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Clark: 3 ways to make City Hall friendlier – and richer, too

What’s gotten into Boy Mayor?

Now, I’ve been a huge fan of David Condon’s early reign as Spokane mayor.

Especially Condon’s beheading-by-proxy of assistant city attorney Rocky Treppiedi.

That was sweet.

But now Condon is reportedly toying with a construction plan to make City Hall more customer-friendly at a possible cost of $1.4 million.

Please. Just weeks ago, the mayor was predicting a $10 million budget shortfall for 2013.

The situation is so bad that even payoffs to the Spokane Police Guild are down.

And now Condon thinks he can play Pimp My City Hall?

Sorry, mayor, but we can’t afford to pour money into crazy pipe dreams.

Unless, of course, the crazy pipe dreams are cost-effective.

Always willing to help, I’ve come up with a few very doable ways to make City Hall more customer-friendly in these depressing times.

The Ticket and Spin-it Wheel.

Studies have shown that the fear of getting a parking ticket is the No. 1 reason consumers won’t shop in downtown Spokane.

(The fear of being de-pantsed and duct-taped to a telephone pole by one of the panhandling felons who loiter in packs around the bus depot is No. 2.)

Well, I have the cure for this phobia.

Get a ticket? Don’t get sore.

Bring it to City Hall and test your luck at the payment counter.

Call a color – red or black – and spin the Ticket Wheel.

Guess correctly and your citation disappears faster than if you had a brother-in-law in parking enforcement.

If your color doesn’t come up, well, you pay double.

Them’s the breaks.

But don’t worry. With Spokane’s Meter Mafia prowling the streets, you’ll probably be back in City Hall spinning the wheel again before the day is done.

The City Council Tap Room.

Other than perhaps frontier gynecology, nothing is more painful than sitting through a Spokane City Council meeting.

Unless, of course, you’re sitting through a Spokane City Council meeting with a frosty mug of beer in your hand.

I can’t think of one valid reason why we can’t turn the art gallery that adjoins the City Council chambers into a customer-friendly brew pub.

Grab a beer and a bag of pretzels, citizens. Then go take a seat and watch as our leaders hem and haw through one tedious load of bull after another.

We could even name the brews after our leaders.

Stuckart Stout, say.

Or Allen Ale.

But here’s the amazing bonus:

The more we drink, the more council members will start to make sense.

I’m not kidding. Four or five brewskies and you might even understand why Nancy McLaughlin’s running for state Senate.


Reefer Gladness.

Some years back, Mayor John Powers came up with this ridiculous idea to plant a garden on the City Hall roof.

And some people wonder why Spokane mayors never get a second term.

Today, however, the Powers Plan can finally bloom into something fruitful and lucrative.

Just as long as the crop being harvested is cannabis, that is.

Yes, I’m talking about medical marijuana planted, grown and dispensed from high atop city government.

Come get your Spokapulco Gold, glaucoma patients!

So you can now see how Condon can overcome his budget problems and create a more customer-friendly City Hall environment, too.

All it takes is some good, old-fashioned American ingenuity.

Plus dope, gambling and alcohol.

Man, sometimes I think I should be mayor.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at