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Spokane Council Vetoes Ordinance Related To Combined Dispatch Center

Meg Maclean

The Spokane City Council voted Monday to override a mayoral veto in a continued tug-of-war about the city’s participation in a regional first responder dispatch system.

The ordinance that was vetoed requires dispatchers who handle city police and fire calls to undergo rigorous training. Council members say they want to protect the jobs of current city dispatchers.

In his veto message, Mayor David Condon chided the council for its resistance to the plan. He pointed to the cost savings and safety benefits of joining a regional system. Council members such as Mike Fagan argue they’ve been given very little specific information about the costs and benefits to the city.

“We haven’t got any information. We’d like to get some information," Fagan said. "For instance, if this particular system is supposed to be saving us money, why is it that we are going to be spending some money on this thing, up front as a city? It just doesn’t make any sense and I think that, at the end of the day, we would just like to have some real simple questions and some real simple answers to the questions we’ve been asking.”

The regional system is to be funded by a one-tenth of a cent sales tax paid by county residents. Fagan argues the ballot measure that authorizes that says nothing about a regional system.

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