Richard Rush is returning to Spokane City Hall.
After being tossed from office two years ago by Mike Allen, who won by just 88 votes, Rush has been hired by new Councilwoman Candace Mumm to serve as her full-time staff aide.
Mumm called Rush, 62, a logical choice for the job.
“He's very qualified for the position,” she said Monday night following her swearing-in ceremony in council chambers. “We'll be able to get to work immediately.”
Rush served on many of the same city committees Mumm expects to serve on, and has a strong background with Spokane's various neighborhood councils.
Each city council member gets a staff assistant. Next month, the aides will become full-time city employees under the budget deal approved in November, and will be paid $34,181 a year, which is slightly more than council members receive. Currently, the aides are paid $25,635 as part-time employees.
Rush was a sometimes-divisive council member who wasn't afraid to float controversial ideas or buck the administration despite his overall support for Mayor Mary Verner, who was beat by David Condon in the same election that Rush lost to Allen.
Rush once suggested, for example, that the city should get rid of its utility tax — one of the highest in the state — and replace it with a local income tax, which would be impossible without a change in the state constitution. He also complained during the Otto Zehm fiasco that it appeared the council was being given only “filtered” information from the city attorney's office about the case.