#60: Spokane, WA 10/17/16

I can’t believe I am saying this.

This week’s Spokane city council meeting was b

Oh, god, I almost hurled. Okay, let’s try it again: the Spokane city council meeting was bo

Sorry. Bor

BORING. There, I did it.

Mind you, I never find council meetings boring. But for the love of Pete, just check out what was on the docket.

“The Friends of the Library has been a treasured supporter of the Spokane Public Library since 1973, and the Spokane Public Library is deeply grateful for their support,” read librarianly Council Member Karen Stratton.

Council Member Karen Stratton was runner up in the Librarian Lookalike Contest.

Terrific. Council Member Mike Fagan, you chaired the Public Safety Committee today?

“You bet. There was a wonderful article in The Spokesman regarding how the fire department is looking to include not only men but women and minorities,” he said.

Again, terrific. Is anything WRONG in this city? You, sir! Public commenter in the bad-to-the-bone leather jacket! Have you got something stuck in your craw?

“I started on a project that–I didn’t know what I was doing–to build my garage in [my wife’s] garden,” he led in while gripping the podium. “TOTAL compliments to your inspectors and the Planning Department! They’ve been wonderful in helping me–not knowing what I’m doing.”

“Did I mention I don’t know what I’m doing?”

Well, that about does it, folks. We’ve got five minutes left–all for a basic emergency ordinance to refinance some park bonds.

“This is just your basic refinance of some park bonds,” explained Council President Ben Stuckart, “so we can pay them off and it’ll get us a lower interest rate. We have one person signed up for public testimony.”

A blonde-haired woman with a long skirt and sandals breezed up to the podium. I wonder which city department she’ll compliment this time.

“I’m not a whole lot familiar with bonds, but it seems to me it’s a lot like payday loans. It’s for like, you know, rich politicians in the city,” she grumbled, waving her arms in the general direction of the council members. “It’s hypocritical that you guys–the council doesn’t have any regulations like that and–

Council President Stuckart bristled at this suggestion. “No. This is part of the park bond that the citizens voted over 70 percent for,” he interjected during her criticisms. “I’ll let you have more time, but it’s NOT something we’re just doing without a vote of the citizens.”

Note to public commenters: stop. wearing. black.

The woman, unfazed, parried to a different line of attack. “But it’s not an emergency. It should be just like the poor man. If you can’t go out and borrow five different payday loans or whatever, why do you get to call a park bond an emergency?”

“You want me to describe it to you?” Stuckart again interjected. This time, she blazed ahead.

“REAL emergency is creating homeless people! Tearing down neighborhoods and not letting them get a payday loan! That’s my comment.”

As she walked away, President Stuckart could not resist one more retort. “It’s called an EMERGENCY ordinance because it requires five votes instead of four,” he called.

But she was already gone.

Final thoughts: I have to admit, the meeting turned out to be electrifying after all. I’m suddenly interested in bonds and payday loans! 10 out of 10 stars to both.