Recall CdA effort fails

Published On: Jun 18 2012 04:48:27 PM PDT   Updated On: Jun 18 2012 06:59:15 PM PDT
Recall CdA

Late Monday afternoon the Coeur d'Alene city clerk announced the effort to recall three city council members and Mayor Sandi Bloem had failed.

Recall organizers needed 4,311 valid signatures for each of the four council members they wanted to sack but came up short, despite previous claims from Recall CdA that they had upwards of 5,300 per council member they were looking to remove from office.

The group has been looking to get rid of Mayor Bloem and council members Mike Kennedy, Woody McEvers and Deanna Goodlander. At issue was the group's concerns over the revitalization of McEuen Park.

"I call it the straw that broke the camel's back in the McEuen issue," recall supporter Frank Orzell said.

A multi-million dollar plan to revitalize the park and add things like a parking garage sparked outrage from the beginning. The controversy dealt with price tag, a lack of a public vote and people feeling like the city council never listened to their concerns.

"I really believe the public needs to have a say when the city is going to do something unusual like spend a huge amount of money and change the downtown culture like the park," recall supporter Mary Souza said.

While the recall movement took off so did a mirror organization -- the Stop the Recall movement -- whose organizers accused their opponents of spreading misinformation.

In the end Monday afternoon, while Recall CdA said they collected around 5,300 signatures for each person there was a 23 percent rejection rate, leaving Recall CDA short of the needed signatures to move onto the next phase.

The county clerk said one issue was people signing the petitions that live outside the city.

Monday afternoon the city clerk broke down the number of valid signatures. The petition for council member Deanna Goodlander had 4,073 signatures, council Member Mike Kennedy had 4,077, Woody McEvers had 4,060 and Mayor Sandi Bloem had 4,126.

All petitions fell short of the necessary 4,311.

Those against the recall cheered after every announcement Monday afternoon, saying that they never believed the recall effort reflected a majority of the Lake City community and felt that the city council did listen to the public and compromised.