Mayor Condon Finishes First Year, Looks Ahead

By Paige Browning

Mayor David Condon took office just over one year ago.  February 22 at Noon he gave his public state of the city address, outlining his vision for the next three years.

Mayor David Condon in his City Hall office. By Paige Browning.
Photo: Mayor David Condon in his City Hall office. By Paige Browning.

Out of the gate in 2012, the Mayor set forth a 100-day action plan.

Condon: “Number one was public safety, that that was squarely in our camp.”
Highlights in this area included the hiring of police Chief Frank Straub and closure of the Otto Zehm case.
Condon also speaks of benefits his no-growth 2013 budget.
Condon: “It was the first year that we really had the public involved more than ever, releasing a budget in August. First year that we’ve had performance measures, so to see how we spend the money, what we’re getting for it.”
Condon is also proud of infrastructure changes like the move to a single-stream recycling system for the city, and the opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

Mayor David Condon chats on the couch in his office. By Paige Browning.
Photo: Mayor David Condon chats on the couch in his office. By Paige Browning.

There have been challenges in his first year, too, like a rise in Spokane’s homicide rate to fourteen in 2012, up from four in 2011 and seven the year before that.  The city was challenged when the presence of loiterners downtown threatened local businesses on Main Avenue.  And for much of Spokane, the recession is not over.
Condon: “You know and one cool thing about Spokane is we are small enough that we can change.  You know you have to be flexible and agile enough."

The mayor asserts that he wants to make Spokane the city of choice for the Northwest, which includes lofty goals like making it the safest city of its size, and the fastest growing job market in the Inland Northwest.  In his vision for 2020, Condon also stresses the importance of technology and other outreach from City Hall to citizens.
Condon: “I talked a lot about millenials, 18-35 year olds, they want to engage, they want to live in a city where they feel like they’re part of the government.  And how are they doing that?  They really are doing that over Facebook, they really are, they may say I like living in the city of Spokane because I can go to my MySpokane app and sign up for a rec class, or I can report a pot hole.”

While the first year was highlighted by smoothing out city operations, this year he’ll focus on younger residents.  In 2012 he focused on building police department trust, and moving forward the department is assessing their use of crime technology. To hear more about the mayor’s plans, you can go to Spokane-city-dot-org and watch his state of the state speech under the city cable five link.
Copyright 2013 Spokane Public Radio 
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