The following was asked on The S-R's candidate questionnaire. Candidate Chris Bowen declined to submit a questionnaire. Here are the answers, which were allowed to be up to 150 words, from the five other people hoping to replace Bob Apple and represent Northeast Spokane on the council.
Do you support the sustainability plan promoted by Mayor Mary Verner, which was adopted by the Spokane City Council in 2010? Do you support the decision of former Mayor Dennis Hession to sign the U.S.Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement?
Continue reading the post to find out their answers.
Yes. Aside from our people, Spokane’s richest asset is our water. If cared for now it will enrich our region many times over. We have some of the lowest power rates in the country, thanks to hydroelectricity. Many parts of our nation, mainly the Midwest and southwest are running out of water, with many scientists, economists and urban planners predicting that it will be on par with oil as a resource.
I actively practice and support conservation, composting and recycling. I have been schooled and have hands-on experience with LEAN principles. I have had a hand in the creation of several community gardens in northeast Spokane, but, I do not and cannot support any taxation or regulation which has its roots in the “global warming” lie.
I believe in practical sustainability and the three-part bottom line (environmental, economic and social benefits) as long as they are done practically and balanced with other needs and factors. Environmentalists are often portrayed only as fanatics and not the real people who make choices every day that make economic and environmental sense. To be fair though, they sometimes respond fanatically to those who aren’t as green as them. The key is to focus on the parts of the plan that call for efficiency and long-term planning and not simply reaction to climate change. Environmental stewardship and sustainability can and should be an economic action. Capitalizing on green economic opportunities makes sense. I support the actions of both mayors, not because of “global warming” and whatever that means to you, but because being good stewards to the earth makes common and economic sense.
Environmental sustainability plans are valuable to our long-term vision for our city. We must pursue environmental sustainability goals in an economically sustainable way. A signed agreement with a community outside Spokane might bear symbolic value, but is secondary to our local priorities regarding environmental issues.
The sustainability plan is a statement of principles, not policies. My support of specific decisions made under the principles of this plan will have to be made in light of the actual details. Yes, I support climate protection. But, should we spend more money on climate control or creating a better climate for jobs? The best solutions would do both. Increasing the number of trees in our urban forest, for instance, would help control our climate and create a more desirable location for companies to bring their business and their jobs. Still, there are going to be some difficult decisions to be made on these issues Past decisions have often been narrow, short-sighted or made at the expense of other crucial concerns. One of the reasons I want to be on City Council is to bring my creative and critical thinking skills to the decision making process.