SPOKANE, Wash. — On New Year's Eve, when the clock hits midnight and 2019 becomes 2020, Spokane will enter into a new mayoral administration for the first time in eight years.
David Condon, the first mayor to be re-elected by Spokane voters in decades, will become a private citizen and longtime local TV anchor Nadine Woodward will become mayor.
The two are ideologically similar in many regards. Condon endorsed Woodward a few weeks before the election. Though, there have been areas of disagreement.
Regardless, Condon says his administration is already making concerted efforts to assure a smooth transition.
"People think the transition started on election day," Condon said in an interview with KREM. "No it didn't! For us, it started well into the summer."
While he hasn't spoken directly with Woodward yet, he intends to soon and notes that the administration began a 100-day transition plan long ago.
"I was not given that benefit of having that level of transition. And this is a big job. It's a $1.1 billion corporation, some two-thousand-plus employees," Condon said. "Guess what? At 12:01 on Dec. 31, the 911 calls continue, garbage needs to be picked up, folks' streetlights need to work. The operation needs to continue."
Condon says Woodward's first and most important step will be picking the right people.
"The administration is not one person. The administration is a team effort," he said.
It'll be those people the new mayor will have to lean on to face big challenges right away, especially since Woodward will take over in the middle of winter, the time during which homeless outreach becomes most critical.
"[There's] a bridge [via] the professional staff that are here that deliver on that every day," said Condon. "And so the mayor-elect will have her opportunity to put those teams together."
Woodward will also need to rely on "our partners that have been doing this for decades and not just here in Spokane," Condon said.
The outgoing mayor feels the current government has set the city on a good path, one he expects the next government will stay close to.
"The One Spokane Strategic Plan is a community strategic plan. Many people in this community were a part of that," he said. "I saw the mayor-elect's campaign talking about public safety. That's the first goal statement [of the plan], which is we want to be the safest city of our size."
In reflecting on the 2019 election season, Condon says all the candidates have done something good for the city.