Slide Show Of Jon Snyder

Tuesday AM Recap 7/29/14: Street Levy, Park Bond & Emerson Garfield Plan

It was hot outside, but inside Council Chambers heads were cool. All votes were unanimous last night and almost all testimony was supportive of Council actions (don’t worry, it won’t last.) Council took the final vote to place the Streets Levy and the Park Bond on the November ballot. These are two important measures that I strongly support. Great cities double-down and and make smart investments when emerging from a recession–which is exactly what these measures will do. I commend the Mayor, his staff, and all the citizen volunteers at Parks and Streets who have worked so hard to craft these measures. In my mind these votes are two out of three important projects that are needed to spur job growth and make out city more competitive. The third item is Spokane Transit’s Moving Forward ballot measure which should happen next year. Improving bus service and building the Central City Line will be a key economic driver for our City. If we can pass this two measures first then folks will have been streets to travel on and a major revamped Riverfront Park to go to.

Council also passed the Emerson Garfield Neighborhood Plan. This has been almost 2 years in the making and includes a great vision for increased pedestrian safety and a revitalized Monroe Street business corridor. Congratulations to all the citizens who followed the process and the many meetings to come up with this document.

In addition we passed two emergency budget ordinances; one to accept a FEMA grant and another to improve our permitting system. We also passed to item that will greatly improve the long-term financial health of our City pension system. I have been asking for these changes for two years along with fellow members of the Spokane Employee Retirement Systems board so it’s great to finally see them getting done. Lastly, we approved the removal of one aging skywalk staircase that will help the redevelopment of the Bennet Block. The removal will be paid by the property owner and the staircase functionality will be replaced by new, internal staircases.

Upcoming events 7/25/14 through 8/1/14

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This weekend is the 15th Annual South Perry Street Fair. Come dowwn to the Grant Park (1012 S. Arthur) starting at 10AM to enjoy local food, music and more. The fair is free and open to the public. For more information, see here.

Friday, July 25 at 1PM – WA State Commmission on African American Affairs – Emmanuel Family Life Center (631 S. Richard Allen Ct.)
Monday, July 28 at 9:30AM – Marijuana Policy Subcommittee – Council Briefing Center in the lower level of City Hall (808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.)
Monday, July 28 at 6PM – Council Legislative Session – Council Chamber in the lower level of City Hall.
Thursday, July 31 at 3:30PM – Council Study Session – Council Briefing Center.
Friday, August 1 at 4PM – Community Assembly – Council Briefing Center.

Council vacancy appplication window open for one more day

The purple area is the 3rd council district.

The purple area is the 3rd council district.

If you live in the 3rd Council District and are still wondering if you should apply for the vacant city council seat, you still have time. The application deadline is July 24th at 5PM. Completed forms should be taken to the city clerks office (5th Floor of City Hall). Applications can be found here. If you have some questions about council duties and responsibilities, check out the city charter here.

Tuesday AM Recap 7/22/14: Park & Streets Ballot Measures

Last night the Council received an extensive presentation on the proposed Streets Levy and the proposed Park bond for Riverfront Park and also took public testimony. Both these measures offer great opportunities to invest in our City at a critical moment. The Council deferred our vote to place these measures on the ballot until next week to allow one more week for public testimony. We had a good turnout last night but we would like to give more folks the opportunity to give feedback.

The most important action we took related to these measures last night was a unanimous decision to support a resolution to form a special transportation sub-committee of the Planning Commission that will act as the oversight body for the Streets Levy. This will include broad representation from the bicycle and pedestrian community, the disabled community, as well as the business community and others. We also a property acquisition for the Airport, a new policy supporting more recycled paper at the City, a re-naming of a law enforcement fund, and the renaming of a portion of Bridge Street to “Summit Parkway.” All votes were unanimous.

Spokane Transit Authority Board of Directors meeting this Thursday

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Every Friday on this blog, a schedule of upcoming events is posted so people can know what is going on in the city. It came to my attention that one of the meetings listed on the blog was on the wrong date. The Spokane Transit Authority Board of Directors meeting is going to be held this Thursday at 1:30pm at the STA Boardroom (1229 W. Boone), not on Friday.

There will be two very important items on the agenda for this meeting: the Central City Line and Phase II of the Plaza Renovation. If you have the time, I would encourage you to come to the meeting and provide public testimony in support of increased public transit options via the Central City Line and the plaza renovations.

Upcoming events 7/18/14 through 7/25/14

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This evening is the perfect opportunity to get the family out for a nice walk, bike or skate at Summer Parkways. Along the way, you can engage in physical activities like yoga, gymnastics, jump rope, hacky sack and zumba for free. There are two events taking place: Manito/Comstock Neighborhood and a street party at Corbin Park. The events start tonight at 6pm. For more information click here.

Monday, July 21 at 10:30am – Planning, Community and Economic Development Committee – Council Briefing Center in the lower level of City Hall (808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd).
Monday, July 21 at 1:30pm – Public Safety Committee – Council Briefing Center.
Monday, July 21 at 6pm – City Council Legislative Session – Council Chambers in the lower level of City Hall.
Wednesday, July 23 at 6pm – Peaceful Valley Trail Open House – Downtown Library (Meeting Room 1A).
Thursday, July 24 at 3:30pm – City Council Study Session – Council Briefing Center.
Friday, July 25 at 1:30pm – Spokane Transit Authority Board Meeting – STA Board Room, 1229 W. Boone.

Tuesday AM Recap 7/15/14: Public Safety Bonds and Elevator Code

Unanimous actions of the Council included the adoption of the National Electric Code (2014 Edition) for electrical safety inspections, a resolution regarding temporary cash flows between the city’s general fund and funds related to payments to vendors and grant subrecipients and approval of a Local Improvement District for Cochran Street from 16th to 15th and Lindeke Street to Cochran Street. Read the rest of this entry »

Upcoming events 7/12/14 through 7/18/14

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If you are looking for something for the whole family to enjoy this weekend, you are in luck: The KYRS Marmot Fest is happening on July 12 from 1PM to 11PM in Glover Field (Peaceful Valley, just below the falls). The event is completely solar powered and will feature a community village that will include visual art and non-profit booths, a food court, a beer garden for 21+ and a main stage with live music playing all through the day. Tickets are only $20 and kids under 13 get in for free. For more information, click here.

Monday, July 14 at 1:30PM – Pubic Works Committee – Council Briefing Center in the lower level of City Hall (808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.).
Monday, July 14 at 6PM – City Council Legislative Session – Council Chambers in the lower level of City Hall.
Tuesday, July 15 at 6PM – Bicycle Advisory Board – Council Briefing Center.
Tuesday, July 15 at 6:30PM – East Central Neighborhood Council – East Central Community Center, 500 South Stone Street.
Tuesday, July 15 at 7PM – Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council – Southside Community & Senior Center, 3151 E. 27th Ave.
Thursday, July 17 at 3:30PM – City Council Study Session – Council Briefing Center.

Tuesday Am Recap 7/8/14: Import Export Bank, Salvatori’s Last Meeting, and Fish

The only item that wasn’t unanimous last night was a resolution urging congress and our 5th District Congresswoman to support the re-authorization of the Export Import Bank. This is a widely supported 80-year-old program that helps American companies compete on the world market. It supports $10 billion dollars in trade in Washington State alone, and locally is utilized by Spokane area manufacturers such as SCAFCO, Lloyd Industries, Commercial Creamery, and White’s Boots. No government program is perfect and the bank has undergone improvements in the last few years. But Republicans in Congress are attempting to kill the bank for political reasons, and in process destroy thousands of American jobs, including work right here in Spokane County. They must not be successful. We have to stop these self-inflicted wounds to our economy. Councilmember Fagan voted against the resolution. (See below for a whitepaper on the Import Export Bank.) Read the rest of this entry »

Tuesday AM Recap 6/24: Protecting Bees and South Hill Plan

Neonicotinoids pesticides were at the heart of a resolution brought forward by the Council President the intent of which was to protect honey-bees and other pollinators. Resolution calls for the City to stop using neonicotinoids on city property including dozens of buildings and landscaping and many acres of Water Department land. The action does not cover Spokane City Park land, which is governed by the Park Board. Is the science completely settled on a connection between neonicotinoids and bee colony collapse? No. But pollinators such as honey-bees are too important to our way of life not to employ the precautionary principle here. The City must hold itself to a higher standard. This action does not ban private use of neonicotinoids, it just says the City is not convinced of their safety to pollinators, and will use safer, more natural alternatives for the time being. When new chemicals are introduced in America the bar for safety is generally set very low. Chemicals usually have to be proven unsafe after they have been deployed and not before. Such seems to be the case here. The Council voted 5-2 to approve the action with Councilmembers Fagan and Allen voting against. Read the rest of this entry »