The City's Pulse Newsletter

 

The year on our calendars has changed to 2008, and we've all had time to celebrate with family and friends, but now it's time to turn our sights back to the important local issues that affect our quality of life. Our city and county officials have been busy planning and implementing changes; the holidays did not stop the growing list of concerns we face as a community, so let's take a look at some of what's been happening:

  • The school district wants LCDC urban renewal to give money for building upgrades to Sorenson and Winton schools.  This is a complicated subject that is really a backwards way of funding school repairs.  Meanwhile…
  • The school district is planning a new building levy for 32 million dollars, but a big portion of the levy, about $645,000, will go to LCDC instead of the schools!  How's that for crazy?
  •  The plans for the Educational Corridor in the Fort Grounds area of Coeur d'Alene are advancing, despite lots of controversy and politicking between several education groups, the state, city of CdA and city of Post Falls. Plus, add LCDC into the mix because they are making financial plans to  spend $10 million public dollars on a piece of property for this project. What, no one asked you if you wanted it?  I'm shocked.
  • Meadow Ranch subdivision (the barn area near Fred Meyer) is a particular issue with me because the city council overturned the Planning commission's ruling on the development.  I was on P&Z at the time.  Now, when construction is well underway, an influential local realtor comes forward to complain, and our city council members are realizing there might be some problems.  Hmmm. 

How will we all keep up on the news of these issues?  With my newsletter, of course. The column I wrote last year for the Coeur d'Alene Press has now evolved into this newsletter.  My plan is to send out a newsletter column every week, which will contain my viewpoint on current events in our area. But that's not all.  My newsletter will also be linked to an exciting new local website for more in-depth information and online conversation.  

The new website will allow the posting of actual documents, photos, videos, graphs and maps, so readers can evaluate the information and form their own opinions.  It will also have a conversation section that will encourage public discussion of the issues. And it will be closely monitored to disallow any off-topic remarks or irresponsible comments. 

The  website will also links to other local issue-related columns, articles and blogs. 
It's an exciting concept and new technologies make it easier than ever for busy citizens to access important information and participate in the direction of our community. I will let you know as soon as the website is up and running, which should be very soon.

I'm reminded of a quote from Margaret Mead, the celebrated anthropologist who studied civilizations and cultures all over the world, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." 

While we're not trying to change the world, we do want to safeguard the values of our community as we grow and change.  Let's embrace our role as advocates and keep a close watch on our local issues. If we, as citizens, can be informed and involved in the process before the final decisions are made, we stand a much better chance of helping direct the outcome to benefit our community and future generations.

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So here's how the newsletter network is going to work:  I'm sending this newsletter to those who have requested it directly and those that have contacted The City's Pulse column by email.  

I am asking you to send a copy on to friends that might be interested in getting the newsletter on a regular basis.  They can sign up (it's free) by simply emailing me at: thecityspulse@gmail.com  Just write, "please add me to the newsletter list".  

Your help is very important in circulating this newsletter.  Please send it on to people in the whole Kootenai County area--they don't have to live inside the city, all of our communities are undergoing rapid change and share similar concerns.

On the other hand, if anyone gets the newsletter each week and wants it to stop, an email to the above address will get you off the list.  

And, as always, a free archive of my columns is available at www.thecityspulse.com  

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