June 8, 2011 in City
Perennial candidate enters mayoral race
Lampert vows to balance budget, hire 100 cops
Barbara Lampert wants to balance the city of Spokane’s budget while at the same time hiring an additional 100 police officers.
The candidate, who runs for office every year, filed Tuesday to run for Spokane mayor and paid the $1,693.58 filing fee (1 percent of the mayor’s salary). She said she would balance the budget by cutting city administration, forcing pay cuts and freezing salaries.
“There are way too many layers of supervision,” Lampert said. “Count four steps from the mayor, draw a line left to right, and they’re all gone. They can find another job.”
Lampert, a former nurse’s assistant, has run for office every year for about the last 15 years, sometimes knocking off mainstream candidates in primaries but never pulling off a general election win. Last year, for example, she placed third in the six-way primary for Congress, even beating the candidate endorsed by the Democratic Party.
Tuesday was the second day candidates could file to run in the Aug. 16 primary. Deadline for candidates to file is 4 p.m. Friday.
Spokane Mayor Mary Verner filed paperwork for her re-election campaign on Monday as did Michael Noder, who co-owns a local demolition company. David Condon, who has served as deputy chief of staff for Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, has indicated he will file for the office today.
Lampert, 65, added that her statement about “four steps from the mayor” is only an example and that she would make more concrete decisions about trimming administrators once elected. She admitted, however, that she has not examined a city organizational chart for about 20 years.
“But I can’t believe it got better, and, probably, it’s gotten worse,” she said.
Additionally, Lampert said she would cut supervisors’ pay by 20 percent and institute a pay freeze for everyone else.
Similar to her run in 2007 against Joe Shogan for City Council president, Lampert said she would increase the police force by 100 officers. Part of the cost of the new workers could be covered by better enforcing laws that would generate fines, she said.
“They’ll pay for themselves,” Lampert said. “I seriously believe that.”
Also Tuesday, Karen Kearney, who ran for City Council in 2009, became the first candidate to file for Spokane’s Northwest council seat. Races for two other Spokane council seats already have two candidates each.
The race drawing the most interest so far remains an open seat on the Spokane School Board to replace Garrett Daggett, who recently announced that he would not seek re-election.
Late Monday, Shawn Siggson became the fifth candidate in the race.
Asked why he decided to run, Siggson said: “I really don’t know. Just for fun, I guess.”
“I wanted to run for mayor, and when I realized it was a $1,700 filing fee, I had to start with something lower.”
Because board positions are unpaid, filing fees aren’t charged to candidates. Siggson, 33, is an employee at Travis Pattern and Foundry.
Although he said he doesn’t “know all that the job entails,” Siggson said he’s a serious candidate and that he identifies with the tea party. He said we would work to balance the budget without cutting teachers or increasing class sizes.