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As Lake Coeur d’Alene’s overall health continues to deteriorate, Idaho Gov. Brad Little ordered a third-party review of the data on Wednesday.
Final reports filed with the Washington Public Disclosure Commission show November’s contests for three seats on the Spokane City Council cost a total of nearly $420,000, based on the amount spent by the candidates themselves and groups supporting or opposing them. That’s slightly less than the $458,000 that was spent in 2013, but a 10 percent bump over the amount spent two years ago.
Early ballot returns indicate the Spokane City Council will retain its progressive-leaning majority, as voters gave comfortable leads to a slate of candidates endorsed by Ben Stuckart in what became a costly and sometimes bitter campaign in the final few weeks.
For the first time in at least a decade, spending by outside groups in this year’s City Council races reached all corners of the city. Through Friday, more than $372,000 had been raised for the three of the contests that will be decided next week, with 1 in 4 of those dollars coming from a group working independently of the candidates.
Andy Dunau is the rare Spokane City Council candidate who is genuinely moderate. On top of that, he has no desire to pursue issues beyond the scope of the position.
Breean Beggs squares off against Andy Dunau in a contest for one of the most liberal-leaning areas of town. Dunau casts himself as a centrist, and says Beggs’ support of a rail initiative fining coal and oil trains is evidence the council doesn’t reflect the values of the city. Beggs says he’s concerned about safety and has worked to improve relationships at City Hall.
The two incumbents on the primary ballots for Spokane City Council earned the majority of votes counted Tuesday in their districts. Kate Burke will square off against Tim Benn in northeast Spokane.
Challengers seeking Breean Beggs’ appointed seat on the Spokane City Council criticize policies he’s floated on oil and coal trains and ways to pay for more police, but the 44-year-old attorney says that’s just part of the work he’s doing for the city and dismisses labels.
Breann Beggs has achieved important accomplishments, though we worry about his political activism. Andy Dunau, who is supported by former council members Mike Allen and Steve Salvatori, evinces a thoughtful, pragmatic leadership style.
The man who led the Spokane Park Board in two years of major changes, big park upgrades and turmoil is leaving his seat this month. Gary Lawton, whose term ends this year, was the Park Board president in 2008 and 2009. In that time, the Park Board pushed park staff to quickly plan, design and build six new swimming pools and other new park infrastructure approved by voters in 2007.
What do you get nowadays for a $10 million bridge plus the $1 million cost overrun? In the case of the Barker Road Bridge, the public got a new transportation route across the Spokane River.
Getting people to experience the Spokane River – whether it’s with hip waders, a kayak, raft or canoe – could help protect wildlife habitat, improve understanding of local history, and increase non-motorized access to the river. That’s the theory of “water trail” proponents, who’ve spent the past year brainstorming ways to raise the 111-mile river’s profile. The trail concept was unveiled at a Tuesday conference sponsored by the Spokane River Forum.