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Lori Kinnear confirmed as first woman to serve as Spokane City Council president

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(The Center Square) – The Spokane City Council confirmed Lori Kinnear as Council President on Monday, making her the first woman in the city’s history to hold the position.

The seat was vacated by former Council President Breean Beggs, who was recently appointed to the Spokane County Superior Court by Gov. Jay Inslee.

The mood during the legislative session was one of hopeful cooperation, and each council member took time to compliment their soon-to-be council president.

“I think that we have all worked really well together. It’s nice to see that we’re moving forward and you’re willing to do this job because sometimes it’s a little thankless. Hopefully, the community will see as we take these votes tonight that we may differ politically, but we really try hard to work together,” said Council Member Karen Stratton.

Just prior to the vote, Kinnear took her chance to comment on her upcoming appointment.

“Somebody said, ‘We should have an election to do this,’ and indeed we are. We’re in the midst of an election right now,” she said minutes before the 6-0 vote that confirmed her as council president.

The next package of business before the council also included the appointment of Council Member Michael Cathcart as president pro tem, as well as the re-shuffling of committee seats caused by Beggs’ departure.

“There are dozens of boards and commissions that we are required to serve on. So for folks that think Mondays are our only meeting, oh contraire,” said Kinnear before noting that each council member serves on over a dozen committees.

Kinnear has opted not to seek re-election this fall.

“I began my work in the Council office in 2008 as a legislative assistant,” said Council President Kinnear in a statement after her confirmation. “I’ve had the privilege to be a part of the Council office since then. I am honored to serve the council in this role until the current election for council president is certified this November.”

The new council president pro tem also issued a statement post-appointment.

“The path ahead represents an exciting new phase for our community, demonstrating vast opportunities for collaboration and progress. I’m incredibly grateful for the support from such a diverse group of fellow Council Members. This is a hard-working group and one I am proud to serve as pro tem,” said Cathcart.

Kinnear’s confirmation leaves a vacant seat on the city council for District 2, Position 1.

This seat will be filled by council appointment, which will take place on Aug. 28.

“Applications for the vacant position will open on Tuesday, Jul. 18, 2023, and the deadline to submit applications will be 5:00 P.M. on Friday, Aug. 4, 2023. Interested parties can find applications and submission instructions on the city’s webpage beginning July 18,” according to the news release accompanying the confirmation.

This seat will be filled by council appointment, which will take place on Aug. 28. More information is available on the city’s website.

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