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Spokane Police Guild leaders this week sent a strong message to Mayor Mary Verner: We dare you. In a letter received by Verner on Thursday, Guild President Ernie Wuthrich warned that if any guild members are laid off, the union will challenge those job losses with the state Public Employment Relations Commission.
Spokane administrators next week will inform about 120 workers that they will lose their jobs by the end of the year. Some could be demoted but remain on the city payroll.
It could cost more to park in private lots in central Spokane if city leaders get behind ideas to tax downtown lots. The parking tax concept is in flux, with suggestions for annual fees ranging from $10 to more than $100 a year per space, said Marty Dickinson, president of the Downtown Spokane Partnership, which opposes a parking tax.
The State Board of Accountancy is investigating Spokane’s chief financial officer, Gavin Cooley, because of a city Web site that listed him as a certified public accountant, his former designation. Cooley let his CPA license expire in 2006, but until early this month a city Web site devoted to the city’s investment policy listed Cooley as a CPA.
The State Board of Accountancy is investigating a city Web site that mistakenly listed Spokane’s chief financial officer, Gavin Cooley, as a certified public accountant.
Spokane Mayor Mary Verner said Friday she’s confident the city will maintain its new higher bond rating despite dire 2010 budget projections. Standard & Poor’s informed the city this week that it has upgraded the city’s bond rating to AA from AA-.
State auditors have found “significant deficiencies” in the city of Spokane’s oversight of federal money, according to a report released this week. In the audit, the state questioned more than $350,000 of grant money the city used to pay for staff and administrative time within the Spokane Area Workforce Development Council because employee time was documented incorrectly.
City and union leaders talk a lot about cooperation and communication these days. But as time inches closer to deciding how to cut $7 million from Spokane’s 2010 budget, employee unions are being presented with a harsh choice already familiar to those in the private sector: Cut pay or face layoffs.
Spokane police were told Thursday to begin thinking creatively about spending cuts next year that could top $2 million. Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, Mayor Mary Verner and Chief Financial Officer Gavin Cooley held a closed-door meeting with more than 100 members of the department, both commissioned and civilian, to say that the budget looks steady for 2009 but cuts may be coming in 2010.
Cities, counties and other government entities that rely on property taxes could raise their levies by 6 percent in the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling striking down a voter imposed lid of 1 percent. But that doesn't mean they will, government officials throughout Eastern Washington said. Spokane Chief Operating Officer Gavin Cooley said the city's proposed 2008 budget will maintain a 1 percent increase. But administrators plan to ask the City Council to pass an ordinance that would reserve the right to take the full increase in the future, he said.