COEUR D'ALENE -- He's an offbeat character, there's no doubt about it. Steve Badraun, a Coeur d'Alene businessman, is, after all, the guy who sat on a yellow stool on a street corner to talk with passersby during his failed mayoral bid this fall.
According to several elected officials, Badraun isn't just offbeat, he's a blight that needs to be removed from public life.
Outgoing Mayor Steve Judy has asked the City Council to oust Badraun from his seat on the city's planning commission for missing the last two monthly meetings. Badraun has been on the commission for 12 years.
At Judy's request, the council will hold a special hearing to consider removing Badraun on Monday, Dec. 31, at noon at city hall. Judy could not be reached for comment.
Badraun opponents are raising other issues now that blood's in the water. They mention the time he brushed a female city employee's hair and complimented her looks; Badraun acknowledged the incident as "inappropriate" in October, but also characterized it as a smear issue raised in his race against downtown businesswoman Sandi Bloem for mayor. Bloem won. Dave Walker, a City Council member, also cites what he calls "venomous" personal comments by Badraun against Bloem in the campaign this fall.
"I don't think any committee or commission in Coeur d'Alene should look like the city council in Spokane, where the members can't argue their differences and walk away without anything hanging over them," Walker says.
As for Badraun, he's saying no more about the controversy until the New Year's Eve meeting. There, he says, he will make a statement that answers the questions and allegations.
If it looks like a case of political payback, Bloem says she has no part in the move.
"I'm not involved in that at all. That's all I'm saying. It's not an action that I had a part of or will take a part in," she says.
Bloem says she doubts the affair will dampen potential volunteers' enthusiasm for public service with the planning commission, the school board and other vital committees. "I have great people who have come forward to volunteer to be on the planning commission because they knew of the openings that would be coming up."
West Hills defined
SPOKANE -- Neighbors organizing in West Hills -- that two-year-old Spokane neighborhood between Spokane Falls Community College and Interstate 90 -- are planning to erect five entrance signs.
"We just want to show our community and the city that we are dedicated to making changes in our neighborhood," says Bill Fisher, co-chair of the West Hills Neighborhood Council.
The group has a handful of logos and sign designs to sift through at its Jan. 12 meeting at SFCC. The cost will likely be a few hundred dollars per sign, says Fisher. Money from a grant and from some yet unscheduled spring fundraising activities will cover the signs' cost. Fisher says the group will place the signs on prominent roads on the neighborhood's perimeter, probably in early spring.