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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

City voters voted in two new faces on the Spokane City Commission.

Commissioners Zora Hayden and D.C. Coates were out, and new members F.K. McBroom and Charles A. Fleming were in.

They were elected under a complicated formula in which voters could pick a first choice, a second choice and a third choice in a six-man field.

McBroom received so many first-choice and second-choice votes that he didn’t even need any third-choice votes. 

Fleming, on the other hand, received few first-choice votes, but he won on the strength of the most second-choice votes.

Under the commissioner form of government, each commissioner was assigned a field of responsibility. McBroom would take over as commissioner of public works, and Fleming (previously the city clerk) would be the commissioner of public safety, which meant he would head the police and fire departments.

Fleming would have his work cut out for him. As soon as the election results came in, police Chief James A. McAlpine resigned and said he was going back to work in a mining company.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

2003: Green River serial killer Gary Leon Ridgway pleaded guilty to strangling 48 women over two decades, most of them near Seattle. Ridgway was later sentenced to life in prison. In 2011, he pleaded guilty to a 49th murder.



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