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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Wed., May 23, 2012

From our archives, 100 years ago

A petition was circulating to change Spokane’s form of municipal government – again.

The petition called for dropping the city commission form of government after only two years and reverting back to the old system of a mayor and 10 ward councilmen. The petition drive was spearheaded, not surprisingly, by former city councilmen and former city employees who had been fired when the commission form of government was instituted in 1910. There were 3,387 signatures on the petition.

The attempt would ultimately fail – this time, at least – yet it was another example of Spokane’s penchant for tinkering with its form of government. In 1960, people began to see the commission form of government as outdated and inefficient. That year, Spokane voted for a mayor-council-manager form of government.

Then, in 2001, city voters changed the charter again, this time instituting the current mayor-council, or “strong mayor,” form of government.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1984: Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issued a report saying there was “very solid” evidence linking cigarette smoke to lung disease in nonsmokers.

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