Beggs returns to running Spokane City Council meetings after cancer treatment

<p><p>In a Spokane City Council meeting chock full of public debate and legislative wrangling, one substantial change could have gone unnoticed to anyone who tuned in a minute late.</p></p><p><p>Council President Breean Beggs returned to the dais and resumed his normal duties on Monday for the first time since undergoing treatment for throat cancer.</p></p><p><p>In a brief remark at the open of the meeting, Beggs thanked Councilwoman Candace Mumm for filling in as Council President Pro Tem and said he is “feeling good.”</p></p><p><p>Later, he shared a message on his Facebook page thanking his doctors, nurses and fellow council members.</p></p><p><p>“Now that I’m back at the gavel, I’m ready to move full speed ahead and bring us out of the pandemic and towards recovery,” Beggs wrote.</p></p><p><p>Beggs, 58, announced in July that he would take intermittent medical leave into October as he underwent radiation and chemotherapy treatment for Stage 1 throat cancer.</p></p><p><p>In practice, Beggs still attended nearly every City Council and committee meeting, but he handed over the responsibility of running them to another council member.</p></p><p><p>He remained instrumental in key shaping in city policy, including development of a system to spend the city’s $81 million cut of federal American Rescue Plan funds.</p></p><p><p>Beggs was appointed to the City Council in 2016 to fill a vacant seat in District 2. He won a full term in 2017, then ran for the president seat in 2019.</p></p><p><p>Beggs will lead the council through negotiations on an approximately $1.1 billion city budget, which must be adopted before the end of the year.</p></p>