City of Spokane
Town of Rockford
East Valley School District
Orchard Prairie School District
Spokane County Fire Protection District No. 13
Candidates for local offices around Washington will officially enter their races this week as filing week begins this morning. On the ballot this year are council seats in cities and towns throughout Washington, as well as many mayoral slots. The city of Spokane has three openings – one for each council district – and the city of Spokane Valley has four at-large council seats on this year’s ballot.
Spokane police patrol cars may soon be equipped with cameras to record encounters with the public. The Spokane City Council last week agreed to spend $1.1 million from reserves to implement recommendations made by the Use of Force Commission earlier this year.
More doubts are being raised about a Spokane City Council candidate’s eligibility to hold the seat he’s seeking even as he continues to run an active campaign and collect contributions, including from a former state Supreme Court justice. Mark Hamilton, a pastor and real estate agent, says he’s been living since May at a dilapidated Spokane house he bought that month and declared his official home to meet city residency requirements, even though he voted outside the city in November. Now, utility records and the recollections of a handyman who helped Hamilton fix up the home at 217 E. Pacific Ave. raise additional questions about whether the candidate who still owns a home south of Spokane was actually living inside the city.
Envision Spokane hopes the third time is a charm. The group was one of two that filed signatures this week with Spokane City Clerk Teri Pfister to place initiatives on the city’s November ballot. Both turned in significantly more signatures than needed to qualify – though they still need to be verified by the Spokane County Elections Office.
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.
The next time the Spokane City Council considers a tax increase, it will take five of seven votes to pass. Most of the remaining ballots in Tuesday’s special election were counted Wednesday, and support for supermajority Proposition 2 increased, widening a close lead it had after Tuesday’s count.
OLYMPIA – Three paid signature gatherers apparently committed extensive fraud while collecting support for two Washington initiatives, elections officials said Wednesday. The secretary of state’s office said many of the 8,000 signatures submitted by the collectors were invalid. The problematic filings were linked to a measure that would extend the time for initiative signature collection, and another proposal that would require companies to label genetically modified food.
The Spokane City Council must approve tax increases with supermajority votes.
Spokane voters easily approved a City Charter amendment giving the police ombudsman more authority and a tax to ensure that branch libraries won’t close.
Of the three items Spokane voters will consider Tuesday, one has clearly sparked the most heated debate. Campaign groups have formed on each side of Proposition 2. Signs are up around the city and rhetoric is high.
Spokane’s Feb. 12 special election has spawned three official campaign organizations, along with campaign reporting violations. It wasn’t until mid-December when the Spokane City Council decided to hold the Feb. 12 special election. That left a relatively short period to raise money and design strategies in support or opposition of the three propositions voters will decide on.
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.
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.