My theme today is Lists: The City’s hit list and my voting list!
Our City has been taking a lot of pot shots lately, at people who question their decisions. The interesting thing is that the City is not refuting the facts laid out by the citizens, it is aiming personal attacks at these folks, questioning their character and dedication to our community.
Of course you know that I am on their list, especially after revealing the names of the 19 city employees who make more than $100,000 per year, which you can see at the end of this newsletter. But now they are going after State Rep. Kathy Sims too. Kathy wrote a terrific My Turn column in the Press last Saturday, titled “Exposing the City’s Cover Up”. If you missed it, you can click on this link: http://www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_1978c2c0-ff22-11e0-9635-001cc4c002e0.html
You can also read Bill McCrory’s detailed review of the library ownership fiasco, and actually see the deeds, the court decisions and more, by clicking here: http://opencda.com/?p=9873
Kathy Sims pulled no punches in her My Turn column. She laid out the facts, revealed the Deeds and demanded the City and LCDC stop co-mingling public funds and assets because, according to the State Supreme Court, they are two separate and distinct entities. Kathy is representing the best interest of the people; she’s doing the job she was elected to do.
Rather than apologizing and fixing their mistakes, the City is defending its mismanagement and calling Rep. Sims “angry” and a “conspiracy seeker".
Those were the strong words of Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander on a local internet blog yesterday. But when confronted by a fellow commenter on that blog who asked about Deanna’s relationship with Dee Jameson, the man who sold his family’s one acre lot to the Library Foundation for more than $1 Million dollars, even though it had been on the market for a long time, according two local realtors, at right around $300,000. Deanna responded that she knows him well and he even helped on her re-election committee.
Enough of the City’s disrespectful treatment of citizens and questionable deals. It’s time for a responsible change on our city council. We do not need more of the same. We don’t need more massive spending projects pushed on us without a vote. We don’t need more city raises and “merit pay” increases when our local unemployment rate is stuck near 11%. We don’t need an unelected LCDC urban renewal board that controls Millions of taxpayer dollars, has just borrowed another $16.75 Million from a bank (public debt without a vote) and makes decisions that benefit an elite few but raises taxes on everyone.
Now onto my voting list. George Sayler stated very clearly, at the city's candidate forum last week, that if elected to the city council he would bring more of the same. Those were his exact words. He is in favor of the city’s plan for McEuen, he doesn’t think a public vote is needed and he likes the LCDC. George is a nice, go-along-get-along guy. More of the same.
I’ve got to tell you that I’ve heard a number of stories about long-time George Sayler supporters who are not voting for him for city council because they say he’s on the wrong side of the McEuen park issue.
Dan Gookin (center photo above) is running against George Sayler for City Council Seat 3. It’s the seat left open by Al Hassel retiring. Dan will not be more of the same. He is a nice guy but he’s also a smart, independent thinker. Dan has written more than 120 books on technology, starting with “DOS for Dummies” and PCs for Dummies”. He is self-employed and financially successful. Dan does not need this job but he believes in this community, where he is raising his four sons, and he’s willing to work on the city council for us.
I’ve known Dan for years as he has worked to affect positive improvements in our local government. LCDC was unknown back then. Dan was key to getting LCDC’s meetings on TV, their financial statements online and their meeting times more citizen-friendly. He has attended countless city council meetings as well, studying the budget and asking respectful, pertinent questions.
From the start, Dan has been fully in favor of a public vote on McEuen, and thinks the city’s plan is too expensive. He would love to be the replacement city council representative for Al Hassel’s spot on the LCDC, and I think that would be great! Dan is for more open, responsive, accountable government, working with the people. You can read his web site at: www.dangookin.com
John Bruning is currently on the city council, running for re-election, and he is very much like George Sayler: More of the same. John was actually on Team McEuen, the group that designed the elaborate plan for the park, and he has been very clear that he does not favor a public vote. John fully supports LCDC too, and defends the city’s raises and merit pay increases, which he voted for on the council. John Bruning’s seat is #5, and challenging him is Steve Adams.
Steve Adams (right photo above) is one of the most honest people I know. He is against the city’s plan for McEuen and favors a public vote. Steve does not think the LCDC is good for CdA. He thinks we need more focus on attracting jobs, real jobs that are good for families, not the few entry level service jobs at Riverstone.
Steve will offer a clear voice on the council. He grew up here, runs his own insurance business out of an office on east Sherman and is raising his children here because he believes our local government can be responsible and accountable. Steve sticks to his values and will not be swayed by peer pressure; the only way to get Steve’s support for any issue is with facts, not with popularity. How refreshing.
Ok, that’s my list: Dan Gookin for Seat 3, Steve Adams for Seat 5.
What about Seat 1? Ron Edinger’s seat? He’s up for re-election this time too. (All the odd numbered seats are. The even numbered seats plus the mayor are up in two more years.) I’m not endorsing either way Ron's race, and here’s why:
Yes, Ron is in favor of a public vote on McEuen. He has been a staunch supporter and has taken a stand against the mayor and the rest of the council on the issue, enduring some pretty nasty personal and family jabs because of it. I respect Ron for that. But beyond McEuen, Ron and I disagree on many key issues, so this is a tough call for me. Ron’s challenger is Adam Graves, the young businessman who is in fully in favor of the city’s plans for McEuen and does not think a public vote is needed. Make your choice.
I’ll end with this important request: PLEASE get out and vote on November 8. Or you can vote right now over at the County Elections Office at 1808 N. 3rd Street. If you don’t live in CdA, please talk to your family, friends or co-workers who do…it will help everyone.
Have a good rest of the week! --Mary
Below you can find the list of the CdA city employees who make over $100,000:
Several readers who were unable to attend last week's presentation, have asked to see the list of CdA City employees making over $100,000. We detailed the names and job titles in our program, so here it is, there are 19 of them:
1. Mike Gridley, City Attorney = $125,000
2. Wendy Gabriel, City Administrator = $123,024
3. Kenny Gabriel, Fire Chief = $112,005
4. Troy Tymesen, Finance Director = $112, 005
5. Wayne Longo, Police Chief = $112,005
6. Jon Ingalls, Deputy City Administrator = $110,597
7. Police Captain = $107,399
8. Police Captain = $107,399
9. Warren Wilson, Chief Civil Deputy Attorney = $100,012
10. Wes Sommerton, Chief Criminal Deputy Attorney = $100,012
11. Susan Weathers, City Clerk = $100,012
12. Gordon Dobler, Engineering Director = $100,012
13. Pam MacDonald, Human Relations Director = $100,012
14. Doug Eastwood, Parks Director = $100,012
15. Steve Anthony, Recreation Director = $100,012
16. Dave Yadon, Planning Director = $100, 012
17. Tim Martin, Street Superintendent = $100, 012
18. Sid Fredrickson, Wastewater Superinten. = $100,012
19. Jim Markley, Water Superintendent = $100,012
.....and there are 5 more people just barely under $100,000 who will probably be over the mark by the end of the year when Over Time is included.
By the way, the Mayor makes $32,400 and the City Council members make $9,000.
(All this information came from either Wendy Gabriel, CdA City Administrator, or www.ouridaho.com)
One more tidbit: What do Tony Berns ($120,000 LCDC Director), Troy Tymeson (Finance Director), Wayne Longo (Police Chief), Jon Ingalls (Deputy City Administrator), Wes Somerton (Chief Criminal Deputy City Attorney), Pam MacDonald (Human Resources Director), Doug Eastwood (Parks Director) and Dave Yadon (Planning Director) all have in common, besides their over $100,000 public salaries?...None of them live Coeur d’Alene, according to the voter registration rolls (10/11/2011).
That means none of their $100,000 plus tax-dollar-paid salaries come back to the city in property taxes.
The free presentation we gave last week, called “What You Need to Know Before You Vote”, will be repeated on Tuesday, November 1, at 6:00pm at the American Legion Hall at 754 Fourth Street. Kathy Sims is unavailable, but her brother, David Sheridan, a former American Legion Commander and retired military, will speak, along with Sharon Culbreth and I. We’d love to see you there.