Spokane city leaders are readying for a showdown with the Spokane Firefighters Union over a three-year contract negotiated between the firefighters and former Mayor Mary Verner in the final days of her administration. But challenging the deal could prove risky for the City Council and force the city to give the union a more generous contract than the one now before them. Read more
Age: 59City: Spokane, WA
Occupation: Mayor of Spokane
Education: Graduated from Houston Academy in Dothan, Ala. in 1973. Bachelor’s degree in medical anthropology from Davidson College, 1988. Master’s degree in environmental studies from Yale University, 1992. Law degree from Gonzaga University, 1999.
Career: Served as executive director of Upper Columbia United Tribes, 2002 to 2007. Director of natural resources for Spokane Indian Tribe, 1992-2001. Coordinator of enforcement for the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources, 1988-1990.
Political: Appointed to vacancy on Spokane City Council, 2004. Elected to City Council, 2005. Elected Spokane mayor in 2007. Serves on several governmental boards.
Family: Divorced. Has adult daughter and school-age son.
Last updated: Nov. 14, 4:59 p.m. Election results
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More about Mary Verner
Mary Verner gives her positions on taxes, libraries, streets and other issues facing the city in The Spokesman-Review's Spokane City Council candidate questionnaire.
Spokane Mayor David Condon will hold his salary at $100,000 this year as promised, despite the recent controversy over his predecessor’s pay. But he said he will review his options and the city’s legal opinions and may take more next year. Read more
Spokane’s elected leaders are ready to push for the use of body cameras on police officers to record their interactions with the public. The Spokane City Council on Feb. 6 will vote on a resolution outlining its goals for reforming the Spokane Police Department in the aftermath of an officer being convicted of violating the civil rights of a Spokane man who died in police custody. Read more
A recently retired state Supreme Court justice has agreed to serve on a city commission examining how the Spokane Police Department uses force. The membership of the city’s Use of Force Commission, which was created last year to review the city’s handling of the police confrontation that resulted in the death of Otto Zehm in 2006, was announced by City Council President Ben Stuckart at Monday’s council meeting. The council is set to confirm the membership next week. Read more
Former Mayor Mary Verner’s salary and pension request, which was denied by the city, has raised questions from several readers who wonder how an elected leader can be eligible to start receiving a pension at 55 after eight years of service. Spokane’s City Council and… Read more
Any idea what an “average middle-class family’s income in the city of Spokane” is? If you guessed $100,000, you’re way, way off. Read more
Listen up, gang. I’m looking for volunteers to make cookies, cupcakes and zucchini bread for our first (and hopefully last) Mary Verner Bake Sale. We need to raise $140,000. That’s a lot of scratch, I know. Read more
Former Mayor Mary Verner says she will not receive the $140,000 in back pay she requested in her final days in office. Verner told KHQ-TV that she received a “determination letter” from the city stating it had ruled against her request. Read more
In her final days as Spokane’s mayor, Mary Verner decided that she wanted a raise. After voluntarily capping her annual pay at about $100,000 for four years – and pledging to do the same in a second term if re-elected – Verner changed her mind after losing the November election and issued a formal request Dec. 29 for about $140,000 in uncollected back pay from the final two years of her term. If that wasn’t possible, Verner requested that her retirement benefits be calculated as if she had earned the full mayoral salary of about $170,000 a year. Read more
Former Spokane Mayor Mary Verner and the leadership of the city’s fire union tentatively agreed to a new contract in the final days of Verner’s term. But the deal still needs approval of the union’s membership and the new City Council. Mayor David Condon will be able to make a recommendation to the council, but he can’t otherwise stop the deal. Read more
Former Mayor Mary Verner and the leadership of the city’s fire union tentatively agreed to a new contract in the final days of Verner’s term. But the deal still will need to be ratified by the union’s membership and the new City Council. Former City… Read more
Spokane’s youth programs would remain independent from other nonprofit groups under a new plan that has support from Mayor David Condon. Former Mayor Mary Verner, whose 2012 budget eliminated the city’s Youth Department, originally proposed contracting with the YMCA or other nonprofit groups to oversee youth activities and the Chase Youth Commission. But after opposition emerged from the commission, she backed a plan crafted by General Administration Director Dorothy Webster to give the money and oversight responsibilities to the commission and its partner organization, the Chase Youth Foundation. Read more
Even before he officially took office, Mayor-elect David Condon shook up City Hall on Friday when he informed three top administrators that they won’t be back to serve with him as mayor. Receiving notice were City Administrator Ted Danek, Public Works and Utilities Director Dave Mandyke and General Administration Director Dorothy Webster. Read more
Here are the rest of Spokane Mayor Mary Verner’s responses to topics we asked her to reflect on as she prepares to leave office. The rest is in an article running today online and in print. Regionalism Background: As mayor, Verner opted to end the… Read more
Spokane Mayor Mary Verner will leave office at the end of the week as the city’s longest serving strong mayor of the four who have served in that capacity. But she also will be the 10th mayor in a row to only serve one term. Read more
Kerri Thoreson was keeping track of everyone’s birthdays in Kootenai County before Facebook arrived and wanted to be friends. Kerri, a woman of many hats (Post Falls councilwoman, Coeur d’Alene Press columnist, KVNI morning host), rarely misses wishing the best to locals in print and on the radio show she co-hosts with “North Idaho Joe” Paisley. So Kerri was embarrassed when she missed the Queen Mother Of Local B-Days last week. Anna Pearce turned 65 Wednesday. Mebbe you know Anna by her screen/stage name: Patty Duke. Who wrote the New York Times best-selling autobiography “Call Me Anna.” Patty’s 65th birthday makes her eligible for Medicare benefits to go with those Social Security bennies she’s been touting in public service announcements. Curses, foiled again Read more
It was as if pigs had grown wings and landed on the roof of Spokane City Hall. George McGrath, a conservative, longtime follower and critic of the City Council, approached the microphone at this week’s meeting and praised a plan proposed by outgoing liberal Councilman Richard Rush. Read more
Questions of school board candidates at the Faceoff at Ferris Debate. Read more
Despite calling for “all courses of action” four months ago to settle the civil suit brought by the mother and estate of Otto Zehm, it appears Mary Verner will step down as mayor of Spokane without resolving the case. Attorneys Breean Beggs and Jeffry Finer, who represent Zehm’s mother and estate, said they could not comment about negotiations. However, they did say they are still waiting to hear from the city and its insurance underwriter, American International Group. Read more
An October debate for school board and mayoral candidates at Ferris High School was promoted as student-led and -run, from start to finish. But few, if any, of the questions were written by students; instead, many were submitted by a handful of adults with ties to the Republican Party, leaving at least two candidates who took part feeling duped, they said. Read more