Related Coverage, Page 7
Today I’ve got follow-ups on two recent columns – one about the mayor and city pensions, and one about magnificent facial hair. A couple of weeks back, I wrote about beards, hipster beardos and the notion of a “bearded lifestyle.” I poked some fun at the over-the-top seriousness of the modern beard trend, and in particular about the marketing hype that emerges from a company formed in Spokane, Beardbrand.
It was pouring hard when the time came to flip the switch to light up dozens of holiday light displays in Riverfront Park Friday night, but the crowd of nearly 200 people stuck it out.
Spokane’s mayor would no longer have to be the highest-paid city worker under a proposal voters may decide next year. Councilman Mike Fagan is proposing to give the city’s Salary Review Commission the power to set the mayor’s wage, a change that would require approval from city voters. The idea was first proposed by Mayor David Condon after the blowback he received when he proposed giving himself a raise based on the city charter, which currently requires him to be the top-paid city worker.
If you flush less, you pay less. That’s the idea behind Spokane’s proposed sewage rates for the next three years. According to the plan, which will be considered by the Spokane City Council on Monday, apartment dwellers and the bottom 20 percent of water users will be given discounts on their monthly sewage bills. Multifamily residences would pay $2 a month less, and low water users would see their monthly bills shaved by up to $5.
Mayor David Condon is a guy’s guy. Early in his term, he referred to himself as an “action guy.” Not long ago, he called himself an “accountability guy.” Earlier this week – during an interview discussing his time so far in office – he called himself “kind of an operations guy.”
The feds are getting ready to give the Spokane Police Department a report card of sorts – a wide-ranging set of recommendations arising from a two-year review of department practices. It will be several weeks before the public is allowed to see the details. But next week, the team from the Department of Justice’s COPS program will be back in town to go over the preliminary recommendations with city officials and to establish a schedule for how and when the department will meet what are expected to be about 40 recommendations.
Spokane may never get the straight skinny behind last week’s forced resignation of city planning director Scott Chesney. Some mysteries (i.e. Jimmy Hoffa, Amelia Earhart, KFC’s secret spices …) are probably better off unknown.
Scott Chesney, Spokane’s planning director who was abruptly ousted from his position last week, said Wednesday he was taking the “high road” and ending his role at the city. Chesney did not give details on why he was forced to resign, but his silence is in line with that of Mayor David Condon and Jan Quintrall, head of the city’s Business and Development Services and Chesney’s supervisor, who both said they could not comment on the matter because of personnel confidentiality.
Spokane Mayor David Condon on Friday met with a group of developers critical of the recent forced resignation of city planning director Scott Chesney. But Condon did not tell them why Chesney was fired.
Within a day of being ousted as Spokane’s planning director, Scott Chesney gained influential supporters both within and outside City Hall. Walt Worthy, developer of the Grand Hotel Spokane being built downtown, and Dave Black, who brought Target to the South Hill, said separately that Chesney’s dismissal was unneeded and called for his reinstatement. Their support comes on the heels of that from Jim Frank, president of Greenstone Corp., which is developing Kendall Yards, and Ron Wells, who is renovating the Ridpath Hotel.
Hours after the city planning director was forced out of his job on Wednesday, one of Spokane’s premier developers publicly called on the mayor to hire him back. Jim Frank, president of Greenstone Corp., which is developing Kendall Yards, sent an email to numerous city and business leaders Wednesday evening after hearing that Scott Chesney, Spokane’s planning director since 2011, abruptly left the city.
Hours after the city planning director was forced out of his job on Wednesday, one of Spokane’s premiere developers publicly called on the mayor to hire him back.
The number of city employees earning six figures has increased under Spokane Mayor David Condon, despite his critical stance against such high earners when he was campaigning for office and drastic cuts to the number of people on the city’s payroll under his watch. In Condon’s 2015 budget proposal, 164 positions at City Hall will earn more than $100,000, not counting overtime pay. Of the top 100 paid positions at City Hall, 64 are from the police or fire departments.