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In their quest for police reform, elected officials in the city of Spokane may lean on their counterparts in the state Legislature for help.
The unanimous Spokane City Council rejection of the contract proposed with the Police Guild was a victory for police accountability and for democracy itself.
The Spokane City Council resoundingly shot down a controversial new contract with the union that represents Spokane police officers on Monday.
"Let us be clear: Any contract that has that language related to the ombudsman or the ombudsman commission is absolutely unacceptable," Kurtis Robinson, president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, told the crowd outside City Hall. "The matter of police accountability is a conversation between the city and the people – not the city and the guild."
In response to growing to public pressure and recent protests over police brutality, the Spokane City Council will consider a resolution calling for sweeping reforms to policing.
The city of Spokane received more than $6 million this spring from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
The four-pronged plan calls for defunding the Spokane Police Department and instead invest in addiction and mental health programs. Organizers also want greater civilian oversight of the department and to reduce the purchase of tactical equipment.
Spokane police brass should have looked more critically and with greater transparency at an officer’s use of his police dog to apprehend a fleeing suspect in a trapped truck in February 2019, a report from the department’s civilian in charge of oversight found.
In a scathing rebuke on Thursday, numerous local elected officials condemned the armed citizens who have stood guard outside businesses during Spokane’s recent protests.
The salaries of Spokane City Council members and Mayor Nadine Woodward won’t budge in 2021.
A combination of rebates and economic incentives could reduce water use in the city by up to 5% through 2030. But the plan doesn’t include greater regulatory steps, like increased base pricing for heavy users and irrigation restrictions that would help during drought conditions conservation representatives say.
The city’s ambulance service, American Medical Response, could soon be allowed to charge nearly 20% more to Spokane patients.
The council is moving ahead with plans to hire its own spokesperson despite belt-tightening elsewhere in city government, with its members saying the position is vital and already accounted for in the 2020 budget.
Multiple members of the Spokane City Council signed a letter last week asking the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to temporarily allow restaurants to sell cocktails as part of their pickup and delivery meal service.
Three of the Spokane City Council’s seven members were home sick, but called in to Monday’s committee meeting by phone.
One after another, Spokane City Council members pleaded with police Chief Craig Meidl on Monday to publicly condemn his officers’ comments about the attractiveness of women at protests outside Planned Parenthood. He didn’t.
If the Spokane City Council approves a proposed contract with TDS Telecommunications on Monday, the Wisconsin-based company could start laying a new fiber network through the city later this year.
Calling the incident a “teachable moment,” the Spokane Ethics Commission issued a written reprimand to the two-term councilwoman Wednesday for advocating on behalf of a marijuana retailer hoping to relocate to Pasco.
With a résumé boasting 20-plus years as a business owner and leadership roles in several nonprofits, Wilkerson was appointed to a vacant seat on the Spokane City Council last week as she called on a city that is 85% white to consider and value a different perspective.
If confirmed by the City Council, Brian Coddington, who worked for more than five years under Mayor David Condon, will return as the city’s director of communications and marketing, and Tonya Wallace will become the city’s chief financial officer.