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Spin Control

Thu., Oct. 8, 2009, 10:52 a.m.

Fireworks alert: Council up to something?

The Spokane City Council has a special meeting this afternoon to discuss a change in rules that would strip the council president of some authority.

It will come up while Council President Joe Shogan is out of town, and Councilman Al French is sitting in as council president pro tem.

The changes are described as a revision of Rules of Procedure, which the overview describes as a way "to provide greater clarity and consistency."

But there are also some additions, such as rules governing legislative assistants, which the council now has. Each assistant will be hired and fired at the sole discretion of the individual council member, the proposal suggests.

Seems there is a tempest brewing over the one legislative assistant shared by French and Councilman Steve Corker, who worked more hours than allowed under an agreement between the city and the employees unions. Almost 300 hours more in the last year, according to memos.

Today's meeting is primarily to put the proposal on an upcoming council session agenda.

In any case, Shogan will be attending the meeting via phone. He predicted some fireworks ahead.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.