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Election 2009

Hearing set for controversial city initiatives

A Spokane County judge on Friday declined to stop two city initiatives from going to the ballot this fall – at least for now. Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno rejected a request for a preliminary injunction against the two measures, and instead set a hearing on the challenge for Aug. 23.

Initiative draws countersuit

Envision Spokane, a group that has failed twice at the ballot box with its far-reaching Community Bill of Rights, has countersued a coalition of business and government groups that sought last month to keep Envision’s initiative off the ballot with legal action. The countersuit filed Wednesday argues that the coalition is seeking to “mis-use the judicial process” and cannot show it would be injured by the initiative simply appearing on the ballot. The suit also claims that the coalition’s legal action was directly intended to suppress public involvement with the electoral process.

County commissioners join fight against ‘Bill of Rights’ initiatives

Spokane County commissioners voted Friday to challenge a pair of Spokane city initiatives that could change the way local business and government function. They join a coalition of economic development interests in seeking judicial review on the legality of the two initiatives called a Community Bill of Rights and a Voter Bill of Rights.

Spokane City Council wants initiatives sent to voters

Voters should have a say on two controversial citizens’ initiatives, the Spokane City Council decided Monday. The 4-3 vote opposing lawsuits to stop votes in November was a victory for the two groups who collected enough signatures to force their measures onto the ballot.

We’ll learn more if we let folks vote

As the city amasses legal rationalizations for denying citizens a vote, there has been a refrain from those who object to these pesky citizens’ initiatives. It runs something like this: No one wants to deny citizens a vote. No one relishes the burden of pre-empting democracy. It’s a rare, rare circumstance that brings us to this difficult point … BUT.

Proposed initiatives in Spokane may get fight

The city of Spokane may have grounds to challenge two proposed charter amendments and seek court orders to keep them off the ballot, lawyers have told the Spokane City Council. Groups supporting the initiatives say that would be “a direct subversion of the democratic process,” but the Spokane Home Builders Association is urging the city to go to court.

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.

Activist’s referendum targets new city law

Changes to the way citizens can sidestep elected leaders to pass their own laws received the endorsement on Wednesday of Mayor David Condon. But there will be more steps before the new rules become law, if some citizens have their way.

Spokane council will discuss initiatives plan

A resident’s right to bypass the Spokane City Council to craft city laws could be revamped on Monday. Along with a host of minor changes that have general acceptance, two proposals – one to require residents to work with the city attorney on ballot language and another to require the city to craft a financial impact statement about the measure – have generated significant opposition.

Audio


  • Proposition 4 debate: Introduction

    Reporter Jonathan Brunt lays the ground rules for an Oct. 8, 2009, debate on Proposition 4, adoption of a community bill of rights for Spokane, in the Spokesman-Review newsroom. Representing the campaign for the proposition is Kai Huschke, campaign director for Envision Spokane, the proposition’s sponsor. Representing the campaign against the bill of rights is former Spokane County Commissioner Kate McCaslin.


  • Amber Waldref on budget cuts

    From the Sept. 25, 2009, debate between Mike Fagan and Amber Waldref, candidates for the Spokane City Council northeast district seat.


  • Amber Waldref on city budget

    From the Sept. 25, 2009, debate between Mike Fagan and Amber Waldref, candidates for the Spokane City Council northeast district seat.


  • Amber Waldref on city sustainability plan

    From the Sept. 25, 2009, debate between Mike Fagan and Amber Waldref, candidates for the Spokane City Council northeast district seat.


  • Amber Waldref on climate change

    From the Sept. 25, 2009, debate between Mike Fagan and Amber Waldref, candidates for the Spokane City Council northeast district seat. This comment follows up on a comment made by Fagan during discussion of the city’s sustainability plan.