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Mayor David Condon’s proposal to skirt civil service rules and expand the number of administration-appointed managers in the police and fire departments is worth considering. In particular, the need for reform in the Police Department is a persuasive reason to try something new. But Council President Ben Stuckart’s objections are worth considering, as well. He needs only to point to the county’s not-so-distant-history with the county’s full-employment policy with the Harris family to remind us that unrestrained power in the executive is not always what it’s cracked up to be.
Councilman Mike Fagan’s description of Gov. Jay Inslee as a “lying whore” was provocative and controversial but apparently doesn’t violate the city’s ethics code. The Spokane Ethics Committee unanimously ruled Wednesday that the slur, which was included in a February letter signed by Fagan and two others, didn’t violate ethics rules because it’s unclear whether the comment harmed the city. Committee members also say Fagan’s free-speech rights likely trump the city ethics code.
A Spokane police lieutenant was shifted to City Hall last week to augment contract security guards there. City administrators say the move has been recommended for years by police, who have analyzed security at city headquarters, a former Montgomery Ward building overlooking Spokane Falls.
During Spokane County Commissioner Phil Harris’ 12 years in office, all three of his kids got county jobs – including one who worked in economic development despite filing for bankruptcy three times. That probably wouldn’t have happened at Spokane City Hall, where a voter-approved, century-old Civil Service system examines the abilities of applicants for nearly all city jobs.
Some neighbors of Hollywood Erotic Boutique say that the porn shop on North Division Street has changed the way they live. Lynda Parry, for instance, no longer feels comfortable walking to Walgreens.
Spokane Mayor David Condon and three City Council members oppose expansion of the county’s urban growth area, saying it would add an unnecessary financial burden to taxpayers. In a letter dated Wednesday, Condon was joined by Council President Ben Stuckart and council members Amber Waldref and Jon Snyder in calling for holding the line on the existing urban growth boundary.
The number of businesses in Spokane specializing in medical marijuana will be frozen at about a dozen for at least the next six months. Fearing the proliferation of businesses that sell pot before Washington even finishes crafting regulations for the state’s new legalized recreational marijuana industry, the Spokane City Council on Monday instituted a moratorium on new medical marijuana dispensaries and related businesses.
Advice for any elected official wanting to be taken seriously: Try not to call the governor “a lying whore.”
A candidate for Spokane City Council who already has the backing of two other elected leaders may be ineligible to run. Mark Hamilton, the pastor of the former Spokane Christian Fellowship and a real estate broker for Soleil Real Estate, was registered to vote at an address outside city limits when he cast a ballot in November’s general election, which could complicate his efforts to assert he meets residency requirements.
Thieves ravaged the Joe E. Mann Army Reserve Center in the fall, leaving just a shell of the original facility and prompting the buyer – Spokane Public Schools – to suggest withdrawing from the deal, school officials said Monday. “The damage is so extensive that the buildings would have to be demolished,” Associate Superintendent Mark Anderson said. Instead of $738,000 – the approximate price the district was prepared to pay – “it would cost about $3.7 million.”
Spokane leaders on Tuesday got a glimpse of where the first pot for recreational use might be grown or sold legally within city limits. The map is heavily dominated by areas north of Interstate 90 and east of Division Street, especially east Hillyard, along East Trent Avenue and several commercial areas north of Francis Avenue.
The Spokane City Council votes Monday to change the municipal code to legalize small amounts of marijuana to conform with Washington law.
Two Spokane City Council members have apologized for using their city email accounts to send campaign messages. Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart and Amber Waldref sent electronic newsletters to supporters that included their opinions on the three proposed measures that will be decided by voters in the city’s Feb. 12 special election.