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Regional News

Spokane Council Approves 2020 City Budget

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Doug Nadvornick/Cable 5
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The Spokane City Council has approved a new budget for the city for 2020.

The document shifts several hundred thousand dollars from the mayor’s proposed spending plan to council priorities, including new support positions for the council.

Councilwoman Karen Stratton says frayed relations between the council and the mayor have made it difficult for she and her colleagues to get information.

“It has been very, very frustrating. I don’t think it’s been a secret. But we’ve literally had employees that cannot work with us, that cannot take calls from us. I’ve had employees that I’ve called. I’ve asked questions, I’ve hung up and their department head or their division head will call me and clarify that I need to go through that person, that employees can’t talk to us," Stratton said. "So I think this is the best way to fix that and for us to prove to this community that we see the need, we see what we need to do and we’re ready to put the money there in the positions to get the work done.”

Despite that friction, outgoing Council President Ben Stuckart said the budget reflects a city doing far better than when he took office eight years ago.

“I couldn’t have imagined when we started in 2012 that we’d be passing a budget where we’re funding actual priorities and finding extra dollars for huge priorities for our community. Wow. A record amount, number of months, growth, sales tax growth in the city of Spokane over the last six years and I’m proud to vote for this budget," Stuckart said.

It was the final council meeting for Stuckart and Councilman Mike Fagan. Both are required to leave office after serving two terms.