There’s crime. And then there’s taxes.
And there’s crime. And then there’s the library.
And there’s crime. …
You get the picture. A recurrent theme marks discussions about the issues people want political leaders and candidates to address.
“I’ve been wanting to get involved in COPS West,” said Catherine Hills of Spokane, “but people are reluctant to get involved because of the danger of retaliation.”
She also wants the city and county to work more cohesively together - to iron out conflicting library policies, for example.
Hills is one of several people asked to suggest concerns that need attention in next fall’s political campaigns.
Another, Leon Hatch, is reasonably new to the Spokane area, but crime is in his thoughts, too.
“One thing I notice a lot is the street kids and the kids that hang out,” he said.
Hatch, originally from Birmingham, Ala., is studying for a degree in education at Eastern Washington University.
He said he’s concerned mostly about what the schools do to keep kids in class and give them the tools to avoid crime and lead successful lives. But he’s heard talk about gang-prevention efforts, and he believes police need advice from people who’ve studied gang activities elsewhere.
The 26-year-old African American is concerned that enforcement efforts not focus suspicion on people for the wrong reasons.
“Just because of what color clothes I’m wearing and have an earring, people might assume I’m affiliated with a gang. In a city like Spokane, it’s difficult to detect who’s a member of a gang.”
Forrest Diehl, who works for the city but lives in the Spokane Valley, said he’s concerned about the budget shortfall the city will suffer because of last-minute changes in real estate assessments.
“I want to know what action we’re taking to prevent that from happening in the future.”
He said he also is wary of spending federal funds on the proposed Pacific Science Center at Riverfront Park. “I’m kind of bothered by us receiving federal funds for that. It’s hard to swallow people in Michigan paying for something in Spokane.”
, DataTimes MEMO: “Bagpipes” appears Tuesdays and Thursdays. To respond to issues raised on Tuesdays: Call 458-8800, category 9881, from a Touch-Tone phone; or send a fax to 459-5098 or e-mail to email@example.com. Representative replies appear Thursdays. You also can leave Doug Floyd a message at 459-5577, extension 5466.