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Latest candidate for Spokane mayor, Barbara Lampert, calls for deep budget cuts, but increase in police officers

Barbara Lampert wants to balance the city fo Spokane's budget while at the same time hiring an additional 100 police officers.

The perennial candidate, who filed to run for Spokane mayor on Tuesday, said she would do that by cutting city administration, forcing pay cuts and freezing salaries.

“There are way too many layers of supervision,” Lampert said. “Count four steps from the mayor, draw a line left to right, and they're all gone. They can find another job.”

Lampert added that her statement about “four steps from the mayor” is only an example and that she would make more concrete decisions about trimming administrators once elected. She admitted, however, that she has not examined a city organizational chart for about 20 years.

“But I can't believe it got better, and, probably, it's gotten worse,” she said in an interview Tuesday.


Additionally, Lampert said she would cut supervisors' pay by 20 percent and institute a pay freeze for everyone else.

The city has about 2,100 workers. Almost all, including many administrators, are union employees covered by contract. Asked how she could institute such cuts and freezes, Lampert said she believes unions may agree to such proposals.

Similar to her run in 2007 against Joe Shogan for City Council president, Lampert said she would increase the police force by 100 officers. Part of the cost of the new workers could be covered by better enforcing laws that would generate fines, she said.

“They'll pay for themselves,” Lampert said. “I seriously believe that.”

Lampert is a 1963 graduate of North Central High School and 1965 graduate of the University of Washington.

As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, here are the Spokane candidates for office:

Mayor

Mary Verner, incumbent

Mike Noder, co-owner of MoMike Inc., a demolition company

Barbara Lampert, former nurse’s assistant, frequent candidate for office

City Council president

Ben Stuckart, executive director of Communities in Schools

Steve Corker, Spokane City councilman

City Council, northeast district

John Waite, owner of Meryln's, a science fiction store in downtown Spokane

Gary Pollard, chairman of Riverside Neighborhood Council

City Council, south district

Mike Allen, former city councilman

Richard Rush, incumbent

City Council, northwest district

Karen Kearney, former regional operations manager at Capital Savings Bank in Seattle


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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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