Sunday, October 14, 2007

Voters Take Note

There are three City Council seats up for election in Coeur d'Alene. There are nine challengers. You might say that's not many for a city of the size of Coeur d'Alene; 38,000 give or take. The one vacated seat has five candidates. Stands to reason, there is no incumbent to beat. More interesting to me is that there are challengers for all the seats.

Whether a lot or a few, it is apparent there is some dissatisfaction with the current council. Rather than pass it off as a disgruntled few or even worse, an ambitious few, it would be prudent to explore why the challenges are being made. You might be surprised to find some very valid reasons.

There are some very good candidates among the challengers. They have a right to be heard without input or innuendo by currently sitting members of the council.

I find it disturbing that at least one candidate was encouraged to run by two sitting council members and a third, who is vacating her seat, has publicly named her choice of successor. Such behavior should encourage all voters to pay close attention to what all the candidates say they support and why and vote accordingly.

The current council is by no means all bad. However, there have been serious questions asked about the process by which decisions have been made; there have been questions asked about adherence to the open meeting laws, among others. The response has often been arrogant, dismissive and demeaning. Paired with that, and often making it worse, is the dialog that is ever present on the blogs which find a home on blogs sponsored by both our local papers. It serves no one well; those putting forth the invective, the office holders and the challengers where it is aimed and most of all the public as a whole.

Remember what Lord Acton said back in 1887 in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton," Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

There are times we seem to be teetering on the brink.

1 comment:

Bill McCrory said...


It is my understanding the Coeur d'Alene city council's rules prohibit campaigning by council members during open council meetings from their seats. Regardless of whether Dixie Reid's misconduct was expressly prohibited or simply discouraged as being remarkably distasteful, it was up to the Mayor as the presiding officer to maintain decorum. The Mayor failed, completely failed, to perform her duty.

None of the council members, not one, objected to Reid's misconduct. From that is it not reasonable to infer that the council members lack the courage and integrity to speak out against a fellow council member's misconduct and the Mayor's failure to preside?

That is precisely why some of us believe that it is time for a changing of the guard at City Hall. That is not limited to elected officials, either.

You quoted from Lord Acton's letter to Creighton. It is an applicable quote in this circumstance. I would urge the Mayor and each council member to read Egil "Bud" Krogh's book Integrity: Good People, Bad Choices, and Life Lessons from the White House. Then I would suggest they go to Bud's website and review The Integrity Zone. Krogh's book is a good follow-on to the Rocky Mountain Institute's paper you cited in your previous blog post.