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Council Will Review Way It Does Business

Mon., June 5, 1995

The Spokane City Council will consider revamping the way it does its business at a meeting tonight.

A proposal would allow more time for public and council review of weekly agenda items and would turn Mondays into a daylong marathon of meetings.

“The public will have a lot more advance notice of items on the agenda,” said Mayor Jack Geraghty. “And we’ll be spending a lot more time on the agenda itself.”

If the council passes the plan:

Thursday briefings would be out. Instead, the council twice a month would have a Thursday study session devoted to one topic.

Agendas would be available more than a week in advance instead of the current three working days. An advance agenda would be available Thursday for the meeting two Mondays away.

The public could sit down with a council member and staff person on Mondays at 3 p.m. to talk about issues on that night’s agenda.

The forum - where residents can ask the council about issues not on the agenda - would take place at the start of the meeting and be televised. Currently, the forum takes place at the meeting’s end and isn’t seen on City Cable 5.

Consent agenda items - routine things such as contracts and claims - would be voted on during the Monday briefing, which would start at 3:30 p.m. instead of the current 5:30 p.m.

Also tonight, the council plans to vote on a proposed taxing plan hailed by supporters as a way to revitalize downtown.

Similar to taxing districts used to build sewers or pave roads, the proposed Parking and Business Improvement Area would raise $675,000 by taxing downtown businesses, organizations, buildings and properties.

The money is slated for improvements designed to make downtown safer, more convenient, attractive and accessible.

Foes of the plan proposed by the Downtown Spokane Partnership say it would benefit a few big businesses and drive others to the suburbs.

Assessments within the district would be no less than $120 a year and no more than $38,000, depending on size and other factors.

The city of Spokane would give about $200,000 a year to the district, with that money possibly coming from reinstalled parking meters. The city also would pay about $20,000 in assessments on two downtown buildings - City Hall and the library.

The council also will consider:

Setting a hearing June 26 on the city’s proposal to annex 212 acres south of 37th Avenue and west of Glenrose Road known as the Muirfield Annexation.

Voting on changes to two contracts for the remodeling of City Hall.

The first change increases the $330,000 remodeling cost by $29,000 - 9 percent - to pay for unexpected costs to help the building meet code requirements.

The second change increases by $41,500 - or 55 percent - a $76,000 consulting contract with the architectural firm that designed the City Hall remodeling project. Extending the contract was necessary because of project delays and construction problems, according to staff members.

The council briefing begins at 5:30 p.m. in the fifth-floor conference room of City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in council chambers.

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Meeting Spokane City Council meets today at 6 p.m. in City Hall.

This sidebar appeared with the story: Meeting Spokane City Council meets today at 6 p.m. in City Hall.

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