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Spin Control

Posts tagged: city council

Kirkpatrick: We may cut 24 from SPD

Spokane police would cut 24 positions, most of them by attrition, to cover the department’s share of a projected city shortfall if officers don’t agree to wage concessions, Chief Anne Kirkpatrick told the City Council Thursday.

Half of the reductions would come from patrol officers, and another four would be detectives, she said. The cuts, plus a series of staff realignments, would allow the department to concentrate on what Kirkpatrick called the foundation of its mission, servicing 9-1-1 calls.

Like other city departments, police have been told to find a 4.07 percent reduction from their 2009 budget because of anticipated reductions in tax revenues. For police, that’s nearly $2 million the city will have to find in budget deliberations that begin in November and must conclude in December.

Fireworks alert: Council up to something?

The Spokane City Council has a special meeting this afternoon to discuss a change in rules that would strip the council president of some authority.

It will come up while Council President Joe Shogan is out of town, and Councilman Al French is sitting in as council president pro tem.

The changes are described as a revision of Rules of Procedure, which the overview describes as a way “to provide greater clarity and consistency.”

But there are also some additions, such as rules governing legislative assistants, which the council now has. Each assistant will be hired and fired at the sole discretion of the individual council member, the proposal suggests.

Seems there is a tempest brewing over the one legislative assistant shared by French and Councilman Steve Corker, who worked more hours than allowed under an agreement between the city and the employees unions. Almost 300 hours more in the last year, according to memos.

Today’s meeting is primarily to put the proposal on an upcoming council session agenda.

In any case, Shogan will be attending the meeting via phone. He predicted some fireworks ahead.

Backup plan: Stick fingers in ears. Shout la-la-la-la

Tea Party organizations in Spokane and North Idaho had rallies last week on Constitution Day - the first day of Constitution Week - to air their displeasure with government.

OK, so some group is always unhappy with government, it’s the American way.

But sometimes, government does its best to fan the flames. Take last Monday when City Council President Joe Shogan introduced the Public Forum with an explanation of procedures to an audience that included newcomers who had come to complain about an apparent crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries.

They had the right to talk, Shogan said. But members of the council aren’t obligated to listen, and may not listen at all or even consider what speakers say. How’s that for instilling warm feelings about one’s elected officials?

Elton vs. Eugster

Last night’s City Council debate sponsored by the Campaign for Liberty, went free of personal attacks until David Elton landed one on Steve Eugster.

Elton, who is competing against Eugster and four other candidates for the right to represent south Spokane, complained about a blog post on Eugster’s Spokane Record that questioned if Elton has an Oedipus Complex.

“That’s not the way a distinguished former councilman should behave,” Elton said in his closing statement. ”Maybe that’s why he’s no longer allowed to practice law.”

Elton was referring to Eugster’s 18-month suspension from praciticing law handed down by the state Supreme Court in June.

Eugster’s closing statement was before Elton’s, so Euster didn’t get a chance to mention Elton’s legal problems: Felony harassment charges that prevent Elton from attending City Council meetings.

After the debate, Eugster said he didn’t have anything to add, except to say that he pulled the Oedipus Complex reference from his site after learning that Elton was offended. Today, however, Eugster has reposted the original entry along with e-mails Elton sent that warned him that “Now…the gloves come off” and questioning if Eugster is a “Cowles sycophant.”

Here is Eugster’s original post:

One of the candidates for Spokane City Council Position 2, District 2 uses his candidacy to lambast Betsy Cowles and the Spokesman Review, wants to go after the police department because there have been “seven killings” and because a man was killed by a police officer because he had a bottle of pop in his hand (I think that’s what I heard him say), wants to tear down a short commercial building to make a 0.8 acre “open space, and wants to see a new skyscraper built downtown, (or was it Browne’s Addition?). He would use the power of government to denigrate a women, bring powerful police officers to justice, knock down an old not very tall building and build a new tall building.
What is all of this about? Is it possible the candidate has an Oedipus Complex? I suspect some hidden truth is unconsciously at work in the candidacy of David Elton.  Or said another way, there is meaning here someplace.

Eugster v. Shogan on the charter change

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Eugster v. Shogan, take 1
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Eugster v. Shogan, take 2

Monday night’s Spokane City Council meeting had plenty of discussion about Envision Spokane’s proposed “Spokane Bill of Rights.”

Colleague Jonathan Brunt captured these two exchanges between former Councilman and current candidate Steve Eugster and Council President Joe Shogan. in the first, Eugster is saying he’s going on for just a bit longer…he actually went about 8 more minutes, but who’s counting?…and the second occurs right before the council takes a break in the action.

One thing about this ballot measure, it does get people excited. And it isn’t even definitely on the ballot, yet.

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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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