February 9, 2013 in City

State of the City speech calls for making Spokane the ‘city of choice’

By The Spokesman-Review
Dan Pelle photoBuy this photo

Spokane Mayor David Condon delivers his yearly State of the City address Friday morning at the Spokane Convention Center.
(Full-size photo)

Charter mandates

The mayor’s State of the City address is the first of the mayor’s annual speeches. The city charter requires the mayor to make a “Statement on the Conditions and Affairs” in the fall.

Spokane Mayor David Condon stuck with consistent themes in his annual State of the City address on Friday: change at City Hall and making Spokane “the city of choice in the Northwest.”

In his first year as mayor, he replaced numerous administrators, reorganized several departments, changed the city’s legal strategy and halted plans to significantly raise utility rates.

“We saw a need to refocus our services and we wanted to make sure the city provides those items and those services that are customer-oriented and definitely user-friendly,” he said. “This was the driving force that carried us through the last year. And we are not done yet.”

Condon delivered his second State of the City address on Friday morning to a breakfast gathering of Greater Spokane Incorporated at the Spokane Convention Center. Like his predecessor, Mary Verner, he included a video showing city employees at work.

And he added a new twist within the speech that allowed attendees and viewers on TV to respond to questions through social media sites about why they live in Spokane. Results showed on screens as viewers answered his questions.

About a third of his speech focused on what the mayor considers his administration’s accomplishments.

“My first year as mayor was about breaking down those silos,” Condon said. “Often we were working twice as hard for the same outcome.”

The rest of the speech focused on his goal to make Spokane the “city of choice,” and attracting people in the millennial generation to live and stay in Spokane.

“What does it mean? It means that we must be the safest, yes, the funnest, and the fastest,” he said.

He talked about the importance of having quality jobs and good neighborhoods.

And he urged the community to craft a plan: “Let’s decide together what we want to be in six years, 10, 20, 40 years, and let’s energize and get around that idea. Let’s go.”

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