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Stories tagged: Al French


STA sales tax increase failing

Spokane County voters on Tuesday were turning down a 0.3 percent sales tax increase to pay for improvements to public transit. But the measure still was too close to call, …


O’Quinn supports expanding board to five commissioners

Spokane County Commissioner Shelly O’Quinn said Tuesday she supports a proposal to swell the ranks of the three-member board by two members. “I’ve been on the fence about it in …


Spat deepens among county commissioners

The fissure is growing among the three Republicans serving on the usually lock-step Spokane County Commission. A political battle over the proposed sales tax increase to fund public transit has …


County’s hiring of land-use attorney concerns urban growth expansion opponents

Opponents of Spokane County’s plans to expand areas where urban growth can occur say they’re concerned about the hiring of an attorney with strong ties to developers. In January, county …


French draws ire of fellow commissioners talking up STA tax on TV

The usually monolithic Spokane County Commission showed signs of cracking Tuesday as Shelly O’Quinn and Todd Mielke took colleague Al French to task for using a monthly TV program to …


Spokane hires new county engineer

The state’s largest county road system has its next chief. The Spokane County Commission on Tuesday selected Mitch Reister as the county engineer, who oversees more than 2,500 miles of …


Spokane County juvenile services tax vote likely this year

Spokane County voters likely will decide this year if a sales tax that pays for juvenile detention services should be maintained. But county commissioners disagree when to put the one-tenth-of-a-cent …


Commissioners hear neighborhood plea against Wandermere apartment complex proposal

Two Spokane County commissioners heard an earful from residents young and old living near a proposed 354-unit apartment complex near Wandermere Golf Course on Tuesday night. The biggest ovation of …


Activist calls for adding two seats to county commission

Once again, Spokane County commissioners will hear a proposal to increase their ranks by two. Community activist Karen Kearney announced her intention to bring the idea to the all-Republican commission …


Court orders initiative vote

Envision Spokane, the twice-failed initiative seeking to bolster environmental protection and neighborhood and labor rights, will be before voters again, after a decision Thursday by a state appellate court. The …


Spokane County CEO selection committee includes donors to likely candidate

Two members of the seven-member committee who will help choose the next CEO of Spokane County are campaign contributors to one of the likely candidates for the job, County Commissioner …


County CEO announces retirement, Mielke a possible candidate for job

Spokane County CEO Marshall Farnell plans to retire this year after more than 40 years working in county government. County Commission Todd Mielke is a possible candidate to replace him.


Plan funding divides STA board

Battle lines were drawn early by transit officials in a four-hour-long meeting Thursday afternoon, but the eventual 6-3 split sending a 10-year, $300 million project to the ballot wasn’t clear …


City woos county building director

Spokane County’s building director won’t be helping Spokane City Hall. Randy Vissia told county commissioners Tuesday he was approached last month by officials at the city’s Business and Development Services …


STA holding public hearing on 10-year plan

Spokane Transit Authority’s board of directors, under criticism from the business community over downtown loitering, will face its critics on Thursday while also considering a 10-year plan to improve transit …


Spokane County Commission candidates at odds over urban growth boundary

The future of a neighborhood in north Spokane County has become one of the most debated topics in this year’s race for County Commission. Al French and his fellow Republican …


Election 2014: Experience at issue in county treasurer race

The candidates fighting for the job of Spokane County treasurer agree on one thing: The post should go to someone who understands investments and government finance. They differ, of course, …


Candidates say county commission race about leadership style

The candidates locked in a tight race for the Spokane County Commission say November’s vote is a decision between two distinct leadership styles. Democrat Mary Lou Johnson, making her first …


Two Spokane County incumbents face strong challenges

Two incumbent Republicans in the Spokane County Courthouse appear to be facing tough challenges from Democratic opponents. GOP County Commissioner Al French was virtually tied with Democratic challenger Mary Lou …


Democrats face dilemma in Spokane County commissioner race

Democrats face a dilemma in next month’s primary election for Spokane County commissioner. That’s because among the candidates they can choose are a Democrat and a high-profile former Democrat who …


Growth is key in Spokane County commission race

Republican Spokane County Commissioner Al French is facing a potential rerun of 2010, when he ousted Democrat Bonnie Mager in a close race. This time, Mager has shed her Democratic …


Q&A: County commission candidates French, Mager and Johnson

County commissioner questions All three candidates for county commissioner were asked the same questions on key issues. Here are their answers.


Finance experience an issue in county treasurer race

Current Spokane County Treasurer Rob Chase learned one lesson in defeating his predecessor, Skip Chilberg, in the 2010 election. “For sure, I’m campaigning. I’m raising money,” said Chase, the 60-year-old …


Airway Heights mayor, others protest county’s fight against casino

A group supporting a proposed Spokane tribal casino and resort rallied in front of the Spokane County Courthouse on Tuesday decrying the spending by county commissioners to fight the project. …


Smart Justice activist Johnson enters Spokane County commissioner race

A leader in the movement to reform criminal justice said she would bring her expertise to the Spokane County Board of Commissioners if voters choose her over two other candidates …


Spokane County Commission seat likely three-way fight

Former Democratic County Commissioner Bonnie Mager is seeking a rematch with the Republican who unseated her in 2010, only this time she is running as an independent. Mager lost in …


Shawn Vestal: Commissioner’s records request adds fuel to flare-up over planning

Public records laws are important tools for citizens to use in the battle against government secrecy and power. Anyone who has ever used them is familiar with occasional stonewalling and …


Marijuana growers in county will need 8 acres, for now

Spokane County commissioners may have thrown a wrench into the plans of some would-be marijuana growers hoping to set up in rural areas. An interim zoning ordinance approved Monday says …


Spokane closes loophole for contested developments

In a bid to curb unwanted sprawl, Spokane city leaders Monday imposed new prohibitions on extending water and sewer service to potentially contested developments outside city limits until any legal …


Aerospace jobs coming to Spokane County, commissioner says

Economic growth in Spokane County may be ready to take off with the expansion of the aerospace industry, county Commissioner Al French said Friday. Spokane is on the verge of …