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Spokane Valley blog

Posts tagged: council vacancy

A coin toss decides it

The appointment of a new Spokane Valley City Council member took an unusual twist last night when the six remaining council members had three tie votes in a row. They decided the issue with a coin toss. The new council member is Rod Higgins, who has served on the city's planning commission for the last year. Check out my story in tomorrow's Valley Voice for more details.

And the winner is…

….to be determined at tonight's Spokane Valley City Council meeting. Tonight the council's first order of business will be to appoint a new council member to fill the vacancy created by the resignation by council woman Brenda Grassel when she moved outside the city limits. Interviews of the top finalists were held during last week's meeting. The newest council member will be immediately sworn in and put to work. The action begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Ave.

Thursday’s highlights

Brett Rountree is overcome with emotion as she is announced as the 2013 Lilac queen on Sunday at the Bing Crosby Theater. Emily Staker, left, and Katie Heitkemper, right, look on. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

Let's file this in the “better late than never” category. I wasn't able to post links to Thursday's Valley Voice because I was in hearings all morning and writing all afternoon. So, let's move on.

Reporter Nicole Hensley has a story on the new Lilac Queen, Central Valley High School senior Brett Rountree. She spoke about what's next for her in her new role and her plans to study chemical engineering at Washington State University.

The Spokane Valley City Council interviewed five candidates for a vacant council position Tuesday. They talked about why they wanted to serve on the council and what they believed the city's most important issues are.

The Spokane Valley Planning Commission held a public hearing last week on the city's draft public access plan for the Spokane River. The plan is part of a state-mandated update of the city's Shoreline Master Program. There were several people in attendance at the hearing, but no one spoke out about the plan.

Today’s highlights

Central Valley High School’s marching band practices on Saturday at Eastern Washington University’s Jim Thorpe fieldhouse in Cheney, for a trip to Washington, D.C., to perform in the Presidential Inauguration Parade. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

Sorry I'm so late with the highlights from today's Valley Voice. Let's just chalk it up to being one of those days. But we do have some great stuff for you. Reporter Nicole Hensley stopped by to chat with the Central Valley High School marching band before they left for their trip tp play in a parade at the inauguration of President Obama. The band is one of only 14 high school groups selected to march in the parade.

The Spokane Valley City Council selected five candidates to interview for a vacant city council position. Those selected include former state legislative candidate Amy Biviano, current city planning commissioners Kevin Anderson and Rod Higgins, Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council executive director Linda Thompson and real estate appraiser Samuel Wood.

Former Spokane Valley Fire Department Capt. Jon Sprague argued before the department's Civil Service Commission this week that he was improperly fired in October. He was fired from the department after refusing to stop sending religious emails to a group of fellow firefighters using the department's email system.

Nicole has a second story out of Central Valley High School on the school's world geography class that will be going away at the end of the school year. Students presented information and food from countries around the world that they had researched.

Today’s highlights

Empty store fronts are a common sight up and down Sprague Avenue in Spokane Valley. Only two tenants remain in the once thriving Opportunity Center at Pines Road and Sprague Avenue. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

I see the sun outside, but I'm sure that won't last. So I won't mind if you put off reading the Valley Voice until the clouds come in. But when you do pick it up, we've got some stories to take notice of. After Tuesday's City Council meeting the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan is finally dead. I've got a story with reaction to that, plus a story on the city council's selection of three candidates to interview for the vacant council seat. One is Chuck Hafner, who helped get four of the current council members elected, and returning candidates Steven Neill and Ben Wick.

Correspondent Cindy Hval has a great story on her son learning how to drive. Her account is something that any parent who has tried to teach a child how to drive can sympathize with. (Like she said, I'm speaking firmly, not yelling. Well, except for that one time.)  For a bit of cross town news, check out the Landmarks column by correspondent Stefanie Pettit. She takes a look at a 1879 farm house on Five Mile Prarie. Maybe I'm just a sucker for wrap around porches, but it's a nice looking house that also holds a bit of Spokane area history.

Coming Thursday

There was a whole bunch of stuff going on this week in Spokane Valley and we'll have the news for you in Thursday's Valley Voice. The Spokane Valley City Council voted on which candidates to interview for the vacant council position, though the mayor recused himself from the discussion. The council also took the final step to kill the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan, which has been coming for more than a year. The Spokane Valley Fire Department has had some good news: the contractor using its land at Euclid and Barker for storage promises to be out of there by May 15. Meanwhile, let's hope the weather forecasters are wrong about the whole rain and snow thing tomorrow. Otherwise I may have to invest in a rowboat.

Saturday’s highlights

Among construction projects in Spokane Valley, work has started again on the Barker Road sewer project at Laberry Drive in Greenacres. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

There was a lot to go over in Saturday's Valley Voice and I've got highlights in case you missed a few things. Road construction season has started already in Spokane Valley, with several road and sewer projects coming up. A few are already underway. The largest and most disruptive project planned (other than the addition of new freeway lanes between Sullivan and Barker) is the installation of a concrete intersection at Indiana and Sullivan.

Reporter Lisa Lienberger was in a humanities class at Central Valley High School recently when World War II veteran Del Spear visited to talk about his experiences on a minesweeper. Spokane Valley City Councilman Dean Grafos recently filed paperwork to run for re-election this November. In related news, the Spokane Valley City Council selected five candidates to interview this week for one of the two vacant council positions.

Valley council meeting tomorrow

Sorry about the interruption in the flow of blog posts. It's really hard to blog without an internet connection. Tomorrow's Spokane Valley City Council meeting has quite a few things that will be of interest to the community. The council will meet in executive session at 5 p.m. to discuss the applicants for the council seat vacated by the resignation of Rose Dempsey. During the regular meeting at 6 p.m., the council will vote on which candidates to interview during the March 29 council meeting.

The council is also expected to give final approval to proposed ordinances that will loosen rules on keeping backyard chickens and tighten rules that apply to adult retail businesses. A vote is also scheduled on the Indiana Avenue Extension project.

The council will hear a report on several proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments, but there will be no vote on any of them this week. One amendment would kill the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan and another would allow St. John Vianney Catholic Church to rezone land next to the church for the purpose of putting in low income senior housing.

See you tomorrow at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague. 

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Welcome to the Spokane Valley blog. Here we cover news, events and information from the greater Spokane Valley area, including Millwood, Otis Orchards, Liberty Lake, Newman Lake, Rockford and Fairfield.

Stop by often to find stories, information on events received too late to print in the Valley Voice and breaking news.

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