McEuen contract won't be delayed - Coeur d'Alene Press: Political

McEuen contract won't be delayed

Council approves contract 4-2 despite postponement bid

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Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2012 12:15 am

COEUR d'ALENE - Coeur d'Alene City Councilman Steve Adams says his attempt to postpone the McEuen Field financial contract pending a nearly 3-year-old court case wasn't a stall tactic aimed at boondoggling the controversial project.

It was a legitimate request because the court case's final verdict could change the City Council's makeup, he said.

Adams' motion - which died Tuesday night 4 votes to 2 - asked the city to hold off on entering into an $11.5 million contract with its urban renewal agency because the 2009 city election challenge lawsuit is scheduled to go before the Idaho Supreme Court in September.

"I thought it had true validity," Adams said of his request, adding it wasn't his goal to be an "obstructionist" or to "agitate" Councilman Mike Kennedy. "This could change the makeup of the council."

The 2009 suit challenged Kennedy's then-five vote win over challenger Jim Brannon on grounds that inadmissible votes had been cast during the election, among other claims.

Kennedy's victory was upheld in 1st District Court in 2010, though his win total was trimmed to three after some illegal votes were tossed from the final tally. Shortly after, the decision was appealed to the ISC.

Adams said now that the case is scheduled for mid-September, the council should wait because the court could overrule Kennedy's victory or order a new election.

Kennedy isn't buying it.

He called Adams' request "a stretch" and "un-serious."

"This is purely about obstructing the project from going forward," he said of the controversial park plan, which has split the council all year. "I have no idea what the next gimmick will be, but I guess we will wait and see."

The McEuen Field topic has divided the City Council since members Adams and Dan Gookin won their seats last November. Every topic related to the estimated $14.2 million project draws debate, and almost always ends four votes to three, with Mayor Sandi Bloem breaking the tie in favor of moving forward with the park project.

But Gookin, who usually sides with Adams, voted against waiting for the ISC decision.

If the court case required waiting for deciding on the McEuen Field project, then every city decision would have to be put on hold until the court case is settled, Gookin said, and that wouldn't be practical.

"I didn't think it was a strong enough reason," he said.

Adams told The Press he didn't consider the 2009 court case in regard to the McEuen Field project until Brannon and Bill McCrory, who unsuccessfully tried to join in the case, brought it to his attention a couple of weeks ago.

Ron Edinger, who supported Kennedy during the 2009 election challenge, voted in favor of Adams' motion. Edinger has voted against moving the project forward since its onset. After Adams' motion failed, the financial agreement between the city and its urban renewal agency, Lake City Development Corp., outlining LCDC's $11.5 million commitment to the park project, passed four votes to three. LCDC approved the agreement during its own meeting Wednesday.

If the McEuen Field project is delayed beyond November 2013, a new council could be seated as all four pro-project incumbents are up for re-election.

While Adams said it wasn't a delay tactic, Kennedy said it was.

"A Hail Mary pass," Kennedy called the attempt.

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  • charliek60 posted at 8:26 pm on Sat, Aug 18, 2012.

    charliek60 Posts: 204

    well lets see change will come at a price bigger than anyone is currently aware

  • CClavin posted at 11:58 am on Fri, Jul 20, 2012.

    CClavin Posts: 221

    Another waste of taxpayer money.

  • inclined posted at 2:51 pm on Thu, Jul 19, 2012.

    inclined Posts: 681

    "Waste of money either way but it may come to that." At this local level, one might excuse those that live in a little bubble, floating free, when reality has it that, should it be that waste of money was same as waste of air, there would still be those in their bubbles that think, they're OK, they have their stash. And that means, obviously, these people do not have the cognitive level to be of real help, because soon, what is the larger reality could close in on us, like Stockton, San Bernadino, CA, itself.

    People, you can look at this if you wish, on major blogs, financial sites, world centers reporting from serious journalist--you have the tools. It is, whether you know it or not, affecting decisions being made by locals, from the bottom up. Apart from something illegal, the hail Mary has won many a game. But, we are not playing a game. Scranton, PA went to half pay for all government workers. Of course the unions sued, but, You ready?

  • JoeIdaho posted at 1:47 pm on Thu, Jul 19, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    I agree with Deniles, anythig to slow the process, & HOPEFULLY STOP this debacle of government.

    I can't WAIT to vote these idiots out of office.

  • mister d posted at 8:46 am on Thu, Jul 19, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    Although I adamntly oppose the park redo and see it as a total waste of tax dollars, I do agree with the council vote on this decision. If the council cannot make a decision until the ISC ruling, then in effect the council cannot make any decision until then and the whole city is put on hold which would be unacceptable. I am just hoping the park decisions and damage that will be done to it can be reversed when we get our new council next election. Waste of money either way but it may come to that.

  • Humanist posted at 8:39 am on Thu, Jul 19, 2012.

    Humanist Posts: 3223

    Gookin is exactly right with this statement: "If the court case required waiting for deciding on the McEuen Field project, then every city decision would have to be put on hold until the court case is settled, Gookin said, and that wouldn't be practical."

    Since Adams was requesting that ONLY McEuen work cease until the case was decided his intentions were clear, as much as he wants to deny it.

  • Spikey posted at 8:09 am on Thu, Jul 19, 2012.

    Spikey Posts: 387

    Mikey, is there anything you don't have an opinion on??? Just for once, try the quiet route. You are such a puppet policy wonk...and so very boring!!

  • DeNiles posted at 7:37 am on Thu, Jul 19, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    Yep, it was a 'hail Mary' pass. But many are glad that the attempt was made. I hope that there are many such attempts in the future. Why? Because I want the arrogance of the 'player' council members and Her Heinous, El Mayor to be routinely exercised and paraded about in public. Debates like this one (futile or not) help emphasize how the good olde boy system runs in this town and why it needs to go away ASAP.

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