Mike Shannon of the Spokane County 911 emergency system was working on a north Spokane street on Thursday, collecting geo-positioning data for the homes there. His work is part of an ongoing upgrade of the 911 communications system. Read more
Spokane County, Measure 1
About this measure
Spokane County Measure 1 seeks a property tax increase to provide a new regional animal shelter big enough to accommodate the city of Spokane’s request for service.
If approved by voters countywide, a property tax levy up to 5.8 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for a maximum of nine years.
That would raise an estimated $15 million, enough to acquire land and build a brand new Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service shelter. However, officials expect to complete the job for $10 million by renovating an existing building.
If the lower cost can be achieved, the ballot measure will require county commissioners to reduce the levy amount, shorten its term or both.
Commissioner Todd Mielke said, even if full amount is necessary, the cost for the owner of an average-priced single-family residence – around $175,300 – would be an estimated 83 cents a month.
The measure requires a simple majority to pass.
Even without Spokane as a customer, county officials say, a new shelter is needed to meet the growing requirements of existing users: residents of Spokane Valley, Cheney, Millwood, Liberty Lake and unincorporated areas.
SCRAPS Director Nancy Hill said the current shelter, at 2521 N. Flora Road, is poorly located, too small for current needs and impossible to expand because it is between railroad tracks and a gravel pit.
Spokane asked to join the SCRAPS coalition after its provider, SpokAnimal C.A.R.E., said it wanted to get out of the animal-control business. SpokAnimal directors now say they would like to retain the city contract.
Last updated: Nov. 14, 4:59 p.m. Election results
Voters might notice a change in this month’s levy election ballot envelopes, and some may not like what they see. Spokane County is using new ballot return envelopes that eliminate a flap of paper that previously covered voter signatures. Read more
A real-time tracking system for Spokane County snowplows got a big test two weeks ago when 10 inches of snow blanketed the area over two days. The county is testing the digitized system that will tell the public which of its 2,500 miles of roads have been plowed during and after winter storms. Read more
Spokane County Commissioner Todd Mielke testified earlier this month in favor of a bill that would charge a $400 fee to citizens who appeal local land-use decisions to the state’s Growth Management Hearings Board. Mielke, a Republican, said he isn’t necessarily in favor of the fee but wants to stop appeals by people who are not directly affected by land-use changes under the state’s Growth Management Act. Read more
Former Spokane County Commissioner John Roskelley said Thursday he’s ready to take his old job back. Roskelley, a Democrat, announced this week that he is running for county commissioner in District 1, which covers the North Side of Spokane and northern parts of the county. Read more
Former Spokane County Commissioner John Roskelley said he’s ready to take his old job back. Read more
A recall petition against Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney Steve Tucker was dismissed on Friday by a visiting Superior Court judge. Judge Craig Matheson, of Benton and Franklin counties, said four recall charges drafted by Shannon Sullivan were insufficient and that one of the four lacked a basis of knowledge. Read more
First real day on the job and Mayor David Condon makes noises about fulfilling his campaign promise to restore the public’s faith in the Spokane Police Department. Folks, I’m worried. Read more
Animal control officers wore white hazardous material suits as they worked to remove potentially dozens of cats from a Spokane home Wednesday. The couple who live at the residence, located on the 4000 block of North Addison Street, told SpokAnimal C.A.R.E. they have 39 cats. Officers had removed 20 cats as of Wednesday evening. Read more
Now all David Condon has to do is wait. After a year of researching, campaigning, debating and fundraising in what some thought was a long-shot bid to become mayor of the second-largest city in Washington, Condon took the final step required by law to take office. He took the oath to become Spokane’s 44th mayor Friday morning in a short ceremony in front of the Clocktower at Riverfront Park. Read more
Two Spokane-based environmental organizations have filed an appeal against Spokane County’s new $173 million wastewater treatment plant in east Spokane. The local Sierra Club and the Center for Environmental Law & Policy want the state Pollution Control Hearings Board to invalidate the state permit allowing the plant to operate. Read more
Starting this month, when residents of nine Spokane County precincts call their commissioner, they can call him Al. Not Todd or Mark. Read more
Spokane County road crew workers want to keep pulling stranded motorists from snowy ditches despite fears by the county’s risk manager that the practice puts the county in jeopardy for possible claims or lawsuits. “We are not emergency responders,” Risk Manager Steve Bartel told county commissioners last week. Read more
Spokane City Councilman Richard Rush said Saturday he has decided against paying for a hand recount in his race against Mike Allen. Rush said that after further consideration of the results of the machine recount, as well as the hand recount that was completed in the 4th Legislative District Senate race last week, he decided it was highly unlikely that a hand recount would change the outcome of his race. Read more
Spokane City Councilman Richard Rush said this afternoon that he has decided against paying for a hand recount in his race against Mike Allen. Rush said after further consideration of the results of the machiine recount, as well as the hand recount that was completed… Read more
Spokane County will stand behind two sheriff’s deputies who broke a Spokane Valley man’s rib and punctured his lung when they were dispatched to help him in September 2009. County commissioners voted this week to defend Deputies Glen Hinckley and Walter Loucks in a federal civil rights lawsuit and pay any punitive damages, which aren’t automatically covered under the county’s liability insurance. Read more
Mike Allen’s lead over Richard Rush grew by three votes, to 91, on Wednesday after a recount in the Spokane City Council election for the city’s south district. But the race still isn’t over. Read more
The Spokane historic preservation office will get only $5,000 from Spokane County in the $136.6 million 2012 budget county commissioners adopted Wednesday. The county has given $20,000 a year to the office since at least 2009, but will shift $15,000 to the Fox Theater next year. The money will reduce a multiyear county pledge to help restore the landmark theater as a regional performing arts venue. Read more
Former Councilman Mike Allen’s lead over incumbent Richard Rush grew by three to 91 on Wednesday after a recount of the Spokane City Council election for the city’s south district. The race was recounted by machine because the result from the first count was within… Read more
The final outcome of the City Council race for a seat representing south Spokane won’t be decided until next week. That’s when the Spokane County Election’s Office will recount ballots in a contest so close that state law required a second examination. Former Councilman Mike… Read more
Spokane County officials expect to get a state permit today to operate their new sewage treatment plant – and to celebrate on Thursday. There may be some crossed fingers when the high fives are handed out at the $173 million plant’s dedication ceremony. Read more
County commissioners considered a tax increase Tuesday and adopted an interim zoning ordinance they hope will lure a Boeing manufacturing plant. The zoning ordinance would raise the height limit in light industrial zones throughout the county from 60 to 150 feet, matching the city of Spokane’s standard. Read more
It’s hard to imagine how Mayor Mary Verner could have lost so much ground between the primary and the November election without concerns about the Otto Zehm case eating at her base. With some members of the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane expressing… Read more
On a snowy day when temperatures were expected to dip into the teens, Spokane residents learned the state may lose millions in federal funding for heating assistance to southern states such as Arizona and Florida. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., spoke Saturday to seniors and low-income home heating program advocates in Spokane about a bill that would cut Washington’s heating assistance program. Read more
The family of a Spokane Valley pastor killed last year by a sheriff’s deputy has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. The lawsuit filed Friday by the family of Pastor Wayne Scott Creach contends that he was deprived of his civil rights when he was fatally shot by Deputy Brian Hirzel late on Aug. 25, 2010. In addition to Hirzel, the suit names Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and Spokane County as defendants, alleging that Hirzel was improperly trained and that county officials ignored evidence in backing his account of the shooting. Read more
Just before conceding, Mayor Mary Verner published a scathing comment on Facebook about her opponent’s campaign which she said is a “turning point for the way campaigns are conducted in Spokane.” “David Condon’s race for a non-partisan local office was woven into a … larger… Read more
A new “gateway to government services” promises to eliminate something people hate about Spokane County offices: going to one department only to find out they should have gone somewhere else. Instead of cruising for a parking space and hiking several blocks, residents can now use a new website to find out where to get a building permit, report a stray dog or complain about snow removal. Read more
Condon correctly predicted outrage was coming on water rates. Even before summer bills were mailed, he began attacking the water rate restructuring. When the bills were opened, he already had defined himself as the candidate who opposed them. On its face, focusing on sewer rate… Read more
Spokane Mayor-elect David Condon on Tuesday announced that his transition will be led by the city’s former economic development director, and he promised to oversee an open government. “Obviously, I am very humbled, very, very humbled at the outpouring of support that the voters have shown. I do think that it is a true honor to serve and to be expected to serve as their mayor,” Condon said at a news conference Tuesday at the Second Space Gallery in downtown Spokane. “I’m dedicated to living up to the trust the voters have put within me. The voters clearly want a City Hall that’s open, accountable and responsive.” Read more
The race between incumbent Councilman Richard Rush and former Councilman Mike Allen for Rush’s south Spokane City Council seat was sent within recount margins by counting on Tuesday. Only 92 votes now separate the two, and if the race remains within a half percentage point,… Read more
A race for Spokane City Council inched closer to an automatic recount on Monday in the fourth day of ballot counting from the Nov. 8 election. Former Councilman Mike Allen’s lead over incumbent Richard Rush for a seat representing south Spokane fell by 17 votes… Read more
Mayor-elect David Condon’s lead over Spokane Mayor Mary Verner grew slightly in counting on Monday. He now leads by 2,777 votes. Coincidentally, that’s the same number of votes left to count in the race. Read more
And now comes the hard part: governing. David Condon made a spectacular comeback in his bid to become the mayor of Washington’s second largest city. Read more
We’re still weeks away from that familiar moment when Spokane’s next one-term mayor will slide behind the desk in that spiffy City Hall office with a view. Although quite frankly, if Mary Verner keeps refusing to concede last Tuesday’s election, David Condon may have to call for an eviction. Read more
The best thing for political junkies about an off-year election – and arguably the worst thing for everyone else – is there’s another election so close we can feel it in our bones. We’ll barely have time to catch our breath. But before the general population gets overwhelmed with more Republican presidential debates and the minutiae of selecting presidential delegates through the caucus system, Spin Control wants to take just a few minutes to recall the highlights and lowlifes of Campaign Season 2011. Read more