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Spin Control

14 Spokane City Council votes that would have been different under new majority

So the Spokane City Council will soon have a new, more liberal majority. And while some big issues haven't been decided along easily identified party lines, there likely will be a noticeable change.

To get a sense of the kind of policies that could be affected, here's a review of many of the 4-3 tallies cast since the council shifted to a more conservative bent after the 2011 election. The following votes ended with Republican-leaning Mike Allen, Mike Fagan, Nancy McLaughlin and Steve Salvatori beating out Democratic-leaning Jon Snyder, Ben Stuckart and Amber Waldref.

May 2013

  • Supporting the filing of lawsuits to stop two citizen initiatives from appearing on the ballot, including Envision Spokane’s proposed Community Bill of Rights.

April 2013

  • Rejection of proposal to pull money from reserves to hire 10 police officers.
  • Creation of 13 new public safety departments to allow Mayor David Condon to hire and fire more managers without using civil service rules.

January 2013

  • Tabling resolution urging the Legislature to ensure that juveniles convicted of unlawfully possessing firearms receive time in juvenile detention and to make it easier to commit potentially dangerous offenders.

December 2012

  • Approval of the city’s 2013 budget. Also failing on 4-3 votes were several proposed changes to the budget including a plan to spend $15,000 on a state program at the downtown library to provide help for job seekers.

November 2012

  • Rejection of 1 percent property tax increase that the city usually accepts annually.
  • Rejection of a nonbinding resolution requesting that city administrators study alternative routes for golf cart travel separated from auto traffic.

October 2012

  • Acceptance of the $3.9 million bid from Mad Anthony’s Restaurants to buy the property it had been leasing for its restaurant from the city.
  • Removal of the Alcohol Impact Zone in the West Central Neighborhood, ending the city’s right to restrict the sale of high-octane beer in the neighborhood.

April 2012

  • Requiring the city attorney's office to write ballot summaries on citizen initiatives and requiring the city to write a fiscal statement on the cost of a proposed initiative.
  • Tabling a resolution in favor of gay marriage.

March 2012

  • Formally opposing the Spokane Tribe of Indians proposed casino.

February 2012

  • Rejection of proposed fire labor contract. (The council approved a nearly identical version of the deal several months later.)
  • Rejection of resolution asking that Washington State University reverse state plans to demolish the Jensen-Byrd building.

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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.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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