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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane City Council hires new budget director as city faces deficit and shift to biennial budgets

Katherine Fairborn has been hired as Spokane City Council’s budget director, after a unanimous vote Monday.  (Christopher Anderson)

As the Spokane City Council works with the mayoral administration to come up with a balanced, now biennial budget that the council has sole responsibility to approve, the city’s legislative body has hired a new budget director to replace the one hired away earlier this year by incoming Mayor Lisa Brown.

Katherine “Kate” Fairborn was hired Monday after a unanimous vote by the council and will begin the role July 8 with an starting annual salary of $105,000. She most recently worked as the chief fiduciary officer of Northwest Trustee and Management Services, a job she held from September 2023 to April 2024, and before that worked for more than 13 years as a compliance and marketing manager for Northside Vision Center, according to her LinkedIn page.

Fairborn also brings legal experience to the position, having worked as an associate attorney for Austin, Texas-based Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld in 2000 and 2001. Most of Fairborn’s professional life has been in Spokane.

Fairborn will step into the role vacated by former council budget director Matt Boston, who was hired on by Brown as the city’s chief financial officer days after the new mayor assumed office.

The new budget director was chosen from a pool of “outstanding candidates,” Councilman Michael Cathcart said during Monday’s meeting. Fairborn will soon face significant challenges, as the city faces an approximately $50 million budget hole going into 2025 and a shift from annual to biennial budgets.