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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Stuckart relents on supermajority rule

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.

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

Each January, council members are assigned to sit on a variety of boards, including those that govern the city park system, the Spokane Transit Authority and the 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 in emails to council members Steve Salvatori and Mike Allen to mess with their board assignments if they didn’t support a plan to give council assistant full-time jobs. Both voted against the plan to make council assistants full-time and Stuckart initially planned to remove Allen from the Park Board in favor of Councilman Mike Fagan, who voted in favor making council assistants full-time.

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.

Before the vote on Monday, Stuckart announced that he was abandoning his plan to require at least a five-sevenths vote in order to change the rules that govern the council.

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.

Jonathan Brunt
Jonathan Brunt joined The Spokesman-Review in 2004. He is the government editor. He previously was a reporter who covered Spokane City Hall, Spokane County government and public safety.

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