Saturday, March 11, 2006
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
City of Spokane Valley City Council
DIANA L WILHITE; 11,688 100 %
STEVE TAYLOR; 7,948 58 %
JENNIE WILLARDSON; 5,641 42 %
MIKE DEVLEMING; 8,350 58 %
HOWARD HERMAN; 6,008 42 %
GARY SCHIMMELS; 11,663 100 %
RICHARD MUNSON; 11,514 100 %
BILL GOTHMANN; 7,321 54 %
EDWARD J MERTENS; 6,291 46 %
DICK DENENNY; 11,576 100 %
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Council Position 2 - Steve Taylor
Council Position 3 - Mike DeVleming
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 6 - Bill Gothmann
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.
The full articles are available here (subscription may be required).
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.
This site is encouraging non-votes for unopposed candidates - don't just hand them a freebie 4-year term.