The debate over where to site a new stadium in Spokane sets competing visions and priorities against each other. But both sides partly miss the fundamental question.
A plan to give Spokane and other border communities a leg up called the Point 09 proposal is kicking around the Legislature this year. It deserves passage for the good of the entire state.
The city of Spokane and Spokane County now require transparency in public-sector union negotiations. They should push hard to enforce those laws, even as lawyers fight over them.
State lawmakers must take perverse pleasure in keeping Washingtonians in the dark. Having returned to Olympia, Democratic legislators are pushing a sneaky bill that would wreak all kinds of havoc when it comes to accountability and public employees. House Bill 1888 would exempt public employees’ birthdates from the state Public Records Act. The state Supreme Court last year ruled that birthdates must be released. If someone wants to know when Gov. Jay Inslee was born, that information is only a public records request away. Of course, one could just check Wikipedia, which reports his birthday as Feb. 9, 1951, but he’s the governor. The state employs more than 66,000 people, most of whom aren’t prominent enough to have a Wikipedia page. Then there are tens of thousands more public employees in local governments who fall under public records laws.
The tragedy on Silver Mountain is a reminder of the high risks involved – and the importance of preparing for what you hope never happens.
The new year brings a new political season to Spokane and all of Washington. Here are some key issues that voters should keep an eye on in 2020 as state and local politics resume. Growing the economy
Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, the region’s most important provider, is operating in the red. The real challenge, however, is much bigger than one hospital.
State Rep. Matt Shea will best serve his constituents by resigning immediately. He can no longer represent Eastern Washington effectively in Olympia. Voters knew about many of Shea’s radical extracurricular activities when they handily re-elected the Spokane Valley Republican in 2018. It was a race without a good candidate, but Shea was the incumbent whose views more closely aligned with the generally conservative 4th District.
If the public doesn’t get a chance to comment on major spending changes, the City Council shouldn’t approve them. Transparent government of the people is as simple as that.
The Spokane City Council made a wise decision when it shelved a proposed landlord-tenant ordinance.
Any Stevens County Republicans who ever thought about running for local office ought to start talking to neighbors and preparing to launch a campaign. The county’s three commissioners deserve to be replaced as their terms expire, but that can only happen if they don’t run or credible challengers file. For those who haven’t been following the goings-on in Stevens County that have landed the commissioners in court, here’s a quick recap. (Check out Spokesman-Review reporter Chad Sokol’s excellent coverage for a much more thorough telling.)
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