It’s been a busy week. The forum on Urban Renewal (LCDC) and McEuen Park went very well on Tuesday night. Great turnout...they had to bring in extra chairs. Thanks to everyone who attended. Sharon Culbreth started out with the basics about urban renewal and LCDC, and I followed by explaining who sits on the LCDC Board and the City Council, and how they are connected to the McEuen Park plan. Then Frank Orzell, who is a retired business consultant, gave a more in-depth presentation on how urban renewal hits each and every taxpayer in the county. State Rep. Kathy Sims rounded out the forum by describing the legislation proposed to regulate urban renewal statewide. Five bills passed the House but only one got all the way through the Senate to become law. She says they’ll keep trying next year!
Here are a few more things to think about:
$$ for Teachers?:
Did you know that $52 Million is used statewide each year by urban renewal? It’s a big problem. No wonder taxpayers don’t have enough money for teachers. And that big money helps pay for lots of very powerful lobbyists in Boise who want to keep the old, vague urban renewal laws just as they are; they don’t want more transparency or accountability for the public’s money. (Yes, these unelected boards use taxpayer dollars to hire lobbyists to work against accountability upgrades in the law.) If you want more info, go to the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s online booklet titled “Theft as Urban Renewal”: http://www.box.net/shared/dlbpjuj8t5
The Queen gets slapped:
Did you see the article about illegal voter Nancy White’s conviction and fine? It happened on March 2nd, but was just in the Press this past Wednesday...small article, Local section, not online so I can’t link you to it. You might recall that Nancy is a well-known Realtor here in CdA. She runs frequent ads in the Press, calling herself the “Queen of Real Estate”. You’d expect then, wouldn’t you, that she would understand the legalities of selling a home and giving up ownership at that address? Well, according to Nancy’s attorney, Mark Jackson, she “wasn’t aware” that she couldn’t vote from the address of the home she once owned but sold 10 months before the 2009 city election. When she sold that home, she moved outside the city; she was no longer a resident of Coeur d’Alene. Nancy is a very smart woman and she is highly political, placing campaign signs for her favorite candidate on her real estate listings all around town. But after the election, she told investigators she "couldn't remember" who she voted for. Her attorney, Mark Jackson is also very active in the same political party as Nancy. Mark is quoted in the Press as saying, “Nancy committed no violation of any criminal law when she mistakenly voted in the city election”. What was Nancy’s penalty for voting illegally? She has to pay a $200 fine and be on unsupervised probation for 3 months. That’s it...a slap on the hand. It’s far less than the $800 she had to pay for her DUI conviction last October. Her illegal voter fine is about the same an average campaign contribution. Certainly violating the integrity of our election system should pack more of a punch than that!
(you can read more at http://opencda.com/?p=8673
Mark your Calendars: For the May 17th School Board elections. It is vitally important! We have two good candidates running here in CdA, Terri Seymore and Tom Hamilton. Post Falls has Bonnie Beaulieu and Rob Moser running to increase accountability. Please start talking to your friends and neighbors. I’ll offer more info next week.
Sorry Charlie: (I couldn’t resist that line) Charlie Nipp, long time Chairman of LCDC resigned his member position on that board on April 6th. Effective immediately. His photo and information are already gone from the LCDC web site but his influence will go on and on.
Please take inspiration from these wise words of Ronald Reagan:
“No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”
Have a great weekend! --Mary