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Spin Control

Posts tagged: 2011 primary

Reed: Don’t dilly-dally. Get your ballots in

OLYMPIA — Secretary of State Sam Reed is trying to goose voter interest a bit by suggesting that folks shouldn't wait until the last minute to cast their ballots.

In a press release Friday, Reed urged voters not to miss wait until the “fast-approaching deadline” but to “get their ballots in so they are definitely counted.

At the same time, he acknowledges that turnout in an off-year primary such as this is “normally tepid.” Some voters don't even have a primary — including everyone in Franklin and Wahkiakum counties.

For the record, the deadline is 8 p.m. Tuesday for your ballot envelope to be postmarked, or to be dropped in a deposit box. It is worth noting that if you're going to mail your ballot on Tuesday, you probably should take it to the post office to make sure it gets postmarked in time.

For a list of Spokane County drop box locations, click here to go inside the blog.

 

Term limits, condemnation among 11 items to be decided by Spokane voters on August ballot

City voters soon will have 11 choices to make about the future of city governing.

The Spokane City Council decided Monday to place proposed changes to the City Charter on Aug. 16 ballot.

Officials say the purpose of most of them is to clarify contradictions in existing law or are minor in nature. Still, some changes could make noticeable impacts on city governance and one already has been opposed by the Spokane Park Board.

The most controversy Monday came from a proposal to strip the Park Board’s power to condemn property.

The City Charter currently requires the City Council to condemn land for park acquisition if requested by the Park Board and the board and land owner were unable to come to a “satisfactory arrangement” for compensation. The proposed change that voters will consider will give the City Council the power to turn down Park Board condemnation requests.

Park leaders say the move as a power grab by the council and a move against its independent authority over park policy granted to them by voters more than a century ago. Park Director Leroy Eadie said the board has had condemnation ability since 1910 and has rarely, if ever, used it.

“There is no reason to believe that the current Park Board or future boards will be any less responsible or that it will recklessly exercise its condemnation authority,” said Park Director Leroy Eadie in a letter to the council. He added that “in the coming years circumstance may require use of this power to further develop Riverfront Park, the North Bank or other properties in its inventory.”

The vote to add the park item to the ballot was a rare 4-3 vote in which council members Jon Snyder and Richard Rush were joined by Nancy McLaughlin. (The fourth vote was provided by Steve Corker.)

Snyder and McLaughlin argued that only elected officials should have the power to condemn property from unwilling sellers.

“It’s an important check and balance we need in a strong mayor form of government,” Snyder said.

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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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