The candidates for City Council and mayor of Spokane have contrasting views on some of the major issues facing the city. Here’s a look at where they stand on nine topics.
Do you support the Lincoln Street bridge project?
Do you support public-private partnerships?
How should the city pay for street maintenance?
Do you support the Growth Management Act?
What’s the top issue facing the city council during the next four years?
What would you most like to change at City Hall?
What traits would you like to see in the city’s next police chief?
Should the city build a maintenance center in the Logan area, despite neighborhood opposition?
Executive sessions that are closed to the public are held almost every week by the council. Is that too often?
Lincoln Street bridge: Supports project but is anxious to hear from citizens committee reconsidering matter. Council needs to know whether reasons committee supported building the bridge 10 years ago still are valid.
Public-private: “Whatever we can do within the law to further the economic means in the city, that’s a proper role for city government.”
Streets: Supports proposed 2.3-cent-per-gallon county gas tax increase because it’s a user fee. City needs to lobby state legislators for more road money. City also needs to establish street improvement reserve fund and begin setting aside more general fund dollars.
GMA: Law is “absolutely necessary … It’s pretty clear urban sprawl is costly for taxpayers.”
Top issue: Strengthening economy and building family-wage jobs.
City Hall: Wants changes to personnel system to streamline process of hiring, firing and promoting.
Police Chief: Next chief should be strong leader with good communication skills. He or she should be honest and committed to diversity.
Maintenance: Council currently is considering sites outside Logan, including industrial area near Trent. “I’m pretty excited about that.”
Executive: “I don’t think it’s too often.”
Lincoln Street bridge: Opposes it and wants public vote on project. “There is no substantive, factual document that says we need that bridge. There’s all kinds of ecological reasons for not building the bridge.”
Public-private: Doesn’t support them. “If a project is a viable project, private enterprise will build it.”
Streets: “Tell the city manager to fix them, and then he’d better find the money.” Intense scrutiny of budget would uncover dollars for streets.
GMA: Fears too much government intrusion. “The growth certainly needs to be managed. It’s questionable by whom.” Top Issue: Leadership. Current City Council fails to show leadership by bowing to special interest groups.
City Hall: Council should stop micromanaging city manager. “Let him do the job he was paid to to do.”
Police Chief: Next chief should be highly respected and have history of good relationships with his or her community.
Maintenance: City never should have considered putting maintenance center in Logan area.
Executive: Would take narrow view of what could be considered in closed session. “We should have very, very few executive sessions.”
COUNCIL POSITION 1
Lincoln Street bridge: Supports the project. Doesn’t think bridge will negatively impact gorge.
Public-private: Favors partnerships, especially those aimed at revitalizing city’s core. Not big fan of River Park Square redevelopment, largely because project calls for increased parking downtown.
Streets: Favors more aggressive lobbying of the state Legislature. Supports gas tax proposal.
GMA: Supports law.
Big issue: Services must be provided on equitable basis, such as plowing of city streets.
City Hall: “The current makeup of the City Council.”
Police Chief: Next chief should be aware of community’s diversity and strive to offer equal protection to everyone.
Maintenance: Doesn’t favor putting it in Logan neighborhood, but wants to consolidate vehicle maintenance center.
Executive sessions: Some are necessary, but number should be limited.
Lincoln Street bridge: “I do not favor it at all. We don’t need it. We can’t justify it.”
Public-private: “I favor them, as long as the public doesn’t take any more of a risk than the private sector would.”
Streets: Favors gas tax proposal because it’s a user fee. Also thinks officials should lobby more aggressively for dollars from Legislature. Some additional money likely could be found in general fund.
GMA: Supports law but would like hearings boards to be more flexible. “They need to take each locality into account.”
Top issue: Rearranging spending priorities “to make the most of what we have.”
City Hall: Help restore trust by making City Hall and staff more accessible to public.
Police chief: New chief must live in city and be a good communicator. He or she should “stick around Spokane and not travel so much.”
Maintenance: Opposes building it in Logan neighborhood.
Executive: “Closed-door executive sessions should be few and far between.”
COUNCIL POSITION 2
Lincoln Street bridge: Has serious questions about whether bridge is necessary. Hasn’t seen any updated information from city proving need for bridge. Would like to close Post Street Bridge briefly to see what happens to traffic.
Public-Private: Supports partnerships but thinks developers and city officials should have done more to involve public - particularly neighbrhood groups - in River Park Square project.
Streets: City must lobby legislators vigorously for more street dollars. She’d like to scour city’s general fund to find more money for street maintenance and repair.
GMA: Supports law. “I just think managed growth is smarter.”
Top Issue: “We’ve got to beef up the economy. We do that by making sure we have living-wage jobs and offering incentives to new and existing businesses.”
City Hall: Department heads and other staff should be trained at providing information to public and council.
Police Chief: New police chief must set positive example for fellow officers. Must be supportive of officers but understand that sometimes an officer needs discipline or counselling. Must be open to community’s diversity.
Maintenance: “No. I applaud that neighborhood for respectfully showing the council and community that there were other optional sites for the facility.”
Executive: “The only reason for executive sessions are to discuss issues that regard personnel and litigation. I would like to think they don’t have to hold executive sessions each week on litigation.”
Lincoln Street bridge: Will support recommendation from citizen committee reviewing project.
Public-private: Supports them. An avid fan of the River Park Square redevelopment project. “The stronger your city’s core is, the better your city is.”
Streets: Supports proposed 2.3-cent-per-gallon county gas tax increase. City needs to squeeze more money from its general fund, but that alone won’t do it. City officials need to work closely with legislators - and the STA - to get more street dollars.
GMA: Supports law. “I think managing your growth is something a city has to do.”
Top Issue: Transportation, especially traffic flow. “The (environmental impact statement) has been completed for the North Spokane Freeway. Now is the time to move on this issue.”
City Hall: “I’m not running on a mission to try and change something.” Would like to see council have policy analyst who gives independent review of staff recommendations.
Police Chief: New chief should have good rapport with public. “Someone who has respect for officers and can lead them, someone who can lend esprit de corps to a tough job.”
Maintenance: “In light of the transportation network that is going to be developed in the future (the Long Lake Lumber site) may very well be the best location.”
Executive: “I would think so, because they are limited to real estate and personnel matters. I would hope they are not dealing with those kinds of issues every week.”
COUNCIL POSITION 3
Lincoln Street bridge: Undecided about project, and waiting for citizens committee recommendation to help make up her mind. Doesn’t have enough information to “cinch the decision one way or another.”
Public-private: Strongly supports them. “Public-private partnerships are the way things are getting done all over the country. A local improvement district is a public-private partnership.”
Streets: Supports gas tax increase and would like commissioners to add $15 motor vehicle license fee to annual registration fee. She’d also like to see more general fund dollars spent on streets.
GMA: Strongly supports law. “Uncontrolled growth is expensive.”
Top Issue: Building revenue streams. “We need to make sure we have the revenue streams to support budgetary requirements.”
City Hall: City needs to embrace neighborhood council concept. “We need to recognize that many solutions come from outside City Hall.”
Police Chief: Choosing new chief is a primary reason she wants another term. The new chief needs to “embrace neighborhood councils.”
Maintenance: Building facility there may not be best use of city asset. “It’s a win-win if we are able to move on to the other piece of property.”
Executive: “Actually, we don’t have an executive session every meeting. They are fairly sparse I think. Frequency isn’t the issue, it is what is happening that’s the issue.”
Lincoln Street bridge: “No! We don’t need it. Nobody wants it.”
Public-private: Opposes them. “If I’m going to be used as an investor, where do I pick up my dividend check?”
Streets: Wants city to increase spending on street maintenance. “I think we can find $2 to $3 million in a $112 million a year budget. We need to reallocate dollars toward the streets.” Supports hiring independent auditor.
GMA: Thinks city and county governments should determine future growth without outside interference from state. “I don’t like mandates that strip the power of the people of Spokane.”
Top Issue: City’s image problem. Residents have “zero trust” in council. “We need to represent all of Spokane, not just the downtown.”
City Hall: Council needs to truly represent “all the community … What needs to be changed I couldn’t do alone.”
Police Chief: Next chief should spend less time travelling and “concentrate 100 percent on running the Spokane Police Department.” Thinks city and county should consider consolidating law enforcement.
Maintenance: “No. To date I would say we should look toward the airport, Airway Heights and the West Plains for a site.”
Executive: “Because of executive sessions we have no idea what’s being discussed. Perhaps some of the material being discussed doesn’t need to be discussed without the public being there.”
Source: Candidates and candidates’ campaigns
Staff graphic: Vince Grippi
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 8 Photos Graphic: Where they stand …
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