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Roland Chase has a message for incoming leaders of Spokane’s city government: “I would not turn my back on the youth of Spokane.”
The following is the full list of Mayor-elect David Condon’s transition team, which was announced late Thursday night. Theresa Sanders, who served as the city’s economic development director from 2007 until 2009, is his transition director. Ezra Eckhardt, president and chief operating officer of Sterling Savings Bank, and Katy Bruya, senior vice president of human resources at Washington Trust Bank, are the transition co-leaders.
The leadership of Spokane City Hall’s largest labor union has made an offer that normally might be hard to refuse: Three years of frozen pay levels. But it would leave a scheduled raise of up to 5 percent in place for some workers in 2012 and wouldn’t change employee benefits, prompting Mayor-elect David Condon to wonder if outgoing Mayor Mary Verner, who approved the tentative deal, is trying to shield city workers from tougher negotiating once he is sworn into office.
The search to replace Spokane police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick hasn’t even begun, but there’s already a high-profile candidate: Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. Knezovich confirmed Thursday that he’s willing to serve as the city’s interim chief, an administrative role he believes he could fill while continuing to run the Sheriff’s Office.
These cellphones are getting more sci-fi sophisticated every day. In fact, I just installed this totally unbelievable new app that promises to “translate Weaselspeak.”
Spokane Mayor-elect David Condon on Tuesday announced that his transition will be led by the city’s former economic development director, and he promised to oversee an open government. “Obviously, I am very humbled, very, very humbled at the outpouring of support that the voters have shown. I do think that it is a true honor to serve and to be expected to serve as their mayor,” Condon said at a news conference Tuesday at the Second Space Gallery in downtown Spokane. “I’m dedicated to living up to the trust the voters have put within me. The voters clearly want a City Hall that’s open, accountable and responsive.”
In politics, everyone’s for openness – for accountability, for transparency – until they get a good dose of it. Then, more often than not, they climb into a bunker, start issuing statements, managing the message and taking no questions. Because when you’re on the business end of true openness – listening to the nettlesome public, warding off the pesky media – it simply ain’t any fun.
The entire Spokane Police Department could soon be under full federal investigation. Outgoing Mayor Mary Verner announced Monday she will ask the U.S. Justice Department to launch a “pattern and practice” investigation of the department, which federal prosecutors described earlier this month as participating in an “an extensive cover-up” of the fatal 2006 police confrontation with unarmed janitor Otto Zehm. A jury on Nov. 2 convicted Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. of using excessive force on Zehm and lying to cover up his actions.
And now comes the hard part: governing. David Condon made a spectacular comeback in his bid to become the mayor of Washington’s second largest city.
We’re still weeks away from that familiar moment when Spokane’s next one-term mayor will slide behind the desk in that spiffy City Hall office with a view. Although quite frankly, if Mary Verner keeps refusing to concede last Tuesday’s election, David Condon may have to call for an eviction.
After years of frustration over Spokane City Council President Joe Shogan’s temper, a majority of council members for the first time this week engaged in a minor protest of Shogan’s behavior during a council meeting. When he leaves office at year’s end, he may be ending his tenure on a sour note.
David Condon, the former deputy chief of staff of Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, claimed enough votes on Thursday to make any last-minute, shocking comeback by Mayor Mary Verner unrealistic.