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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Beggs returns to running Spokane City Council meetings after cancer treatment

UPDATED: Tue., Oct. 5, 2021

Beggs  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
Beggs (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

In a Spokane City Council meeting chock full of public debate and legislative wrangling, one substantial change could have gone unnoticed to anyone who tuned in a minute late.

Council President Breean Beggs returned to the dais and resumed his normal duties on Monday for the first time since undergoing treatment for throat cancer.

In a brief remark at the open of the meeting, Beggs thanked Councilwoman Candace Mumm for filling in as Council President Pro Tem and said he is “feeling good.”

Later, he shared a message on his Facebook page thanking his doctors, nurses and fellow council members.

“Now that I’m back at the gavel, I’m ready to move full speed ahead and bring us out of the pandemic and towards recovery,” Beggs wrote.

Beggs, 58, announced in July that he would take intermittent medical leave into October as he underwent radiation and chemotherapy treatment for Stage 1 throat cancer.

In practice, Beggs still attended nearly every City Council and committee meeting, but he handed over the responsibility of running them to another council member.

He remained instrumental in key shaping in city policy, including development of a system to spend the city’s $81 million cut of federal American Rescue Plan funds.

Beggs was appointed to the City Council in 2016 to fill a vacant seat in District 2. He won a full term in 2017, then ran for the president seat in 2019.

Beggs will lead the council through negotiations on an approximately $1.1 billion city budget, which must be adopted before the end of the year.

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