local government

Rebecca White

The community got its first look at Spokane County’s 2022 budget Tuesday.

Revenues for the general fund, which is what the county uses to cover most of the services the public interacts with, are estimated to be higher than last year, about $221 million.

Rebecca White/SPR

City of Spokane water customers who are behind on their bills will have until the end of March to get caught up if a resolution to extend the deadline is approved by the Spokane City Council tonight. 

The moratorium on utility shutoffs and late fees in Washington state expired at the end of September.

Gonzaga University

Three City Council candidates and a school board candidate promised to take climate change seriously, and look for ways to promote local environmental policy in a forum Wednesday.

City Council candidates were asked in a climate forum at Gonzaga University’s third annual climate forum whether they would work to make Spokane more resilient, and if they would support climate intervention policies.

Naghmana Sherazi, a candidate for the Northeast Spokane City Council District, called for the city to include communities of color in climate planning.

City of Spokane

The mayor of Spokane has released her proposal for the fiscal 2022 budget. It’s about 11% higher than this year’s budget.

Wikimedia Commons

Activists and voting rights advocates put local governments on notice this week when they settled a lawsuit with Yakima County to rewrite its election process.

Courtesy of Spokane County Redistricting Commission

The group tasked with carving Spokane County into five new county commissioner districts has released four maps.

The maps have garnered mixed reviews.

Spokane County Breaks Rockford City Council Race Tie

Aug 26, 2021
Spokane County

The Spokane County Auditor broke a tie for the town of Rockford today.

The race between Rockford town council candidates Ivan Willmschen and Rachelle Arriaga had a little more than 100 votes. The two candidates were tied for second.

Under state law, ties must be broken using a game of chance. Spokane County auditor Vicky Dalton used a milk bottle, and a ball representing each candidate.

Candidate Willmschen’s designated ball fell out of the milk bottle first, making him the winner. He will move onto the general election.

Courtesy of Tyler LeMasters

Two people are suing Spokane City Council candidate Tyler LeMasters, asking a judge to remove him from the November ballot.

They argue he doesn’t meet a key requirement to be eligible to be a city council member, being a resident of his district for a year.

Courtesy of Luc Jasmin and Naghmana Sherazi

At least one race in Spokane County's August primary election is likely headed for a recount. Only two votes separate candidates for the Northeast City Council Districts in their race for that coveted second-place spot.

In the race to represent the open seat in the Northeast district, event business owner Jonathan Bingle came in first with about 46% of votes. Naghmana Sherazi, who works in the diversity and inclusion office at Gonzaga University, and Luc Jasmin, a day care owner, are vying for second with a little more than 26% of the vote each. Sherazi's up by two votes.

Rebecca White/SPR

Spokane City Council will discuss a series of housing, and development incentives during their meeting Monday that could spur new affordable housing projects, and preserve the existing supply of housing in Spokane.

Spokane Mayor Declares Housing Emergency

Jul 27, 2021
City of Spokane

Mayor Nadine Woodward has declared a housing emergency as housing cost and scarcity continue to skyrocket in the city of Spokane.

Breean Beggs

Spokane City Council President Breean Beggs has been diagnosed with cancer, and is taking medical leave from his leadership role on the city council for treatment.

“This June I joined millions of American who have been diagnosed with cancer, and I’m now in the hands of a great medical team, and we’re eradicating it.”

He said he underwent surgery in June to remove a tonsil and will soon undergo radiation treatment.

Rebecca White/SPR

Spokane County has had three commissioners for most of its history as a government, but will have five elected by district starting next year.

A committee has been chosen to draw the lines for the new districts and has about five months left to complete the task. The group’s chair says they need feedback from the public now.

Official public hearings and information sessions start next month.

Rebecca White/SPR

Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward has chosen an outside advisor to assist her in addressing homelessness. This is a response to the resignations of several leaders in the city's Neighborhood, Housing and Human Services Department.

According to a news release Tuesday, Woodward has chosen Chris Patterson as a senior advisor on homeless issues. Patterson founded a mental health treatment service for youth and has worked under former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

He also grew up in Spokane in foster care.

Courtesy of City of Spokane

The city of Spokane will investigate allegations of racism against its city manager after a departing division director accused the city’s top employee of mistreating him because he is Black.

According to The Spokesman-Review, Cupid Alexander, the leader of the city’s homeless and neighborhood services department and the only Black leader at City Hall, announced he was resigning on Monday. On Wednesday, local media obtained emails from Alexander to city manager Johnnie Perkins alleging a pattern of mistreatment, and that Perkins was forcing him out early.  

Courtesy of City of Spokane

A departing director of the city’s homeless and neighborhoods services division has accused the city manager, who oversees all employees at city hall, of mistreating him because of his race, according to a report by The Spokesman-Review.

Spokane Chooses New Flag

May 10, 2021
Courtesy of the city of Spokane

The city of Spokane now has a new flag, which replaces an old design the city has used since the 1970s.

The flag was designed by Derek Landers, who is co-founder of Spokane Print and Publishing Studio and a lifelong Spokane resident. The flag has a sun in the top left corner, a river running through it diagonally and strip of lush green.

 

Courtesy of Jonathan Bingle

This week we're continuing our series profiling Spokane City Council candidates who expect to file for office in three weeks.

Jonathan Bingle owns an events business, which has been on hold most of the pandemic.

SPR City Council Interviews: Jonathan Bingle

Apr 28, 2021
Courtesy of Jonathan Bingle

This week we’re continuing our series profiling city council candidates running for the open seat in the Northeast, City Council District 1.

Spokane Public Radio’s Rebecca White discusses homelessness, policing, affordable housing and the environment with candidate candidate Jonathan Bingle, who is running for the open District 1 seat.

SPR City Council Interviews: Naghmana Sherazi

Apr 27, 2021
Courtesy of Naghmana Sherazi

This week we’re continuing our series profiling city council candidates running for the open seat in the Northeast, City Council District 1.

Spokane Public Radio’s Rebecca White discusses homelessness, policing, affordable housing and the environment with candidate Naghmana Sherazi, who is running for the open District 1 seat.

Courtesy of Naghmana Sherazi

This week we're continuing our series profiling Spokane City Council candidates who expect to file for office in three weeks

We’re introducing Naghmana Sherazi.

Sherazi currently works in the office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Gonzaga University, but is also a scientist. She previously studied chromosomes and DNA to search for cancer and other genetic mutations.

She is an immigrant from Pakistan, is a renter, a working mother and said she knows what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet.

SPR City Council Interviews: Luc Jasmin III

Apr 26, 2021
Courtesy of Luc Jasmin III.

This week we’re continuing our series profiling city council candidates running for the open seat in the Northeast, City Council District 1.

Spokane Public Radio’s Rebecca White discusses homelessness, policing, affordable housing and the environment with candidate Luc Jasmin, who is running for the open District 1 seat.

Courtesy of Luc Jasmin III.

This week we're continuing our series profiling Spokane City Council candidates. We’re focusing on candidates for District 1, which includes most of Northeast Spokane.

We’re introducing Luc Jasmin III.

SPR City Council Interviews: Tyler LeMasters

Apr 20, 2021
Courtesy of Tyler LeMasters

This week we're continuing our series profiling Spokane City Council candidates. Spokane Public Radio's Rebecca White spoke to candidates for District 2, which includes the South Hill, East Central and downtown Spokane.

Courtesy of Tyler LeMasters

This week we’re profiling candidates for Spokane City Council’s South City Council District. There are two. We’re introducing, Tyler LeMasters.

Courtesy of Betsy Wilkerson

This week we’re profiling candidates for Spokane City Council’s South City Council District. Today, we’re introducing incumbent for District 2, Betsy Wilkerson.

SPR City Council Interviews: Betsy Wilkerson

Apr 19, 2021
Courtesy of Betsy Wilkerson

Spokane Public Radio reporter Rebecca White has been sitting down with candidates for Spokane City Council.

This week we're talking to candidates for District 2, which includes the South Hill, East Central and downtown Spokane. Rebecca White discussed homelessness, policing, affordable housing and the environment with candidate Betsy Wilkerson, who is running to retain her seat.

SPR City Council Interviews: Mike Lish

Apr 16, 2021
Courtesy of Mike Lish

This week Spokane Public Radio is interviewing every city council candidate from the city's Northwest district.

City Council District 3 Candidate Mike Lish and reporter Rebecca White discuss economic recovery, homelessness, affordable housing, public safety and environmental policy.

Courtesy of Mike Lish

This week, we’re interviewing people who have announced their candidacy for Spokane city council. We're focusing on the five candidates in the Northwest district.

Mike Lish is the owner of D’Lish’s hamburgers, a company his parents founded in the 1990s.

Courtesy of Lucrecia Hill

This week, we’re interviewing people who have announced their candidacy for Spokane city council. We're focusing this week on the five candidates in the Northwest district. Today, Rebecca White introduces us to Lacrecia “Lu” Hill.

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