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Propositions considered

River City citizens see three city propositions on their ballot: 1) a free-standing ombudsman; 2) a five-to-two City Council majority vote on taxes, but not on fees; and 3) a library support vote.

Presently, a city police chief is hired and reports to the mayor with City Council oversight. The relationship between the Police Guild and city is set by state statutes, since no city police officer can strike.

A line police officer’s life is already complex; they do not need two chiefs giving orders and/or issuing discipline, because violence is part of daily life in Spokane. If we must have the ombudsman, have that ombudsman oversee a chief. The chief level is where the policy changes can occur.

The supermajority proposition turns the Spokane City Council over to the “No Tax, American Legislative Exchange Council” thinking delivered by Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin. Now, four members set council priorities, so the majority rules.

We need citizens who can read, write and seek knowledge, so I say please support the library proposition.

John Heffernan



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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.