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In brief: Original panel issues redistricting plan

BOISE – In the latest twist in this year’s Idaho redistricting saga, the Idaho Republican and Democratic parties issued a joint media advisory just after 5 p.m. Friday saying the six previous redistricting commissioners, from both parties, have now reached agreement on both congressional and legislative district plans, and will present them to Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa on Monday morning.

The previous commission was disbanded after it failed to meet its Sept. 6 deadline, and a new six-member commission is scheduled to start work on Wednesday.

In the joint advisory, the two parties said the now-agreed-upon congressional plan is called C-38 and the new legislative plan is L-83, which will go online Monday at redistricting/proposed_maps. htm.

As to what legal effect that agreement has, Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko said it’s unclear, and that’s why he and Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Grant will meet with Ysursa on Monday.

Betsy Z. Russell

City chooses new planning director

Spokane Mayor Mary Verner has selected a new planning director, a position that has been empty for nearly two years.

Scott Chesney, the former director of planning and development for El Mirage, Ariz., was the top choice of an advisory committee of planning staff, a city of Spokane news release said. The appointment will be forwarded to the City Council for confirmation. His starting yearly salary will be $98,554.

Before working in El Mirage, he was planning and community development director in Surprise, Ariz. While there, Chesney admitted violating city policy by using city credit cards to buy alcohol for himself and staff, and failed to provide itemized receipts for reimbursement, the Arizona Republic reported after Chesney resigned in November 2007. He reimbursed the city for the improper purchases, the newspaper reported.

City of Spokane spokeswoman Marlene Feist did not return a call late Friday seeking comment.

JoAnne Wright has served as interim planning director since October 2009, when then-planning director Leroy Eadie was asked to serve as interim director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, a position he now holds permanently.

Verner thanked Wright for “her leadership and commitment during this period of transition.”

Wright will return to her previous position as senior planner in the neighborhood planning area.

Staff reports


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