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Spokane City Council candidate Mark Hamilton says he misspoke at Monday's council meeting.
Testifying about the proposed pedestrian bridge that would link the WSU-Spokane campus with East Sprague Avenue over the BNSF tracks, Hamilton said: "We don't want a handle put on a broken cup. We don't need to feed the dying horse in the U District and hook it up to a new cart. We've got to use our senses."
Hamilton says he meant to say that "We need to feed the dying horse …"
His position on the pedestrian bridge, he said, is that it should only be built if the city invests other resources to boost the area south of the BSNF tracks.
City Council candidate Mark Hamilton says he hasn't lived at his address in the city of Spokane since November and barely lived in the home since September as a result of construction in the home.
But Hamilton, a real estate agent and the pastor of 1Body Ministries, also said that from the time he acquired the dilapidated home at 217 E. Pacific in May 2012 until September he usually spent about four nights a week there. Utility records show the home had no water or electricity the first month he lived there. He claims to have slept on a cot at his newly-purchased home rather than at his other home outside city limits.
"I actually slept on the premises beginning on May 15, 2012, on a camp cot in the upstairs bedroom. There were no utilities at the time, but I was concerned about the homeless and transient persons in the area and lack of security," Hamilton said in a court declaration. He said he bathed at a friend's home or at his other home outside city limits.
Last month two residents who live in Hamilton's council district filed a lawsuit arguing that Hamilton wasn't qualified to appear on the ballot. He is challenging Councilwoman Amber Waldref in her bid for reelection.
In February, responding to questions about whether he met residency requirements to run for Spokane City Council, Hamilton said he had spent the majority of his nights since May at the home on Pacific.
When Hamilton voted in November, he was registered to vote an address outside city limits. That's one of many factors noted in the lawsuit as reasons Hamilton doesn't meet residency requirements.
The Spokane City Charter says "a person must be a qualified voter of the City of Spokane and have been a resident of the City, and of the appropriate council district, for the one year immediately preceding the time of filing as a candidate for, or the time of appointment to, the office of mayor, council president, or council member."
Hamilton's attorney, Dustin Deissner, argues that the line in the charter does not require a candidate to be a qualified voter "for the one year immediately preceding the time of filing" (last month). That time requirement, he said, only applies to being a resident. He said it was an oversight that Hamilton was registered to vote at an address outside city limits.
The lawsuit and Hamilton's response is attached to this post.
Hamilton has said he will no longer respond to requests for comment from The Spokesman-Review and in a Facebook post last month called on pastors to rise up against the newspaper. He also called S-R reporters "demonic soothsayers." To see his full post, written soon after this column appeared in the newspaper, keep reading this post.
Spokane City Council candidate Mark Hamilton’s residency problems continue.
Two voters in Spokane's northeast council district filed a lawsuit today claiming that Hamilton's name should not be allowed on the ballot because he was not a resident of the city or district for a full year previous to filing to run last week.
The Spokane City Charter requires that candidates be resident at least a year before officials file to place their names on the ballot county auditor.