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One park, two views

Recall’s first fireworks a dud

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Posted: Thursday, April 5, 2012 12:15 am | Updated: 9:51 am, Fri Nov 16, 2012.

COEUR d'ALENE - Despite a rally, chanting and signs, the petitions to launch a recall effort on four Coeur d'Alene City Council officials didn't pass legal muster, meaning they'll have to be submitted again.

The ones submitted to the city Wednesday morning lacked a reason the citizen group, called Recall CdA, wants to remove the officials. That means Frank Orzell, who is spearheading the effort, will have to drop off completed versions to get the process under way.

"Not a problem," Orzell said outside City Hall around noon Wednesday after learning the news, some two hours after 75 or so people, some with signs and chanting, rallied outside City Hall in snow and sleet in support of the recall.

The incomplete documents didn't state a reason for the recall to remove City Council incumbents Woody McEvers, Deanna Goodlander, Mike Kennedy and Mayor Sandi Bloem. They only stated the authority granted under the Idaho Constitution to allow the citizenry to do so.

A reason is needed, the city clerk's office said after its legal team reviewed the petitions, so the city can formulate language to counter the effort so Coeur d'Alene voters can decide when they vote in November - if the matter gets that far.

Orzell said the group will craft that language, and will deliver the new 20 signatures - the amount required to begin each recall petition - to the city clerk's office today. City Clerk Susan Weathers said once the documents are delivered, it could take a day or two to certify, after which the group has 75 days to collect 4,311 signatures from registered Coeur d'Alene voters on each petition to get the recall effort on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The reasons for the recall effort stated in a press release from the group targeted the incumbents primarily for their stances on McEuen Field, but cited other issues as well, like employee salaries.

People gathered outside City Hall before Orzell delivered the petitions. Orzell pumped his fist in the air while the crowd chanted.

Some held signs that read "stop spending our money" and "get the vote they denied us," referencing the council's decision not to issue a public advisory vote.

"If they are so sure this is what the majority wanted, then why not give us a vote?" said Darlene Blomgren, standing in the crowd. "It's always been the American way - the majority rules."

A few people stood nearby in a counter protest, holding signs of support for the incumbents.

Jennifer Drake, accompanied by husband Ben and friend Sara Meyer, showed up to support the mayor and council members, as she has done at several McEuen Field meetings in the last year.

They believe redeveloping McEuen Field is a positive step for future generations in Coeur d'Alene. She said those opposed to McEuen Field, or in favor of the recall, are misinformed and use exaggerated numbers when it comes to the park cost.

She said the council has showed compromise by scaling back Phase 1 of the park plan, but "no matter how much they compromise, these people want more and more and more."

The most senior councilman, Ron Edinger, hasn't seen a recall in Coeur d'Alene in his 57 years of living here.

Edinger wasn't targeted by the recall. He said he's disappointed in the depth of disagreement leading to a recall attempt but doesn't regret bringing the McEuen Field debate to meetings repeatedly.

"I'm very disappointed this is happening in Coeur d'Alene," he said. "This council and I have worked together on many issues, agreeing and disagreeing. McEuen is a very polarizing issue and many in our community, I think, feel strongly about this. This has caused a definite split in our community."

Orzell said the group has around 50 volunteers so far to go door-to-door seeking signatures, which will be the main approach it takes.

All of the council members not targeted said they didn't - and wouldn't - have anything to do with the effort.

Dan Gookin - who called threats of recall excessive in a Press article before the Jan. 17 advisory vote decision - said it would be "inappropriate" to weigh in.

"This is backlash," council member Steve Adams said earlier this week. "It's not a surprise, I guess."

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  • cgent47 posted at 7:57 am on Sat, Apr 7, 2012.

    cgent47 Posts: 190

    There is going to be a recall because the mayor and her three sheep did not listen. The voters sent a very clear message last election. We do not want to spend millions on McKuen park. We do not want the boat launch moved. Period. The numbers in the last election were overwhelming. The incumbents were crushed. It was a protest vote and the council did not get the message. You will be replaced.

  • JoeIdaho posted at 3:35 pm on Fri, Apr 6, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    Good, Q, there'll never be anything there at Mckuen for you, so just stay away.

  • JonnyQPubic posted at 3:27 pm on Fri, Apr 6, 2012.

    JonnyQPubic Posts: 325

    @cc: My bad, I stand corrected. And agree.

    I'll be taking my kids to McEuen, when there's something there worth taking them to.

  • CClavin posted at 9:05 am on Fri, Apr 6, 2012.

    CClavin Posts: 221

    @JonnyQ, again you are not reading the posts correctly. I never said anything about council members posting. I would actually support that. I am talking about the little insiders who work for the City, like for building services, the clerks office, parks, and the other various departments. Just for the record I plan to take my grandkids down to McQuen Field, either way.

  • JonnyQPubic posted at 8:23 am on Fri, Apr 6, 2012.

    JonnyQPubic Posts: 325

    Councilmembers are paid something like $800 a month. How much "taxpayer time" do you think they need to commit for that amount?

  • JoeIdaho posted at 6:28 am on Fri, Apr 6, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    I see, anonymous.
    The boat launch downtown isn't "needed" anymore. I guess the people that launch there don't need it, huh? They'll all just take their boats elsewherew, since YOU decided it "wasn't needed".

    Spoken like a true socialist.

  • AnonymousCda posted at 1:00 am on Fri, Apr 6, 2012.

    AnonymousCda Posts: 256

    I'm a local an think people with Boats will do anything to keep there boat launch downtown. Which is no longer needed. I say so long to the boat launch. An more emphasis on a park for Family gatherings, groups, clubs and Community events/actions for the local residents year round.

  • RadRev2D posted at 7:29 pm on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    RadRev2D Posts: 372

    in bye gone days, ingrates like these would be run out of town on a rail.
    Their pawns are carefully groomed to nod their heads on command.
    Those days are soon to be history, but the damage is irreversible.
    MayorB and her cronies made oodles from the pockets of Citizen-Taxpayers.
    It could be worse...I could still be paying Milwaukee property taxes.
    In sharp contrast is the livable wage I earned back then working at Elmbrook Memorial Hospital.
    When an equipment crisis occurred, they called for me STAT!

    This must be part of papa Bush' kinder, gentler amerika!
    Regardless the outcome, the Workers of Coeur d'Alene must UNITE!

  • JoeIdaho posted at 3:40 pm on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    IF you are a Democrat/Socialist who is in FAVOR of recalling the Mayor & her clonse, I APOLOGIZE for my ignorance. IF you, as a Democrat believe in smaller government, I can possibly start to see your point of view.....maybe.

    Mr. Joeseph (P) Idaho WILL attend the petition signing at the Greyhound Park on the 11th of April.

  • CClavin posted at 1:11 pm on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    CClavin Posts: 221

    56yearoldnative, I am a native too who lives in the City and I want the people who work for the City and for thetax payers to be working and not taking paid time to post blogs either on here or on Huckleberries. I agree they employees can do what ever they want "ON THEIR OWN TIME". I have no problem with that. I don't even mind the plan for McEuen field, I disagree how it came about, but I like some of it.

  • Brent Regan posted at 1:11 pm on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    Brent Regan Posts: 607

    The Petition is APPROVED!

    RecallCDA will be collecting signatures at the Conservative Candidate Forum, April 11th, Greyhound Park, Post Falls. Doors open at 5:00. Stop by, sign the petition and meet the candidates that will be on the May 15th primary ballot.

  • Flash Gordon posted at 12:38 pm on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    Flash Gordon Posts: 1178

    Keep this in mind....all we need is for one of those four to be recalled and it changes the whole council dynamic....just one.

    I see where David Oliveria is blaming the Reagan republicans for the anti McEuen plan. There are many many democrats or commie socialists , as JoeIdaho would label us , as being opposed to the McEuen plan. George Saylor made a huge mistake by believing the Oliveria assumption....and taking those that supported him for the state legislature for granted on this particular issue.

  • objective posted at 12:37 pm on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    objective Posts: 70

    Word is out. Petition has been approved.

  • RadRev2D posted at 12:32 pm on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    RadRev2D Posts: 372

    YEE-HAW...mike gridley to the rescue to run diversion.

    In the mean time, MayorB's LCDC pet benefits those approved with $564/mo rent in riverstone West.
    Are any of these section 8 housing Mikey??? Why not move the other Mikey's homeless there?

    for a professional approach, nothing quite like the future view from above to sell condos at Parkside and Charlie's Place...Nipp that is!

  • objective posted at 12:28 pm on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    objective Posts: 70

    Those for the recall need to stop campaining their position to others on the blogs. The time for debate is OVER!!! There is amount of money, advertising, talking , etc. that will prevent the required signatures from being gathered door to door.
    The RECALLCDA organizers are just that...ORGANIZED! They are funded. They are determined. They are working their plan.
    To heck with the opposition nasayers. The siginatures and then the votes will speak lound enough.
    I'll sign...and donate!!....and I'll bring a hundred with me.

  • 56YearOldNativeWithAVoice posted at 11:24 am on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    56YearOldNativeWithAVoice Posts: 150

    @CClavin: I'm not a City employee. Why does it bother you if a city employee states fact and/ or opinion. They are citizens with the same right to voice their concerns as you. All of you that are against the proposed improvements to the Park might be taken more seriously if you had a more professional approach as I have seen with many of the Pro Park posts. Childish behavior and name calling, is just that. There is no reason to be just plain mean when voicing your opinions.

  • RUtaxedenough posted at 10:52 am on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    RUtaxedenough Posts: 90

    The recall petitioners are most likely lucky that their petition was denied. Otherwise, the recall election could have occurred and then been thrown out by the courts. Legally, I am surprised that the city clerk's office would rule itself on the recall petition. In the case DAVIDSON v. WRIGHT, the Idaho State Supreme Court ruled on a citizen's initiative case in which all five Idaho Supreme Court justices ordered that the city must consider the petition. Whether or not the initiative (or perhaps recall in this case) turns out to be legal, is a matter for the courts to consider, if and when the initiative passes. The case about the initiative was about medical marijuana but it would seem the principle would apply for a recall election. Assuming this Supreme Court decision would also apply for a recall petition, it is NOT UP TO THE CITY CLERK, but the courts to decide if the petition is legal or not. Anyway, the good news for the petitioners is that they can get their legal reasons in order and start the process.

  • pginthemiddle posted at 10:32 am on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    pginthemiddle Posts: 82

    Mary Souza quote "The law in Idaho states that NO reason need be given for a Recall,..."

    According to Title 34, Chapter 17, Recall Elections, of the current Idaho Statutes, it clearly sates that reasons be given for the recall election. Here is an excert from the Form of Petition for city officials:

    "We, the undersigned citizens and registered electors of the City of ...., respectfully demand that ...., holding the office of ...., of the City of ...., be recalled by the registered electors of the City of .... for the following reasons, to-wit:
    (setting out the reasons for recall in not more than 200 words); that a special election therefor be called;..."

    Last time I checked Merriam's Dictionary, " reason" can be defined as
    - a sufficient ground of explanation or of logical defense; especially : something (as a principle or law) that supports a conclusion or explains a fact
    - the thing that makes some fact intelligible : cause

    I would think that a group of your intellectual stature would state exactly WHY you are requesting a recall election rather than just because it is your constitutional right. That is like saying "The devil made me do it". If one was to ask for a raise in pay, do you think they go in there with only "...because I deserve one."?

  • CClavin posted at 10:09 am on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    CClavin Posts: 221

    Why not let the process of the recall work, after all it is the citizen's right to petition a recall if the government is not working. Clearly the City Council has ignored the citizens, I remember the turnout at Woodland Middle School a year ago asking for a vote. The City Council snubbed their noses at the majority. What is really funny is all the City employees posting blogs on here in support and trying to deflect the issue. Come on guys you are on the taxpayer dime, get off the internet and start working for your income.

  • WhitePine posted at 9:36 am on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    WhitePine Posts: 133

    Don't any of these people have jobs?

  • Ziggy posted at 9:16 am on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    Ziggy Posts: 1077

    it is always wise to let an attorney look these things over. I haven't read Idaho law on the subject, but Mary obviously has. However, if they want to play hardball, you have to also and have an attorney standing behind you to argue with their attorney.
    Joe, I agree. The conflict of interest thing is what bothers me the most. It happens over and over in this town.

  • ancientemplar posted at 8:43 am on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1117

    Recall is a citizen's tool reign in out of control govn't all over the country. Here's one in Milpitas Calif as reported in the Mercury News.

    Milpitas: Initial steps taken in effort to recall two City Council members

    Milpitas Post

    Posted: 04/05/2012 07:32:54 AM PDT
    Updated: 04/05/2012 07:32:55 AM PDT

    Advancing efforts to oust Milpitas City Council members Armando Gomez and Althea Polanski, recall proponents have filed the initial paperwork.

    In her certified response, Polanski said, "A very few disgruntled citizens ... have conspired to subject our city to an expensive and unnecessary recall election. Why? Because they have a scheme, a power grab scheme, to take over your city council."

    On Tuesday, Gomez also sent his response. "This recall attempt is unfounded and politically motivated. The primary reason for the recall is my perceived support for medical marijuana establishments."

    During the City Council's March 6 meeting, Linda Windisch, wife of former City Council candidate Robert Windisch, told Polanski she did not like her support for such dispensaries. None operate or has been approved in the city.

    Dan Manassau, a former Milpitas Citizens Budget Task Force member, said Gomez has "worked against the best interests of the residents.".

  • JonnyQPubic posted at 8:21 am on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    JonnyQPubic Posts: 325

    Setting yourself up for a run at mayor Ms. Souza?

  • justbecause posted at 7:29 am on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    justbecause Posts: 56

    WOW 100 people? That sure is a lot of support for a city with 30K + citizens!

    Instead of "Recall CdA" is should be called the "Sore Losers Club". Get over it, you lost and we are going to have another nice park for families to play in.

  • Mary Souza posted at 7:18 am on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    Mary Souza Posts: 781

    "Recall's first fireworks a dud"? I don't think so. More than 100 people came out in the middle of a snowstorm on a weekday morning! They brought signs and the upbeat energy was's time to take back our city government from officials who've been ignoring the will of the people.

    The writer of the article, Tom Hasslinger told me yesterday that he estimated 100 people, yet he wrote "about 75". There were only 3 adults standing supporting the status quo, yet this article quotes them at length.

    The law in Idaho states that NO reason need be given for a Recall, so we quoted the state constitution that gives the people the right to "reform our government whenever we deem it necessary". The city attorney decided to pester us and deny the first petition. No problem. It's not worth a big legal fight at this point. We rewrote that small section and it will be resubmitted today.

    The city's game playing is predictable. They must be fearful of the growing momentum of this Recall. People are signing up to volunteer and are anxious to sign the petitions.

    Please check out our web site at for more info and the location of our headquarters. For more insight on the recall process in Idaho, please visit

  • dasher posted at 7:02 am on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    dasher Posts: 160

    Jenny, it's interesting you mention some the real issues in Coeur d'Alene regarding the homeless population, yet the outspoken citizens are busy worrying over a piece of property and not addressing safety and security within our own city limits.
    Let's see what happens when we stop taking grant money because the same concerned citizens vote more people in like Adams and we lose grants for our police and fire departments.
    That piece of property won't mean a dang thing when we have nothing but panhandlers living in it.

  • concernedcitizen posted at 6:38 am on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    I thought the same thing when I read it Joe.

    It should have read "City of Corrupt d'Alene Stalls Citizen Efforts".

  • JoeIdaho posted at 6:32 am on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    "Didn't pass muster", huh Press?
    This is HOW FAR we have come in lack of Representation in America.

    here, in little Coeurd'alene, we have politicians, who; JUST like in DC, think they they know better than the people they represent in how to spend money, and what the public needs. Regardless of the public outcry AGAINST their spending 40 MILLION DOLLARS of taxpayer money, they do it anyways, and then when a group FINALLY stands up against them, the press leads with "didn't pass muster" somehow tryimng to show (ineffectively) that the recall folks were somehow wrong; or didn't know what they were doing.

    Me; I hope little uprisings like this gain traction. There are FAR too many gestapo government agencies out there, and I truly want the public to use LEGAL means to remove these idiots from office. As to what bloehm & co did prior to this, it's irrelevant. The issue is TODAY, 2012, when people ar elosing their homes all over, and the arrogance of these officials instead makes a case for spending, again, FORTY MILLION DOLLARS while at the same time getting rid of an important boat launch & parking.


  • lexacon posted at 6:26 am on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    lexacon Posts: 80

    How do we come in contact with a petition?

  • Jenny posted at 2:46 am on Thu, Apr 5, 2012.

    Jenny Posts: 41

    Orzell - If you need signatures go to the area where Fresh Start is located. Kennedy and company refused to declare this agency a public nuisance when the clientele where urinating and defecating in our alleys, leaving hypodermic needles in our yards, sleeping in our dog houses, passing out in our yards. They went to the extent of setting up a hot line wanting us to sneak around and take pictures of the clientele and send the pictures in, knowing they would never declare the agency a public nuisance.

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