Sneak a peek at my latest post. I know, I've neglected this alternative blog for too long, but I'm all primed to talk about state and national issues on this one. Law enforcement and the judicial system is my target. kootenaicountry.blogspot.com.
Joint efforts ease the crunch on firefighters and taxpayers.
Timberlake Fire Protection District (TFPD), Board of Commissioners has approved to enter into a management contract with Northern Lakes Fire Protection District (NLFPD) from September 1, 2010 to October 1, 2011.
The District has been feeling the crunch that many public services across the nation have been experiencing. Like many agencies, the District was struggling to find how to make the tax dollars provided meet our needs effectively and effectually in providing our Citizens and District Members the best possible level of service possible.
The management contract will provide for 24/7 administrative management of TFPD. This collaboration is the product of extensive research by the Board of the Timberlake District into alternatives to more effectively utilize available budgeted funds. The districts would not be merging under this agreement. Both will remain independent with their own board of commissioners.
While there will be immediate savings, the benefits will be far reaching. In the future, results include opportunities to adopt common operating policies, additional training resources, and gain from the experience of a larger, well run fire district
TFPD Board President David “Rudy” Rudebaugh says, “The Timberlake Fire Board of Commissioners had to make some tough choices, however as a result, we were able to provide day to day management of the district, ensure that our service levels were maintained, make progress on maintaining our ISO Ratings, and save the tax payers about $80,000. Further the savings that we see through this management contract will be put to immediate use in equipment and facility needs that would have not occurred otherwise.”
TFPD serves the citizens of Athol, Bayview, and the surrounding areas. NLFPD serves the citizens of Hayden, Hayden Lake, Rathdrum and surrounding areas. This management contract will allow for a consistent approach of Fire and EMS emergency response in the 189 square miles of area these two fire districts cover.
The three school district cooperative venture passed in all three districts, negating the "what ifs" if only two did. Considering the state of the economy, the voters are to be congratulated for selflessly turning to our young people, even many of us that are retired without children or grandchildren in the district.
I saw a lot of activity at the polls here in Bayview. It might have just been a coincidence, but I had to wait in line behind three other voters, something I've not had to do, even during national election years. While as Sue most eloquently stated, not every student that doesn't go to college will fit into the new Voc-Tech campus, it won't be necessary for that to happen. Some will opt to enter the military services, others family businesses.
It is, however, terribly important for our local economy for industry to have a trained work force coming out of high school. Welders have to be certified, as do health care professionals. When construction work returns, and it eventually will, many now in that profession will have either gone to other jobs or retired. A carpenter can't just grab a framing hammer and begin. It takes training.
The step forward in educational opportunities is huge, for both the students and small businesses. You have shown unselfish foresight.
Somehow I feel like the young lady that jumped through the looking glass and found herself in Oz. Following current events of the Bayview Chamber of Commerce and specifically the Developmental Analysis Committee is becoming bizarre.
First, for those not familiar with this committee, they are populated with well meaning, anti-growth and anti-business types as well as sincere people trying to keep developers honest and guided by community standards. It was only when the group started to become radical that I, and many others decided they needed to be cut from the Chamber of Commerce.
For an anti-business group to be a standing committee of a chamber of commerce is likened to ... Actually, I really can't think of a parallel. In my mind, freedom of speech is a right that cannot be compromised. For a group to suggest that they are speaking for the entire community, that is misrepresentation at best. This committee started out as an independent entity and should divorce itself from the chamber to become a free standing group pursuing whatever goals they want. Just don't purport to represent anyone other than your own opinions and above all, don't ever suggest that you stand as a representative of all, or even a majority of the residents of Bayview.
Many of the members of the DAC are in favor of Bayview incorporating. There are many pluses and minuses in that goal. What the DAC apparently doesn't realize is that the fear of DAC extremists ending up as the new city's government. That association will be the kiss of death in this endeavor. Many that might favor the incorporation in principle, especially after facts and figures are presented, will not sign a petition for the above mentioned reasons.
A recent flyer has been posted in Bayview further suggesting that the group has its own by-laws and that in the interests of keeping objectivity, no business owners need apply for membership,due to what is referred to as a "conflict of interest." Why being anti-business is not likewise referred to as a conflict of interest is a mind boggling contradiction. I guess when degenerating into an extreme position, these incongruous examples don't occur to folks.
For the good of this community and any future the Chamber of Commerce may have, I beseech the group to separate from the chamber, and lacking that action, that the chairman of the chamber cancel the committee as an affiliate of the Bayview Chamber of Commerce.
If you thought all centennial events were over for the Summer, you were wrong. One last day of celebration will occur with a Country Fair Saturday, September 4. Held at the community Center from 1-6 pm, games will go on most of the day. A cakewalk will take place every half hour, as well as a new bingo game as well.
Some of the wacky events include a best beard contest at 1:30, best leg contest at 2:00. We aren't sure if men are included in the best leg contest, but suspect not. For those that dislike shrill noises, you might want to avoid the best whistle contest scheduled for 2:30 pm. The final foolishness will be the pit spitting contest at 3:00 pm.
Drawings for big prizes at 3:45 pm - Everyone present will get a chance. Following the drawings, everyone is invited to sample the huge birthday cake. The parking lot will be transformed after the cake cutting, so that an old fashioned street dance can take over. Festivities will end at 6:00.
The following weekend, September 11 will feature the annual Farragut Naval reunion. Flag raising at 9:00 am followed by a reunion at Sunrise in the park.
While most tourists will depart after Labor Day weekend, remember that the sun will still shine on the very best Bayview has to offer. The month of September.
Please remember to vote, Tuesday, August 24 at your usual polling place. Important issues are to be decided in this, the world's greatest democracy.
An additional activity added:
We are having a cake decorating contest at the Centennial Country Fair on Sept. 4th and we am looking for a few people to bake and decorate and then donate their cakes which will be judged for a decorating prize, then used AS prizes for our cake walk and a couple of other contests. This will be a low key decorating contest, and cakes need not be made from scratch, just look, and taste, decent!
Cakes should be brought to the Community Center by 12:30 pm on Sat. 9/4. They will be judged at 12:50 pm and the first of 6 cake walks will be at 1:15 where the first one will be given away. then every half hour after that until 4 PM This is a great opportunity for some of our great bakers to get involved in our last Centennial event. PLEASE HELP. Please call K. Clark at 683-3528 to volunteer. Thanks
There have been a number of letters, posts, comments, and emails concerning the upcoming levy election for the building of a 11th and 12th grade, professional-technical facility on the Rathdrum Prairie. Some of the critical comments have raised questions concerning the initial cost; the operational costs once the facility is open; as well as the governance of the facility. I will attempt to answer those questions as best I can.
I have been involved in local government in Kootenai County for over 28 years and I can tell you that this is one of the most amazing examples of cooperation and team work I have ever seen. We have three school districts, North Idaho College, local businesses, landowners, and the City of Rathdrum all working together to make this a reality. There have been challenges and disagreements along the way, but they have all been overcome as time after time individuals put aside their differences and focused on what is best for our children.
It was important that the property for this facility be centrally located to students of all three districts. It was also essential the property have access to sewer and water. Since the long term vision is to have a campus that includes KTEC, North Idaho College, and a High School all together, the property had to be at least 80 acres in size. The property that was acquired meets all these requirements.
The $9.5 million dollar, two year levy, will provide resources to build and equip the facility. In addition to having the 20 acre site donated, much of the equipment will be donated too. This will be a “pay as you go” project with no debt incurred. Each district is limited to levying the amount shown on the ballot. There is no situation where a district would levy more to make up for another district failing to pass the levy as some have suggested.
The KTEC facility will be governed under state law that allows school districts to join together in what are called “cooperative service agencies.” Coeur d’Alene, Lakeland, and Post Falls school boards have followed those statutes in creating KTEC. It is governed by a five person board comprised of the three school superintendents and two business representatives. Since KTEC was created by the districts, it can be changed by them, when and if necessary. KTEC will remain under the three school districts ultimate control. There will be an advisory board that will make recommendations to the governing board regarding curriculum, staffing, programs, equipment, etc. This is essential to any successful professional technical program.
The same three school districts currently operate the Riverbend Professional Technical School under the same statutes. It is a long running cooperative service agency. It is housed at the NIC Workforce training facility in Post Falls. It also has programs spread out in various areas. It doesn’t have room to grow and is hampered by the lack of adequate space. The operational budget for Riverbend will move into KTEC when it opens. This includes salaries, benefits, and other costs of running programs. It is expected that there will be increased attendance at KTEC due to the type of facility and the programs offered. The increased attendance will provide additional state funding that will help with the additional costs of maintaining the new facility. These costs will be in the thousands, not, as one letter writer suggested, the millions.
By pooling the resources of three school districts, programs can be offered that would be too expensive for any one district. It also spreads the costs out over all three districts so no one district bears too heavy of a burden.
For more information concerning the overall concept and the need for the facility, you can find excellent resources available on the Lakeland Website.
If you have any additional questions please email me at email@example.com.
Don't forget Athol Daze is tomorrow, Saturday, August 14. The parade line up is 10:00 am with the parade kicking off at 11:00. Following the parade will be the street fair in City Park. It's always a blast. I'll be announcing the parade at street side.Come help Athol celebrate it's 101st year.
KTEC is not an argument about the right or wrong time. This is the only time. Reading the paper, I’ve seen articles from citizens with legitimate concerns about raising taxes. Nobody likes more taxes, myself included.
What sets KTEC apart? This is the only money we’re asked to pay that actually makes sense as an investment in our community. All other taxes are simply to keep up with services. I don’t want to pay those either.
KTEC is the only option on the table which will help recruit high paying jobs. It’s the only option that will give kids the skills to raise a family or simply not live their parent’s basement. KTEC is the only option that I’m enthusiastic about putting my hard earned money into and I don’t even have kids of my own.
If KTEC fails, we have no assurance the land will be there next time. We have no guaranty equipment will be donated in the future. Its likely construction will cost far more in the future. It took our community decades to get to this place. If KTEC fails, we will never get this deal again. Not ever.
Not every high school student has the resources to go to college. This facility gives every student the possibility to succeed with a valuable skill straight out of high school. We cannot deny our kids or ourselves the opportunity for prosperous future.
Do the right thing for our kids, your neighbor and yourself. Spend a few extra dollars for two years. Just two years and we’re done. Vote yes.
After reading the KTEC blog I decided that I needed to educate myself for the August 24th vote. After days and many hours later, my search for information on the KTEC has been mostly unsuccessful.
Repeatedly stated: 85% of our students do not continue on to a 4-year degree. Yesterday, I spoke with a person involved with the KTEC. Unable to get a student count to determine the meaning of the 85%, I ventured on my own:
CDA Dist #271 students grades Cd’A High School 1501 9-12 Lake City High School 1545 9-12 Project Cd’A 197 7-12 Bridge Academy Alt. 176 11-12 Cd’A Charter Academy 537 6-12 Cd’A Charter Academy 467 6-12 JDC School 51 6-12 Riverbend Prof. Tech Academy 20
Lakeland Dist #272 students grades Lakeland High School 602 10-12 Timberlake High School 528 9-12 Mount View Alternative 96 9-12
Post Falls Dist #273 students grades Post Falls High School 1457 9-12 New Vision Alternative 76 9-12
I used only the high schools, from the 3 districts, to arrive at a per grade student count: Cd’A High School 375 Lake City High School 386 Lakeland High School 201 Timberlake High School 132 Post Falls High School 364 1458
If the KTEC is being proposed and supported on the premise that 85% of our children need the KTEC in order to complete graduation, pursue a career and/or continue on to higher education, 85% equates to 1239 students. The KTEC, upon completion, will be available for 180 students – both juniors and seniors.
In all 3 districts, the student count is 1458 in one grade Do we double this to represent the junior and senior grades? If yes, 2916 children need or could benefit from this environment?
Yesterday, I was told that maximum capacity of the proposed KTEC building is 400 students. This leaves 2516 students behind. The KTEC lists a website as a place to find details http://ktechigh.org/index.php I found no information that answered any of questions.
The most informative article I found was the North Idaho Business Journal: http://nibusinessjournal.com/2010/07/elections-for-ktec-levies-near/ I learned that if the school needs to be expanded, another levy would have to pass.
One quote says 'the goal in building the facility is to take back the jobs “given” to China and India'. I am very interested to learn more about this…..
I’ve read elsewhere that 55% approval is required in all districts to pass, but in this article I read, “If Coeur d’Alene fails, we’re dead in the water. If Coeur d’Alene passes and at least one of the others passes, we will build what we have the budget for.” My question – and what is that? What are we actually voting for?
For property owners, the tax increases mentioned are based on a specific property value, minus the tax exemption. Get out your pencil and paper to do the math, as the tax liability is different for every home owner.
If the KTEC were being proposed as another avenue to help ensure bright futures for our school children I would be a cheerleader, but would still want to know all the details of the financial end of this. But when statistics are presented as a dismal future of the 85% that do not go on to a 4-year degree I am disenchanted. This does not pull at my heartstrings.
How many enroll at a Community college, in a trade school or vocational school for a career choice that does not require the 4-year degree? How many choose to go straight in to the workforce, not yet decided on a career……….sometimes career paths and opportunities present themselves unexpectedly. Some enter the military. Some do choose to enter college at a later date.
I am all for our children having every opportunity, but they are not guaranteed success with a 4-year degree. The child that has the drive and determination to work hard will, by in large, achieve success.
In my search for information I did learn that all 3 districts score higher than the Idaho state average, based on ISAT scores for grade 10, in 2008. Also, we currently offer Alternative schools for children who are struggling to graduate. One in particular had a bright statement on their home page: http://bridge-cdasd-id.schoolloop.com/
Once the KTEC building is completed how is it funded? Do we expect to pay higher taxes for additional teachers and staff, maintenance and equipment that is not donated? We need all the details. This is a large financial obligation, and we are not certain that it ends after the construction of the building.
There is a comment in the blog, regarding the students, that says “they aren’t taught to balance a checkbook, manage a budget or have any skills needed for success”. Know that all of us out here are of many different levels of education and we do balance our checkbooks and manage a budget, which is why we want the details that will ultimately affect our budget. The tax obligations of the American people are overwhelming. We want to be told honestly, all the details, so there are no surprises. Ultimately, we are only a few short days away from August 24th. There needs to be more, a lot more, information available to the public so an informed decision can be made.
My purpose of speaking here tonight is motivated by a desire to see this organization become a more congenial,friendly place for business' and private citizens alike, to come together and address the issues of our village and work together to create a healthy economic environment.
As a small business owner,the Chamber of Commerce is a business tool that should bring together a DIVERSE group of people working on the common goal of economic growth and sustainability of our community.
Over the last 4 yrs or so I have watched with great angst,as this organization has been hijacked by a group of you that seem to be motivated by vengeance and personal agendas with a very closed mind attitude toward the core businesses in this community,unwilling to listen to us on any issue,unwilling to consult with us on what we,As a community need to do to rebound from the mess that Waterford and the recession has created in our economic structure.Since opening Ralph's in 2007,I have been subjected to numerous personal attacks by the officers and various members of this body,The latest being a ranting public flogging by the secretary of this organization. Published by this organization in the Bylines,for the world to see.I have watched you engage in an all out war with the JD's/Scenic bay Group.From the constant scrutiny of the state and county agency's decision making process, objecting to any and all proposed projects carte blanc, to the point of illegally placing TERRY'S CAFE Food booth in front of the Bay Cafe over the 4th with the intention of hurting their sales and creating a hostile environment.Even after our President Bob Prince told her to leave and then the Health Dept. told her to leave,she was allowed to stay.
This kind of behavior is unacceptable,and I hope we can move beyond this and begin a healing process within this organization. ... Find some middle ground and work from there.I would like to see us attract more active members and become a more diverse group.But we can't do that when a majority of the people want nothing to do with all the controversy this organization creates.You present views at hearings and through various media,as being the voice of the people,when in fact it is a very small group of you putting forth your agenda.I come in contact with thousands of people a year here from residents to part time residents to visitors and tourists and all the marina dwellers,and for the most part you are not putting forth a voice of the people.
Bayview is the place people come to be laid back ,cut loose,to enjoy the natural beauty and recreational activities that abound.They don't want anything to do with your battles and petty grievances.
This town was founded by a diverse group of Spokane businessmen as a recreational resort community,where you come for a few days and eat,drink,boat,the party's on. I have worked hard over the last 16 years to insure people have a good time when they come to town..and continue to fulfill our founding fathers dream of Bayview ,and I plan on doing it for at least another 20 years,This is my career!
With that said I am announcing my intention to run for president of this organization.
Hobart Jenkins, retired president of Spokane Community College shocked us with these words, yesterday. He said, “eighty-five percent of the students that start the ninth grade fail to opt for higher education.” He went on to say, “of those students that either drop out of school, or are kicked to the curb at graduation, have no job skills and are looking forward to minimum wage work, if any at all.” According to Hazel Bauman, Coeur d'Alene Superintendent of Schools, about 1600 seniors graduated last June, of which about 1300 to 1400 kids haven't got a career track,nor plans to attend a school of higher learning.
Jenkins, along with the superintendents of three school districts, North Idaho College and local business and industry, are promoting the establishment of a vocational-Technical School on property both donated and purchased. The late Wayne Meyer donated ten acres and an additional ten acres adjoining it was purchased with donations. The Coeur d'Alene, Lakeland and Post Falls school boards unanimously approved scheduling a School Plant Facilities Levy Election for August 24, to ask voters to approve partial financing. Kootenai Technical Education Campus or KTEC is going to be a pay as you go operation. Taxes would be collected for just two years. Tax payers would owe no interest because of the pay as you go feature and requires a 55% majority approval.
If voters approve this issue, the facility could be open in time for the fall of 2013. Students enrolled in the program would attend regular classes at their home campus for one half day and the other at the voc-tech. Local industries have pledged donated equipment for the facility which initially will feature, Health Sciences, Welding, construction and Automotive. Additional programs in hospitality, tourism, drafting, manufacturing, information technology, airframe & power plant mechanics and painting could be added later, as capacity grows.
The three districts cite limited space and resources for these type programs. In some cases, the students will have the opportunity to acquire college credits, apprenticeships, and industry certifications. Jenkins went on to say, “Just as you experienced in the 1950's, a high school graduate leaves without any marketable skills. They aren't taught to balance a checkbook, manage a budget or have any skills needed for success. Nothing has changed, except we keep adding young people to welfare rolls because they are not ready to compete in the market place.”
A program that has seen great success is that of the Renton School District, in Renton, Washington. They have had a world class vocational school since the '50's and are still turning out workers sought by local companies such as Boeing and Pacific Car & Foundry. The economic health of a community depends upon a qualified workforce that can attract business and industry looking for trained personnel. Clover Park School District in Tacoma, Washington also has a very successful vocational school. Jenkins tells us, “We need to step up for manufacturing jobs, in order to compete with the west coast areas. The future of Kootenai County will depend on it.”
The relatively small cost is $35.00 per year for two years in the Coeur d'alene district, Lakeland residents would pay $50.00 per year and Post Falls at $55.00. Because Post Falls will be reducing other taxes, with levy approval, residents will not see an increase in their taxes. These estimates are bases on a home valued at $200,000. This investment in the future generations will benefit all citizens, remarked Jenkins, “even those that don't have school age children, since the workforce in North Idaho is aging fast, trained replacements will have to fill their shoes to keep the local economy healthy, plus it is another incentive to keep our youth from migrating to greener pastures. Not everyone is going to become a doctor, or scientist or any of the other professions. As in every economy, the trades are the backbone of a society. The schools need your support for this jump into the 21st century of diversified education.”
Photo by Taryn Hecker Thonpson.
"I'm just a humble Muckraker who formerly wrote a neighborhood column for the Spokesman-Review, and now just this blog. write All rights reserved. No reproduction or use of this material without written consent is permitted by copyright laws. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org