North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club Bulletin
October 24, 2022
            Oct. 31: Noon lunch, at the Bark. Rotary District 5080 Gov. Linda Kay Bauer.
            Nov. 7: Noon lunch at the Bark. Speaker: Thomas Squires, Spokane Veterans Court.
            Nov. 14: Noon lunch at the Bark. Speaker: Tom Jarrad, USERRA claims.
Happy Bucks: (None this week to expand candidate meeting time.)
            Welcome to the club. The board unanimously approved the membership of Megan West of the local Boy Scouts of America chapter, President Michelle Fossum announced.
            Cruising: Club members and spouses are invited to a Sunday, Nov. 20 cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene.  Details to follow.
Differences define County District 1 candidates
                                                                                                                                          For Kim Plese and Chris Jordan it will be a new role in a new office.
            Both are newcomers to political positions and the Spokane County Commission will now operate with five members elected fully by new districts.  Formerly the county had three commissioners elected by districts in primary races,but elected countywide in general elections.
            The candidates shared their ideas in a lively 45-minute debate at the club luncheon Oct. 24, with a packed conference room of 18 attending.
            Plese, 60, a Republican, stressed her 32 years in business operating a printing shop.  She said she had 3,600 accounts over the years and political affiliation did not matter.
            Jordan, 33, a Democrat, who has worked for seven years with the Washington State Attorney General’s office in Spokane, said “a career in public service is not a negative.”
            Both candidates were born and raised in Spokane.  Though neither candidate has run for political office, each has long lists of community service organizations.
            Plese said she has been endorsed by all three current county commissioners.
            Jordan said for 15 years the commission has had only Republicans and it is time for “a mix of representation.”
            The new District 1 boundaries extend from the Whitworth area through central Spokane to south 29th, mostly west of Division.  
            Asked how the county should spend from the $6.4 million from the federal rescue fund, Jordan cited affordable housing, small business needs, children services and childcare.
            Plese said business needs, seniors and housing, but not childcare.  “The state legislature sets mandates on childcare, not the county,” she said.  “Crime is my biggest priority,” she added.
            The candidates were asked whether Spokane needs to build a new jail, something recommended by both county sheriff candidates at the club’s Oct. 3 debate.
            Plese said, “The jail is 40 years old.  It is unsafe and has had deaths in jail.  It (a new jail) will be expensive, but it needs to get in front of the voters.”  She added that costs for break-ins often reach $1,000 in deductible expenses, which also is expensive.
            Jordan said, “crime is a critical issue.”  He said since at least 60 percent of crime involves mental health and drug issues, some other measures should be utilized more.
            “I don’t support a new jail at this time,” he said, adding, “If 1 percent of the crime involves 60 percent of repeating criminals, we need to get those repetitive people in the jail.” 
            The candidates also were asked about dealing with homelessness.
            Jordan said, “As a person of faith, I think we need some compassion.  Spokane is a kind and compassionate city and we need to work on a bipartisan basis to deal with the homeless
            He cited his work with the state Homeless Children Act, saying “we got results.”  He mentioned programs in Houston, “where homelessness dropped 60 percent when they took the politics out.”
            Plese said, “I have a totally different approach (to homelessness).”  She said she has talked with numerous business operators, including many near Camp Hope in east Spokane.
            She said, “Ozzie (Sheriff Knezovich) back-stabbed the mayor.  It’s all about politics.”
pedophiles, and a 5-year-old child was injured.  And this is on state land.”
            Asked whether police have been “holding back” on responding to property crimes, Plese mentioned a situation where 8 or 9 alleged criminals were in line to put in jail, but with crowding they were given a letter to return later.
            She also mentioned incidences of rampant shoplifting at stores where guards were not allowed to intervene.  “With the jail full, the police are doing the best they can,” she said.
            Jordan said he does not support defunding the police.  He said that on a ride-along the “police were professional, and I was impressed.”  He said, “we need to repair trust.”
            In concluding remarks, Plese said “the county has 2,100 employees and there are good times and bad.  I won’t spend money that we don’t have.”
            Jordan cited his career working at the University of Washington and the Attorney General’s office “which included a number of accountability measures.”  After 15 years of Republican control, he said “we need new perspectives on the county commission.”

             Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink