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Bonners Ferry city council has been AWOL

February 18, 2023

Two special city council meetings were held on February 14 and 16, respectively. These were held to discuss a local option tax and a land use planning map. Both were urgent items of great significance, requiring action. A golf event in Oregon was scheduled at the same time. Our council scheduled these meetings, in advance, knowing that some members would be absent from the conduct of this business.

It is no secret that the City of Bonners Ferry, at this point in time, is in crisis. They've had to deal with a staffing crisis, a budget crisis, a community drug crisis, policy stalemates, growing conflict between neighbors and a sour political climate only stoking division ... all in the face of officials who deem recreation more important than the business at hand.

It was during the second meeting that I decided to make note of what was said with bullet notes of issues I felt relevant, some discussed, some not. The meeting was never formally called to order. It ended with no motion to adjourn and a councilman's rhetorical statement: "I guess we are adjourned."

My notes rambled: Police chief who has previously stated he won't enforce civil infractions and zoning violations; Frederickson's Garbage changing pick-up rules without notifying the city first; Unfettered trash, debris, and encroachments throughout the city; 15-minutes of grievance over the property value of the Pearl Theater by the property owner; P&Z member Howe, who lives in area-of-impact outside the city, advocating for large animals within the city; City planning consulting firm (Ruen-Yeager) often takes days or weeks to respond to phone calls &/or emails by concerned parties or applicants.

I ended this week with a deep feeling of sadness. It seems as if the only folks that matter are old high school classmates, student athletes, or the perennial "squeaky wheels" in and out of town. This is framed up by adults, in the prime of their life, who won't step up and run for office while claiming they've got to wait until their kids are grown up. Its no wonder we have elected officials who can't remember yesterday!

Finally, I'm left wanting by what both the incumbents and challengers offer. WTF?!
Gerald B. Higgs
Bonners Ferry

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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