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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane City Council dist. 3

Related Coverage, Page 6

Why doesn’t this tax plan require a supermajority?

Last year, voters in Washington approved Initiative 1185, a measure requiring supermajority votes of two-thirds to raise taxes in the Legislature. Voters approved I-1185 with a not-quite-supermajority of 63.9 percent.

Ombudsman power in the mail for vote

The Spokane City Council has tried several times over the past two decades to craft a police oversight system with teeth. Now it’s the citizens’ turn.

Voters to decide whether 5-2 split needed on taxes

Spokane’s Proposition 2 is a way to ensure strong consensus on important issues or a strategy for a minority to seize control from the majority. That’s the debate among Spokane officials about the proposed requirement that tax increases earn at least five of seven votes on the City Council for approval instead of four.

Spokane opts for SCRAPS contract

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.

Council OKs tax proposal

Spokane voters will have a lot to consider on their February ballot, including a proposal to require supermajority votes by the City Council to raise taxes and some fees. Other measures headed for a special February election include: • A property tax increase for the Spokane Public Library to prevent branch closures and increase open hours. City taxes would increase by 7 cents for each $1,000 of property value – $7 for the owner of a $100,000 property.

Voters likely to get library plea

There could be something for almost everyone on a special election ballot in February. Originally wary of spending the money to hold a special election, the Spokane City Council on Monday appears ready to send three items to the ballot for voters to consider. The council last week set aside $200,000 to hold the election.

Council mulls supermajority requirement

It could soon get harder for Spokane city leaders to raise taxes. The Spokane City Council on Monday will consider whether to ask voters if raising tax rates should require approval of at least five of the city’s seven council members.

Animal control to embark regionally

Spokane Valley’s expected decision to keep partnering with Spokane County to perform its animal control work has made the creation of a single regional animal control agency almost certain starting in 2014. City of Spokane leaders say they are in negotiations to join Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service and hope to present a deal to the City Council early next year. The Spokane Valley City Council is expected to accept a 20-year contract with SCRAPS perhaps before the end of the year.

City of Spokane mulling I-502 implementation

Spokane city leaders will meet today to begin planning for how to deal with businesses that want to sell state-sanctioned marijuana. City Council members will meet with the city of Spokane Plan Commission to map out priorities for the next year, Councilman Jon Snyder said. Part of that discussion will be how to deal with the voter-approved Initiative 502, which allows residents 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.

Councilman’s assault on library story time ludicrous

Story time? Really, Councilman Fagan? The next time you hear the government-phobes launch the script about crushing taxes and runaway waste, remember Spokane City Councilman Mike Fagan and his insights into the city’s library system, offered during the passionate debate Monday night about the city’s budget.

Divided Spokane council approves budget

Spokane’s city government is shedding 92 jobs. The Spokane City Council on Monday voted 4-3 to freeze the city general fund budget, largely accepting the recommendations of Mayor David Condon.

Library tax could be on ballot

Spokane voters in February may get a chance to save the city’s small library branches and substantially increase branch hours. Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart is proposing that voters be asked for a property tax boost for libraries on the Feb. 12 ballot.

Questions surround coal terminal’s impact on Spokane and elsewhere

Coal, like politics, makes strange bedfellows. But these days in Washington, coal is political. A plan to build a $665 million port terminal near Bellingham to ship coal to China and other Asian customers has labor unions aligned with business groups, pushing hard for a new facility and new jobs. Environmental organizations and some social action groups, who worked with labor and against some business groups in this month’s election, are firmly against the project.

Spokane customers using more water under cheaper rates

In the summer and fall of 2011, Spokane City Hall phone lines were crammed with angry water customers. But that changed this summer and fall under new water rates installed by Mayor David Condon and the City Council just in time for summer watering.

Nonprofit group to take over community center operations

The nonprofit group that used to advise the East Central Community Center is about to be placed in charge of the neighborhood institution. The East Central Community Organization was the only group that responded to a request by the city for plans to take over the center’s operations, and the Spokane City Council is expected to approve the transfer to the group next week.

Jobs stymie budget action

Spokane Mayor David Condon’s plan to approve a budget without increasing property taxes is on hold as the City Council struggles with further cuts to police and fire services. The three members of the Spokane City Council’s Democratic-leaning minority are pushing to take the usual 1 percent increase in property tax collections and devote it to preventing job cuts among police officers or firefighters.

Hillyard allowed new mode of transportation

Residents in Hillyard soon will have a new way to travel about their neighborhood. The Spokane City Council on Monday approved a new zone where electric golf carts can drive on streets with speed limits that are 25 mph or slower.