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OLYMPIA – A law that expands the number of county commissioners in Spokane from three to five is constitutional, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a unanimous decision.
Spokane County Commissioner Al French said Wednesday he doesn’t plan to push the county move forward in Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan until case counts are under control, which likely won’t be for several weeks.
Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell has recommended county commissioners remove the phrase “racial equity” from a set of criminal justice goals they may adopt, over concerns the word “equity” could be used to “adjust the scales” of justice, he said Tuesday.
Spokane County Commissioners unanimously voted Monday to increase their pandemic funding for the Spokane Regional Health District by $2 million to address increased contact tracing efforts and a continued spike in positive COVID-19 cases.
Citing a looming budget shortfall and potential redistricting issues due to the impacts of COVID-19, Spokane County Commissioner Al French plans to ask the Legislature to allow the county to wait two additional years before expanding the Board of Commissioners from three to five members.
According to a survey that garnered more than 1,100 responses, the public would like the county’s $90 million in COVID-19 aid funding to be spent on child care, food, rental assistance and more help for small businesses.
The deadline to file for office is a little over a week away, and many races in Spokane County, including both county commissioners seats, appear to be uncontested.
A law that requires Spokane County to split into five county commissioner districts doesn’t violate the state constitution, a Superior Court judge ruled Friday.
Spokane County is seeking a volunteer to fill a vacancy on its civil service commission, which is responsible for reviewing the job performance of law enforcement.
The Spokane County commissioners addressed Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich’s salary on Tuesday, although they didn’t give him the raise he’s been seeking.
Spokane County employees aren’t happy about pay raises recently given to the county’s elected leaders, but some hope the raises will come in handy during this year’s contract negotiations.
While the West Plains military base will likely not get the next generation of fuel tankers, local leaders stressed Thursday that Fairchild may end up benefiting from the decision by receiving a larger allotment of current generation aircraft.
A Spokane County public defender filed a tort claim and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against the Spokane County Public Defender’s Office in June for allegedly passing her up for two promotions because she was pregnant.
Spokane County agreed it will not expand the area where urban growth can occur for at least nine years without meeting certain benchmarks, while controversial boundaries drawn in 2013 will remain largely in place. The compromise marks the end of nearly a decade of legal wrangling, both sides said.
Spokane County Commissioners gave themselves the option this week to move public hearings they believe won’t be well-attended to afternoons. A revision to county laws approved unanimously by the three Republican commissioners allows input on some topics to occur at sessions held at 2 p.m., when commissioners approve measures considered “routine.” This includes signing off on payroll, accepting grants and buying equipment. Commissioner Shelly O’Quinn said the change promotes “leaner” government by trimming costs and encouraging efficiency.
Spokane County officials are worried a provision in the Washington Senate’s budget proposal will cripple their ability to provide state-mandated mental health and substance abuse services.
Spokane County Commissioner Todd Mielke Monday was selected as the new CEO for Greater Spokane Inc., the Spokane area’s chamber of commerce.
Calling the process of selecting an ombudsman for the Spokane Police Department “a political nightmare,” Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich on Tuesday dismissed a petition requesting independent civilian oversight for his department as redundant. “This is being driven by a few political opponents of mine,” Knezovich said at a news conference called a day before organizers planned to deliver more than 1,000 signatures to Spokane County commissioners requesting a new body to oversee operations of the Sheriff’s Office.
Laws governing where retail marijuana businesses may locate within Spokane County became permanent Tuesday, with additional language warning growers they must adhere to clean air laws or face potential enclosure of their farms. County commissioners voted unanimously in favor of an amendment to the zoning code that allows marijuana farms in certain rural areas, and at least 300 feet from the nearest residence. The law also carves out the industrial areas where processing and retailers may locate within unincorporated portions of Spokane County.
Creation of a Millwood trail on a historic railroad right of way took a step forward earlier this week. The trail is envisioned for the former Great Northern Railway line through Millwood from Vista Road to Trent Avenue.