by the canidates & r & To help voters learn more about the candidates facing elimination in the Sept. 20 Primary, we offered them 300 words to write to our readers. Unfortunately, we do not have enough space to offer this opportunity to every candidate on the ballot, so here you will find only those candidates running for Spokane City Council who are in a three-or-more-person race in the primary.
District 2, Position 2
Jeffrey Bierman & r & Spokane's biggest problem is that the city's expenses are growing faster than revenues. Reducing expenses means fewer police, firefighters, libraries, parks, programs and services - an outcome most citizens find undesirable. Rather, I believe our best long-term solution is city policy aggressively seeking to increase types, quality and quantity of commercial development, leading to increases in retail sales tax revenue within the city in a targeted, strategic manner which preserves the bulk of our neighborhood character. We must insure urban development takes root within Spokane, providing a solid base for future revenue growth and insuring delivery of desired city services.
I will aggressively advocate legislative action which encourages that development foundation to occur. For example, we should immediately act to pursue annexation of commercial areas adjacent to the city where pledged support for annexation already exists. A second example is focused modifications to city policy, the comprehensive plan, regarding center location and expansion of general commercial zoned land.
Next year (2006) is our opportunity to significantly modify this plan during the five-year update process. Several locations in the city should be designated as development centers. This designation would allow for commercial development at these locations, subject to our existing design guidelines and regulations. In addition, we must modify city policy to allow for reasonable, strategic expansions of general commercial lands outside of centers and corridors. Such changes will encourage a greater, expanding retail environment and corresponding revenue stream within the city of Spokane.
Personal Info: I have a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from the University of Washington and am in my 10th year teaching physics full-time at Gonzaga University. I am married with three children (in grades K-4) in District 81 schools. I have served much of the past four years on the Spokane City Plan Commission.
Mary Verner & r & Background: Raised in the Southeast. Made Spokane home in 1992. Over 20 years in government, in the Virgin Islands and with Indian tribes. Appointed to City Council in March 2004. Completed B.A., M.S. and J.D. degrees as working single mother. Has two children and two grandchildren in Spokane. Lifetime of active volunteer service.
The biggest problem facing Spokane is the lack of sufficient funding to provide adequate essential services, such as crime control, fire response, libraries and parks.
I will address this problem by: & lt;ul & & lt;li & continuing to seek creative ways to increase revenue streams to the City General Fund; & lt;li & supporting improved and streamlined permitting processes, to make Spokane more friendly to businesses; & lt;li & pushing for the adoption of center and neighborhood plans so that development can proceed; & lt;li & pursuing new industry, possibly revisiting the Port District concept; & lt;li & ensuring that new development is sustainable (provide living wage jobs, protect natural resources); & lt;li & encouraging collaboration among regional governments to achieve maximum benefit for citizens; & lt;li & asking non-governmental organizations to work with the city to find solutions to our budget and service delivery challenges; & lt;li & treating public safety as a system, not merely a budget, so we address the causes of crime and emergency medical care, as well as funding our first responders; & lt;li & voting with thoughtful deliberation, based on citizen input, to maintain honesty and integrity in city government. & lt;/ul &
Dallas Hawkins & r & The most significant problem we face is the budget shortfall, which is likely to continue for the next several years. Our revenues remain flat while the cost of services continues to increase. The short-term solutions are few and will impact the most vulnerable of our citizens.
Public safety must be our greatest priority as we deal with the shortfall in revenues. It is essential that we maintain adequate police and fire service during this financial crisis. It may become necessary to temporarily suspend or reduce some other services that we normally provide to residents. Important programs such as libraries, community centers and services that we wish to provide to the elderly and needy could potentially be supplemented through volunteer neighborhood efforts. Spokane has talented and dedicated residents who can and will help.
The long-term solutions will include economic development, job creation, and expansion of our tax base through growth and the nurturing of a more supportive and proactive business climate. The health of our economy depends on a more positive and aggressive approach to all of these activities.
I have worked and lived in Spokane for 27 years, raising my family and operating my own businesses. I have served as a neighborhood volunteer on several committees in the past eight years. My decision to offer my services as a member of the City Council is an extension and progression of that work. I believe that Spokane can and will continue to be a wonderful place to live, work and raise our families. Through the efforts of the citizens of Spokane and the city government, we can chose to make our city a safer and more productive community.
I believe that I have the training, background and leadership experience to be an effective council member. I ask for your support and your vote in the District 2 City Council election.
District 3, Position 2
Joyce Kersey-McNamee & r & I have lived, worked, played and been a community volunteer in Spokane since 1978. I have more than 30 years experience in management, bookkeeping, as a marketing representative and as a business owner (primarily in health care). Working toward a balanced budget, promoting economic development, supporting the medical community and the public's safety are my priorities. I want the Police Department to have high visibility on our streets; I want the Fire Department to be staffed with firefighters.
The biggest problem Spokane is facing is money. Our expenses are more than our income. What do we do when our personal budget is affected by increases in good and services? What do we do when we have acted a little foolish and overspent? We cut non-vital items from our budget; we cut back and are more cautious about what we spend.
Transparency in our city government will be demanded -- how else can one make an informed decision? In the mid-1970s, our federal government watched inflation spiral; businesses looked at their corporate structures and decided they were top-heavy. The decisions made were not popular; salaries were frozen; everyone did their part.
Too often, the front-line employee is the first to make adjustments in salary or fewer hours. An equitable review from the bottom to the top line is needed. In times of economic downturn, creative and innovative ideas and solutions from grassroots to the executive must be encouraged.
Our city is going through some difficult times and cooperation is needed by all. As your City Council representative, I will work for smarter government and getting a grip on our problems. I will work for what you value most -- being a collaborator and building strong partnerships among city, county and state governments.
Daniel Day & r & The Spokane city government is Spokane's biggest problem. The government doesn't need to do anything to attract business. It just needs to quit chasing business away with excessive taxes and unnecessary regulations. The B & amp;O tax and other anti-business measures should be eliminated. Every economist knows taxes are a drain on the economy. In the history of the world, no nation, state, province, city or any other political entity has ever taxed itself into prosperity. Government, and all the many taxes that support it, must be reduced to the minimum possible.
We must work with the unions to establish permanent salary caps on all city positions from L-1 to the mayor's office. We must work to minimize the effect of outside forces like the spike in gasoline prices, which makes vehicles used for the city much more expensive to operate.
Spokane city government needs to quit legislating things that should be personal choices, i.e., stop using highly paid police to roust citizens for not wearing a helmet. People must be allowed to take personal responsibility for themselves and their families.
Annexation will not help with the city budget and may only compound the problem. To annex an area means the city must provide base services, water, sewer, garbage collection as well as extra services like police and fire. This means a higher tax burden on the area, which is bad for business. At best the city will break even - or worse - stop economic growth for the area.
Like a parasite, Spokane city government has through the years interwoven itself into private business as well as into the private lives of the people of Spokane. The steps we take today to minimize government will go far.
Spokane's location and the promotion of minimal government will bring economic prosperity.
Nancy McLaughlin & r & Spokane is a wonderful part of my heritage, with my great-grandparents arriving in the early 1900s. My husband Dave and I have raised our three children since moving here 28 years ago and we love Spokane! As a child advocate, I served in various leadership roles within the school district, including Chairman of District 81's Citizen's Advisory Committee. As a neighborhood advocate, I co-founded the North Hill Neighborhood Observation Patrol. Dave and I have owned a residential construction and remodeling business for 25 years.
I'm running for City Council because I care about J.A.C.K.
"JOBS": Our quality of life hinges first on building a vigorous economic climate and a strong job base.
"ACCOUNTABILITY": Your government must be held accountable for your money and your trust.
"CLEANING UP CRIME": Providing a safe community is the first job of government.
"KIDS": As our most important treasure, we must protect our children's welfare and future (including Joe Albi).
The biggest problem facing Spokane is our budget shortfall. In the short term, the City Council should consider using the $1.9 million excess parking meter dollars towards the shortfall rather than placing it in a reserve account. The Building Services Department and its $3.5 million reserve could revert back to the General Fund, where it once was, rather than keeping it as an Enterprise Fund. A hiring freeze is in order. In the long term, I would work on growing our tax base through creating a more business-friendly environment, encouraging the development of "Centers and Corridors" as outlined in the City's Comprehensive Plan. I support the annexation of developed urban areas and believe a city efficiency study is in order to assure the highest level of accountability with your tax dollars.
It would be an honor to serve you.
Steve Corker & r & I am a 35-year Spokane resident, raised in Walla Walla, and a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in Political Science.
I will bring 42 years of business and professional experience to City Hall. I have served as president/CEO of four companies, served this community as President of Cancer Patient Care, as a vice president of the American Red Cross and United Way, and in 1991 was named Washington State United Way Volunteer of the Year.
Since 1981, I have served as an adjunct assistant professor and lecturer at Gonzaga University's School of Business. In addition, I have taught graduate courses at Whitworth College, taught at Fairchild's Park University and at Spokane Community College.
I was a member of the Spokane City Council (2000-03). I have served as a director and secretary on the Spokane International Airport Board, as a Spokane Parks and Recreation Board member, and as a director on the Spokane Regional Health District Board.
I was a founding commissioner of the Spokane Arts Commission in 1977. Governors Mike Lowry and Gary Locke appointed me to the Washington State Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse.
In addition to teaching at Gonzaga, I currently am the vice president of a Washington, D.C. -based international management firm, Futurepast Inc.
My goals are simple to understand: to continue to insure an open city government; to create new jobs that will develop a strong economy; to stop government waste; and to restore confidence in the strong mayor form of government.
The biggest issue facing Spokane is economic growth: creating more jobs to increase the tax base and providing improved basic services. We must restore recent cuts in public safety. How will we do this? Be more business-friendly, move toward increased regional government cooperation, and just plain work hard.
Barbara Lampert & r & As a candidate for Spokane City Council, I am eager and able to represent you. My education includes a B.A. in economics from the University of Washington. This, and my personal financial success (retired since age 51), qualify me to handle city budget decisions.
Employment experiences as a nursing assistant, insurance claims processor, sewing machine operator, waitress, office worker, etc., help me understand many of the citizens a City Council member represents. Community involvement in local organizations (AARP chapters, Rainbow Center, Jane Jefferson Democrats and Northwest Neighborhood Association) also add to my abilities to speak for the electorate.
The issues that matter most to me are:
Citizenship benefits - Make garbage collection free inside Spokane city limits. Reduce mosquito and rodent populations. Regularly remove dry brush and weeds on vacant city land.
Quality of life - Add 100 uniformed officers to our Spokane police department. Enforce laws equally and continuously on all citizens.
Transportation - Mass transit as a real alternative source of travel.
The biggest problem facing our city is unemployment and underemployment. I propose we fix it by implementing my issues of citizenship benefits, quality of life and transportation. This will make our community attractive to employers who consider locating here.
Please, if you live in District #3, vote for Barbara Lampert on Sept. 20, 2005. Thanks for participating in the electoral process.
Keith Springer & r & I was born in 1936 to hard-working, frugal, Depression-era parents. From them I learned about acquiring equity from sweat and how to pinch a penny.
I care about Spokane! My family came here when I was 10. I have lived here 41 years. I was educated here and worked here. I am a graduate of NCHS and EWU.
I've served in the United States Air Force. I've been a member of labor unions and professional organizations. I've been a self-employed businessman, a teacher and coach, and a factory worker. I was an airline pilot for 27 years. It was the best job I ever had; setting carbon at Kaiser Mead was the hardest; teaching, the most psychologically rewarding.
I have lived and worked out of New York City and upstate New York, the Washington, D.C., area, San Francisco and Pittsburgh. Airline employment permitted me to travel extensively.
There is no place that compares to the quality of life available here in Spokane. We must all work to keep Spokane a safe, healthy place to work and live. This would be my first priority. I am a law-and-order advocate and a fiscal conservative. I would be a line-by-line budget examiner and a force for holding the line of taxation.
I aspire to be a people's candidate. Doctors, lawyers, businesses and contractors have the organizations and resources to get their messages heard. If elected, I will be a reasoned voice for the "not-so-well-connected." I will tell it like it is - no platitudes, no evasions, no ambiguities.
The budget is in duress. We must manage our resources more efficiently. An informed electorate supported by technological expertise and a strong will can make this happen. A broad spectrum of life experiences qualifies me to do this job.
Judith Gilmore & r & My family and I moved to Spokane in February 1974. By September, I was serving on the West Central Steering Committee. For the past 30 years, I have continued my advocacy work on behalf of this northwest neighborhood as well as other neighborhood organizations throughout the city. My background in advocacy, along with my business experience, has prepared me well to serve on the City Council.
Growth and development are happening in Spokane. Neighborhoods must not lose their voice in the issues that come with such growth. It can be a positive, healthy change, but the voices of those who have worked to make this city's neighborhood councils strong and effective must be respected during this time of great change and development.
We must take a long, hard look at the priorities of Spokane. We should not continue to build libraries that are not open, or fire stations in danger of being closed, or streets that are not kept in good repair, or parks (including Joe Albi stadium) and pools that are allowed to fall into disrepair, rendering them useless to our citizens. We must undertake these difficult discussions just like a business in trouble, and determine a plan of action.
It is critical to bring additional revenue into the city's budget. Balancing the budget on the back of labor, police and fire cannot continue if Spokane intends to keep any sort of strong reputation for a well-maintained city.
The city's revenue cannot continue at the flat rate it has over the past few years. We've got to think outside the box when in comes to using our resources. Everything needs to be on the table for discussion, including economic development and the possibility of business partnering and/or planning with some of our city departments.
Primary Election is Tuesday, Sept. 20.