by Inlander Staff Interesting Numbers -- We know, it's summertime and few of us want to think about politics right now, but we thought this was something you should hear. Strategic Research Associates of Spokane conducted a survey in May of 400 Spokane County residents 18 and older, and the results have just been released. Two questions caught our attention. The first was gauging Mayor John Powers' job approval. City and non-city residents were allowed to respond, and the results don't look so good for Spokane's first "strong" mayor. Only 14 percent approved of his performance, while 26.3 percent disapproved; nearly 60 percent were neutral or said they didn't know. Digging deeper, it appears that more men approve of the job he's doing, as do those making $75,000 a year or more. Residents outside the city don't appear to have skewed the numbers, as they were just a bit more neutral and less disapproving.
The other question looks at the chances Spokane could reverse course away from strong mayor and back to the city manager system. The date of that vote has not been finalized, but it will be held this fall. Only city residents (219 people) were asked which form of government they support most. Strong mayor scored 30.1 percent support, while the city manager form was supported by 43.8 percent. Somewhat surprisingly, only 26.1 percent were not sure or said they didn't know -- the group that will ultimately decide the system's fate. Those who supported strong mayor most were people making more than $75,000 per year with college degrees. Those supporting city manager more included middle class people, making between $35,000 and $75,000 a year.
Of course the mayor's fate, along with the system of government, will be decided by those who choose to vote come election day. The margin of errror in this survey is +/-- 4.9 percent.
Brewster Goes to Idaho -- Spokane is no longer big enough for local developer Rob Brewster. He's expanding the boundaries of his empire as he begins a new project in Spirit Lake, Idaho. Brewster's seemingly endless energy for restorations (the Holley Mason Building) and new business development (Kafka Coffee in Cheney and the Catacombs downtown) will now be funneled into a mixed-use property in Spirit Lake's historic downtown.
The half-million-dollar project will include a 40-seat restaurant, six loft apartments and a 1,750-square-foot antique store. Located downtown, the project is expected to be completed by September. It will provide full-time employment for at least eight people.
No news on when Brewster plans to expand into Oregon.