Just wondering: Tough questions awaiting answers

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Happy Christmas Eve eve!

Everyone’s wondering if the ground will be laden with snow on Tuesday. Our weather guys, Randy and Cliff, have been reminding readers that historically, whenever we’ve had three consecutive white Christmases, there has always been a fourth (and we’ve had three in a row already).

But that’s not the only question on people’s minds as 2018 nears its end. Here are just a few more.

What happened to Carrie Phillips? The popular head of the county’s elections department was essentially dismissed by her boss, Clerk Jim Brannon. Brannon copped a “no comment” because it’s a personnel matter, but Phillips hinted that she and Brannon butted heads. That kind of exercise rarely works out better for the employee than the boss. The next question is, how will this play out for Kootenai County voters? Here at The Press, we’ll miss Phillips, who was always accessible and respected for her ability to smile under fire. Best of luck to you, Carrie.

Will opt-out perish soon? This one looks easy: Yes. Incoming Commissioner Leslie Duncan has pitched her tent in the Libertarian/Republican camp that got its licks in on perceived governmental overreach by dismantling some sound building regulations in the county. But the other two voters, Commissioner Chris Fillios and Commissioner-elect Bill Brooks, have made it clear they think the opt-out policy is poorly thought out. Fillios and Brooks are both considered more traditional Republicans — conservative and reasonable. Booting the opt-out will restore some common sense to county governance.

How will our hospital grow? Through help from a new urban renewal district? By leapfrogging its current corridor in the heart of Coeur d’Alene out to the prairie, where there’s somewhat affordable land and the potential for related industry to sprout? There’s no simple solution no matter which way this goes. Much of the consternation we feel is similar to the plight of Coeur d’Alene schools as they sought to purchase property in the northwest portion of the district. Where there was land, speculation followed. It’s a seller’s market, which is good for the sellers but in these cases, bad for students and patients.

What do you want for Christmas? On this there is no argument: We hope that whatever it is, you get it.

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