September 9, 1996 in Nation/World

Public Periscope

Compiled By Jim Camden From Staf
 

Did she say plotter, or plodder?

Spokane County Assessor Charlene Cooney told county commissioners last week her staff would work faster if they have an $8,000 piece of computer machinery called a plotter. “Can’t we just give you Phil if you need a plotter?” asked Commissioner Steve Hasson …

“Can you digitalize?” Cooney asked of Commissioner Phil Harris, who was sitting next to Hasson.

Could start a family feud?

In explaining why her office is so far behind, Cooney complained she has too many people leaving for more money in other county departments as soon as she gets them trained. Last month a computer operator went to the Planning Department for a $3,000-a-year raise and two appraisers moved to Public Works for $4,800 raises … Cooney got no sympathy from Harris. “That’s great,” he said. “It means we’re getting trained people (for those other departments). It’s all the same family.” … Harris wasn’t willing to concede her workers should earn the same as those in other departments. People will stick with a job even if the pay is better elsewhere, he contended, “if they enjoy the work they’re doing, the people they’re working with.”

Sad farewell

All too often, we hear complaints about people in public service who’ve forgotten what the term means. City Budget Director Ken Stone isn’t one of those people. Which is why we’re sorry to note he’s leaving … “With a great deal of sadness and regret,” Acting City Manager Bill Pupo said recently he accepted a resignation from Stone, who is leaving to take a post with the library system in Buffalo, N.Y. That’s the library system that employs Spokane’s former library director, Dan Walters. “He stole him from us,” muttered one city employee upon hearing the news … But, back to Stone, his good humor and patience in explaining complicated dollar matters to thick-headed reporters will be greatly missed … We wish Stone and his family the best.

In passing

On a farewell of another kind, one of the stalwarts of Spokane’s political and labor scene, Larry Marshall, died last week. The gravelly voiced former steelworkers executive was often a voice of reason in simmering Democratic Party disputes. He was a straight shooter and a good source, and will be missed.

Getting involved

The city of Spokane is still looking to fill one spot on the Human Services Advisory Board, two spots on the Housing Advisory and Appeals Board and three slots on the Human Rights Commission. Pick up applications on the fifth floor of City Hall, and get them in by Sept. 20 … Periscope, by the way, has heard a few complaints that some people have applied for openings we’ve listed, but were never contacted after they filled out their forms. If that’s happened to you, let us know at the numbers listed below.

, DataTimes MEMO: Public Periscope, published Mondays, is compiled by Jim Camden from staff reports. If you’ve got a question about local government, growth or development, we’d like to help you find an answer. You can write us c/o The Spokesman-Review, Box 2160, Spokane, Wash., 99210. Or e-mail to jimc@spokesman.com. Or fax to (509) 459-5482. Or call Cityline at 458-8800 on a Touch-Tone phone, then press 9120 to leave a message.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Compiled by Jim Camden from staff reports

Public Periscope, published Mondays, is compiled by Jim Camden from staff reports. If you’ve got a question about local government, growth or development, we’d like to help you find an answer. You can write us c/o The Spokesman-Review, Box 2160, Spokane, Wash., 99210. Or e-mail to jimc@spokesman.com. Or fax to (509) 459-5482. Or call Cityline at 458-8800 on a Touch-Tone phone, then press 9120 to leave a message.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Compiled by Jim Camden from staff reports

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