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.
- Supporting the filing of lawsuits to stop two citizen initiatives from appearing on the ballot, including Envision Spokane’s proposed Community Bill of Rights.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Formally opposing the Spokane Tribe of Indians proposed casino.
- 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.