I couldn’t be more impressed by the $2.8 million upgrade being planned for Spokane Indians Stadium* by the county. (* I truly hate using that sterile, commercialized A-word when referring to the name of our beloved ball field.)
Spokane County officials, rebuffed by their own medical examiner for years, want to take another look at using coroner inquests to help restore public trust in the integrity of investigations into police-involved fatalities without violating privacy protections. Commissioner Todd Mielke said he supports providing more transparency to investigations that sometimes take months or even years for prosecutors to decide whether to pursue criminal charges. Prosecutor Steve Tucker, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and other local law enforcement officials have in the past voiced support for broader use of coroner inquests, but county Medical Examiner Dr. John Howard opposes them.
Spokane County commissioners today are likely to terminate a 2010 agreement that prevented them from taking a stance on a proposed second tribal casino in Airway Heights. The action follows a vote this week by Airway Heights officials to undo the agreement, which created a formula of payments to the city and the county instead of taxes if the Spokane Tribe is able to build a casino.
After 30 years, SpokAnimal will no longer serve as the city of Spokane’s animal control agency. The Spokane City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve a 20-year contract to join the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service beginning in 2014.
Republicans are poised to retain control of the Spokane County Board of Commissioners as two races on Tuesday’s ballot were leaning toward the GOP candidates in initial returns. Republican Commissioner Todd Mielke was leading Democrat John Roskelley for the District 1 seat.
Two Spokane County commissioners are asking the Bureau of Indian Affairs to overturn a 2010 contract that prevents the county from taking sides on the Spokane Tribe’s proposed casino in Airway Heights. County Commissioners Al French and Todd Mielke voted on Oct. 24 to send the request to the BIA’s new top official, Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn.
A Spokane County Superior Court judge believes she’s being treated unfairly by the county when it comes to cashing out unused vacation time, saying many of her colleagues were allowed to collect tens of thousands of dollars in such compensation while she’s being denied. Superior Court Judge Annette Plese sued the county over $15,800 worth of paid vacation hours she believes she’s due from 2009, when she ended her service as a Spokane County District Court judge and was elected to her current position on the Spokane County Superior Court bench.
Does Todd Mielke understand conflict of interest? Does he understand and value the proposition that elected officials should operate on behalf of the public and not their personal interests? And, crucially, does he value the fact that in the realm of ethics, appearances matter nearly as much as actions?