Posts tagged: City Hall Scoop
Steve Salvatori was a fiscal conservative from California. Karen Stratton is a political unknown and lifelong Spokanite. Together, they will complete one term on the Spokane City Council.
Stranger things have happened in Spokane. Like when Stratton was named Lilac Queen in 1977 and posed with Grizzly Adams. Or when Jimmy Marks put a curse on the entire city. Or when Mark Hamilton, who was kicked off the ballot last year in a bid for City Council, compared the politicized nature of Spokane politics to apartheid (which also happened last night).
Regardless, as we detailed in today's Spokesman, the City Council appointed Stratton to the seat left vacant by the resignation of Salvatori, who left the council earlier this year for work in Texas. She will fulfill the final 15 months of his term and run for re-election in 2015.
Keep reading after the jump.
The gavel pounded not even 30 minutes into last night's Spokane City Council meeting, and Council President Ben Stuckart erupted at attendees for cheering and applauding. He called for a five-minute recess and warned the crowd that another “outburst” would send the rest of the meeting behind closed doors where no one would be allowed to testify.
The issue at hand: someone testifying in favor of repealing the controversial city ordinance passed last year that made it illegal to sit or lie on public sidewalks.
When he returned and the council was back in session, Stuckart said “the minute” the sit-lie law was passed, problems ceased downtown. Stuckart's right. Those problems, which reached a fever pitch last summer, have largely subsided, but activists find fault with law as a constitutional affront, not a safety measure.
The Spokane Transit Authority is its own government entity, but it got a good going over at last night's Spokane City Council meeting.
Two items passed by the council dealt with public conveyance: a resolution supporting the $5.8 million renovation of the STA Plaza, the downtown hub for public transportation; and a resolution supporting a trolley-like electric bus connecting Browne's Addition to Spokane Community College.
Both items had supporters, and both items found an enemy in George McGrath, who speaks at almost every council meeting during almost every public testimony.
Read more after the jump.
There were enough members for a quorum, but the dais was a bit spare at Monday's regularly scheduled Spokane City Council meeting.
Councilman Jon Snyder, acting as council president pro tem in Ben Stuckart's stead, politely led the charge through the hour-long meeting. Councilman Mike Allen was also absent.
Members voted on an emergency spending request put forth by Snyder to shift $350,000 out of general fund reserves to pay for comprehensive inspections on 11 bridges, mainly in Riverfront Park. Our previous story here said nine bridges would be checked, but two bridges on the Fish Lake trail were added.
On his blog, Snyder said the bridges are “vital bike riding and walking links for our City, a City that has precious few places for those using non-motorized to cross our river.”
Kelly Cruz, who failed to get past this month's primary in the race to replace the term-limited Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin, spoke against spending so much money on inspections when he said some of them were thoroughly inspected four years ago by CH2M Hill.
“I just want to make sure we're not spending money on something we've already covered,” he said.
George McGrath, a vocal fixture at the council meetings, spoke against the plan.
It passed 5-0. Usually members light up a screen showing their yea's or nay's, but with Stuckart gone and city Attorney Mike Piccolo befuddled by his first time use of the electronics, Snyder called for a voice vote.
The council also approved a low impact development ordinance, which encourages developers to utilize innovated approaches dealing with stormwater.
As Councilwoman Amber Waldref said on her blog, “developers will be able to manage stormwater onsite either through traditional methods like swales OR choose rooftop gardens, rainwater collection or rain gardens on their properties. These will be optional, but it is a start for Spokane.”
Bart Mihailovich, with the Spokane Riverkeeper, said the LID ordinance was an example of the city working across departments to solve problems.
As for dealing with stormwater on site, Mihailovich said, “This is certainly the trend.”
It also passed 5-0.
Another resolution before the council regarding the appointment of committees to “prepare statements advocating voters' approval or rejection” of this year's ballot propositions was delayed for two weeks.
Finally, next week's meeting has been canceled in lieu of Labor Day.