Saturday, March 11, 2006

Federal Pork for the Valley Couplet

Just Barely Inside the Beltway notes an interesting change in the funding of the Sprague-Appleway couplet.

The original Spokesman-Review story can be found here.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Status Quo in Spokane area

Following the national off-year status quo trend, in both Spokane and Spokane Valley, all incumbents were re-elected.

Spokane Valley welcomes Bill Gothmann as its new City Councilman.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

No raise for City Council

City of Spokane Valley Proposition No. 1
Salary Referendum

APPROVED 5,354 33 %
REJECTED 10,752 67 %

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Preliminary Results

Spokane County reports with zero precincts, zero voters, and 95,017 ballots:

City of Spokane Valley City Council

Pos 1
DIANA L WILHITE; 11,688 100 %

Pos 2
STEVE TAYLOR; 7,948 58 %

Pos 3
MIKE DEVLEMING; 8,350 58 %
HOWARD HERMAN; 6,008 42 %

Pos 4
GARY SCHIMMELS; 11,663 100 %

Pos 5
RICHARD MUNSON; 11,514 100 %

Pos 6
BILL GOTHMANN; 7,321 54 %
EDWARD J MERTENS; 6,291 46 %

Pos 7
DICK DENENNY; 11,576 100 %

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Spokesman Endorsements

The Spokesman Review has endorsed candidates in Spokane Valley. They're viewing the election as a competition between nostalgia and progress.

Council Position 2 - Steve Taylor

Candidates who run for office should understand that voters place them in positions of leadership to make tough decisions. That truism provides a bright line between the City Council candidates for Position 2.

Artist Jennie Willardson demonstrates a good understanding of the issues, but she wants to seek advisory votes on several of them, including taxes, light rail development and possible Sprague-Appleway couplet changes.

...Public input is good, but governments can carry it too far. At some point, the information gathering must end and decisions have to be made.

Though only 29 years old, incumbent Steve Taylor has a lot of political experience. He served on former Congressman George Nethercutt's staff and is on a number of regional government boards. He has helped guide the city from its infancy and is well-informed on the challenges that lie ahead.

The chief challenge will be the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan, following the principles of the Growth Management Act. Taylor isn't a big fan of the GMA; he'd like more local control. But he understands that the Valley has to continue the transition from a rural to urban setting. Willardson's motto is "preserving our Valley way of life." She'd like to see more areas with rural zoning. That's unrealistic...

The Valley needs decision-makers. Steve Taylor is the clear choice.

Council Position 3 - Mike DeVleming

Attorney Howard Herman, a longtime Valley resident, played an active role in winning Valley incorporation three years ago. He's challenging Councilman Mike DeVleming, 45, customer-service director at Vera Power and Water, who ran for the first City Council, won, and was chosen mayor by his colleagues...

DeVleming emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive plan, which the city is close to concluding, and a master street plan which he pushed in the early days after incorporation... He understands that city status means an increasingly urban community, including somewhat higher housing density. He thinks the Valley traffic couplet along Sprague and Appleway needs to be retained.

Herman, notwithstanding his support for incorporation, thinks conditions ought to be more the way they used to be. The comprehensive plan should reflect the low-density residential lots typical of the former Valley. Businesses and developers should control planning decisions. Sprague should go back to being a two-way street...

The problem with nostalgia is that there's no future in it. DeVleming merits another term.

Council Position 6 - Bill Gothmann

The Position 6 seat pits two veterans from the incorporation effort. After years of trying to form a city, Ed Mertens broke through with a successful campaign in 2003, leading the signature-gathering effort. Bill Gothmann, 67, has served on the Planning Commission from the outset. Both candidates are proud of the city's accomplishments to date and are optimistic about the future. They don't have wide differences of opinions on the issues...

Mertens is better known to Valley residents, because of his incorporation work and long community visibility, but Gothmann has been more directly involved in getting the city off the ground. His work on the Comprehensive Plan would make him a valuable resource on the council as the city directs long-range growth.

Of the two, Gothmann demonstrates superior knowledge on the city's future challenges, whether it's wastewater issues, extending the Appleway Couplet, budgeting or growth management. He is sensitive to the impact of growth on existing neighborhoods. He authored a chapter for the Comprehensive Plan that would establish neighborhood associations. He would add needed balance to the council on that issue.

Gothmann also appears to be more accepting of the fact that greater housing density will be inevitable under the state's Growth Management Act.

Ed Mertens will always have a special place in the hearts of those who long wanted a city of Spokane Valley, but Bill Gothmann is better prepared to take it from here.

The full articles are available here (subscription may be required).

This site is encouraging non-votes for unopposed candidates - don't just hand them a freebie 4-year term.

Friday, September 23, 2005

New Campaign Websites

New campaign websites have been added for Jennie Willardson, Ed Mertens, and Bill Gothmann. The primary losers have been eliminated.

Only Howard Herman and unopposed candidates remain with unknown or non-existant websites.