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Public Periscope

Mon., April 3, 1995

A plateful of problems

Was that Councilman Chris Anderson we saw in a car with California plates? Yep. Turns out his family was down to one vehicle, so his mother-in-law loaned them an ‘87 Mercury. He drove it up from Palm Springs two weeks ago and didn’t get it licensed until Friday…Others have remarked on the incongruity of seeing a council sticker on a car with California plates. Not the least of them being Police Chief Terry Mangan, who recently warned Anderson he could be courting a ticket, which the chief said could bring an $800 fine…Municipal Court reports the fine would be more like $313

Getting our terms down pat

Spokane is such an apolitical, nonpartisan place that even our politicians can struggle with standard political concepts. Take last week’s council discussion over the definition of patronage…The debate came up in the context of whether Cheryl Steele should receive the job of neighborhood substation coordinator for the city-funded, nonprofit Spokane C.O.P.S. Patronage, said Anderson. No, said fellow Councilman Joel Crosby, because patronage involves getting a job for some sort of political favor and Steele had not worked on any campaign to merit such favoritism…We’re not saying patronage is wrong, or that Steele is benefiting from it. But we do remember she did a heck of a job heading up the unsuccessful drive to raise the business and occupation tax to pay for more cops.

Vox populi

The people have spoken - a few of them, anyway - and we have the top suggestions for last week’s burning question: Where should we put Walk in the Wild when the zoo loses its lease?…Sentiment was strongest for putting it in either High Bridge Park, People’s Park or Palisades Park. Several suggested nowhere - just move the animals, close it down and forget the whole zoo experience…But our favorite suggestion came from Rod Bordette, who said skip the search for a new site. Just make each local official take care of the animal that best matches his or her personality…That poses a new question. Which zoo animal should be matched with which elected official? Tell us by calling the number at the bottom of the column.

Speaking of the zoo

Spokane Transit Authority plans to resume bus service to Walk in the Wild on Tuesday. Five daily trips from the Valley Transit Center Monday through Saturday; six trips on Saturdays from downtown. Call 328-RIDE for schedule info…No word yet whether the buses will follow if the zoo moves.

Getting carded

As of Saturday, the Spokane County Library District started charging city residents $55 apiece for library cards, a bit of retaliation for the city district’s $40 fee for cards to non-city residents…Expect the county to score more points, though. Its cards are free to the city’s elementary or high school students. The city district exempted only one group of non-residents: City employees.

Getting involved

The mayor’s office still is looking for someone to fill a spot on the Library Board of Trustees. If you’re at least 18 and live inside city limits, you could be one of five folks who make sure the library has enough money and spends it wisely. It’s a five-year term with monthly meetings, usually on the third Tuesday.

“Public Periscope,” published every Monday, is compiled by Jim Camden from staff reports. If you have a question about local government, growth or development, we’d like to help you find an answer. You can write us at Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. Or leave us a message by calling Cityline at 458-8800 on a Touch-Tone phone and pressing 9120.

xxxx Hot topics Wednesday: Manito/ Cannon Hill Committee looks at the overlay zone for the Cannon Hill Neighborhood. Noon, fifth floor of City Hall. Thursday: Could be the last chance to see the Board of Freeholders in action. They expect to get a report on their charter proposal from a panel of attorneys. 5:30 p.m., Health District Building, 1101 W. College.

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