March 26, 1996 in City

A 4-Point Sidewalk Program

Doug Floyd Interactive Editor
 

If it’s not the city’s responsibility to repair deteriorating sidewalks and homeowners can’t afford to, Bruce Howard of Spokane has a four-point suggestion for handling the dilemma:

“Offer some tax relief to people who take on the job of repairing their own sidewalks.

“Offer some standards so people could use different materials instead of just bringing in an approved concrete company to pour. They might put down pavers or bricks or other materials.

“Maybe help neighborhoods get block grants for sidewalk repair.

“Definitely don’t waive the sidewalk requirement for new developments.”

Your forum if you’re for ‘em?

How tightly do you have to govern the public forum portion of City Council and county commissioners’ meetings so people can say their piece without creating a circus?

According to Spokane City Councilman Chris Anderson, “Keeping the forum from ‘becoming a circus’ is simply a function of a strong chair and a clear and consistently applied set of guidelines for the speakers.”

Too late for that, said Jonathan Swanstrom Sr. of Spokane.

“Local government is already a circus,” he said.

“It’s OK with these local government folks if you agree with their agenda, but try and be contrary! That’s when they black out the Cable 5 TV or when one commissioner says ‘whoa’ to public input.

“Wasn’t it the City Council public forum where we found out our police chief had been absent 105 days and that runaways were not being picked up in accordance with the ‘Becca law’?”

Can the canned political ads

Banning political advertising, says Jim Wavada of Spokane, would force candidates who want media exposure to say something newsworthy - “not the canned attacks we’ve seen and heard all during this silly season.”

If candidates can’t buy space or air time, he said, reporters would “feel more empowered to demand straight answers to direct questions about genuine public policy issues.”

And if they don’t, Wavada suggests, require broadcasters to donate a certain amount of time to bona fide candidates.

He also proposes restricting the amount of mail candidates could send during their campaigns.

Other readers are invited to join the ongoing discussion about how to make the 1996 campaigns more helpful to voters. We’re especially interested in hearing what issues and questions you want local, state and national candidates to address.

, DataTimes MEMO: “Bagpipes” appears Tuesdays and Thursdays. To respond, call Cityline at 458-8800, category 9881, from a Touch-Tone phone; or send a fax to 459-5098 or e-mail to dougf@spokesman.com. You also can leave Doug Floyd a message at 459-5577, extension 5466.

“Bagpipes” appears Tuesdays and Thursdays. To respond, call Cityline at 458-8800, category 9881, from a Touch-Tone phone; or send a fax to 459-5098 or e-mail to dougf@spokesman.com. You also can leave Doug Floyd a message at 459-5577, extension 5466.


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