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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Spokane Public Library

Three finalists picked for Spokane library director

The Spokane Public Library will get new leadership just as its funding stabilizes after years of uncertainty.

Pat Partovi, who has led the library since 2003, will retire May 10.

“It’s a perfect opportunity for a new director,” Partovi said.

The process to pick Partovi’s successor is well underway. The Library Board of Trustees will choose among three finalists on Wednesday. The public can ask the candidates questions at an event on Saturday.

Keep reading for the names of the three finalists.

Library campaign reports $21,000

The campaign in support of the library tax in Spokane has fixed campaign disclosure problems with the state Public Disclosure Commission.

The group, Yes for Spokane Libraries, was late in reporting campaign contributions and spending by several weeks. Last week, it filed reports showing how much it has raised and spent.

Campaign manager Nathan Smith, who also is a Spokane Public Library trustee, promised quick action last week to update campaign finance reports. He said that the group misinterpreted the rules.

The group was formed in support of Spokane Proposition 3, a library lid lift that would increase taxes for libraries by 7 cents for each $1,000 of property value to prevent branch closures.

As of this morning, the campaign hasreported nearly $21,300, including seven donations over $1,000 or more:

Library campaign promises to fix reporting violations

Yes for Spokane Libraries, a group working on behalf of Proposition 3, a tax levy for the Spokane Public Library, has had signs supporting the tax displayed throughout the city for weeks, but hasn’t reported any contributions or expenses to the state Public Disclosure Commission. The group likely should have been filing reports weekly since the end of last month, according to state rules.

Nathan Smith, campaign manager of the group, said Wednesday that the group erred in interpreting the rules and would work quickly to file contribution and expenditure reports by the end of the week.

“It was our mistake,” Smith said. “We are diligently trying to get it done as soon as humanly possible.”

Council adopts Condon’s budget in predictable split

Spokane’s city government is shedding 92 jobs.

The Spokane City Council on Monday voted 4-3 to freeze the city general fund budget, largely accepting the recommendations of Mayor David Condon.

Condon proposed a $161 million general fund, which pays for police, fire, parks, libraries and other services paid with taxes. The total budget, including utilities like trash and water, will be $615 million.

The mayor’s budget eliminates the arts, and weights and measures departments. It will fund the equivalent of 2,033 full time jobs. It removes 19 police officer positions that already were vacant. It shrinks the on-duty firefighting force from 61 to 58 and removes the first-response firefighting capabilities of Fire Station 9 on the South Hill.

The council split was predictable. Republican-leaning council members, Mike Allen, Mike Fagan, Nancy McLaughlin and Steve Salvatori, voted for the budget. Democratic-leaning members Jon Snyder, Ben Stuckart and Amber Waldref opposed it. The same 4-3 split rejected Stuckart’s plans to shift money to pay for public safety positions or items that the city’s Use of Force Commission is expected to recommend to improve police services. They also reject for the second time in less than a month a 1 percent increase in property taxes.

United Way official chosen to serve on Spokane’s library board

A United Way official will join the Spokane Public Library Board of Trustees in time to decide how to deal with major budget cuts proposed by Mayor Mary Verner.

The Spokane City Council on Tuesday unanimously appointed Janice Marich, the vice president of community relations for Spokane County United Way, to the city’s library board for a five-year term.

Marich, 62, said in an interview Tuesday evening that she is open to “all the options” for solving the budget problem.

“What’s really important to me is keeping the resources available to as many people as possible,” said Marich, whose mother worked as a librarian in McKinleyville, Calif.

The five-member board sets library policy and determines how to spend money set aside for libraries by the City Council. Marich was nominated for the job by Verner.

Although use of the city’s libraries continues to increase, Verner announced last month her intention to cut the library budget twice as much as the 2.85 percent cut she proposed in most city departments.

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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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