Recap of the November E-G Neighborhood Council Meeting

Recap of the November E-G Neighborhood Council Meeting

Here’s a recap of the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council meeting that took place on Wednesday, November 12. Once they’ve been approved, you can download the full minutes from this page.

The first speaker was Tim Schwering, the Director of Strategic Initiatives in charge of civilian oversight for the Spokane Police Department. A sample body camera was passed through the room. He noted a study of camera use in Rialto, CA, which showed a 59% decrease in the use of force and an 87.5% decrease in complaints.

Three sample body camera videos of a single interaction were shown for a demonstration: one from each of two officers involved in handcuffing a man wanted for felony, and a third camera from a distance. The attendees shared their opinions of the videos.

Tim reported that the SPD will introduce 220 body cameras, which will be recharged after each shift, and the data will be uploaded to at the same time. Any time a video is reviewed, a record is kept of the time and date of the review. There is an average of 3GB per officer per shift. Between the equipment and record specialists, the estimated cost to Spokane is around $350,000 a year, which would come from the general fund.

Next Karl Otterstrom of the Spokane Transit Authority spoke about High Performance Transit routes. STA predicts a 30% increase in ridership on these routes and will extend its hours of operation accordingly. In the fall of 2015, improvements to the Monroe/Regal corridor would be in the first phase. A sales tax increase of 3/10 of one percent would be needed for this improvement. (For a sample of real-time schedule prediction, visit for Puget Sound.)

Rick Harris from the West Central Community Center explained the center’s CDBG funding request to replace some of its carpet with tiles that can be individually replaced. Between 42 and 46% of those who are using the WCCC are from the Emerson-Garfield neighborhood. The total carpeting replacement would cost around $11,000; approximately one-third of that would ideally come from Emerson-Garfield.

A representative of the Lands Council (also on behalf of Fulcrum Institute) requested a $5,000 CDBG contribution from the neighborhood towards a $30,000 greenhouse that would be used for training former inmates at the new facility on N. Ash. Two other neighborhoods have been asked for the same amount and have approved the request. There are 71 people currently in training, so the contribution would be approximately $70 per person. This investment would have a long-term return, as there is a 15-year lease on the property.

The initial proposal from the E-G CDBG funding advisory committee was $20,000 for N. Monroe revitalization, $30,000 for sidewalk installation and repair, and $4254.79 for the WCCC. A motion was made to change the allocation. There was a 95% vote in favor of allocating $25,572.79 to the sidewalk budget, $5,000 to the Fulcrum greenhouse, $20,000 to a N. Monroe bus shelter, and $3,682 to the WCCC for carpeting.

There was a unanimous approval among voting members for the expansion of E-G’s boundaries to include the land ceded by the Northwest Neighborhood Association.

Captain Tracy Ponto-Douglas of the SPD read a record of the crimes for this year compared to this time last year. Compared to last year, overall crimes are down approximately 8%.

Because the temperatures have fallen below freezing, the November 15 tree planting will be postponed until spring 2015 and will be a much larger weekend event.

The Parks and Recreation Department will be installing a new roof on the restrooms at Corbin Park. They are also planning to redo the tennis courts.

Starting January, Corbin Senior Activity Center will have five new board members.

Jay Cousins, E-G’s Community Assembly rep, summarized the CA’s discussion of short-term (less than 30-day) rentals and the City’s current position that licensing fees should be the same as the Davenport’s.

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