Protesters call for recall of CdA Mayor, council members

Sound Off for April 24th: Are you for or against the recall effort in Coeur d’Alene?

Dozens of people attempted to begin the process of recalling half the Couer d’Alene City Council Wednesday only to have their petitions rejected.

The people looking to sack half their city leadership say they’ve had enough of the city council and its decisions.

“I call it the straw that broke the camel’s back is the McEuen issue,” Frank Orzell with Recall CdA said.

The plan to revitalize McEuen Park has sparked controversy from the very beginning and these people think the city council isn’t listening to their concerns and are unhappy at the lack of a public vote.

coeur d’alene protesters recall

“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,” Mary Souza with Recall CdA said.

The group turned in petitions Wednesday to recall Mayor Sandi Bloem and council members Mike Kennedy, Wood McEvers and Deanna Goodlander.

But things hit a hitch. The petitions were rejected by the City Clerk because of the wording as it didn’t spell out why the recall was necessary. Now the groups are reworking their petitions and plan to re-submit them Thursday morning.

“I think it’s important to understand the full picture and the reasons behind this. But I’m also not uncomfortable with the fact they did it. They have a right to,” Coeur d’Alene City Council Member Deanna Goodlander said.

Council members say the price tag for the McEuen project is around $14.5 Million for the improvements they can make now. That would include building underground parking and moving the baseball field to Cherry Hill Park.

It’s far from the $39 Million the opposition is quoting.

“I saw them first hand how much they listened. How much they took everyone’s opinion into consideration, there have been massive compromises made and it’s still not enough,” Jennifer Drake, who is against the recall effort, said.

Frank Orzell would agree it’s not enough because he firmly believes the city council is moving ahead with a project the public doesn’t back.

“We believe honestly we are doing absolutely the best thing for the community,” Orzell said.