Ex-TV newsman eyes mayor’s job
Retired Spokane newscaster Ronald H. Bair said Monday he is considering running for Spokane mayor.
Bair, 47, who was news director at KXLY-TV 13 years, retired May 1. His career in broadcasting spanned 30 years, beginning with a radio station in Burbank, Calif.
A native of Los Angeles, Bair also worked for NBC and CBS in his hometown before moving to Spokane.
He is president of Ron Bair Tours in Spokane, a firm run by himself and his wife Lois. The Bairs reside at W624 Fifteenth.
Bair said he decided about a week ago to consider entertaining the mayoral race after reviewing the list of announced and possible candidates. Thomas C. Garrett, a community relations director at Washington Trust Bank, is the only announced candidate.
But Councilwoman Margaret J. Leonard and Councilman Wayne E. Guthrie both are considering entering the race. Mayor David H. Rodgers has announced he will not seek re-election.
“It’s just the same old people with different faces,” said Bair of the list of candidates.
Since more people still might join the race, Bair said he will delay his final decision on whether to file until mid-July. Filing for the mayor’s position will open July 25 and continue through July 29.
If he officially should enter the race, Bair said he would stress “opening up city government to the people” in his campaign.
He said he would not care how long the council has to sit in session on Monday nights as long as all people receive chances to voice their opinions to their elected representatives.
Bair also promised an “open door” as far as the press is concerned in covering city government. He said it appears some city officials are afraid of newsmen. “Obviously, I’m not,” he said.
Saying a Bair administration would “shake up the old guard at City Hall,” he added he believes a mayor must be able to devote nearly 40 hours a week to the job even though it pays only $9,000 a year.
Since his decision a week ago to consider entering the race, Bair said he has received support from both Republicans and Democrats.
“One woman even offered to give me $500,” he said. But Bair said he told her to “hold on to her money” until he reaches his decision.
(Tuesday, June 7, 1977)