Spokane County Commissioner, District 2, Spokane County
|Mary Kuney (R)||119,638||62.47%|
|Rob Chase (R)||71,869||37.53%|
* Race percentages are calculated with data from the Secretary of State's Office, which omits write-in votes from its calculations when there are too few to affect the outcome. The Spokane County Auditor's Office may have slightly different percentages than are reflected here because its figures include any write-in votes.
Setting up a public entity to buy Avista may be unprecedented and definitely faces obstacles.
The move means members of the public and media will be able to witness the collective bargaining process in real time, even though state law allows that process to take place in private meetings. “Salaries are our largest cost, and the citizens ought to know how we’re negotiating contracts and how we’re trying to represent the best interests of both the taxpayers and our employees,” Commissioner Al French said.
Spokane County commissioners unanimously approved a $790 million balanced budget for next year that largely avoids cuts to county departments while maintaining funding for public safety, infrastructure, parks and capital projects.
Spokane County Commissioners approved a 1 percent property tax increase to fund core county services, road construction and property acquisition for the Conservation Futures program.
Spokane County commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to file a lawsuit to block expansion of the board from three members to five.
Spokane County Commissioners Al French and Mary Kuney took the oath of office Tuesday evening surrounded by family members, friends and county employees.
Incumbent Republican Mary Kuney is likely to retain her seat on the Spokane County Board of Commissioners against challenger Rob Chase.
Avista Corp. gives a lot of money to local candidates. If it leans in any political direction, it is toward incumbency – toward those already in power. But Avista’s recent decision to spend $200,000 to signal-boost the candidacies of French and Kuney with TV ads is a dramatic, puzzling departure from business as usual.
Among the candidates running for Spokane County commissioner are a relatively new commissioner and an experienced one. Mary Kuney in District 2 and Al French in District 3 deserve election on Nov. 6. Generally speaking, District 2 is the southeastern part of the county and District 3 is the western part. District 1, the northeastern part of the county, is not up this year. Josh Kerns currently represents District 1.
Avista Corp. is spending heavily in the Spokane County commissioner races by dropping nearly $200,000 on re-election television advertisements for commissioners Mary Kuney and Al French. In Avista Corp.’s largest independent campaign expenditure to date, the company in August contributed more than $99,500 per commissioner in “independent expenditures” for television ads and production costs, according to Washington State Public Disclosure Commission filings.
The union representing Spokane County’s deputy prosecutors has launched a public pressure campaign in hopes of rebooting contract negotiations and obtaining wage increases. Mediated negotiations stalled in August when the union, Local 1553-PA, voted to reject the county’s “last, best and final offer,” which would have immediately raised wages for senior attorneys by 2.5 percent and wages for the two lower attorney classifications by 4.25 percent.
The race for county commissioner between Rob Chase and Mary Kuney mirrors a split in the Spokane County Republican Party between more traditional Republicans who have lined up behind Kuney and those whose influence grew in the last decade with the rise of the tea party who have mostly backed Chase.
Rob Chase doesn’t want Avista Corp. to sell to a Canadian utility, and the Spokane County commissioner candidate says he’s deploying a little-known part of federal laws to try to block it. Washington regulators, however, said the laws Chase cites don’t apply to the sale.
The Spokane County commissioners will host a series of community meetings to inform the public and gather input as they craft the county’s budget for 2019.
The chairwoman of the Spokane County Republican Party offered a defense of James Allsup during a meeting of local conservatives this month, claiming the 22-year-old alt-right provocateur – whose views have been widely condemned as racist – was a victim of “label lynching” by the political left and the mainstream media.
For the first time in 40 years, Republicans will run unopposed by Democrats for a seat on the Spokane County Board of Commissioners.
Some agencies and departments that receive funding from Spokane County avoided steep cuts in 2018. The Spokane County Regional Health District isn’t one of them.
Commissioners Al French and Mary Kuney voted in favor of the spending plan, which will use money set aside from the road construction budget to cover day-to-day expenses next year for the first time. Commissioner Josh Kerns voted against, saying the county should have taken a deeper look at where it could cut funding.