ULUC contract extension rescinded - Coeur d'Alene Press: Political

ULUC contract extension rescinded

Commissioners agree to draft, sign alternative contract

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Posted: Friday, August 30, 2013 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - In an action that was not properly noticed to the public last week, Kootenai County commissioners voted to rescind a $100,000 contract extension to fix its new controversial land use proposal.

Commissioners went on during that meeting to approve a motion to draft and sign an alternative extension of the contract for $5,400 to draft a prospectus that would detail how their land use consultant, Kendig Keast Cooperative, would propose to fix the flawed Unified Land Use Code.

In the draft minutes of that meeting, Commissioner Todd Tondee entertained a motion to reconsider the $100,000 contract extension that the commissioners approved on Aug. 13.

According to the minutes, he explained to the commission that there was no time to notify the public by properly placing the item on the meeting agenda.

Commissioners then voted to add that item to the agenda along with an unrelated item concerning a grant agreement.

Tondee said the issue needed to be addressed because the commission's intent was never to approve the entire $100,000 contract, but rather to approve the $5,400 prospectus which was the first phase of the contract, according to the minutes.

"Chairman Tondee noted that the contract reviewed (Aug. 13) contained items that should have been covered under the original contract and not under the addendum," the minutes stated.

The minutes show that Commissioners Dan Green and Jai Nelson both said they thought they were approving only the prospectus as well.

In fact, Nelson noted that she specifically asked at the original meeting if the contract could be terminated if commissioners decided that they did not agree with the consultant's prospectus.

Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Pat Braden told the commissioners that he reviewed the audio of the meeting and the commissioners had, in fact, approved the entire contract as presented.

"Mr. Braden mentioned that termination was discussed, but in light of additional communications and discussions a clarification of the Board's intent is necessary," the minutes stated.

The commission voted unanimously to rescind its contract approval, and then proceeded to discuss how they would craft an agreement for the prospectus.

Nelson repeatedly objected to signing the agreement for just the prospectus. She preferred that a new agreement was drafted, according to the minutes.

"Commissioner Nelson noted that this would dramatically modify (the original) document that Mr. Keast has signed," the minutes said.

She was also concerned about language in the original contract that said the commissioners must either approve or deny the prospectus, there would be no changes or modifications allowed.

Tondee said the county could draft a memo to Keast explaining that the county does not approve of the overall contract, but would like to move forward with the prospectus.

Green agreed with Tondee and said that he would be fine with giving the chairman the authority to sign the agreement once the other commissioners read the document.

Both Green and Tondee voted to send the agreement by Aug. 21, and Nelson voted against doing so.

I was really quite tentative about it," she said on Thursday. "Todd and Dan wanted to accelerate that process, but I didn't have anything in front of me, so voted no."

On Aug. 26, Nelson drafted a letter to John McFaddin, who recently submitted a My Turn column to the Press, complaining about the ULUC and the county's unwillingness to listen to local input on the new proposal.

"Well, it was good to hear that she is not supportive of the ULUC," McFaddin said Thursday after receiving the letter. "But she needs to communicate that to a broader segment of the community."

In that letter, Nelson explained to McFaddin that she is listening to public input and described how she is the only one who voted against a contract extension with Kendig Keast.

"I have sent a lot of those letters," she said. "People are quoting me in letters to the editor without even talking to me first, so I just wanted to let him know that I am listening to public input."

She said that she did not vote to hire Kendig Keast at the beginning of the process, and she does not support the draft zoning map that consultant developed as part of the ULUC.

She also has concerns with the ULUC's proposed 40-acre working lands large parcels, or any other dramatic "down zoning" in the proposal.

"I have concerns with the elimination of the "free-split" option in the current draft and support it being included as an option," she wrote. "If the ULUC was to come before me in a hearing with its current content, my vote would be no."

She went on the explain how the contract extension was nullified and how she even voted against the prospectus as well.

"What I do support is the public process and encourage you to stay informed and continue to provide comment on this project," she wrote, adding that still supports upgrading the current land use code with something the citizens support.

"This prospectus really is the crossroads," she said Thursday. "At least it is for me."

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  • Randy Myers posted at 9:56 am on Fri, Aug 30, 2013.

    Randy Myers Posts: 1635

    The whole county is watching........

    BOCC...you aren't going to evade that.

  • thepointis posted at 7:46 am on Fri, Aug 30, 2013.

    thepointis Posts: 102

    It does Will.

  • local guy posted at 7:40 am on Fri, Aug 30, 2013.

    local guy Posts: 26

    Right on Bob. Even when John stated it could be done with local expertise, that was also ignored.

  • local guy posted at 7:38 am on Fri, Aug 30, 2013.

    local guy Posts: 26

    What a mess. Seems like it is time to clean house down at the commissioners office once again. What are these fools thinking? Their actions show they are not thinking or even remotely protecting the citizens of Kootenai County, which is their sole purpose. Maybe even a recall is in order. Seemed to indirectly work for the leaches and drones on the Cda council.

  • Tim Herzog posted at 7:10 am on Fri, Aug 30, 2013.

    Tim Herzog Posts: 373

    This ULUC process is turning out to be real mess for the BOCC. Why did they not see the handwriting on the wall a long time ago? We have so many "common sense" folk that live in the county that want to provide input to a plan that affects their properties and the future develpoment in the rural areas and that's who the BOCC should be listening to.

    It's funny that Jai Nelson (no further development in my backyard) now is not in favor of the current down zoning or proposed mapping.

    Looks to me that she is trying to gather support for re-election campaign.

  • bob-athol posted at 5:17 am on Fri, Aug 30, 2013.

    bob-athol Posts: 192

    Some time back Jai was quoted in the Press (Land use Code Red) as saying "ideology is driving most of the angst with the ULUC" .... I'd submit that some warped ideology is driving the BOCC to abandon sound rational decision making. It is obvious this is not about truly doing what is right, it is about passing something, anything no matter how bad it is.

    When the BOCC met to discuss amending the contract, Janet Robnett (local land use atty) and myself (representing NWPOA.ORG) were the only ones in the chambers from the public. We had both reviewed the proposed amendment and the existing contract with KendigKeast. While the BOCC didn't allow comments until after they voted to accept it, we strongly objected to the approval of the contract amendment, we disagreed with the their internal legal opinion that the county was only obligated to the $5400. We also stated that nearly everything in the contract amendment was indeed covered under the existing contract. http://cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_e758c512-7e05-5e04-bf64-cd1853b2266e.html

    The fact of the matter is KendigKeast took apx $350k in taxpayer money to produce a pile of goo that in no way is even remotely useful or acceptable to the rural property owners as our local ordinances and it heavily penalizes most all of the mom & pop folks in the county. The KendigKeast attorney who wrote this mess has since left the firm and rather than demand taxpayers money back, the BOCC offered KendigKeast more $.

    Rather than invite rural property owners groups to the table to help update our codes (which ONLY apply to us rural folks) and Comp Plan, the BOCC has been h@ll bent on caring out whatever ideology is driving them to make such irrational decisions.

    We are all human, we all will make mistakes, but Jai, Dan, and Todd are trying to ride a horse that has been dead for quite some time. We've tried numerous times to tell them to take the saddle off this dead horse and we will help them find a new horse ...... because this horse is rotting ever more quickly, flies and maggots are collecting around it and yet all 3 of them are sitting in the saddle trying to make it get up.

    PLEASE ...... PLEASE, Dan, Jai, Todd .... lets really fix this and begin by burying the dead horse.

    To John McFadden, (a retired planner from Spokane County) hi-5 for your great work and continued probing into the proposed ULUC.

  • Will Penny posted at 4:19 am on Fri, Aug 30, 2013.

    Will Penny Posts: 274

    So they hire a bunch of bozos, pay them big buck$$$$$, they screw it up to the max and now we, that's you and me and all our neighbors, are going to pay them more money to ask them to fix the mess they made. Does that about sum it up?

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