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  • Writer's pictureErin B.

CDA City Council + ARPA Funding Updates 1/19

The CDA city council met last night and I wanted to give you a *quick* updated of the action items from the meeting.

The public comment was inundated with citizens from the region asking the city council to NOT take the ARPA funds. There were about 100 people who showed up to the meeting; 28 people stood up to comment with 27 of those commenters that were against the ARPA funds.

There were people of all ages and level of political savviness in attendance and it was so great to hear those who had just started paying attention, those who just moved here from “south of Boise,” and there was even one woman who was born here but just voted for the very first time in 2020. It was so great to see so many people involved in what’s happening in our city.

If you would like to see the running commentary about the public comments, check out the Kootenai County Spectator feed here.

A few observations during the public comment period:

  1. There were about 100 people in attendance. Yay! The chairs were pushed so far back from where they normally are that it pushed all 100 people to a standing-room only situation in only 1/4th of the room.

  2. There were 8 police officers in the room, and then had to plan where they were sitting and then escorted the city councilmen into the room from the side greenroom.

  3. Chief Lee White only wore a mask when there were the full public in the room. He was not wearing one before the event and he took it off after all the ARPA funds were voted in and most of the public left.

  4. New Mayor Jim Hammond (called Hambone in my Telegram channel) tried to cut off the public before they were done, saying that if anyone was going to repeat what was already said they shouldn’t get up and say it. That was met to a slew of boos and yelling from the crowd. Hambone proceeded to continue to let public comment the way they wanted.

  5. The public has done WAYYY more research on the ARPA funds than the lawyer, city manager, and all of the city council. The public even knew statutes, page numbers and could even pull out situations happening in other states.

In the end ARPA funds were approved to be appropriated in the amount of $8,659,329. The funds were just voted to be used, now they will look to see where to allocate those funds. They said they will be looking into that now even thought they already made a list and added it into the workshop agenda.

Fun fact: the Mayor had to admit that they screwed up in January 10th workshop when they voted to approve the ARPA funds at that time. Turns out it was illegal for them to vote at that workshop because there were no action items on the agenda so after arguing with the public for a week, Mayor Hambone had to eat crow and say they made a mistake.

After a brief intermission, the city council listened to a presentation by Human Resources and a few zone changes. The second biggest item on the evening’s agenda is the wolf Agenda 2030 in sheep’s clothing igniteCDA present why it needed to allocate $700,000 of taxpayer money in the urban renewal district fund to make the exterior of the Museum of North Idaho look pretty. Gookin asked why they needed to use taxpayer money to fix up a separate non-profit entity and ultimately the answer was “because the non-profit is on city land and everyone likes museums.” So if you’re in CDA and wonder why your taxes are so high…now you know.

In the end this meeting left a lot of people fired up to become more active in this city’s business, see what the process is to start a councilman recall, and understand the importance of every election.

Also, the city council had to be escorted by the CDA Police to their cars after the meeting. They must have been scared of the 17 people left in the room.

Also, don’t forget:

The Optional Forms of Government PUBLIC HEARING is TONIGHT. Please, we need EVERYONE to show up and stay until all the comments are completed. This is your ONE/LAST chance to tell the study commission how you feel. To read more about the meeting tonight, and to see the strengths and weaknesses of each form of government they’re considering, click here.

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