The “Progressive” Spokane City Council did the right thing in overriding Mayor Condon’s veto, but the question is will they stick to their guns and battle it out with the “Conservative”Spokane County Commissioners French and Kuney, big backers of the guy who is controlling the background on the issue Ozzie Knezovich or will our tax dollars continue to go down yet another rabbit hole?
“In a letter accompanying his veto, he acknowledged that the new center has not yet released financial information, but said he anticipates integrating emergency communications with the county would save money, improve call capacity and the data gathered through Crime Check.”
Actually, during the meeting Council President Stuckart stated that Condon’s letter contained lies and he backed that up with questions to other CC members, but perhaps Stuckart has forgotten that the City Ethics Commission has ruled that it is okay for the Mayor to lie to the City Council and the Public. Unless statements by the Mayor, or for that matter the CC, are under oath they can lie all they want without having to worry about any repercussions…so not a big deal!
“He called the lack of public financial information and data“perplexing” and asked the mayor to slow down the integration process to make sure it makes sense.”
“perplexing”… I’m not sure that is the right term! For well over 3 years I’ve been trying to get financial information on where our tax dollars have been going with no luck, even the Spokane County Treasure tried to get financial information from this group but was never provided with it. The important thing to remember is that the 911 tax is a tax on the sale of goods unlike the E911 tax from 2003, so it affects everyone including struggling low-income folks. The taxpayers voted in favor of the 911 tax in 2008 and voted to renew it in April of 2017, so it has been 10 years Spokane County has been collecting the tax with ZERO financial accountability.
If the CC is smart, I know that is a big IF, they will require a State Audit of SPOCOM/SRECS before they move any further. I for one would like to know among other things if 911 tax money was spent to re-roof the Spokane County Jail instead of what it was supposed to be used for. For folks that aren’t aware this group’s plan along with the County Commissioners is to create yet another local government entity known as “SPOKANE INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS CENTER PUBLIC AUTHORITY” with seven of the ten-member voting Board made up of County not City folks.
You might notice that the plan linked above has the Spokane County Treasurer administering a special fund designated ”Operating fund of SPOCOM” and the treasurer shall be responsible for handling SPOCOM’s accounts and finances. But new Spokane County Treasure Michael Baumgartner doesn’t have to worry because the new government entity will indemnify him from any mistakes he might make by filing a fidelity bond in an amount determined, which brings to mind just exactly how much is the insurance going to cost for this big move surely the “SPOKANE INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS CENTER PUBLIC AUTHORITY” will have to have a big insurance policy to go along with all the other insurance policies we pay for with all the various entities involved in this mess.
“Commissioners Al French and Mary Kuney voted last year to transfer $4.5 million which could have been used for road construction to the county’s general fund to cover operating expenses. Commissioner Josh Kerns opposed the decision. He said there was room for cuts in other areas.”
It looks like Commissioner Kerns is actually the only “Conservative”
on the BoCC who has a concern for slowing the money grab?
So, what do many Cops and Firefighters think about all this?
Many look at this as an end run to establish the Condon Metro Police/Fire Concept he hired Frank Straub to work on… but that didn’t work out did it? Please… Mr. Mayor if your plan works…NOT your friend Jim McDevitt again…please!!!
“Many within the Spokane Police Department long suspected that Straub would be Condon’s choice. Condon called Straub earlier this year to ask him to apply for the police position as he explored that city’s metro policing model as a potential option for Spokane.”
“Mayor Condon said Tuesday he stood by his position the selection of Straub as chief was not pre-determined, and that with an”unacceptable” crime rate the police department needed to change and do things differently than they used to, which required a leader that had a solid understanding of metro policing models and experience in implementing cutting-edge policing techniques and approaches.”
“Frank Straub was recruited by Mayor Condon for his experience with metro policing, but Straub also conceded that sometimes mistakes are made in fast-paced police work and that sometimes departments have to offer apologies.”
Aside from the concern expressed to me by First Responders,people other than First Responders who have followed the Condon plan should also be concerned, especially with all the upcoming political opportunities,including a spot on the BoCC, that are available to Mayor Condon when his term ends.