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A Matter Of Opinion

Verner: Just one right-hand man

Our editorial today suggests that Mayor Mary Verner should stick with just one second in command. Mark Early, her former chief of staff, resigned last week. This leaves Ted Danek, city administrator.

The money savings, our edit said, should be spent on another priority:

Now, after four months of experience, the difficulties that led Earley to make a break suggest that the system has some inherent flaws, especially when it relies on constricting salaries below what it might take to attract top-rate people to either the elected or appointed jobs in the future.

Even more significant, there are other needs for which affordability is an issue, starting with a long-needed police ombudsman position, which, assuming police union resistance can be overcome, comes with a $200,000 pricetag.

Verner has been looking for a way to trim that cost, but the value of restoring police credibility in Spokane is too pressing to hold out for bargains. At the least, a properly funded ombudsman should be a highter priority than a mayoral chief of staff.

Share your experiences of working for two “second in commands.” Did it work?

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A Matter of Opinion is really a matter of many opinions — those held by the people responsible for the opinion pages of The Spokesman-Review ... and yours. Check in regularly to follow the discussion and help keep it lively.

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