Slide Show Of Jon Snyder

Tuesday AM Council Recap: Medical Marijuana Emergency Ordinance & Street Vacations

At last night’s council meeting we voted 6-0 (with Councilmember Stratton abstaining) on an emergency ordinance regarding city regulations of medical marijuana collective gardens. The ordinance repeals city regulations for medical marijuana collective gardens on July 1, 2016. I brought this ordinance forward because the state recently passed a law that will repeal all state statutes relating to collective gardens on July 1, 2016, and bring medical marijuana under the I-502 system. Council voted 6 to 1 (Councilmember Fagan voting against) to establish a Gender and Race Pay Equity Task Force that will study the gender/race pay gap in the public and private sector and make recommendations based on that research.

Several votes last night were unanimous. We unanimously voted to support the establishment of the Hillyard Industrial Area Brownfield Opportunity Zone, to help with redevelopment of potentially polluted areas in the neighborhood. We also voted for a modification to the City of Spokane’s Retail Water Service Area to include land that Mead School District has the option to purchase for siting of a new school. Council voted to approve two vacations in their entirety: the vacation of an alley between 4th and 5th Ave between Washington and Bernard, and the vacation of a portion of Calispel Street and the alley bordered by Mission Ave and Washington Street. On the final street vacation for an alley between 2nd and 3rd Ave and a portion of Madison between 2nd and 3rd Ave, council approved the approved the vacation of the alley but deferred the vacation of Madison for a month due to concerns brought forward by neighboring businesses and residents. I oppose the vacation of Madison due to the potential loss of connectivity.

Upcoming events 5/15/15 through 5/22/15


With great weather we have been having, we couldn’t ask for a better time for Bike to Work Week; which begins next week on Monday, May 18. As part of Bike to Work Week, the City of Spokane is hosting the Commute of the Century. On Monday at 11:30am, a large group of bicycle riders, including Mayor Condon and WA State Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson, will be meeting in the South Perry District to go for a 5.8 mile ride along the South Hill. If you have the time to do it, you can pre-register here.

Monday, May 18 at 10am – Planning, Community and Economic Development Committee – Council Briefing Center in the lower level of City Hall (808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd).
Monday, May 18 at 1:30pm – Public Safety Committee – Council Briefing Center.
Monday, May 18 at 6pm – City Council Legislative Session – Council Chambers in the lower level of City Hall.
Tuesday, May 19 at 4pm – Earned Sick and Safe Leave Task Force Meeting – West Central Community Center (1603 North Belt Street).
Tuesday, May 19 at 6:30pm – East Central Neighborhood Council – East Central Community Center (500 South Stone Street).
Tuesday, May 19 at 7pm – Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council – Southside Community and Senior Center (3151 E. 27th Ave).
Thursday, May 21 at 1:30pm – Spokane Transit Authority Board Meeting – STA Offices (1230 W Boone Ave).
Thursday, May 21 at 3:30pm – City Council Study Session – Council Briefing Center.

Work on High Drive begins Monday

Construction on High Drive is set to begin Monday, May 18 from Bernard Street to Grand Boulevard.

The contractor intends to perform minor work starting May 18, with major work scheduled to start Wednesday, May 20. Once major work begins, High Drive will close between Bernard and Grand Boulevard with only local access allowed.

This is the second phase of work on High Drive. Phase I construction in 2014 extended from 29th Avenue to Bernard Street. The estimated $5 million project includes pavement reconstruction, Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) 24 storage facilities, storm sewer, swales and water main placement. Work also calls for six-foot sidewalks on the bluff side, a four foot planting strip on the bluff side, and a continuation of bike lanes on both sides of the street.

Weekly meetings with the contractor, which are open to the public, began Thursday, May 14 and occur every Thursday during construction. The meetings are held at 8 a.m. at Rocket Market (726 E. 43rd).

The project is being funded with Federal funds and various City funds, including the 10-Year Street Bond.

Work in the High Drive area this year will also include work on CSO 20 at High Drive and Hatch Road, which calls for construction of a storage facility for the CSO tank. The project will include road replacement from Grand to Scott Street, new crosswalks at Hatch Road, traffic calming, parking, bike lanes, a pedestrian island, and sidewalk.

Council Recap 5/12/15: Interim Ombudsman Resolution & Respect For All Neighborhoods

You know it’s a slow news night when this story leads a local news broadcast last night. For the record the Council has not taken a vote to ban any words from Council meetings. Part of the responsibilities of the Council President is to ensure decorum. Last week the Council President, at the request of Councilmember Stratton, asked that a citizen refrain from using the term “Hookerville” to refer to the East Central neighborhood. I support Council President Stuckart. This was a simple matter of respect. No neighborhood should have to listen to citizen call them derogatory names on City Cable 5. Read the rest of this entry »

Aging and Long Term Care of Eastern Washington Service Planning Survey

Every four years Aging and Long Term Care of Eastern Washington (ALTCEW) seeks community feedback to help determine how it will prioritize a portion of state and federally funded programs. Your feedback will help to better understand the community needs and how ALTCEW can better serve people in your area. Your feedback is anonymous. The survey link can be found here.

About ALTCEW: Aging and Long Term Care of Eastern Washington (ALTCEW) works with and through community organizations to administer a wide range of services for adults 60 and over and people with disabilities. Serving Ferry, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, and Whitman Counties in Washington State, the Agency and its programs are funded through a partnership of federal, state and local governments.

Council Recap 5/5/15: 2016 Budget Priorities and Earned Safe & Sick Leave Stakeholder Group

Most of the items on yesterday’s agenda were passed unanimously by the council. These items included an update to our water retail service area for Sundance Golf Course, setting a hearing before council on June 1st regarding a vacation of part of Wall Street, a resolution and two ordinances to hold a special election on August 4th for amendments to the Spokane City Charter regarding the Mayor’s salary and the municipal court. The last unanimous item was an ordinance that adds regulations for short term rentals in the City of Spokane.

Two items on last night’s agenda did not pass unanimously. The first was a resolution establishing a stakeholder group on Earned Sick and Safe Leave in the City of Spokane. It passed on a 5-2 vote, with Fagan and I voting against the resolution. I voted against it because an amendment was brought forward to add a member to the stakeholder group, which I felt was already balanced and diverse in perspectives and representation. Finally, we voted to pass a resolution outlining our 2016 budget priorities on a 6-1 vote, with Fagan voting against.

Tuesday Council Recap 4/28/15: TPP Resolution and Northeast Spokane Promise Zone

At last night’s Council meeting, only one item on our agenda did not pass unanimously. Councilmember Fagan brought forward a resolution opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). I put forward a motion to table the resolution indefinitely, and it passed on a 6-1 vote with Councilmember Fagan voting against. I believe voting for this resolution would have violated change to Council Rules made in 2013. This was a change that I did not support, but I feel it would be hypocritical to violate our statutes when I have voiced concerns about the other branches of City government not following City statutes. In addition we still do not have a completed a agreement to consider and I don’t like the precedent of coming out to oppose something we haven’t seen yet.

The Council unanimously voted to approve an ordinance that adds a Veteran Service representative to the Community, Housing and Human Services Board (CHHS), and approved funds for projects in the CHHS 2015-2020 Consolidated Plan (more information here). We also approved a resolution to support the continued development of “The Zone” project in Northeast Spokane, which will work to establish a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defined Promise Zone in that area to spur greater economic development.

Other items that were unanimously approved included a sole source contract to Casne Engineering for completion of the Riverside Park Water Reclamation facility Supervisory Control and Data System acquisition upgrade, an ordinance to amend the vacation Montgomery Avenue from Maple to Northwest Blvd and an ordinance making small amendments to our municipal code regarding the city imprest fund.

Cars Parked Along Bloomsday Route to be towed

Cars still parked along the Bloomsday route will be towed starting Tuesday. City Streets crews began cleaning the Bloomsday route Monday. Citizens are asked to remove their cars for street sweeping to occur.

No Parking Signs have been placed on Riverside on the north side of Street from Jefferson to Hemlock. On Tuesday, April 28, the south side of Riverside from Jefferson to Hemlock will be swept. For more information, see the weekly obstruction notices placed on the Spokane City website here.

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.