Kootenai County Indicators
Kootenai County Indicators
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Why Kootenai County Indicators?

Our Goal: To Inform

Kootenai County Indicators exists to give the residents of this county insights into how they are doing to raise living standards and the quality of life in areas such as the economy, education, health, and the environment. The effort also hopes to facilitate local decision making - private and public - by providing relevant data in an easily navigable website. The data are offered as neutral information for all parties involved in public policy issues.

Our Approach

The information on this site was chosen by leaders in their respective fields in Kootenai County. These volunteers participated in 7 focus groups and several steering committee meetings to determine the top indicators in each category as well as the design of the site. In determining what measures would represent the county, the following guidelines were followed:

  • Value to a broad number of residents
  • Defined by good science and social science
  • Able to be benchmarked to the state of Idaho, and where possible, the U.S.
  • Available over time to allow trend analysis
  • Obtainable from credible sources

After reviewing the possible measures, both presented by the EWU team and from participants at the meeting, focus group participants voted on the indicator candidates. Generally, the top 50% from those votes were the indicators chosen for each category.

Our Participants

  • Kim Anderson -- Kootenai Health
  • Mike Baker -- Dirne Community Health Center
  • Sue Baldwin -- Avista Utilities
  • Ron Beecher -- Idaho Department of Health & Welfare
  • Mark Boyle -- Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
  • Major John Chamness -- Salvation Army Kroc Center
  • Patti Davenport -- Salvation Army Kroc Center
  • Jim Deffenbaugh -- Panhandle Area Council
  • Nancy DiGiammarco -- Silverwood
  • Jean-Paul Dupin -- Advanced Benefits & United Way
  • Chris Gee -- Mountain States Early Head Start
  • Tom Greif -- Coeur d'Alene Fire Department
  • Terry Harris -- Kootenai Environmental Alliance
  • Tom Herron -- Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
  • Pam Houser -- Post Falls Chamber
  • Lori Isenberg -- North Idaho Housing Coalition
  • JJ Jaeger -- Coeur d'Alene Resort
  • Caryl Johnston -- United Way of Kootenai County
  • Eric Keck -- City of Post Falls
  • Lisa Key -- David Evans & Associates
  • Wayne Longo -- Coeur d'Alene Police Department
  • Renata McLeod -- City of Coeur d'Alene
  • Rick McMaster -- United Way
  • Alivia Metts -- Idaho Department of Labor
  • Brad Murray -- Lakeland School District
  • Rob Parkinson -- Wells Fargo & United Way
  • Jennifer Ross -- Triple Play & Holiday Inn Express
  • Wanda Quinn -- University of Idaho, Coeur d'Alene
  • Hilde Shetler -- Jobs Plus, Inc./Coeur d'Alene Area Economic Development Corporation
  • Rick Vernon -- Coeur d'Alene Association of Realtors
  • Lora Whalen -- Panhandle Health District
  • Steve Wilson -- Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce

Kootenai County Indicators is a Process, Not a Product

The perspective gained from the approximately 135 indicators on this site is undoubtedly the most thorough look at life now and in the immediate past in Kootenai County in one place. This perspective will provide answers to many questions and pose further questions. It is impossible to predict how the site will be used, but from the experience at similar indicators sites in many communities across the nation, it is likely to be used by residents from many different walks of life in Kootenai County.

Since most of the measures are produced annually and with a lag of several months, discerning future trends will take time. Consequently, a certain amount of patience is required for residents interested in connecting community, state or even federal initiatives to outcomes that can be read from the data. Further, the ranking of important issues by Kootenai County residents will likely change and so will the choice of indicators. We encourage you to get involved in your community. Please take advantage of our feedback box to give us your thoughts and help us to continue to improve this site!

The Role of Eastern Washington University

A team of students, faculty and staff have developed the content of this site. Working with the Kootenai County Indicators steering committee, the team will keep the site's information current, adding information as soon as it is released from the various local, state and federal sources.

The university's development team is a cooperative effort of two groups from Eastern Washington University (EWU): The Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis and the Center for Digital Media Design and Development. The team members in these two programs have been responsible for the overall development of this project and its ongoing maintenance.

The Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis
The Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis (Institute) is a program within EWU's Colleges of Business and Public Administration and Social & Behavioral Sciences. Its goal is to bring the talent of the university to bear on concrete concerns of the Inland Pacific Northwest. The Institute secured the initial funds for this project, facilitated the focus groups, gathered the statistical data and developed the content of this site. Institute teams have also created several other similar indicator websites throughout eastern Washington, including the following counties: Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Grant, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Kootenai and Walla Walla. The Institute's Director is Dr. Patrick Jones. Scott Richter is the Community Indicators Manager at the Institute. His responsibilities include all of the indicator projects, including Grant County, Northeast Washington, Spokane County, Kootenai County, Chelan and Douglas Counties, Benton and Franklin Counties, and Walla Walla County. Brian Kennedy is the Institute's Data Analyst. Brian is responsible for all of the statistical input on this site, as well as for the Institute's other sites. Coral Wonderly is the Institute's Student Economic Research Intern, and assists with the collection and analysis of the site's data (Sam Wolkenhauer, Ryne Rohla, Jeremy Marinos and James Merchant previously served in this role). Matt Lower is the Institute's Student Community Indicator Intern, and assists with website maintenance and electronic publishing (E.B. Vodde, Billy Lei, Elizabeth Backstrom, Matt Parson and Noelle Madera previously served in this role).

The Center for Digital Media Design and Development
The Center for Digital Media Design and Development (Center) is a collaborative extension of EWU's Departments of Computer Science and Engineering & Design. Development projects for campus and off-campus clients give students the opportunity to apply their skills in a real-world experience. Students are coordinated into on-going teams based on their skills, and are guided by a formal scope of work, concept development, style sheet, and structured goals, while under faculty supervision. The Center is directed by Dr. Linda Kieffer (509.359.7093). Dr. James Braukmann previously directed the Center, and contributed to this and the other indicator projects. The goal of a university is the graduation of its students; therefore, our team is constantly changing as our students graduate.Our current design intern is Rachel Allison. Previous design interns were Sara Weinand, Zach Daley, Katie Lilly, Katheryn Sande, and Beth Harper. Charged with programming the Kootenai County Indicators site was Kandyce Moore. Previous programmers were Tyson Miller, Melissa Mewhinney, and Bryan Hilmer.