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Sunday, October 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Target developer lines up behind Chesney, Spokane City Council writes a letter of recommendation

Yet another Spokane developer has given his support to Scott Chesney, the city's planner who was abruptly dismissed from City Hall yesterday. 

Dave Black, who brought Target to the South Hill, said it was a "tragedy" that Chesney was fired.

"The guy is a get it done kind of guy," Black wrote in a text. "He's a people guy and made good decisions about balancing neighborhood interests with the needs of a project. He gets it, and the reason he was fired better be a good one." 

Also, the Spokane City Council is considering writing a letter of recommendation for Chesney. Councilman Mike Fagan, who praised Chesney's work yesterday, said a letter of recommendation from the City Council was a "bad idea."

Here's a draft of the letter:

November 6, 2014

To Whom It May Concern:The Spokane City Council writes this letter to let you know that your company or government agency should be excited about the prospect of Scott Chesney working for you. We are elected leaders of all political stripes but citizens of Spokane above all. We highly recommend Scott Chesney for any position that involves planning, forward thinking and/or teamwork.

Scott worked for the City of Spokane from 2011 to 2014. During that time he turned the Planning Department into a cohesive team working to balance smart growth, political whims, neighborhood NIMBYism, and a city culture resistant to change and new ideas. He turned a culture of "no" into a culture of "yes, we can do better." We all believe he was moving Spokane forward and regret to see him leave City employment. 

We are not the only ones with high recommendations of Scott. Jim Frank, the developer of Kendall Yards, which is the most successful infill housing development in Spokane in the last 40 years, had this to say about Mr. Chesney: "In my 35 years of working in Spokane there has not been a more competent and challenging person in his position. I can tell you, from our experience over the past five years, the Kendall Yards you see today would not be possible without his leadership."

Scott Chesney is a leader in the field of planning and collaboration. He simply makes projects happen. We have unprecedented growth and Spokane is on the move. You would be fortunate to have him as a member of your team."

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Nicholas Deshais
Joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He is the urban issues reporter, covering transportation, housing, development and other issues affecting the city. He also writes the Getting There transportation column and The Dirt, a roundup of construction projects, new businesses and expansions. He previously covered Spokane City Hall.

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