Today on Inland Journal, a special one-hour program with two parts. In the second half hour, Mayor David Condon talks about the city’s criminal justice plans, especially with talks ongoing about a possible new Spokane County jail. And we talk about the state of the city’s infrastructure, with stormwater and streets projects ongoing.
But first, we meet with the three candidates for a city council seat representing south Spokane. Councilwoman Lori Kinnear is running for a second term and she’s challenged by two people.
The candidates whom we’ll talk with are, in alphabetical order, Liz Fleming.
Liz Fleming: “My first job out of college, I spent some time in Washington, D.C. and was greener than green could be to legislation, but really came to respect and appreciate the process, looking at an issue, understanding the issue, figuring out who were the experts, who can help educate me on an issue.”
Then there’s Tony Kiepe.
Tony Kiepe: “Everybody’s talking about homelessness right now. It’s a major issue. It’s embarrassing to go downtown and see all the homeless walking across the streets. Just last week I was down on Washington and you had a homeless person walking right across the street in front of a car and the car slams on its brakes and blows his horn at him. He turns around and starts chasing the car. I thought, ‘oh my goodness, how embarrassing. That’s not good for the city.’”
And then Lori Kinnear.
Lori Kinnear: “I think that we are making a dent in homelessness. Three thousand people have been housed in the last two years; the number’s probably higher now. So we’re getting people into housing. Until we solve our housing affordability crisis, we’re not going to make much of a difference. We have to solve that. We don’t have enough housing.”
With five months to go in his administration, David Condon is still moving ahead on a variety of issues, including homelessness. For example, the city is planning to buy a building to renovate for a homeless shelter in east Spokane, near the city’s border with Spokane Valley.
But we asked him about something else: a city proposal to create its own facilities to handle people charged with misdemeanor crimes.