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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Community Bill of Rights

Can city leaders trust the voters?

Funny thing about elected officials and candidates who must, by nature, rely on the wisdom of voters for their jobs: Sometimes they don’t trust voters to make the right decision when it comes to something other than voting for them.

That seems to be what’s going on with the political hand-wringing over a Spokane City Charter change that’s being billed by the sponsoring group Envision Spokane as a “Community Bill of Rights.”

Whether it is, in fact, a bill of rights or a bill in waiting for future litigation is something remains to be seen. Envision Spokane turned in more than enough signatures to qualify it for the November election, the Spokane County Elections Office said, and that is usually enough to earn a proposed charter amendment a spot on a ballot.

Before the Spokane City Council voted 5-2 to send the charter change to the elections office for the signature check, an array of speakers argued it was too vague, too likely to generate litigation or too toxic for local business. Some of the 60 or so foes gathered outside City Hall before the meeting and likened the proposal to socialism, communism or Marxism.

(Note to self: Check Das Kapital to see what Marx and Engels had to say about neighborhood councils. Must’ve slept through that lecture in Poly Sci class.)

Envision Spo has the numbers

Envision Spokane turned in more than enough signatures on petitions for a proposed City Charter change to put its Community Bill of Rights on the November ballot.

Spokane County Elections Manager Mike McLaughlin reports this morning the office finished the final verification process about 9:30 a.m., and will certify the results at 2:30 p.m. After that the office will send formal notification to the city.

The group turned in petitions with a total of 5,097 signatures, and needed at least 2,795 of them to be from registered city voters. Elections workers checked 4,019 and verified a totla of 2,891 before finishing late Wednesday. That’s a rejection rate of about 28 percent, which is “right in the ballpark” for most petitions, McLaughlin 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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