Slide Show Of Jon Snyder

Earned Sick & Safe Leave Stakeholder Group Applications

On Monday, April 20th, Spokane City Council passed Resolution No. 2015-0038 which establishes a working group to provide recommendations to City Council on an earned sick and safe leave policy for the City of Spokane (city-wide).

The goal of the working group is to provide specific recommendations to the Council on elements of an appropriate policy for the City that considers community health and well-being, preventing spread of disease, economic equality, business vitality, family and personal safety related to domestic violence, and regional competitiveness.

Council encourages the working group to review elements of other city or state policies, but provide policy recommendations that consider local business and workforce needs.

Applicants must be residents of the City of Spokane pursuant to Spokane Municipal Code 04.01.030 (A). Please turn in your application to Debra Robole at by May 1st.

Application information can be found here. Applications are here.

Tuesday AM Recap 4/21/15: Earned Sick and Safe Leave Work Group & Mayoral Salary

We had a packed agenda at last night’s council meeting. We considered seven resolutions and two ordinances. One of the resolutions was the big draw for the night however: establishing a work group to make recommendations on an earned sick and safe leave policy in the City of Spokane. We approved this resolution on a 4 to 2 vote, with Councilmembers Allen and Fagan voting against. Councilmember Waldref and I crafted the resolution because we believe it is important to get diverse feedback from community to ensure that the best possible policy emerges from this process. Applications for those interested in being on the workgroup will be on the city website before the end of the day tomorrow. Those interested in applying can also send an email to

On a 5 to 1 vote (with Councilmember Fagan voting against), we approved an allocation of $100,000 for the Division Street Triangle Project and other, smaller projects from the parking meter fund. The council voted 4 to 2 to proceed with an annexation proposal on 55th Ave near Freya. Councilmember Waldref and I voted against this because we both see a need for a more comprehensive approach to annexation.

Finally, the council voted 5 to 1 (with me voting against) to submit a ballot proposition to the voters that would make the Mayor’s salary subject to the Salary Review Commission. The salary commission has never lowered salary for a City of Spokane elected official and I voted against this charter measure because I don’t believe we have given the commission (which is appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Council) clear direction that they can do this. I offered an amendment that would have reset the Mayor’s salary at $150K from the current $179K (which almost the same as the Mayor of Seattle and $50k more than the Mayor of Portland.) This amendment was voted down. My concern is that the salary commission may just leave the Mayor’s salary as it is now, which is artificially high, as every time the Mayor gives cabinet members a raise he is also giving himself a raise.

The other three resolutions and ordinances we considered last night passed unanimously: a resolution appointing a new Retirement Department Director, a resolution supporting the passage of the federal Crude-By-Rail Safety Act of 2015 and an ordinance relating to fuel efficient vehicle procurement for the city.


RESOLUTION NO. 2015-0038

A resolution regarding the establishment of a working group to provide recommendations to City Council on an earned sick and safe leave policy for the City of Spokane.

WHEREAS, in the City of Spokane, two in every five workers have no paid sick leave; and

WHEREAS, thousands of working families within the City of Spokane have to choose between coming to work sick to pay their bills or staying home; and

WHEREAS, in Washington state, about 40 to 60 foodborne illness outbreaks affecting 400 to 700 people occur each year, and pose a threat to public health and safety when spread by employees who are affected by illness; and

WHEREAS, victims of domestic violence often risk losing their jobs in order to take time off to deal with traumatic impacts of domestic violence; and

WHEREAS, the City Council recognizes these concerns and wants to obtain feedback from key stakeholders and citizens relating to adopting an earned sick and safe leave policy to ensure a broad section of viewpoints are considered.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Spokane City Council will establish a working group to investigate, discuss and make recommendations to the City Council on an earned sick and safe leave policy by June 2015. This group shall include, but is not limited to, representatives from the Spokane Regional Health District, local non-profit organizations, professional associations representing the hospitality and food industry, small and mid-size business owners, employees in the hospitality and food industry and appropriate collective bargaining units.

Task force membership as follows. Twelve positions:

1. Spokane Regional Health District
2. Human Rights Commission
3. Non-profit employer
4. Food Service Professional Association
5. Hospitality/Services Professional Association
6. Healthcare Employer
7. Food service union or employee representative
8. Hospitality/Services Union or employee representative
9. Healthcare Union or employee representative
10. Small business <10 employees
11. Medium size business 30-75 employees
12. General Business Professional Association

A Councilmember will attend all meetings in a liason/ex officio capacity. A staff member of the City of Spokane will also attend meetings to represent Human Resource and or Compliance also in an ex-officio capacity.

Tuesday AM Council Recap 4/14/15: Cell Tower Moratorium Follow Up & Ban the Box

Last night, Council had two major items on the agenda regarding the cell tower moratorium and an internal ban the box policy at the City. With respect to cell towers, the council unanimously approved an emergency budget ordinance for consulting services related to updating our cell tower regulations. We also unanimously affirmed the findings of fact regarding the cell tower moratorium we passed at the council meeting on March 10th. Moving forward, the council will be working with a stakeholder group to including neighborhood and business representatives to find a solution that can balance the need for greater cellular coverage in our city with protecting the character and integrity of our residential neighborhoods.

The item that brought most folks down to the chambers last night was a resolution affirming support of the city’s recently adopted administrative ban the box policy, which removes the question of criminal history from initial employment application, and asking the administration to work with the Human Rights Commission on outreach and education as well as data collection and reporting. Members of I Did the Time shared powerful stories of why this policy is so important: gainful employment is a necessity if we really want to see ex-offenders reintegrated in to our community. This policy removes a barrier to them securing that employment, and in doing so, has the ability to reduce recidivism and increase public safety. I was happy to bring this resolution forward with Council President Stuckart. The resolution was unanimously approved.

Two other items on the agenda were also unanimously approved: setting a hearing for the vacation of the alley between 4th and 5th Ave from Washington to Bernard and a hearing for the vacation of a portion of Calispel Street and the alley bordered by Mission Ave, Washington, Calispel and Sinto Ave.

Twisted Willow Traffic Meeting This Wednesday (Southgate Neighborhood)

Last year developers vested a 100+ home subdivision called Twisted Willows over in Glenrose that proposed to have all the traffic enter and exit on 42nd Avenue on the east side of Southgate.

There will be a new traffic impact meeting at 6:15pm this Wednesday, April 15th at Fire Station 81 (6117 S. Palouse Hwy.) to discuss an updated design that will have traffic entering and exiting on both 42nd and 43rd Avenues into Southgate and potentially through Trickle Creek to Glenrose. To read the announcement and look at the updated plans, see here. For more information, see this post on the Southgate Neighborhoods website.

Upcoming Events 4/10/15 through 4/17/15


This Saturday and Sunday at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center (404 N. Havana St) is the Spokane Bike Swap. You can buy new and used bicycles and accessories from the bike corral, or visit local bike shops and other vendors on site. Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Centennial Trail. The event goes from 9 am-3 pm both days. Entrace is $5 for adults; kids 12 and under enter for free.

Monday, April 13 at 1:30pm – Public Works Committee – Council Briefing Center in the lower level of City Hall (808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd).
Monday, April 13 at 6pm – City Council Legislative Session – Council Chambers in the lower level of City Hall.
Tuesday, April 14 at 9am – Plan Commission Transportation Subcommittee – Council Briefing Center.
Tuesday, April 14 at 7pm – Rockwood Neighborhood Council – 3612 S. Grand (Old Jefferson School).
Wednesday, April at 4pm – Manufactured Home Park Comprehensive Plan Amendment Open House – Chase Gallery in the lower level of City Hall.
Thursday, April 16 at 3:30pm – Council Study Session – Council Briefing Center.
Thursday, April 16 at 7pm – Latah-Hangman Neighborhood Council – 4235 Cheney Spokane Rd; 2nd Floor Meeting Room.

Tuesday AM Recap: Support for STA & Bike Plan Update

The Master Bike Plan has not been updated since it was passed in 2008. In the intervening years the City has made some progress in improving our bike facilities, but not nearly as much as we should have. I brought forward an update to the Master Bike Plan on an emergency basis after nearly a year of work because the City was in danger of losing out valuable grant opportunities because we haven’t added new projects to the plan. This is an important step forward in making cycling safer and more appealing in our City, and will be important to helping the City retain it’s Bicycle-Friendly status. Thanks to City staff Louis Meuler, and Nathan Gwinn for their work on this and thanks to my fellow Councilmembers for being committed to a balanced transportation network. Passed 5-2 with Councilmembers Allen and Fagan voting against but not giving a reason why. Read the rest of this entry »

Spokane Journal of Business endorses STA Proposition No. 1


Yesterday, the Spokane Journal of Business said “Yes to Buses” and endorsed Proposition 1: the ballot initiative that will fund Spokane Transit Authority’s Moving Forward pPlan by increasing the sales tax by three tenths of one percent. An excerpt is below, but you can read the whole thing here.

… However, we believe the long-term benefits that would emanate from this sizable financial investment outweigh the measure’s flaws, and we encourage voters to support it…..

STA says the added funding would enable it to provide an estimated 25 percent increase in bus service, which it expects will accommodate a 30 percent increase in ridership to more than 15 million rides a year by 2025. As part of a long-range plan, the transit authority says it would implement more than 25 improvements across the region to meet a growing demand for transit services.

To learn more about STA’s Moving Forward Plan and Proposition No. 1, click here.

Special screening of “From Spokane With Love” tonight at the Magic Lantern

Tonight at 7pm, the Magic Lantern (W 25 Main) is hosting a special screening of the documentary film “From Spokane With Love.” Tickets are $8. After the film, there will also be a panel discussion.

“From Spokane With Love” is a heart-warming, entertainig and informative movie about the Friendship Delegation from Spokane, which includes Councilman Jon Snyder and his son Jackson, who went to Iran to try and bridge the gap of stereotypes and misinformation and bring their two peoples together.

Tuesday AM Council Recap 3/24/15: Town Hall Meeting

Last nights City Council meeting was a Town Hall at the East Central Community Center. Town Halls are held once a quarter and provide council with the opportunity to stay informed about issues effecting neighborhoods across the city and efforts to address those issues. Yesterday, we recieved updates from Southgate, Manito/Cannon Hill, Comstock, Lincoln Heights, Rockwood and East Central neighborhoods.

During open forum, many people expressed concerns and thoughts (both positive and negative) about the search for a new Executive Director of the East Central Community Center. If you are interested in learning more about the candidates for the new position, the East Cental Community Organization will be holding a public forum on Thursday, March 26th at 6pm at the East Central Community Center. More information can be found here.

Tuesday Council Recap 3/17/15: Photo Red Funds

At last nights City Council meeting, all items on the legislative agenda passed unanimously. There were three Emergency Budget Ordinances (EBO): one to create a Mail Courier position in the IT Department, an EBO to add several Pubic Works Journey Level Inspectors and an Engineer in Training to Streets due to the increase in construction projects, and a final EBO that implemented quarterly pay grade adjustments in accordance with approved union agreements. There was also one Emergency Ordinance to amend our municipal code relating to vehicle impouundment for patronizing a prostitute. We passed an ordinance establishing this program in a targeted area on Sprague several weeks ago, but legal noticed some small changes that needed to be made as we began implementing this.

The four resolutions that passed unanimously included the adoption of a Spokane County 2015 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan, a resolution to reduce the speed limit on Inland Empire Way to 25 MPH from 23rd Ave to the Cul-da-Sac, a resolution approving the appointment of a Chief Information and Technology Officer, and finally a resolution regarding photo red fund allocations. The photo red resolution amended our current standards to allow neighborhoods to use traffic calming funds for LED street lights, school speed zone 20MPH signs with flashing lights, the maintenance and/or pruning of street trees and vegetation deemed to be a safety hazard to vehicle traffic and street furniture (such as a bench) with the approval of an MOU for a business or community group to maintain the furniture. I brought the photo red resolution forward with the help of Councilmembers Mumm and Fagan to add more options for our neighborhoods to choose from when applying for traffic calming funds while still maintaining a close nexus with traffic calming.