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Some $90 million in federal emergency funds with almost no strings attached are headed toward Spokane County – and with it are coming criticisms of County Commissioner Al French’s initial signals that he wants to use the money not to offset financial emergencies such as rent or child care, but to develop a longer-view plan to boost the economy and support businesses.
The Spokane region will soon receive about $90 million from the federal government to help business, organizations and agencies recover from COVID-19 expenses.
As Spokane faces a housing crisis, County Commission Chairman Al French argues that part of the problem is a disconnect among the dense-development values of the comp plan, a resistance to those principles in neighborhoods and regulations that don’t support the underlying values.
Spokane County has filed a brief in support of Lincoln County’s case that will determine whether counties can force unions that represent their employees to negotiate wages and benefits in public.
Spokane has gone to great lengths to get good information and develop good ideas about how to dispense justice more smartly. But all the good ideas and hopeful recommendations will crash without any buy-in from the key players.
Spokane County CEO Gerry Gemmill is retiring after nearly 40 years working for the county, including the past four as the top administrator.
Spokane County Commissioners have approved spending $50,000 to study whether putting a few hundred inmates in temporary structures, or reinforced tents, is feasible.
Residents around the shut-down Euclid Road Bridge are growing increasingly frustrated by the detour, but the bridge may not be replaced until 2021.
Though Spokane County and the city of Spokane have both required their unions to negotiate with them in public, some union leaders aren’t ready to back down as they wait for the outcome of a court case.
The oversize check displayed on the stage said it all: $53,425,000 made out to the Spokane Transit Authority from the U.S. Department of Transportation. STA has known the huge sum was coming to fully fund a long-awaited bus rapid transit line through downtown since April, when the federal government allocated the money for the project. But on Tuesday, the award became official and STA got direct access to the funds.
Al French was elected as the chair of the board of county commissioners for the fourth time Tuesday, becoming the face of the county’s governing body for 2020.
“I have repeatedly condemned extremism, no matter its source, and have made clear the violence it inspires has no place here in Eastern Washington,” the congresswoman said in a statement.
Spokane County officials continue to explore the idea of contracting with a nonprofit agency to provide public defense attorneys even though more counties are choosing to make that a function of county government.
Spokane County appears poised to overturn decades of precedent and hand the responsibility of representing indigent suspects to lawyers who work for a nonprofit rather than the county. The move comes as turnover in the Public Defender's Office has meant more time in jail for some clients as they await progress on their cases.
Spokane County taxpayers will soon see a $5 increase in conservation district fees, after the Spokane County Commissioners voted to increase their fees for the first time in 21 years.
Every release from the Spokane County Jail, from the least serious to the most, from allegation to conviction to dismissal, tells a different story. But we apply the same blunt tool to every one: a jail cell, at a daily rate of $133.
An effort to research the creation of a local transit pass for low-income people hit stiff resistance — but overcame it, at least for the time-being — at the most recent Spokane Transit Authority board meeting.
Sparber has served as interim director of Spokane County Detention Services since February, when
A new law tying state transportation funds to the inclusion of tribes on local transportation planning boards has its origins with the Spokane Tribe of Indians, but the effort to get tribal representation on the local council brought the political nature of the board into the open.
Buses will continue to stop in the lane of traffic on East Sprague Avenue, a victory for the transit agency and its plans to build out a “high performance transit” network on its busiest and most popular routes with transit stops that act and look like those on East Sprague.