Whitecaps

Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Name:
Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.


Monday, December 20, 2004

Corrosive Correspondence

After reading Duane Hagedone’s letter withdrawing the Gardens project, the Coeur d'Alene mayor and city council may finally comprehend the contempt he has not only for them but also for most of us who live here. Surely now our elected officials understand just how he has used them.

Because Hagedone’s letter was so poorly and poisonously written, I wondered if the Spokesman-Review and the Press had verified its authenticity before reporting its content. It was not a shining example of gracious business correspondence.

• Hagedone: “Your (referring to the mayor and council members) proposed action of next Tuesday to put my plan to a public advisory vote does not pass my test of what is in the best interests of the citizens of Coeur d’Alene.”

Now, how could he know what the outcome of the council’s Tuesday meeting would be? He couldn’t, unless the council had already privately deliberated and decided to put the Garden issue on the ballot and someone in the meeting had provided the information to him. Of course, they didn’t do that, because even informally polling each council member to determine how s/he would have voted would have been a very clear violation of that pesky Idaho Open Meeting Law.

We elected the mayor and council, not him, to represent our best interests.

What is his test of what is in the best interests of the citizens of Coeur d’Alene?

• Hagedone: “I do believe we would be successful if the vote were taken but it would take a major campaign which I feel would divide the community and also send out a message that would not be good to anyone interested in locating in our city.”

Why would an informative, honorable campaign to persuade people to support a worthwhile project divide the community and send out an unfavorable message? If the campaign was not contentious, it seems that a message of community collaboration would be sent.

• Hagedone: “It is also my understanding that you would place the vote along with the vote on the new public library and some badly needed public works projects. It is my belief that combining these projects will dramatically reduce the possibility of passing the new library and the public works projects that are badly needed. There is no question that a vote on our project will bring out many of the negative voters in the community.”

It is a library bond vote and a public safety bond vote, not “badly needed public works projects.” His apparent concern for the library and the public safety agencies was a red herring the size of Moby Dick.

The projects aren’t being combined. They would have been included on the same ballot but as separate ballot items. The citizens of Coeur d’Alene are able to distinguish between ballot items.

And who are “the negative voters" in the community? I thought it remarkably coincidental that identical phrase was also used in the Press article: “Sources close to both bond initiatives said privately they were fearful that if the City Council put the garden proposal on the same ballot with their projects, all three would fail because the Hagadone plan would bring out ‘the negative voters.’”

• Hagedone: “Giving in excess of $20,000,000 for what I feel would be a world class garden addition to our community should be embraced by the City elected officials and the community. It should be a project filled with pride, fun and excitement for me and my family.”

Most people would agree. Perhaps in his next letter, he would like to complete his thought and explain how these statements were reason for withdrawing the project proposal.

One final note: The city government ought to publicly repudiate the statements of Jonathan Mueller, a landscape architect with Coeur d'Alene-based Hatchmueller P.C. In Saturday's Press he said, "There's a real cynical side to me that says it's a sad day for Coeur d'Alene. The flat-earth society has prevailed." Apparently Mr. Hagedone’s contempt for us geospatially-challenged Coeur d’Alene residents and elected officials trickles down to his hirelings.

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