaled down option to choose from rather than this grandiose version put forth by Empress Blo em and her court.

    And for the nearby residents who think this is great because it will increase your property value…yup, you may be right but you will not be able to afford your sky high property taxes that will add hundreds to your monthly mortgage payments and you will have to sell and move elsewhere…where you can’t walk to the downtown you currently know and love.

    CDA’s charm is the natural small town atmosphere. This park as it is presented will not be small town charm, nor will it be natural.
    How difficult will it be to run an errand to the bank when streets are closed and parking will now be in an underground garage that costs about the same as at the Spokane airport to park. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?? Or how about the boat launch being moved to the NIC property next to the sewage treatment plant? Nice aromatherapy thought on a summer day... Please consider another location rather than to rush to this.

    Stop being sheep. There is no free upgrades here. We will pay for them in taxes and use fees. Let’s scale this down and improve some aspects of the park and have time to think…

  • RadRevD posted at 11:20 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    RadRevD Posts: 3333

    Lets not forget the Library and the subsequent sweetheart deal to Salvation Army Band.

  • Ziggy posted at 11:13 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    Ziggy Posts: 1295

    Exactly, Rex. Maybe this will finally get the voters out. What I hear on the street is not relfected in the survey mentioned above. Also, the CdA Press survey--that didn't exactly jibe with the city's survey. There is always another election. Years ago, the people of CdA finally had enough and voted the whole city council and mayor out of office. It was a good time.

  • bionic man posted at 10:38 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    bionic man Posts: 347

    First the KROC Center, then the Education Corridor and now McEuen deal. Blo em is sure getting her pockets lined compliments of the taxpayers.

  • rexaroni posted at 9:22 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    rexaroni Posts: 190

    Living where I do, I am not allowed to vote for CDA officials. However, I remember similar discussions about them leading up to the last mayoral/council election. And yet, virtually every incumbent was voted in again. What's up with that? Will they get voted out next time around?

  • ray K posted at 9:18 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    ray K Posts: 1

    It is all well and good that the Press publishes an article that summarized the results of the unscientific poll. I wounder if this is an independent analysis or reporting on information issued by the sponsors of the project. The Press Poll reported markedly different results that those stated in the article. ENLIGHTEN US ON THE DIFFERENCES IN RESULTS.
    SUGGESTION; Publish the tabulated results of the survey, including comments. Let the public judge for itself as to integrity of the reported results.

  • Spikey posted at 9:03 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    Spikey Posts: 387

    By the way, WHAT IS THE COST ESTIMATE? You are an engineer, you must have some idea of cost. That is one piece of information you do not want public. The reason you have only 133 survey results is simple. People here know how things work. Give your personal information and then a negative comment and you are on the Mayor/council enemies list.

  • Spikey posted at 8:53 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    Spikey Posts: 387

    Sir, you are delusional! Or you think we are. Any" results" of this survey are tilted however "Team McEuen" chooses. The composition of the survey itself is seriously slanted. Do you not read the leters to the editor? Have you not read the Press poll? Probably not because you simply do not care. You will do as the small band of " arrogants" choose because that is what happens in CDA. You will then claim that your surveys and meetings told you that your plan is the "will of the people". Shameful but then obviously, you have no shame.

  • JoeIdaho posted at 8:28 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    When I come on this forum & post that I think the government has become gestapo like, and I say that tehy're out of control; like NAZI's, I'm certain that there's quite a number of people who think that comments like that are "fringe" or out on the "edge".
    The TRUTH is that these government EMPLOYEES, right through the Mayor, are completely seperated from the FACT that they are REPRESENTING THE PUBLIC and not private interests or what THEY consider to be "best" for the public.
    There is NO support for SPENDING OUR MONEY on this debacle. It is THAT simple.

  • bionic man posted at 8:18 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    bionic man Posts: 347

    Here is part of your city council:

    I recently received an email from Mike Kennedy. A quote from his email
    " A reminder - why you're getting this email
    For the five years I've served on the City Council, I've received countless email, phone, and personal communications from constituents, friends, supporters (and opponents), and interested citizens. I've tried to keep addresses of all of those contacts and now I've finally made the time to incorporate them into a coherent database to better communicate things as they are happening. So if you received this but you do not want to or don't want to receive any future notes, please accept my apologies and go ahead and unsubscribe by clicking the button at the bottom of the email. I won't share this list with anyone or sell it or anything like that. It's purely to keep in touch with constituents and people interested in the work of the Coeur d'Alene City Council and city government generally. By the way - the template of this email is a little heavy on the "campaign" component with the link to the campaign ads above. I need to edit that - this is NOT intended to be a campaign communication. I just haven't figured out how to make those changes in the template myself and I'll rely on some smarter tech folks than me and get that updated for the future as well!"

    I have never communicated with Mike Kennedy in any fashion what-so-ever, until receipt of this mailing (spam) and as far as I'm concerned, he is falsifying the statement he made “A reminder - why you're getting this email “

    The reason I received an email from Mike Kennedy is because of this statement by Mary Souza (
    "I’m writing to apologize for a mistake I made. Last month, as I prepared to send one of my newsletters, I inadvertently pasted the first portion of addresses into the regular CC field on the email form. Of course I meant to paste them into the BCC (blind carbon copy) field, so the email addresses would not show."

    Mike Kennedy added my name from the newsletter to his mailing list.

    This is a good representation of the people we now have in our city government. Lies, deception and false statements all in the name of politics and money.

    Like the city in California, the people will eventually raise up and get rid of the garbage in office and hopefully they will all see the crossbar motel for retirement.

  • DeNiles posted at 8:08 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    There's nothing that can or will stop Bloem from getting her way. Just plan on the insulting surveys, staunched transparency and getting reamed. Like it or not (the Mayors true motto) they are correct. The voters handed them the power to do what they want with our $$$$$$$. Already they see the wheels coming off of their gravy wagon so they are not going to wait until any more elections come around. McEuen is the shiniest gem in the crown of improvements needed to assure their financial future. This is going down ASAP, "like it or not".

  • redheadedstepchild posted at 7:51 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    redheadedstepchild Posts: 11

    They did not include the most important question of all: "Do you think we should have a public vote?". Ah well, they'd LIE about that answer as well, because after all we already voted for this "design" by electing these people, right? Y'know, the people who made NO mention of this "plan" when they were running for election. What a scam. This city is so corrupt.

  • RadRevD posted at 7:44 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    RadRevD Posts: 3333

    "could be due to online responders not having anyone there to answer questions on specific parts of the project should they arise."

    Questions are usually considered instinctual objections to a concept immediately followed by a HEFTY LOAD OF BULL by the one who responds coercively.

    We have a county-supervised election nearing for the SD271 Levy...why not take the opportunity for a Citizen-Taxpayer advisory vote at the same time? It would cost an additional half sheet of paper and someone to type the ballot! Of course the McEuen Team would expand that project by $$$TENS OF THOUSANDS to bless favored team members with TIF wealth.

  • straight up posted at 6:06 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    straight up Posts: 967

    And if you've run afoul of the mayor and her henchmen and thus don't want to be run through the wringer again, you don't comment because a name and address is required.

    Why the required name? We get to vote without divulging our name, why have it required on a survey "of the people?"

  • haydenator posted at 6:00 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    haydenator Posts: 205

    This is a real scam going on here. What a bunch of smug dictators we have running this town. Oh my lord I just figured it out. Were not speaking their language. Let's try their native tongue,

    NYET. Вы должны прекратить это немедленно. Oh, how about this one
    I am thinking it must be some dictatorial communist language any help out there? When is OUR government going to listen? I have asked at least 100 people, people I do not know and have no interest in the things I do. I have yet to get a positive response on this project? NOT EVEN 1, yet they have a "Majority of positives? LIARS!!

  • idahoguy posted at 5:28 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    idahoguy Posts: 932

    Sadly the world is full of evil, self centered and egotistical people who can not be satisfied without relentless growth and the paving over of nature. On top of it the spend limited funds to do such foolish and one sided things. What is wrong with the launch ramp, a natural hill and baseball fields? Other than it presents an opportunity for certain people to leave yet a larger legacy on this postage stamp sized town. Perhaps if old age was to do it’s thing the pressure might cease? I wonder?

  • TakeBackTheUSA posted at 4:00 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    TakeBackTheUSA Posts: 765

    Wow! Think of it. A survey manipulated by the Cda Press, owned and operated by the Cda resort, declares that most people want to bend over for THEIR plan. Well, then, why not have a vote and let the sunlight of truth verify THEIR claim. Wanna bet where this goes?

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