Four years? Eight?
It turns out that Spokane Valley City Council members, on the whole, are perfectly content to stay in office as long as voters will have them.
At Tuesday’s council workshop, members learned that they could pass an ordinance that would limit their terms in office. However, the majority of the council – of which five members are up for election this year – made no indication it wanted to go in that direction.
“I understand there’s no appetite for it, so I’m not going to push any further.” said Council Member Sam Wood, who brought up the issue for discussion. “But I still think it’s a good idea. You’re supposed to serve the community (for a period of time) before going back to the farm. You’re not supposed to make a career of it.”
Former 5th District Rep. George Nethercutt famously made term limits an issue in 1994 when he challenged – and defeated – former Speaker of the House and 30-year incumbent Tom Foley.
Nethercutt then found himself in hot water with term-limit supporters after he changed his mind on only serving three terms and ran again in 2000. He handily won that year and in 2002 but was defeated when he sought Sen. Patty Murray’s Senate seat in 2004.
The idea of term limits in the city of Spokane Valley has been floated from time to time, and the issue was brought up at a recent council candidate debate. A two-term limit is currently in effect for city of Spokane council members, and the cities of Edgewood, Port Angeles and Tacoma also have similar laws.
The council also will not be moving forward on a proposal to designate the parking lot of the Spokane Valley Police precinct building on Sprague Avenue as a “safe exchange” location for buyers and sellers who connected via Craigslist or newspaper classifieds.
City Attorney Cary Driskell told the council that to publicly endorse such a location – even though it is informally used for such purposes on occasion -- would give the community a false sense of security, as the premises are not staffed or monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We don’t want to encourage any kind false expectation,” he said.