u 2013 February 12 Special Election

Latest news

Candidates must file for office by Friday

Candidates for local offices around Washington will officially enter their races this week as filing week begins this morning. On the ballot this year are council seats in cities and towns throughout Washington, as well as many mayoral slots. The city of Spokane has three openings – one for each council district – and the city of Spokane Valley has four at-large council seats on this year’s ballot.  Read more

Bates files for council position that Towey is vacating

Spokane Valley planning commission chairman Bill Bates is running for the council seat being vacated by Mayor Tom Towey – his half-brother. Bates is the first person to file paperwork with the Public Disclosure Commission. Read more

Council considers blocking citizen initiatives

Signatures on petitions in support of two proposed citizens’ initiatives in Spokane will be counted and verified. But council… Read more

Council OKs spending $1.1 million on police equipment, training

Spokane police patrol cars may soon be equipped with cameras to record encounters with the public. The Spokane City Council last week agreed to spend $1.1 million from reserves to implement recommendations made by the Use of Force Commission earlier this year. Read more

Spokane Council candidate’s residency doubts resurface

More doubts are being raised about a Spokane City Council candidate’s eligibility to hold the seat he’s seeking even as he continues to run an active campaign and collect contributions, including from a former state Supreme Court justice. Mark Hamilton, a pastor and real estate agent, says he’s been living since May at a dilapidated Spokane house he bought that month and declared his official home to meet city residency requirements, even though he voted outside the city in November. Now, utility records and the recollections of a handyman who helped Hamilton fix up the home at 217 E. Pacific Ave. raise additional questions about whether the candidate who still owns a home south of Spokane was actually living inside the city. Read more

Groups hope to place initiatives on city ballot

Envision Spokane hopes the third time is a charm. The group was one of two that filed signatures this week with Spokane City Clerk Teri Pfister to place initiatives on the city’s November ballot. Both turned in significantly more signatures than needed to qualify – though they still need to be verified by the Spokane County Elections Office. Read more

Race heating up for McLaughlin’s Spokane City Council seat

The most contested race in this year’s three races for Spokane City Council seats is almost certain to be… Read more

Council candidate’s residency questioned

A candidate for Spokane City Council who already has the backing of two other elected leaders may be ineligible to run. Mark Hamilton, the pastor of the former Spokane Christian Fellowship and a real estate broker for Soleil Real Estate, was registered to vote at an address outside city limits when he cast a ballot in November’s general election, which could complicate his efforts to assert he meets residency requirements. Read more

Supermajority margin for tax hikes approved for Spokane

The next time the Spokane City Council considers a tax increase, it will take five of seven votes to pass. Most of the remaining ballots in Tuesday’s special election were counted Wednesday, and support for supermajority Proposition 2 increased, widening a close lead it had after Tuesday’s count. Read more

Fraud suspected in initiative signatures

OLYMPIA – Three paid signature gatherers apparently committed extensive fraud while collecting support for two Washington initiatives, elections officials said Wednesday. The secretary of state’s office said many of the 8,000 signatures submitted by the collectors were invalid. The problematic filings were linked to a measure that would extend the time for initiative signature collection, and another proposal that would require companies to label genetically modified food. Read more

Voters approve supermajority requirement

The Spokane City Council must approve tax increases with supermajority votes. Read more

Spokane voters approve library tax

Spokane voters easily approved a City Charter amendment giving the police ombudsman more authority and a tax to ensure that branch libraries won’t close. Read more

Turnout, ballot drop info for today’s election

Today is the last day to vote in the February special elections in Spokane, Rockford, Spokane County Fire District… Read more

‘Supermajority’ proposition on tax hikes hotly contested

Of the three items Spokane voters will consider Tuesday, one has clearly sparked the most heated debate. Campaign groups have formed on each side of Proposition 2. Signs are up around the city and rhetoric is high. Read more

Group sends mailer opposing EV school bond

Citizens for Responsible Taxation mailed fliers this week targeting the $65 million East Valley School District bond on the ballot in Tuesday’s special election. The bond would pay to renovate buildings and build a new performing arts center and athletics facility at the high school. Read more

Opponents of Prop 2 miss finance deadlines

NOTE: This post was updated at 6:25 p.m. Feb. 6, 2013 to reflect that the Public Disclosure Commission provided… Read more

Stuckart, Waldref apologize for violations

Two Spokane City Council members have apologized for using their city email accounts to send campaign messages.

Spokane… Read more

Library campaign reports $21,000

The campaign in support of the library tax in Spokane has fixed campaign disclosure problems with the state Public… Read more

Spokane campaign group fails to report funds

Spokane’s Feb. 12 special election has spawned three official campaign organizations, along with campaign reporting violations. It wasn’t until mid-December when the Spokane City Council decided to hold the Feb. 12 special election. That left a relatively short period to raise money and design strategies in support or opposition of the three propositions voters will decide on. Read 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… Read more

Ombudsman power in the mail for vote

The Spokane City Council has tried several times over the past two decades to craft a police oversight system with teeth. Now it’s the citizens’ turn. Read more

Voters to decide whether 5-2 split needed on taxes

Spokane’s Proposition 2 is a way to ensure strong consensus on important issues or a strategy for a minority to seize control from the majority. That’s the debate among Spokane officials about the proposed requirement that tax increases earn at least five of seven votes on the City Council for approval instead of four. Read more

Voters will decide school measures

The Spokane County Elections Office is mailing ballots today for the Feb. 12 special election. Depending on where you live, you might see a school bond or levy, or levies to pay for law enforcement or emergency medical services. Read more

Rockford vote could free up funds for water system

The town of Rockford is putting a law enforcement services levy on the February ballot to pay for its law enforcement contract with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. The idea came from the tiny town of Spangle, which successfully passed a similar levy in 2011, said Rockford Mayor Micki Harnois. Read more

Spokane Library open fewer hours than most of its regional counterparts

Seven people stood outside the Hillyard Library as they waited for its doors to open at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Several more were waiting in their cars. The wait to get into the Hillyard Library and Spokane’s two other neighborhood branches could be much shorter under a proposed tax voters will consider on the Feb. 12 ballot. Read more

Council OKs tax proposal

Spokane voters will have a lot to consider on their February ballot, including a proposal to require supermajority votes by the City Council to raise taxes and some fees. Other measures headed for a special February election include: • A property tax increase for the Spokane Public Library to prevent branch closures and increase open hours. City taxes would increase by 7 cents for each $1,000 of property value – $7 for the owner of a $100,000 property. Read more

Voters likely to get library plea

There could be something for almost everyone on a special election ballot in February. Originally wary of spending the money to hold a special election, the Spokane City Council on Monday appears ready to send three items to the ballot for voters to consider. The council last week set aside $200,000 to hold the election. Read more

Council mulls supermajority requirement

It could soon get harder for Spokane city leaders to raise taxes. The Spokane City Council on Monday will consider whether to ask voters if raising tax rates should require approval of at least five of the city’s seven council members. Read more

Library tax could be on ballot

Spokane voters in February may get a chance to save the city’s small library branches and substantially increase branch hours. Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart is proposing that voters be asked for a property tax boost for libraries on the Feb. 12 ballot. Read more

Council members want police ombudsman in city charter

City officials have a new strategy to achieve independent police oversight after multiple failed attempts: Let the voters decide. Spokane City Council members Steve Salvatori and Mike Allen want to ask voters in February to approve a city charter amendment creating a police ombudsman position with the ability to investigate alleged police abuse separately from the Police Department’s internal affairs division. The plan also would create a citizen board that would oversee the ombudsman. Read more