The Spokane City Council has overridden Mayor David Condon’s veto of a renewable electricity ordinance. Six council members voted for the override, one more than was needed.
The measure pushes the city to run its own operations exclusively using renewable electricity sources, such as water, the sun and wind, by the year 2020.
It also urges a goal of 2030 for 100% electricity from renewable sources for the rest of the city.
The ordinance received public support from Avista, but it was the subject of a critical letter by Greater Spokane Incorporated and Better Spokane. Sherry Barnett, who supported the GSI position, urged the council to give more credence to business claims that the measure would drive up electricity and utility rates.
Council President Ben Stuckart answered her.
“I know you said I was a little rough on GSI and all I was doing was pointing out what was false in their letter," Stuckart said. "I know that it seemed a little harsh, but sometimes when you send letters to people that are full of falsehoods, somebody’s going to tell you and list out every single thing that wasn’t true.”
Councilwoman Karen Stratton said her office received 112 emails on this topic since the mayor’s veto was announced, all supporting the override.
The ordinance creates an 11-member citizens’ commission that will provide the city with ideas for reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. That will include representatives from the city, business and Avista, but also from low-income people and environmental groups.