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Having never worked on Wall Street, I never learned the subtleties of bribing politicians. But sometimes you have to put your uncertainties aside for the good of the many. So I got straight to the point.
On Monday Spokane City Council voted 5-2 to limit open forum speakers to once a month.
The Spokane City Council considers limiting people to speak at public forum to just once a month
Could someone please find Spokane’s Eighth Man an actual issue? The group’s members have passion in spades. They have commitment. They have identified and named their enemies. They will stand up and beat their chests and be counted. But counted for what?
The decision came during the weekly open forum portion of Monday's council meeting after civic gadfly George McGrath used the term -- again -- to describe the planned pedestrian bridge spanning a wide rail corridor to link the north and south ends of the growing University District. The southern side of the district includes a stretch of East Sprag
I went to a City Council meeting expecting a brawl. Instead, there was an outbreak of civility.
The public hearing on Spokane Valley’s one-year marijuana moratorium drew a crowd at Tuesday evening’s meeting. Spokane Valley adopted an emergency moratorium on Dec. 9 halting all new marijuana businesses except those regulated by the state. Unregulated marijuana businesses include medical marijuana dispensaries, vapor lounges and private smoking rooms. Deputy City Attorney Erik Lamb said the moratorium does not affect existing businesses.
After numerous, ultimately unsuccessful attempts to quiet the packed Spokane City Council chambers, Council President Ben Stuckart gaveled the meeting to an early close and stormed from the chambers Monday night. Most in the crowd of more than 100 people were there to speak in favor of repealing a city law that says police will not ask people about their immigration status. A few spoke in support of the city policy, which was put forward by Stuckart and adopted last year by the City Council.
It was as if pigs had grown wings and landed on the roof of Spokane City Hall. George McGrath, a conservative, longtime follower and critic of the City Council, approached the microphone at this week’s meeting and praised a plan proposed by outgoing liberal Councilman Richard Rush.
The meeting took a couple weeks to arrange through a shadowy intermediary. Terms and conditions were negotiated. We met at an undisclosed location, and eventually found ourselves talking – in low, conspiratorial tones – in a dim basement room with a single light. My contact wore a press-on mustache, wig and dark glasses. Really. He would not tell me his name, even when I promised not to reveal it to anyone. “In my world,” he said, “there’s no such thing as off the record.”
Spokane City Council members suggested they may need voters to save the stronger police oversight rules they approved last year, by working to place the concept on the ballot. Passions were high during the council’s Monday meeting as they discussed overturning police oversight rules. The debate included a few shouting matches between attendees and Council President Joe Shogan.
They disagree on many – perhaps most – of the major issues of the day, but Louise Chadez and Cindy Zapotocky are united on at least one: They strongly oppose the proposed closure of Spokane’s East Side Library. Chadez, a liberal Democrat who ran unsuccessfully this year for state Legislature, and Zapotocky, the conservative chairwoman of the Spokane County Republican Party, were among about 15 people who testified against the possible closure during a Spokane Public Library Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday.