SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane City Council took action Monday to tighten up the process of appointing employees.
They approved an ordinance that gives the mayor a deadline when seeking council confirmation. Council leader said this ordinance sets up a timeline and some frame work for mayoral appointments for permanent or interim directors. They said this will clarify the city’s charter and keep them from being excluded from the process. City Council said the appointment of police chief Craig Meidl shows there is a clear need for guidelines.
"It's nothing but a reasonable solution to something that we've seen come forward," said Council President Ben Stuckart.
On August 1, Mayor David Condon said he would not seek immediate confirmation from council when appointing Meidl. Under this new ordinance, the mayor would have to go before council for approval within 30 days of a permanent appointment and within 180 days of an interim appointment.
"It's reasonable to say that if you appoint somebody, to be compliant with the charter, you come to council so that you don't show up at a press conference and say, 'Well, I'm going to ignore our council, ignore the municipal code and ignore the city charter,’" said Stuckart.
Stuckart said Meidl's appointment is a good example of why the previous wording of the City's charter failed to keep council involved in the process. Council members said they understand it could take some time to fill certain positions within the city so the 180 day timeline for interim appointments will be extended so long as they are given an update before the deadline.
City Council has not confirmed the newly appointed police chief. Meidl will go through an interview process with a new list of candidates at a later date.
(© 2016 KREM)