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  • Writer's pictureErin B.

Public Comment Restrictions Starting in Coeur d’Alene

Everyone who has gone to a Coeur d’Alene City Council since the beginning of 2022 has seen how much newly-elected mayor Jim Hammond loathes the public’s participation in meetings.

Photo by @Patriot#1456423

There were rumblings for a while that Hammond was going to try and limit public comment, so we were waiting for this to be dropped on us, but it finally happened at yesterday’s bi-weekly General Services/Public Works meeting.

If you would prefer to watch a 2-part video update, feel free to watch my TikTok videos here:

The proposed restrictions were included in the board packet, brought forth by Renata McLeod, City Municipal Services Director, gathered through examples from all over the country. Why from throughout the country? Because there are no examples of public comment restrictions in North Idaho. Makes one wonder.

All three General Services subcommittee members gave comments to the proposed restrictions:

  • Does not want a 30-minute time limit.

  • Doesn’t know if limiting comments to only CDA residents is a good thing. A person can work in CDA or have a business in CDA but live elsewhere.

  • Wants to limit comments to only agenda items.

  • Wants to limit comments to only CDA residents.

  • Does not want to limit comments to only agenda items.

  • Wants to ensure people give their true name and address…and wants to come up with consequences if people don’t follow the rules.

  • Does not want a 30-minute time limit.

  • Wants to keep Rule 17: that a person may be ejected if they violate the rules.

  • Wants to play around with the 30-minute time limit restrictions. Maybe open it up a little.

  • Does not want to limit comments to CDA residents only.

  • Wants to ensure people give their true name and address.

  • Does not want to allow people to complain publicly about city staff.

To see the whole public comment restrictions discussion, check out the fantastic video by CDA Freedom Watch.

Next Steps

The proposed restrictions will go to the next General Services/Public Works meeting at the end of the month so the other part of the subcommittee can review them.

What Can You Do?

There are 3 things that we can do to tell the city council and mayor what we think of these restrictions:

  1. Send emails to the mayor and city council expressing your feelings on the proposed restrictions. Try to be as specific as possible and leave the emotions out of it. Emotions play right into their hand of excuses to restrict comments.

    1. Jim Hammond:

    2. Dan Gookin:

    3. Amy Evans:

    4. Woody McEvers:

    5. Dan English:

    6. Christie Wood:

    7. Kiki Miller:

  2. Show up to the city meetings. I know that they’re sometimes boring and you’re tired, but it has to be done. If you want to see change, you need to show up. We can commiserate together. :D To see this week’s meetings check out my post here. To get them in your inbox make sure you’re subscribed to my email.

  3. Pray. The city hates prayer and there’s no better way to show them that their ideas about angry, hostile citizens is baseless and false. Maybe then they’ll stop fearing for their lives and waste taxpayer money on having MULTIPLE police officers at meetings…like the General Services meeting yesterday. (There were THREE police officers. Some city council members just can’t hack it.)

I hope to see everyone at the next meeting!

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