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Letters for Nov. 7, 2023

Measure 1 won’t effectively treat crime

As physicians, we are trained to diagnose illness and come up with appropriate evidence-based treatment plans. The best among us understand that our treatment plans are likely to fail if we don’t address the root causes of disease. Spokane County voters are being asked to vote on Measure 1, a “treatment plan” for crime that would allocate $1.7 billion over the next 30 years to expand the downtown jail and building a new corrections facility, along with funding “public safety.”

Crime is something that concerns us all, so we owe it to our community to have an evidence-based, effective plan to lower crime.

Is building a new jail the best treatment plan we can come up with? Not by a long shot. Studies have shown that since 2000, incarceration has contributed almost nothing to decreasing crime, yet it costs $298 to book someone into jail and $134/day to keep them incarcerated. Spokane already spends 70% of our $140 million budget on the criminal justice system.

The best evidence for preventing crime includes providing affordable housing, investing in mental health services, and offering more vocational training.

While Measure 1 vaguely calls for funding of “public safety and behavioral health” there’s no description of how this will be implemented nor of how officials will be held accountable for using the money.

We believe Measure 1 is a prescription for failure we can’t afford. Our community deserves a better solution for preventing and treating crime.

Libby Loft and Luis Manriquez

Spokane

Earl Moore for District 3

I am proud to support Earl Moore for City Council District 3. She will bring a civility to the council as well as a much-needed ability to listen to everyone and represent the people who elect her.

She has years of experience in working with groups of people, leading a medical coalition for results that benefit health care still. She is professional, personable, doesn’t care about politics but cares deeply for how others envision the future of our city. She supports law enforcement and will make public safety a top priority and she will do that with compassion for those who need help.

Earl Moore is exactly what we need in city leadership, someone who loves Spokane but is not a lifelong politician. It is time we elect servant leaders who will work on behalf of our city and all citizens of Spokane.

Earl is someone who won’t clamber for the spotlight, she will always do what is best for Spokane and our citizens. Earl is that citizen servant leader.

Please vote for Earl Moore for City Council Position 3 for a safer future for our kids and grandkids.

Robin Ball

Spokane

Betsy Wilkerson is wrong for Spokane

Betsy Wilkerson is wrong for Spokane. Her record is very clear on this matter. She fought a police precinct that people in her own district wanted, she voted to defund drug investigations, and she doesn’t even pay her property taxes on time while she votes to raise ours!

Despite calls from Spokane Mayor Woodward and Police Chief Craig Meidl, Betsy voted to defund drug investigations and divert the funds towards programs already being funded through a different revenue source. At a time when drug overdoses and crime in our community have reached record highs, this is unacceptable. We need leaders on Council who will work tirelessly to make sure people aren’t dying on our streets.

Instead, Betsy is quoted in The Spokesman and at debates saying that there isn’t a thing she would change about how the City Council operates. I don’t have confidence that our City Council actually cares about results or about our voices. Betsy voted to limit the number of people who can speak at meetings and for how long.

As City Council president, Kim Plese will actually prioritize public safety, affordable housing, and address the homeless crisis. She has 30 years of small business experience and has been on nonprofit boards, so she knows how to get real results. Join me in voting for Kim Plese for City Council president.

Patricia Shadden

Spokane

In support of Plese for council president

I decided to run for Spokane City Council president when I learned that Betsy Wilkerson wrote a letter asking to fund a political “trifecta.”

Betsy describes her trifecta team as Lisa Brown as mayor, herself as council president and allies like Zack Zappone heading up a supermajority on our city council.

She wrote that will allow them to “enact their policies in full force.” That’s not democracy. That’s tyranny.

During the primary election earlier this year, I paid only for my filing fee and a few bucks for a website. No yard signs, no TV ads.

I just put my thoughts in the voter guide and had a couple of interviews in this newspaper. With no campaign to speak of, at least not in today’s big money terms – I received 15% of the vote.

My ego tells me that people must like me. My brain tells me that people really like my wife and family. Reality tells me with three choices on this past summer’s primary ballot, people trusted me and Kim Plese with a majority of the primary vote.

We are stuck with Betsy Wilkerson for two more years because her existing term has not expired. She is basically running for a promotion, knowing that her current job is safe.

Let’s see how Betsy Wilkerson will fulfill her campaign promises as collaborator and work with a balanced, business-minded moderate council president Kim Plese. No Beggs from me, but I will say Plese.

Andy Rathbun

Spokane

Elected leaders need to be public servants

Rep. Jared Golden, of Lewiston, Maine, would now like to be forgiven for his long-standing opposition to gun safety laws.

I guess he just had no idea of the suffering and devastation that results from unfettered access to “deadly weapons of war” until he was touched personally by this tragedy.

Former U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, of Ohio, reversed his opposition to civil rights for the LGBTQ community when he learned that his own beloved son was gay.

The list goes on and on.

I do not wish suffering on anyone and I truly wish Nadine Woodward’s family and everyone’s family well. I do have to wonder though, if one of Mayor Woodward’s loved ones were to be suffering from a mental health crisis and lack of housing and out of the mayor’s personal reach and ability to help, would she hope for that individual to be less comfortable or would she hope for and demand a compassionate response to their needs?

My point is, we need to elect leaders with enough imagination and empathy to understand that their job is to serve and work for the well-being of everyone including those they disagree with or cannot personally relate to, and those who have nothing to offer to a politician.

A person who cannot see beyond the end of their own nose cannot be a public servant.

Kathie Endresz

Spokane

The loss of Cathcart would be devastating

The city would be so incredibly worse off without Michael Cathcart – and we wouldn’t feel it, until it’s too late.

What an insurmountable shame that would be.

You can’t always expect voters to watch every debate. However, if they do – there are times when a candidate’s experience are crystal clear. And it ought to be in this case. It was for me.

Councilman Cathcart’s institutional knowledge is a critical piece of this election cycle. The amount of inevitable turn over in the Council Office this year is sufficient enough to lend itself credence to my claim.

Cathcart’s fiscal responsibility, and unwavering devotion to transparency, are just two key reasons why I will always advocate for him as the incredible leader he has proven to be.

To put it bluntly, Lindsey Shaw is categorically unequipped for office at this time. It’s evident in every debate – particularly if you know anything about the questions she’s been charged to answer. I have no doubt in my mind that her heart has good intentions – but good intentions are not sufficient for above adequate leadership. And the City of Spokane is in desperate need of more than just above average leadership.

We cannot be tethered down by inexperience, especially with respect to the current layout of what tomorrow holds in this city.

Cathcart understands the challenges ahead, and he is unequivocally the right candidate to take those challenges on in the next term as a representative for District 1.

Nicolette Ocheltree

Spokane

CMR and Mike Johnson

I questioned CMR about her nomination of Mike Johnson for speaker of the House.

I got a response from Cathy outlining Johnson’s goals of bringing God back into government as well as the people living in our cherished democracy.

That’s the good and now the bad.

Johnson was one of the key architects involved in trying to overthrow our democracy by his involvement in support of Trump’s calls that the election was rigged or stolen. Trump told several individuals that he actually lost.

Johnson, claiming to be a dedicated Christian, I thought I knew after all my 82 years on this Earth what a Christian was. Thinking I had better look it up to make sure the term has not changed I found that a Christian is someone whose behavior and heart reflects Jesus Christ.

So, do we think Jesus Christ would tolerate somebody like Donald Trump, a liar, a fraud, a sexual abuser, an adulterer and a heavily indicted criminal and traitor to our nation? I don’t think so, but Mike Johnson does?

Bob Sanborn

Colbert



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