Party: No party
City: Spokane, WA
Why running: “I’ve seen a lot of great things happen, I also see a lot of challenges. I want to continue working for the citizens of Spokane,” Stuckart said. “I think I’ve been very effective as a council president and we’ve done a lot of great programs, but I want to see some of them to the finish.”
His pitch: Stuckart said he believes he’s the best candidate to address the city’s housing crisis, which he believes is the root of the homelessness issue.
He also points to his accomplishments as the city’s legislative leader for nearly eight years and the city’s continued economic growth.
Political experience: Served two terms as City Council president.
Work experience: Former executive director of Communities in Schools of Spokane County. Former regional manager at TicketsWest, 2001 to 2007. Spokesman for the 2010 campaign in support of the Children’s Investment Fund initiative, which voters rejected.
Education: Graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in 1990. Earned bachelor’s degree in political science from Gonzaga University in 2000 and master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University in 2006.
Family: Married. Has no children.
More about Ben Stuckart
While area leaders suggest a variety of traits are needed in the next head of Spokane Public Schools, they all agree that the new superintendent must have one characteristic in particular: innovation. “Someone who realizes we are at a crisis and that we can’t just keep spending money on a system that’s broken,” said Carol Landa-McVicar, a trustee of Community Colleges of Spokane. Someone, she added, who thinks: “What are we doing wrong? What are we doing right? What can we adopt?”
Spokane’s elected leaders are ready to push for the use of body cameras on police officers to record their interactions with the public. The Spokane City Council on Feb. 6 will vote on a resolution outlining its goals for reforming the Spokane Police Department in the aftermath of an officer being convicted of violating the civil rights of a Spokane man who died in police custody.
Sitting with Ben Stuckart for coffee, I thought I heard The Who whispering in my ear: Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss? It doesn’t seem so. As president of the Spokane City Council, Stuckart is one of several new, or new-ish, faces at City Hall these days. He’s a first-timer in elected office, a young man who seems temperate and measured, a guy with “progressive tendencies,” as he puts it, who’s the legislative leader of a new conservative council. It’s an interesting time in city politics, with new people in the mayor’s office and on the council, with the good and bad that newness entails.
There’s a new majority in town. The Spokane City Council’s new, more conservative majority flexed its muscle in its first meeting of the year on Monday when it voted 4-2 to strip an automatic appointment of the Spokane City Council president to the Spokane Airport Board.
The honeymoon period for the new Spokane City Council may have ended before its first regular meeting, with a debate about which council member should represent the city on the Spokane Airport Board highlighting the dynamics of the new council. Voters in November elected four new members to the seven-person council, resulting in a more conservative majority. The number of members affiliated with the Republican Party is now four, compared with one of seven on the previous council. Even so, the council will be led by new City Council President Ben Stuckart, who was backed by the Democratic Party.
Incoming Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart promised Wednesday during his swearing in ceremony to help City Hall become a happier place for the people who are being served by it. He said he wants citizens to feel comfortable appearing at council meetings on matters they deem important.
The new faces of Spokane city government will take their oaths of offices on three successive days late next week. Mayor-elect David Condon will be sworn in at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 30 in front of the Riverfront Park Clocktower.