Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart said today that Mayor David Condon’s budget proposal did not have enough votes for approval.
Flanked by four other council members at COPS West in West Central, Stuckart said he couldn’t “in good conscience” vote for a budget that gave raises to a majority of Condon’s cabinet members while not budgeting for council priorities, such as increasing funding to the COPS program and human services.
Council members Amber Waldref, Candace Mumm and Karen Stratton agreed with Stuckart, saying they would not vote for the proposed budget.
"I can comfortably say," Stuckart said, "that this budget if brought for a vote today wouldn’t get a single vote."
Councilman Mike Fagan did not confirm this statement. Fagan said he was the “minority” on the council, and did not “condemn nor condone” cabinet members raises. He said city law gave the mayor no choice but to give himself a raise.
Earlier this week, the mayor released a budget proposal that increased his pay by $7,000, bringing his annual pay to nearly $180,000. The 14 people in Condon’s Cabinet, including the mayor, would get on average a 2 percent increase in pay. Pay raises to the eight cabinet members who received them totaled more than $38,000.
With five like-minded members on the council, Stuckart said the council could craft its own budget and override any mayoral veto. Brian Coddington, the mayor's spokesman, was present at the press event, but would not comment.