If you take a minute to research the history of NIC over the last several years, you’ll find the same players and the same kinds of controversies playing on repeat. Friends of NIC is essentially a PAC made up of NIC Foundation members and Friends who have enjoyed the benefits of good ol boys politics and back room sweetheart deals on the backs of Kootenai County taxpayers.
Today’s featured “Friend” of the day is Steve Widmyer! If you’ve been around for a minute, you know this guy. He was the left leaning mayor of CDA before the current left leaning mayor of CDA took office. He’s a wealthy real estate magnate who has had his hand in local politics for quite some time. He’s a big fan of “urban renewal” which is currently being marketed as “CDA 2030.”
Back in July, the CDA Press told you about NIC purchasing the Fort Ground Grill, coincidentally owned at the time by Steve Widmyer, for a cool million bucks. NIC had no immediate plans for the property, so they leased the property back to Widmyer for the low, low price of $1200 a month! Wow! You can’t even rent a studio apartment in CDA for $1200 a month, much less a historic building with a $1.1 million/year income potential!! Nobody questioned it.
Here’s the worst part. When the property was appraised during the purchase process, the appraiser estimated the potential rental value at $66,000/year…… Well, we did the math and that works out to be $5500/month. Weird. That means Widmyer was getting a discount of $4300/mo or $51,600/year! What a sweetheart deal! Now remember, NIC is investing taxpayer dollars (YOUR MONEY) into these properties that they are buying up! Are you ok with the discount they gave their Friend Widmyer?! We are NOT.
The current corrupt Board of Trustees voted in favor of this lease arrangement (with the exception of Banducci and McKenzie). It wasn’t until Ron Hartman made the details of the appraisal public, that the Board of Trustees suddenly decided to terminate the lease agreement! We wonder….what changed?! The biased CDA Press glossed over the whole thing and just reported that the lease was terminated, with no cause given. It’s kind of strange, considering just a few months earlier, Widmyer and NIC were both saying they anticipated that this arrangement might go on indefinitely…..
We’re thinking the “Friends of NIC” realized how bad this looked on the eve of an election wherein the entire makeup of the Board of Trustees might be changed of the truth came out about their sweetheart deals and their corrupt cronyism.
Friends of NIC and their candidates are just more of the same ol’ same ol’ - they cry that Sheridan, Waggoner and Hartman are “too new” to the community and they don’t “understand our values.” The truth is Friends of NIC’s values don’t actually refelect the values of our community. What they really mean is Sheridan, Waggoner and Hartman aren’t part of the club. They aren’t down with the cronyism and that scares the heck out of them.
The jig is up, Friends of NIC. We are sick and tired of your hidden liberal agenda and your backroom deals that ensure the hog stays fat on the backs of taxpayers.
This election is important. We must elect Sheridan, Waggoner and Hartman. Please spread the word. Share this page. Tell your friends, families and neighbors!