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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Spokane City Council Northeast

County GOP endorses - scratch that - recommends Condon, Hession, Allen, Fagan and Salvatori

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The Spokane County Republican Party, which has previously declined to endorse candidates running as Republicans against Democrats when they declined to sign the county party's platform, has sent out recommendations for how to vote in Tuesday's nonparitsan city elections.

The picks include: David Condon for mayor, Mike Fagan, Steve Salvatori and Mike Allen for City Council and Dennis Hession for City Council president. The candidates apparently didn't have to sign any pledges to win the recommendations.

Condon, Fagan, Salvatori and Allen have clear ties to the party, though the party declined to back Allen in his 2009 bid for council. And while Hession has enjoyed some Republican support in past races, he also has been more aligned with the Democratic Party, at least on some environmental and social issues.

The party posted the following statement with its recommendations: “The Spokane County Republican Party acknowledges the non-partisan nature of local elections and makes no claim that recommended candidates are in any way affiliated with the Republican Party.  The following recommendations are not intended to serve as an endorsement of any issue or candidate.”

We're not sure what the difference is between recommending a candidate and endorsing one.

One of 10 city candidates signs pledge not to approve Guild contract without stronger oversight

Only one of the 10 candidates on the ballot next week for Spokane city office agreed to sign a pledge promising to oppose any Spokane Police Guild contract unless the union agrees to stronger police oversight, the Center for Justice reported this week.

A coalition of groups including the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane asked the candidates as well as four City Council members not running in elections this fall if they would sign a pledge promising not to vote for a guild contract unless the union agrees to the provisions of the ombudsman ordinance that recently was repealed.

The city's 2010 police ombudsman law was thrown out by the City Council last month after an arbitrator ruled that the rules needed to be agreed to by the guild.

Only Donna McKereghan, who is running for the City Council seat in Northeast Spokane signed the pledge. Another candidate, Joy Jones, said she would not vote for a contract without stronger oversight but declined to sign the pledge. Jones is running for Spokane City Council in the Northwest district.

The center created a scoring system based on each candidate's response to its request. To see the rankings, continue reading the post.


Documents:

Candidate says he can’t comply with state law

A candidate for Spokane City Council is continuing to decline to show his campaign finance books even after acknowledging Thursday that state law doesn't appear to give him the flexibility to refuse to show them in the week before an election.

Chris Bowen, who is running for the seat held by City Councilman Bob Apple, has told the state Public Disclosure Commission that he's spent $18,000 on his campaign, but he hasn't filed any paperwork saying where he got it.

In response to a reporter’s interview request, Bowen emailed last week that he would not share information about his fundraising.

“Thank you for your interest in my election books,” he wrote. “State law requires that the books are to be shown by appointment. All appointments have been filled for this primary election.”

This morning, he said, he called the commission and learned that the law wasn't as flexible as he thought. Still, he said, there's so much interest among the public to see his finances that he is completely booked for the times set out by state law: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday (Aug. 8) to Monday (Aug. 15) excluding Saturday and Sunday. The primary election is Aug. 16.

He refused to name anyone who has requested to see his books. Asked how many people have requested to see his paperwork, Bowen said: “Quite a few, I haven't added them all up yet.”

Asked if this reporter could attend one of his already scheduled appointments, he said it would be too difficult to show his books to multiple people at the same time.

He said he believes he isn't violating the law because it's impossible for him to grant any more inspections.

“What am I supposed to do?” he said. “Perform miracles?”

Fagan publishes false endorsement

Spokane City Council candidate Mike Fagan has listed a couple of surprising endorsements on his campaign website: Endorsements given to his opponents (one of which is false).

“It is our understanding that opponent L. Tolley was endorsed by the Unions, and opponent J. Waite was endorsed by Amber Waldref,” his website says.

Waldref, a city councilwoman who beat Fagan to win her seat in 2009, confirmed Thursday that she hasn't endorsed John Waite or any of the other five candidates in the race for the open Northeast Spokane City Council seat and won't at least until after the primary.

Fagan said Friday that the information was “erroneously passed on to me by a trusted person.” He said he would remove the information from his site. It was still posted as of 11:30 a.m.

(The statement about candidate Luke Tolley is accurate. He got the nod of the Spokane Regional Labor Council.)

Spokane City Council candidates debate marijuana law

The following was asked on The S-R's candidate questionnaire. Candidate Chris Bowen declined to submit a questionnaire. Here are the answers, which were allowed to be up to 150 words, from the five other people hoping to replace Bob Apple and represent Northeast Spokane on the council.

Would you support a law, modeled after a law in Seattle, to make misdemeanor possession of marijuana by an adult the city’s lowest enforcement priority?

Continue reading the post to find out their answers.

Spokane City Council candidates debate streetcar plan

The following was asked on The S-R's candidate questionnaire. Candidate Chris Bowen declined to submit a questionnaire. Here are the answers, which were allowed to be up to 150 words, from the five other people hoping to replace Bob Apple and represent Northeast Spokane on the council.

Do you support asking voters for a sales tax to build a streetcar or trolley system in central Spokane?

Continue reading the post to find out their answers.

Spokane City Council candidates debate global warming

The following was asked on The S-R's candidate questionnaire. Candidate Chris Bowen declined to submit a questionnaire. Here are the answers, which were allowed to be up to 150 words, from the five other people hoping to replace Bob Apple and represent Northeast Spokane on the council.

Do you support the sustainability plan promoted by Mayor Mary Verner, which was adopted by the Spokane City Council in 2010? Do you support the decision of former Mayor Dennis Hession to sign the U.S.Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement?

Continue reading the post to find out their answers.

Spokane City Council candidates debate tax breaks for businesses

The following was asked on The S-R's candidate questionnaire. Candidate Chris Bowen declined to submit a questionnaire. Here are the answers, which were allowed to be up to 150 words, from the five other people hoping to replace Bob Apple and represent Northeast Spokane on the council.

Do you support tax incentives for historic renovation? Do you support tax incentives for building condos and apartments downtown and in certain neighborhood centers?

Continue reading the post to find out their answers.

Spokane City Council candidates debate union rules

The following was asked on The S-R's candidate questionnaire. Candidate Chris Bowen declined to submit a questionnaire. Here are the answers, which were allowed to be up to 150 words, from the five other people hoping to replace Bob Apple and represent Northeast Spokane on the council.

The city recently has lobbied the Legislature to amend state law regarding binding arbitration so that if contract negotiations stall between the city and a union representing firefighters or police officers, an arbitrator could consider additional factors when setting wages and benefits, such as a city’s ability to pay and to maintain a reserve fund. Do you support this change to state law?

Continue reading the post to find out their answers.

Spokane City Council candidates debate sewer fees

The following was asked on The S-R's candidate questionnaire. Candidate Chris Bowen declined to submit a questionnaire. Here are the answers, which were allowed to be up to 150 words, from the five other people hoping to replace Bob Apple and represent Northeast Spokane on the council.

City officials increased sewer charges by 17 percent last year and predict more increases the next few years in large part to pay for nearly $650 million for projects required by the state to improve sewage treatment and prevent untreated sewage from spilling into the river. Do you support sewage fee increases that could top 10 percent in each of the next couple of years? If not, what would be your preferred alternative?

Continue reading the post to find out their answers.

Luke Tolley joins race for Spokane City Council

The chairman of the Hillyard Neighborhood Council added himself late Wednesday to the growing list of people who want to represent Northeast Spokane on the City Council.

Luke Tolley, 32, also ran four years ago, but lost in the primary. He is the outreach and marketing organizer of Sustainable Works, a nonprofit group that works to make homes more energy efficient.

This is candidate filing week in Washington. In the race for Northeast Spokane, Tolley joins downtown businessman John Waite, Riverside Neighborhood Council Chairman Gary Pollard and Mike Fagan, co-director of Voters Want More Choices. Two others have filed campaign finance paperwork indicating that they also plan to run. The winner will take the seat currently held by Bob Apple, who can't run again because of term limits.

Tolley says his goal is to “try to get government and citizens and businessses to try to work together.”

In dealing with the city's budget problems, Tolley said there isn't “a silver bullet” and that he would prefer trying to avoid cutting full programs like the Youth Department. But he said he is willing to make “tough decisions” if alternatives aren't possible.

“We have to learn to live within our means,” Tolley said.

Tolley also opposes the new $20 vehicle tab fee that was imposed this year by the City Council.

“I feel like it's a tax that is going to hurt low-income people,” Tolley said.

Mike Fagan files to run for Spokane City Council

A co-worker of Tim Eyman, the prominent anti-tax initiative guru of Washington, has joined the race for Spokane City Council.

Mike Fagan, co-director of Eyman's Voters Want More Choices, filed on Wednesday to run for a seat representing Northeast Spokane.

The seat currently is held by City Councilman Bob Apple, who can't run again because of term limits. Earlier this week, downtown businessman John Waite and Riverside Neighborhood Council Chairman Gary Pollard filed for the seat.

Fagan, 51, is a member of the Spokane Patriots, an offshoot of the Tea Party of Spokane. Fagan ran for council in 2009, losing to Councilwoman Amber Waldref in the general election.

He said he's running because the council has enacted too many taxes and increased too many fees and trampled on private property rights. He claims that it's easier to get welfare in Spokane than to get a building permit.

“It just about takes an act of Congress to get a building permit,” he said.

On the property rights front, Fagan criticizes the city's use of eminent domain to build a bridge over railroad tracks at Havana Street, city rules that restrict the demolition of historic buildings downtown, and certain code enforcement rules, such as ones preventing overgrown weeds, which he said are “subject to interpretation.”

Confident candidate says he’ll win Spokane council seat

Chris Bowen, who ran a strange and unsuccessful campaign for state representative in 2008, is confident he'll win his next race.

Bowen, 33, has filed to run for Bob Apple's seat on the Spokane City Council.

“At the end of the day, this is my seat,” Bowen said in and interview late last month.

Soon after being contacted by a reporter about his new candidacy, Bowen paid a $300 fine levied against him in 2008 by the state Public Disclosure Commission for failing to file campaign paperwork. The fine had been sent to a collections agency. The PDC will get $243 of the fine, said Lori Anderson, PDC spokeswoman.

Bowen ran as a Republican in 2008, but the county GOP refused to endorse his candidacy.

Bowen is the activity coordinator for Helping Hands, a nonprofit residential treatment center for at-risk youths in Spokane. Jason Gregory, director of Helping Hands, said Bowen has worked for him for about six months.

In 2008, during his campaign to unseat state Rep. Alex Wood, D-Spokane, Bowen repeatedly refused to provide details about what he did for a living. Eventually, he said he owned a moving company, but refused to name it. Asked if he is now willing to name his former business, he declined, though he said the company was not based in Spokane.

He said his former business is not relevant to the City Council campaign and is in the past: “That's three years of thinking about these sweet lies,” he said, without revealing further details about lies he believes were made about him or his former company.

Attempts made to find business records for Bowen's moving company were unsuccessful. However, it does appear Bowen owned a mowing company in Spokane. That's mowing — with a W, not a V.

State records indicate that Bowen operated Bowen Lawn Care & More in Spokane from 2007 until 2009.

Bowen said he's willing to spend $25,000 of his own money on the City Council race, and some of his signs have been displayed in northeast Spokane for weeks.

As a city councilman, Bowen said he would work to improve the economy, the roads and public safety. But he hadn't formulated specifics for paying for improvements.

For instance, he said the city should hire more police officers, but he didn't offer a plan to finance new hires.

“I would have to review my notes,” he said, when asked how he would support boosting the number of police officers.

In August 2002, Bowen was charged with third-degree theft in a case that originated with Eastern Washington University police. Most of the records from the case have been destroyed, but a court docket indicates that a Cheney Municipal Court judge deferred a ruling on the charge for six months and Bowen, who pleaded not guilty, was placed on probation. The case was dismissed in March 2003.

Similar to statements he made in 2008, Bowen said last month that he doesn't remember details about the theft case, except that it was “so minor” and that it was dismissed. 

NOTE: This is an edited version of a post from March 31 that was not intended to be made live on Spin Control until additional reporting was completed. An incomplete version was briefly viewable on the site earlier indicating that Bowen's PDC fine was unpaid, which was accurate at the time it was written.

Waite announces another run for City Council

John Waite, the owner of Merlyn's in downtown Spokane, is making a third run for Spokane City Council.

He announced his run today in a news release.

Waite ran unsuccessfully for council in 2007 and 2009 in the city's northwest district. This time, however, Waite will vie for a seat representing northeast Spokane.

McKereghan will make second run for Apple’s council seat

Donna McKereghan, former chairwoman of the Logan Neighborhood Council, is making a second run for Spokane City Council.

McKereghan, 57, filed papers announcing her candidacy last month with the state Public Disclosure Commission.

McKereghan lost to Councilman Bob Apple in the 2007 general election. She came in second that year in the five-candidate primary for Apple's seat representing Northeast Spokane.

Apple can't run again because of term limits. McKereghan is the first person to declare his or her intention to run for the position.

McKereghan owns Rave Web Designs and recently completed seven years on the State Legislative Ethics Board.

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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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