Saturday, June 22, 2024

MY TURN: Maybe the 'bad guys' are really the 'good guys'

by ANNE PATTERSON/Guest Opinion
| September 9, 2023 1:00 AM

Rumors and misinformation often align with group affiliations. Zeke Winchestor’s letter may be an example. He says the bad guys on the board at NIC are ‘the majority’ because they hired the wrong attorney. Newcomers unfamiliar with the backstory can get up to speed by reading “My Turn, Saving NIC from Its Friends" by Art Macomber, dated Nov. 1, 2022.

Fast forward to today, and note that voters elected a new majority last November, thwarting an attempted board takeover. New mischief continues, however, by Friends of NIC candidates Tari Zimmerman and Brad McCorkle. Zimmerman routinely attempts to override Chair McKenzie with disorderly outbursts in open meeting, and McCorkle admitted to releasing confidential board documents to unauthorized parties in violation of board policy.

These actions and others by the same trustees continue to put the college accreditation in jeopardy. Why would they do this against all admonition? The hidden agenda? Reward their cronies by allowing them to develop the highly prized land the college now sits on. The ‘education corridor’ will be a high density mix of education, shopping and dwelling places, and cannot be achieved without taking back the board. Public records requests indicate that the plan to develop that land is already in the works, with zoning changes requested by former college Trustee and current city councilwoman, Christie Wood. Wait, isn’t she the one responsible for filing the original complaint against the college with the accreditation board? Why did she want to put the accreditation of the college in jeopardy? I wonder if Mr. Zeke has asked himself that question?

These well documented circumstances pose a much greater threat to our college than hiring an attorney who is also an acquaintance. In this small town, you would be hard pressed to find an attorney who does not know someone on the NIC board. Let’s not be distracted by obvious attempts to take attention away from the Friends of NIC backed trustees that are acting against the best interests of the mission and goals of NIC. Anyone who supports them has either not done their homework, or is intentionally running cover for these people. Looks to me like in this case, the ‘bad guys’ are really the good guys.

• • •

Anne Patterson is a Coeur d'Alene resident.