If you live in or near Kootenai County Idaho, please attend the next public meeting of the Kootenai County Commissioners / County Transit Public Hearing on Tuesday 02MAY2017 at 1800 (6:00 PM) 451 N. Government Way, Administration Building Meeting Rooms 1A and 1B 1st Floor. They will be discussing the Kootenai County Transit System, law enforcement, and proposed route changes. If you use Facebook, there is a page dedicated to opposing this bus terminal.
We respectfully call on Commissioners Bob Bingham and Chris Fillios to pass a motion to rescind the obligated, but unspent funds of the Riverstone Transit Center until more public input is received, expansion efforts of this bus terminal are fully understood, and the upfront and ongoing cost are completely understood.
What it is not
The Citylink bus system is separate from the Riverstone Bus Transit Center. Patriots (as defined as libertarian leaning Orthodox Christians who are modern day anti-federalist) that I know are not focusing on, at this time, the free public bus service in the Kootenai County called Citylink. As in all things, it is up the taxpayers to decide if they want to continue the free Citylink bus service that reportedly cost Kootenai County taxpayers $80,000 a year from the cities in Kootenai County, plus in-kind donations from the Coeur d’Alene tribe and the semi-governmental Kootenai hospital. This service picks up on average 15 people an hour.
What it is
What patriots are concern about is the proposed Riverstone Bus Transit Center. Bob Bingham and Chris Chris Fillios voted to obligate $203,000 of taxpayer funds on 17JAN2017 for the Riverstone Bus Transit Center, on the first week in office. I believe they were sworn in on 09JAN2017. What ever county employee got Bob to vote for this is laughing in her office. Bob Bingham and Chris Fillios have suggested they are willing to commit another $203,000 in FY18 which starts 17OCT2017. This is in addition to $132,000 that was committed by the County Commissioners in 2014. To pay for the Riverstone Bus Transit Center the County is considering cutting back service on Citylink and adding fares while building an unneeded Transit Building for county employees.
The Kootenai County Transit System Title VI Service and Fare Equity Analysis Report March 2017 (KCSAFEA) that describes the Riverstone Bus Transit Center has been public on a website for an unknown amount of time, but to our knowledge has never debated in a public meeting. The KCSAFEA report raises all types of concerns about the growth of government required to implement the Riverstone Bus Transit Center.
Riverstone Bus Station is all about connecting Spokane to Kootenai County
On 22MAR2017 the Kootenai County GOP precinct committeeman and Kootenai County Transit Director Jody Bieze claimed she had discussions to tie the Kootenai County Citylink service into the Spokane mass transit system (STA) and collocate Greyhound with this new Riverstone Bus Transit Center. Specifically, she said, “We are in discussions with STA (Spokane Transit Authority) and SPOT (Selkirks-Pend Oreille Transit) and other regional transportation systems to create it to be a hub for transfer.” Source Youtube comments by Kootenai County Transit Director Jody Bieze to Ignite Coeur d’Alene a liberal progressive “urban renewal” agency in CDA.
On 29JAN2015 it was reported that Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization executive direction Glenn Miles has said he has been working on connecting Kootenai County to Spokane for some time. Specifically, he said, “It is certainly something we would like to see happen.”
Karl Otterstrom, the planning director for Spokane Transit Authority (STA) has admitted that he has been planning on implementing mass transit from Spokane to Kootenai County for some time. He said this was one of the primary objectives of raising taxes on Spokane residents (which passed successfully). In his words connecting inner-city Spokane to Kootenai County has been “…in his sights” for some time. He said the plan calls for extending routes of some of the freeway express buses that serve Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake so they would continue to Coeur d’Alene. Source: Spokane-Review article titled Coeur d’Alene bus service is part of STA tax request.
It is unknown if Kootenai County Commissioner Bob Bingham and Commissioner Chris Fillios or the CDR Police Chief were aware of the conversations that Jody, Glenn and Karl have had for years to use the Riverstone Bus Terminal to connect Spokane and Kootenai County through mass transit before voting for the Riverstone Bus Terminal. This is a question that should be asked! Commissioner Bob Bingham was in office less than a week before casting his vote in favor of the Riverstone Bus Terminal. The public and the Commissioners have the right to know about all conversations Kootenai County employees have had on our behalf concerning connecting mass transit from Spokane to Kootenai County before we proceed.
We do not see any report from the Kootenai County Sheriff or information that he has completed an analysis of the impact, if any of the Riverstone Bus Transit Center and potential connections between Spokane and Kootenai County. While Coeur d’Alene Police Department may initially respond to any issues at the Riverstone Bus Transit Center because it is located in Coeur d’Alene city boundary, as far as we understand the Riverstone Bus Transit Center is a Kootenai County facility and will be the responsibility of Kootenai County and therefore the County Sheriff office. Kootenai County owns 15 acres of riverfront property near Riverstone that local property owners have indicated is already a magnate for homeless and is minimally patrolled by Sheriff deputies.
“I live in Riverstone and see the growing homeless problem. There are camps littered with trash on the West side of the 95 overpass. Graffiti can be seen in that area. There are syringes at the end of my road! Add a bus station and these problems will grow exponentially.” – Deb Vernon Facebook comment
As an aside the person that local evening news KHQ put on camera in support of the Riverstone Bus Transit Center is named Albert Mahoney. He describes himself as “living outside” drug addicted and his occupation as “holding a piece of cardboard.” Source: Coeur d’Alene / Post Falls Press article Addiction treatment difficult to find. KHQ choosing to put Albert Mahoney on camera to defend building the Riverstone Bus Transit Center is apropos as liberal Republicans such as Christa Hazel, a Kootenai County GOP precinct committeeman and Coeur d’Alene School District trustee and Kimberly Hobson, the county’s Public Transit Office program specialist are blasting the Kootenai County Republican Party because they passed a motion opposing the bus terminal because of the cost and the fact it could become a public nuisance.