Occupation: Incumbent mayor
His Words: “We have now for two years developed budgets that didn’t require reductions. Last year we added more police officers. We are looking at doing things smarter, not only our accountability standards and performance measures, but also at how we do economic development.”
His Pitch: As mayor, Condon has overseen falling crime rates, an increase in median household income and a steadying of the city’s finances. Also under his watch, the city cut $150 million off the plan that will significantly reduce pollution from entering the river, which helped prevent significant utility bill increases. Voters also approved a 20-year street levy and $64 million bond to revamp Riverfront Park.
Notable Experience: Incumbent mayor. Former district director and deputy chief of staff for Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers from 2005 until 2011. Served in U.S. Army from 1996 through 2005, including as a company commander at a combat support hospital.
Education: Graduated from Gonzaga Prep in 1992. Earned bachelor’s degree in finance from Boston College in 1996.
More about David Condon
To understand why the Spokane Police Department’s use-of-force training is under a microscope, consider this disconnect: Although the state’s top police trainer concluded that the fatal 2006 confrontation with unarmed janitor Otto Zehm was indefensible, the department’s own instructors and the city’s legal advisers have insisted that Spokane police officers were justified and handled the encounter appropriately. Here is how Spokane police Officer Terry Preuninger, a department training instructor, defended Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr.’s decision to beat and shock the retreating Zehm: “If the officer believes that they were in danger, then that use of force would be authorized,” Preuninger told a federal jury in October, adding that there doesn’t have to be a “factual basis” for the officer’s fear of harm.
Spokane Mayor David Condon will hold his salary at $100,000 this year as promised, despite the recent controversy over his predecessor’s pay. But he said he will review his options and the city’s legal opinions and may take more next year.
Addressing the crowd at his inaugural ball, Spokane Mayor David Condon said he will strive to be like the popular mayor who led the city when he was a boy, Jim Chase. More than 400 people attended Condon’s $75-a-plate “Our Town Gala” on Saturday night at the Lincoln Center in north Spokane. Proceeds will go to the Chase Youth Foundation, the financial arm of the youth commission that Chase fought to create when he was mayor in the 1980s.
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.
A recently retired state Supreme Court justice has agreed to serve on a city commission examining how the Spokane Police Department uses force. The membership of the city’s Use of Force Commission, which was created last year to review the city’s handling of the police confrontation that resulted in the death of Otto Zehm in 2006, was announced by City Council President Ben Stuckart at Monday’s council meeting. The council is set to confirm the membership next week.
If you were hoping that Mayor David Condon would “manage” the city more effectively, take heart. His transition team’s report this week was spectacularly managerial: It was full to the brim of organizational jargon and cliché.
In her final days as Spokane’s mayor, Mary Verner decided that she wanted a raise. After voluntarily capping her annual pay at about $100,000 for four years – and pledging to do the same in a second term if re-elected – Verner changed her mind after losing the November election and issued a formal request Dec. 29 for about $140,000 in uncollected back pay from the final two years of her term. If that wasn’t possible, Verner requested that her retirement benefits be calculated as if she had earned the full mayoral salary of about $170,000 a year.
Former Spokane Mayor Mary Verner and the leadership of the city’s fire union tentatively agreed to a new contract in the final days of Verner’s term. But the deal still needs approval of the union’s membership and the new City Council. Mayor David Condon will be able to make a recommendation to the council, but he can’t otherwise stop the deal.