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In brief: Parks officials seek input on priorities

Sat., July 30, 2011

Spokane County parks officials are asking for budget advice in an online survey.

Questions pertain to the general fund portion of park programs, not self-sufficient programs such as golf courses and Conservation Futures recreational land.

Residents can build their own budget by dragging items up or down in a 14-point list that reflects the relative cost of various services.

Want clean restrooms? Move them up. Don’t care if grass turns brown? Move it down.

The survey also asks a number of questions about park policies and support for higher property tax levies, ranging from 1 to 10 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or a bond measure.

To take the survey, click on the “Budget Survey” link on the parks Web page:

County offers deals to golfers, swimmers

Spokane County golf courses will offer 20 percent discounts in August.

The promotion applies to green fees and motorized cart rentals but not to tournament or pre-booked rates.

Also, county parks officials announced resumption of an annual “Swim and a Movie” program at the north and south aquatic centers.

“The Karate Kid” will be shown at the Southside Family Aquatic Center, 3724 E. 61st Ave., tonight at 9. Swimming will begin at 6.

More information about the promotions is available online at

Reinterpretation dings Inslee’s use of funds

OLYMPIA – Washington’s elections watchdog altered its interpretation of state law Friday, placing strict limits on how Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee will be able to use $1 million stashed in a federal campaign account.

Public Disclosure Commission Executive Director Doug Ellis said staff took a closer look at the law after a story by the Associated Press last weekend. The commission initially had advised Inslee that he could roll forward some $1 million left over from previous campaigns without the money being subject to contribution limits.

“We have no jurisdiction over federal campaigns,” Ellis said. “It’s money that’s outside of the state campaign finance laws.”

Inslee political director Joby Shimomura said the congressman’s aides want to get further clarification.

The commission initially agreed with Inslee’s interpretation of the law, saying Inslee could ask past donors to flip their excess donations to his state campaign.

Under the new interpretation, he will still be able to ask donors to shift the surplus donations, but the money will count toward the maximum amount an individual can donate – $3,200 for the entire election cycle.


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