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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Scott Chesney

A mass transit, double-decker bus in Spokane?

At last week’s Planning, Community and Economic Development committee meeting, Spokane city planning director Scott Chesney was discussing the Larry H. Miller empire and its request to temporarily shut down some streets while the car dealer did some re-arrangement.

Not exciting stuff.

Then, off-handedly, Chesney told committee members that it was important to keep the Jefferson Street viaduct open during this work because it was the only railroad bridge tall enough to accommodate the double-decker bus that the Spokane Transit Authority was thinking about bringing into its fleet.

Wait. What?

With visions of those huge, red buses that ply the streets of London dancing through our heads, we called up STA.

“They were looking at it for the EWU route because ridership has skyrocketed,” said Molly Myers, STA’s spokeswoman. “It was just an idea to be able to double capacity. That is a suggestion that came up during our planning process during brainstorming. It never got to that level of specificity.”

So we let it lie. Until Monday, when we saw this.

Council supports Verner’s choice for planning director despite past receipt controversy

The Spokane City Council on Monday voted 7-0 to appoint Scott Chesney as its new planning director.

The former director of planning and development for El Mirage, Ariz. hasn't even worked a day in his new job and he's already been the focus of a Doug Clark column.

While serving as the planning and community development director for Surprise, Ariz., Chesney admitted violating city policy by using city credit cards to buy alcohol for himself and staff, and failed to provide itemized receipts for reimbursement, the Arizona Republic reported after Chesney resigned in November 2007. He told the paper that he bought drinks with a city credit card to reward staff for hard work.

No one on the council mentioned the issue before the vote, but City Councilman Jon Snyder criticized the hiring process because he said the City Plan Commission was not consulted.

Verner’s choice for planning director disclosed receipt controversy

Spokane Mayor Mary Verner said Monday that the man she picked to be the city's new planning director was candid about problems that contributed to his resignation from a planning position in Arizona.

Spokane officials announced in a news release last week that Verner chose Scott Chesney, the former director of planning and development for El Mirage, Ariz., to be the next planning director. He was the top choice of an advisory committee helping to pick the new planning director, the news release said. He previously served as the planning and community development director in Surprise, Ariz.

While there, Chesney admitted violating city policy by using city credit cards to buy alcohol for himself and staff, and failed to provide itemized receipts for reimbursement, the Arizona Republic reported after Chesney resigned in November 2007. He reimbursed the city for the improper purchases, the newspaper reported.

“He was the first to disclose it,” Verner said when asked if Spokane officials were aware of the controversy.

She said her staff made extra efforts to make sure members of the selection committee and City Council were aware of the issue.

Verner's nomination will be forwarded to the City Council for confirmation. If approved, his starting yearly salary will be $98,554.

  

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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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