Notes before we begin:
- In the middle of all this national craziness, there were still some meetings that took place this week. I'm just giving you an overview of the pertinent information from the meetings I attended; I'm including all the advisory board interviews because I know there was a lot of interest with this group. :)
Notes from the meetings that I've watched, in person or online.
- Kootenai County Commissioner's Status Update 1/4
- Unfunded Mandate Resolution to Legislators - Commissioners are joining other counties and drafting a resolution to send to Legislators and Governor saying that they need to pass legislation for any mandates they decide need to be put in place, they better be paying for them. Especially with the $600 million SURPLUS state budget, they should be paying for all the BS they're putting onto the counties instead of making the counties pay for the state directive.
- Bill Brooks' Citizen Advisory Committee has no updates until the middle of this month. Bill Brooks is still putting together bylaws and should have that done by January 15th.
- Kootenai County Commissioners Sold Waste Update 1/4
- Although 2020 has just been completed and the final numbers aren't 100% in yet, it's looking like waste is up by 9% - which is a lot in the waste world. They were projecting 5% increase but that almost doubled. We should have the completed numbers in the next few weeks.
- Kootenai County Commissioner's Business Meeting 1/5
- Accounts Payable from 12/28/20-1/1/21 = $2,371,232.27
- Kootenai County Planning & Zoning Commission Interview 1/5
- The board interviewed Connie Krueger for the open Planning & Zoning Commission Advisory Board. She has background experience as a public P&Z Commissioner in Walla Walla County before going into the private sector helping those clients navigate the planning & zoning waters.
- After going into Executive Session, the Commissioners approved the appointment of Connie Krueger for a 3-year term, and they reappointed chairman David Levine for a 3-year term, and Deborah Rose for a 1-year term.
- Kootenai County Historic Preservation Commission Interviews
- There were multiple interviews over this past week:
- Katrina Cook - History degree out of Lewis & Clark State College.
- Joe Piedmont - History degree out of University of Washington. Most recently he was the Chief Operating Officer for Buck Knives before retiring and focusing on his tiny farm south of town.
- Jennifer DeRose - Archaeologist out of Utah who most recently has worked with the Tribe.
- There was one other applicant that was supposed to be interviewed but she never showed so that one was removed.
- The Commissioners did go into Executive Session but when the audio cut back after the session was done, they had already voted on who will be taking those Historic Preservation Board positions and it was not mentioned who was appointed.
- Coeur d'Alene City Council 1/5
- The CDA Historic Preservation Committee will be having a virtual public meeting on January 14th at 5:30pm that the public is asked to attend. I would post the link to the Zoom meeting but it's in photograph form and not clickable. If you would like to attend, here's the information on the City of CDA website.
- There is also an online survey open now through the end of the month here.
- Councilman Dan Gookin just wanted to remind everyone that it is illegal to discharge a firearm within the city limits. :)
- The Atlas Waterfront Project has an awkward, triangular section that wasn't bookmarked for anything specific within the engineer's master plan. The council discussed the options with that section, along with the other larger open sections closer to Riverstone. Potential options include a green space, baseball field, and fire house. There's space for a few different options, and there was debate about whether or not CDA needs another fire house, or if we use the open areas for more housing, retail, etc. In the end, the council decided to dive that triangular land over to ignitecda because "they're the best option for being able to design it and implement the project." Dan Gookin reminded everyone that we don't need any more townhomes, single family units are best.
- Coeur d'Alene School Board of Trustees 1/4
- At their annual administrative meeting, Casey Morisroe has removed his name from consideration as chair and Jennifer Brumley was voted in unanimously as the new chair for 2021. Rebecca Smith was voted in as vice chair, Katie Ebner was voted in as treasure, Lynne Towne was voted as clerk and custodian of public records, and Pamela Westberg was voted in as acting clerk in case Lynne couldn't be there.
- Levy information:
- In the Idaho state laws, school board members and district employees may not spend public funds or use public property or resources to advocate for passage of the levy. This includes district communications or conversations during board meetings. The law does specify that each person on the board may personally campaign or advocate the passage of the levy as well as contributing their own money.
- Board approved levy wording.
- Board is not going to ask for an increase or decrease, it'll stay exactly the same as last time at $20,000,000. This levy will be over the next 2 years.
- The board did touch on conversations that they will be needing to have around policy on "parent involvement in discussions at school without getting too specific." My assumption is that they are referring to the counselor and principal at Northwest Expedition Academy circumventing parent's wishes and secretly helping a girl come out as trans. They are putting together a 90-minute workshop to discuss levy updates and work on the policy update that they will need due to the above counseling "issue."
- Idaho Freedom Foundation Legislature 101
- The IFF put on a Legislature 101 "class" just to go over the basics of how the legislature works in advance of the new session next week. It was a very BASIC class, starting at the very beginning about what they layout of the Capital building looks like.
- To watch the class in it's entirety, click the link.
- If you're interested in visiting the Capital Building during this legislative session, check out the floorplan to understand the layout and where you can watch the sessions.
- The IFF will put out a "Presponse" at 10am MST Monday morning in advance of Brad Little's State of the State address opening this session. Check out their Facebook page for the Presponse.
- If you ever plan on going to give public testimony for any legislation here's some tips:
- Tell the truth and give anecdotes about how the bill would affect you personally
- Be respectful. The Legislature, especially the Senate, loves decorum and rules of order. The committee chair will gavel you off the stand so fast if you're disrespectful.
- Be concise. Don't rehash something if it's already been said. They're looking for new information to be brought to the conversation and sometimes these hearings get REALLY long so the shorter, the better.
- Don't forget to tell them how you'd like them to vote. Don't assume they know, because half the time they don't. :)
- If you're looking to try to get some legislation passed:
- Know the committee that will be viewing the bill. A good lobbyist knows the committee members and how they'll vote.
- Build relationships with reps. Start with your local reps.
- Speaking of your reps, they need all the help they can get! Being a state representative is only a 3-month but full-time job and this isn't the federal government where they get a giant budget complete with clerks and assistants. Our representatives are doing this almost on their own with the help of volunteer saints that have knowledge in certain topics that can be called upon whenever their knowledge is needed. If you would like to help, start by getting to know your local representatives and start helping them in any way you can.
- If you're not signed up for Heather Scott's newsletter I highly recommend you do so. Shortly she will be announcing a weekly livestream where she can answer your questions and help you get involved at whatever capacity you can. Make sure you get all the details in her newsletter.