January 7, 2014 in City

Ben Stuckart allowed to assign Spokane City Council duties

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart will soon be handing out duties to the city’s six other council members.

The Spokane City Council on Monday unanimously agreed to give Stuckart the power to chose which members serve on what boards.

Stuckart abandoned his proposal to require a supermajority vote to make future changes in the rules for how the council is governed.

Each January, council members are assigned to sit on a variety of boards, including those that govern the city park system, Spokane Transit Authority and Spokane International Airport.

The change returns the rules to how they worked until the council revoked that right from former council President Joe Shogan.

Even though Stuckart will select a slate of council members to fill positions, the council still must vote on his picks. He said the process won’t change much.

“Either way, you’re still going to need to have the four votes,” Stuckart said.

The proposal caused some controversy after Stuckart last month threatened to alter the board assignments of council members Steve Salvatori and Mike Allen if they didn’t support a plan to give council assistants full-time jobs. Both voted against the plan anyway. Stuckart initially planned to remove Allen from the Park Board in favor of Councilman Mike Fagan, who voted in favor of making council assistants full-time employees.

After Park Board members lobbied for Allen to remain on the Park Board, Stuckart relented. His proposed slate of positions keeps Allen on the Park Board. The council will consider Stuckart’s picks to fill board seats next week.

Stuckart is part of a new, more liberal majority on the council. But others who are part of that majority, including Councilman Jon Snyder and Councilwoman Amber Waldref, said they likely would have voted against the creation of a supermajority rule.


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