Slide Show Of Jon Snyder

Upcoming events 1/16/2015 through 1/23/2015

Dick DeMarsico, World Telegram staff photographer - Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c26559

Dick DeMarsico, World Telegram staff photographer – Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c26559

On Monday, January 19 folks from all over the city will be coming together at the Spokane Convention Center (334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd) to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Unity Rally and March will start at 10am, with the reading of King’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech” and a resource fair to follow. For more information, see here.

(City Hall will be closed on January 19 in observance of MLK Jr. Day, so there will be no council meeting that Monday)

Tuesday, January 20 at 1:30pm – Public Safety Committee – Council Briefing Center in the lower level of City Hall (808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd)
Tuesday, January 20 at 6:30pm – East Central Neighborhood Council – East Central Community Center (500 South Stone)
Tuesday, January 20 at 7pm – Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council – Southside Community & Senior Center (3151 E. 27th Ave)
Thursday, January 22 at 3:30pm – Council Study Session – Council Briefing Center.

Councilman Snyder testifies in Olympia on SB 5002

This morning, Councilman Snyder was in Olympia and testified in support of Senate Bill 5002, concerning traffic infractions for marijuana, marijuana-based substances, or marijuana-infused substances. The bill would make it a traffic infraction to have an open container of marijuana (or products containing marijuana) in areas normally occupied by drivers or passangers. We have a similar law for alcohol in Washington State.

Tuesday AM Recap 1/13/15: Form Based Codes & Vehicle Interference

Councilmember Snyder tours the location of the Spokane Central Service Center.

Councilmember Snyder tours the location of the Spokane Central Service Center.

Three big meetings in a row. Last night over 60 people testified about the Vehicle Interference Ordinance. This item was brought forward in regards to Planned Parenthood and concerns they have about protesters blocking the driveway to their organization. Turns out we have a gray area in our local laws about whether it is legal or not to block business driveways. Last night we fixed that by adding 11 new words to city code: “or in a driveway located in the public right-of-way.” These words are content neutral. If you are blocking a fast-food restaurant, a gun shop, or a business using union replacement workers to break a strike you would be subject to these same provisions. You can’t simply block access to a business organization you don’t like—but you can feel free to protest on the sidewalk. Pretty simple. After almost three hours of testimony on both sides this action passed 6-1 with Councilmember Fagan dissenting. Mr. Fagan compared the new code to “Naziism,” said civil rights were being trampled and questioned another Councilmember’s Christianity for supported the ordinance. Really? Thank you to Councilmember Mumm for bringing this forward.

After two years of work the City’s first form-based codes were finally passed last night. The new overlay zone for the Logan Neighborhood now allows buildings to be classified by look and not just use. This is an innovative approach being used around the country to allow neighborhoods to mold their individual character instead of having a one-size-fits-all template in use for the entire City. Thanks to staff, neighbors, and property owners who all helped make this happen. Thanks also to Gonzaga University, who waited over four hours to testify in support. A special acknowledgement is due for the recently departed Jeannette Harras. Her strong support for the neighborhood and the form based codes plan will certainly be missed. Thanks to Councilmember Waldref for working on this.

The Council passed a new requirement for the City’s Planning Director to have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to planning and also to be AICP certified. Councilmembers Allan and Fagan dissented saying asking for this level of qualification was unnecessary.

All other actions last night were unanimous, including: an emergency budget ordinance for accounting, and emergency ordinance related to recently approved bonds, approving new Council committee assignments, adopting the updated Commute Trip Reduction Plan, approving a application a VOA Housing First Project, a slight change to a past street vacation, an updated ethics code with new whistle blower protections, a new ordinance to help address prostitution in the East Sprague area, and housekeeping changes to our animal control ordinance.

The last item we voted on was a action requesting a street vacation on two blocks of North Pearl near Gonzaga University. This would have negatively impacted connectivity in the area and was unanimously turned down. You don’t see that too often.

No meeting next because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance. Have a great week.

STA sees record ridership in 2014

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According to data from Spokane Transit Authority, the agency reported 11.3 million passenger trips in 2014; higher than the previous record of 11.2 million in 2009. In all, STA estimates that they drove passangers a total of 48 million miles last year. To read more about their increase in ridership and an upcoming ballot initiative to preserve and expand existing service, click here.

Upcoming events 1/9/15 through 1/16/15

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To support ending human trafficking, join the local community for a candlelight vigil and powerful art display for Lutheran Community Services Northwest’s annual awareness campaign, which this year features theater, dance and visual art elements from Partners Through Art on Sunday, January 11 from 3-4pm at River Park Square. For more information, call 343-5091.

Monday, January 12 at 1:30pm – Public Works Committee – Council Briefing Center in the lower level of City Hall (808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd).
Monday, January 12 at 6pm – Council Legislative Session – Council Chambers in the lower level of City Hall.
Wednesday, January 14 at 7pm – Peaceful Valley Neighborhood Council – Peaceful Valley Community Center, 214 N Cedar.
Wednesday, January 14 at 7pm – Southgate Neighborhood Council – ESD 101, Conference Center, 4202 S. Regal St.
Thursday, January 15 at 3:30pm – Council Study Session – Council Briefing Center.

Councilman Snyder talks about the impact of his education at Lewis & Clark High School

Spokane Public Schools just posted a video on Youtube in which Councilman Snyder shares his experience of going to Lewis & Clark, and how it expanded his horizons and ignited his passion for politics. He also shares why Spokane is such a great place to live. Check out the video above for more.

Tuesday AM Recap 1/6/15: School Levy and Initiative Change

There was a little commotion at the meeting last night. You can read about it here. I want to commend Council President for his leadership in setting a high bar for decorum at the Council and for allowing us to continue the meeting after it was disrupted.

At yesterday’s council meeting, there were three major votes that took place: We voted 6 to 1 (Fagan voting against) to support the Spokane Public School bond and levy in February; we voted 6 to 1 (Fagan voting against) to change our municipal code so that people who bring city initiatives or referendums forward must have a Spokane mailing address and at least one officer residing in the City of Spokane; and finally, we adopted the City of Spokane’ 2015 Federal Legislative agenda with a vote of 6 to 1 (with Fagan voting against). You can see the full federal legislative agenda here.

Last night, several items that came before council passed unanimously. These items included a sole source contract for software that the city utilizes, a sole source contract for administering the Police Department’s Extra Duty and a resolution accepting portions of the Spokane County Hazard Mitigation Plan Update.

We also considered a resolution to put an initiative to the ballot that would repeal the recently passed ordinance relating to the use of immigration status information. In the history of council, we have never voted to put an initiative straight to the ballot without going through the signature gathering process. This is why I voted against the resolution, and the two subsequent motions made by Councilmember Fagan (and supported by Councilmember Allen).I am happy to have this initiative go through the normal democratic process that all initiatives here at the City complete.

Tuesday AM Recap 12/16/14: Apprenticeship Ordinance & School Zone Cameras

Members of the Spokane Alliance packed the chambers yesterday to voice their support of the Quality Jobs Ordinances

Members of the Spokane Alliance packed the chambers yesterday to voice their support of the Quality Jobs Ordinances

Sometimes everyone agrees on the problems even if they don’t agree on the solution. That was case last night with Apprenticeship ordinance last night. Both contractors and building trades agree that we are facing a dire shortage of skilled construction workers. The contractors we heard from last night generally seem to think this problem can solve itself. Building trades disagree and are advocating for new requirements for large City public projects to require 15% of the work to be done by apprentices in order to generate new skilled workers. We heard good points on both sides last night but I felt that the building trades had the stronger argument: apprenticeships are part of the solution not part of the problem. This new ordinance will benefit our workforce and our community. Too often I’ve heard that measures that somehow benefit our workforce (apprenticeships, higher minimum wage, paid sick leave) will cost our economy. I reject that storyline. I look around and see cities that have similar policies to what we have adopted and their economies are doing well. Dire predictions have not materialized. After one of the longest nights of testimony this year—mostly in favor—the ordinance passed 5-2 with Councilmembers Allen and Fagan voting against. You can read more about the ordinance from the Council President’s presentation here. Read the rest of this entry »

Upcoming events 12/12/14 through 12/19/14

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Computers are ubiquitous in our lives today, but low cost opportunities to learn more than just basic computer skills are often lacking. Enter Hour Of Code. This worldwide event seeks to educate all people about computer coding, so they can develop a deeper knowledge of what is possible with this great technology. Tomorrow, December 13 from 2-3pm at the Downtown Spokane Library (906 W. Main) there will be three workshops offered (beginner, intermediate and advanced) for people to participate in. The event is free, and you can either pre-register to use a computer at the library or bring your own. For more information, visit inkspokane.org.

Monday, December 15 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, December 15 at 1:30pm – Public Safety Committee – Council Briefing Center.
Monday, December 15 at 6pm – Council Legislative Session – Council Chambers in the lower level of City Hall.
Tuesday, December 16 at 6pm – Bicycle Advisory Board – Council Briefing Center.
Tuesday, December 16 at 6:30pm – East Central Neighborhood Council – East Central Community Center, 500 South Stone Street.
Thursday, December 18 at 1:30pm – Spokane Transit Authority Board meeting – STA Boardroom, 1229 W. Boone Ave.
Thursday, December 18 at 3:30pm – Council Study Session – Council Briefing Center.

Tuesday 12/9/14 Council Recap: Voter Registration Information and Exempt Position Requirements

Councilmembers Snyder and Waldref join other staff in celebrating the one year anniversary of the Community Court.

Councilmembers Snyder and Waldref join other staff in celebrating the one year anniversary of the Community Court.

On last night’s agenda, four items passed unanimously. The first item was to set a hearing for the vacation of Pearl Street from Sharp to Sinto and from Sinto to Mission. The second item was a change to the municipal code regarding letters of credit in public/private partnership agreements. The third item was an ordinance that tweaked some minor language in our municipal code related to Solid Waste Collection. The Regional Solid Waste System was dissolved on November 17th when the city finalized the purchase of the Waste-to-Energy plant from the county. The final item was an ordinance which mandates that voter registration information be included on utility bills in the City of Spokane and on the city’ website. Read the rest of this entry »