Tuesday AM Recap 4/22/14: Advisory Vote & Prosecutor Letter
In afternoon session yesterday I moved to defer for a year Councilmembers and Allen and Salvatori’s advisory votes on whether councilmembers should be part time jobs or increased to full time. Their intention was to put it on the November ballot. I moved to defer because the November ballot is an important one. It will likely have ballot measures regarding both parks and streets. Adding two advisory votes is an unneccessary distraction from what the citizens need us to focus on right now. I don’t need an advisory vote to tell me how many hours to put in on this job. If other Councilmembers are looking to be validated for only working part time hours they will need to find that validation somewhere other than the November ballot. I will continue to work hard to represent the citizens of Spokane as best I can. My motion to defer passed 4-3 with Councilmembers Waldref, Mumm, and Council President Stuckart all voting in favor.
The Council also approved a letter I wrote to the County Prosecutor requesting more timely reviews of incidents where the Spokane Police Department uses deadly force. Right now it can take as long as 18-months for the prosecutor’s office to complete a review on whether an officer will face any criminal charges for using deadly force. While we need to make sure that all due care is taken in these reviews, when they last over a year it begins to have a negative impact on our officers, who wait in limbo, and our citizens, who are looking for facts regarding an officer-involved incident. The Spokane Police Department cannot complete its internal review of deadly force until the prosecutor has finished its work. We are not questioning the quality of that work, just the timing. The City has made a commitment to continuous improvement of our police department and more timely prosecutor review will help us honor that commitment. This passed unanimously.
Also passing unanimously last night were our revised water use efficiency goals and the appointment of Mike Taylor as City engineer and Chuck Conklin as Waste to Energy Facilities Director.