The Spokane City Council sent a clear message to the police guild Monday by unanimously rejecting a tentative contract with the police department.
The unanimous vote happened during a session Monday afternoon, before the evening meeting.
The agreement, which was negotiated by Mayor David Condon, called for an 8% pay raise over the next eight years and new body cameras for officers. However the police guild refused to give the Ombudsman independent investigative powers over the department, which is why the council voted no.
Mayor Condon was obviously upset by the decision, speaking to members of the media within hours of the decision.
"What we were doing here in the city of Spokane is farther forward than anyone in the state of Washington. Many point to Boise or many point to Seattle but the reality is, in this agreement, we had the implementation of Ombudsman commission. We were now in the process of who sits on that commission but literally had negotiated separating that oversight away from the mayor and the police chief but to a citizen appointed commission," he said.
The council points to an amendment approved last February by nearly 70% of voters that calls for independent ombudsman authority.
Contract negotiations now go back to the bargaining table and public hearings that had been scheduled for the contract are cancelled.