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Remove county’s gag

County Commissioner Al French should be congratulated for exposing the absurdity of the muzzle that has been placed on the Spokane County commissioners in regard to the Spokane Tribe’s casino project. For reasons that escape me (and that appear suspect), the former Board of County Commissioners, led by Bonnie Mager, gave up the county’s right to speak in favor or against any casino development for the Spokane Tribe.

The city of Airway Heights could have thrown out this neutrality clause when French came to them last month, but, in an increasingly desperate effort to protect the proposed casino, Mayor Patrick Rushing and his council voted unanimously to reject that request.

While it’s obvious that Mager is working closely with the Spokane Tribe, we should be lining up behind French to support his fight to have a voice. The Spokane Tribe’s casino could impact the future of Fairchild Air Force Base, social stability in Airway Heights and future economic development in the West Plains.

Spokane County must be allowed to share information and voice its concerns. I guess the open and transparent process the tribe has been promoting only works if you agree with their proposal.

Irv Zakheim



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