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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Annemarie Frohnoefer: New jail won’t solve societal problems

County Commissioner Al French has proposed building a new jail, saying, “this can has been kicked down the road for too many years,” before adding that he needs to know an exact number of beds. The implication is that once the number is known then building can begin.

Spokane County commissioners open union contract negotiations to the public

The move means members of the public and media will be able to witness the collective bargaining process in real time, even though state law allows that process to take place in private meetings. “Salaries are our largest cost, and the citizens ought to know how we’re negotiating contracts and how we’re trying to represent the best interests of both the taxpayers and our employees,” Commissioner Al French said.

County approves $790 million budget without raising taxes

Spokane County commissioners unanimously approved a $790 million balanced budget for next year that largely avoids cuts to county departments while maintaining funding for public safety, infrastructure, parks and capital projects.

Editorial Endorsements: Kuney and French for Spokane County commission

Among the candidates running for Spokane County commissioner are a relatively new commissioner and an experienced one. Mary Kuney in District 2 and Al French in District 3 deserve election on Nov. 6. Generally speaking, District 2 is the southeastern part of the county and District 3 is the western part. District 1, the northeastern part of the county, is not up this year. Josh Kerns currently represents District 1.

Avista spends $200,000 supporting county commissioners Kuney and French

Avista Corp. is spending heavily in the Spokane County commissioner races by dropping nearly $200,000 on re-election television advertisements for commissioners Mary Kuney and Al French. In Avista Corp.’s largest independent campaign expenditure to date, the company in August contributed more than $99,500 per commissioner in “independent expenditures” for television ads and production costs, according to Washington State Public Disclosure Commission filings.

Spokane County prosecutors demand raises, complain of unfair bargaining practices

The union representing Spokane County’s deputy prosecutors has launched a public pressure campaign in hopes of rebooting contract negotiations and obtaining wage increases. Mediated negotiations stalled in August when the union, Local 1553-PA, voted to reject the county’s “last, best and final offer,” which would have immediately raised wages for senior attorneys by 2.5 percent and wages for the two lower attorney classifications by 4.25 percent.