Council approves car seat patrols
Cheney police to receive reimbursement for costs from state Traffic Safety Commission
With four of the seven members on their way to Olympia to lobby legislators, and the mayor and some staff to follow, the Cheney City Council raced through a light agenda at its first meeting of the month Tuesday night.
The council approved a memorandum of understanding with the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission to reimburse Cheney for $3,500 in overtime costs for a child car seat emphasis patrol and education campaign. The campaign will take place March 1 through May 31, with high visibility patrols being conducted and officers handing out either warnings or citations to violators of Washington’s seat law – RCW 46.61.687. Cheney Police Chief John Hensley said they also plan to distribute educational materials at local middle and elementary schools as well as at parent information meetings.
Councilwoman Teresa Overhauser asked about resources for those receiving citations, with Hensley replying they will be put in touch with personnel who can help with the purchase of proper child car seats. Councilman John Taves asked about language in the MOU regarding citations “unless circumstances dictate otherwise.”
“Officers have the discretion between issuing a warning or an infraction,” Hensley said. “By and large we’ve found that warnings work just as well as infractions.”
In other business the council approved a revised version of the interlocal agreement it previously approved Jan. 22 with the Spokane Regional Transportation Council. Public Works Director Todd Ableman told the council that the changes mainly dealt with the issue of weighted voting, adding appointment or discharge of the council’s executive director as an action undertaken through weighted voting.
None of the changes affected Cheney’s seat on the council.
“Our interests are more to being at the table,” Mayor Tom Trulove said.
In information items the council heard from Light Department Director Joe Noland regarding the city’s procedures for keeping trees away from power lines, and from Community Development Director Brian Jennings about being one of 43 cities to receive an Environmental Protection Agency grant for funding parking studies.
Finally, Trulove issued a proclamation establishing Feb. 12 as Joey Cawyer Day in honor of the 23-year-old Cheney resident who recently lost his battle with cancer.
John McCallum can be reached at email@example.com.