u 2011 Washington General Election

Dean Grafos

A candidate for Council Pos. 2, City of Spokane Valley in the 2011 Washington General Election

City: Spokane Valley, WA

Grafos was elected to the Spokane Valley City Council as a “Positive Change” candidate in 2009. He is a licensed real estate broker and owner of a mini-storage business. One of his campaign promises was to eliminate the controversial Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan, which he voted to kill this year. He has stated several times that his goal is to make Spokane Valley “business friendly.”


Last updated: Nov. 14, 4:59 p.m. Election results

Dean Grafos 11,870 56.83%
John Carroll 9,016 43.17%
Details about this race
Related coverage

‘Positive’ group close to control of Valley council

A group of people unhappy with the status quo who ran together on a “Positive Change” slate in the 2009 Spokane Valley City elections are a single seat away from total control of the council after Tuesday’s election. One race is still too close to call. Election night totals showed Ben Wick 20 votes ahead of Marilyn Cline in the race to replace Councilman Bill Gothmann. “It is a very tight margin,” Wick said. “It could go either way.” Read more

Carroll challenges incumbent Grafos for Valley Council seat

Ballots for the November election are being mailed at the end of the week, making it decision time in the races for the four Spokane Valley City Council seats up for grabs. In the race for position 2, incumbent Dean Grafos is facing challenger John Carroll. Grafos was elected to the council in 2009 to fill an unexpired term. He was one of five council members elected that year who ran together on a “Positive Change” slate. Their platform was pro-business and anti-SARP (Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan). Since being elected Grafos has spoken repeatedly about the need to be more business friendly, trim the city’s budget and reduce regulation. Read more

Budget boasts don’t reflect spending

Claim: Several candidates for Spokane Valley City Council have stated repeatedly that the council that’s been dominated by the Positive Change slate of candidates has reduced budget growth of 7 percent per year to 1 percent or less. Councilman Dean Grafos has made that claim in nearly every one of his re-election campaign ads. Read more

Spokane Valley City Council candidates address chamber

Spokane Valley City Council opponents Dean Grafos and John Carroll had a few pointed words for each other during a candidate debate at CenterPlace last week, but the other candidates for office agreed more than they disagreed. The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted the debate and invited audience members to write down questions for the candidates. Most of the questions asked focused on the city’s budget, how to attract more businesses to Sprague Avenue and economic development. Read more

Grafos leads field in campaign funds

Spokane Valley City Council candidates continue to amass money as the November election approaches, and Councilman Dean Grafos is by far the biggest recipient of campaign cash in his hunt for re-election. Grafos has collected more than $17,000 in cash contributions and gave himself a $5,000 personal loan. He has also spent the most, paying out $10,866 as of last week for newspaper ads, radio ads and campaign signs. Read more

Grafos, fire commission discuss response delays

The Spokane Valley Fire commissioners reconvened their meeting Monday afternoon when Spokane Valley City Councilman Dean Grafos asked for an “informal” discussion with the commissioners after they announced they would have a short executive session and then close the meeting. Grafos attended the entire meeting and said nothing when commissioners asked for public comment, but after Grafos’ request the meeting was reopened to allow Grafos to comment. Grafos, who is up for re-election in November, said he wasn’t there for a political speech but wanted to address allegations that he had “supposedly questioned the integrity of the department.” Read more

Spokane Valley has healthy reserves, council told

Spokane Valley City Manager Mike Jackson told the City Council Tuesday that the city has a balanced budget and healthy reserves going into 2012. “Right now I think we are in an enviable position among cities,” he said. The proposed budget presented Tuesday includes no property tax increase and no increase in employees. Staff was told by the Finance Committee to limit expense increases to 1 percent over 2011 spending, Jackson said. Recurring expenditures will actually drop $164,000 from 2011 levels, he said. “Staff has actually done better than that,” he said. “I think that’s outstanding, considering we haven’t made any reductions.” Read more

Event expenses go unreported

Confusion reigned early this week among four Spokane Valley City Council candidates over who had donated what for a joint campaign event in July, but candidates were able to quickly find the bills for the event after being asked for them. Candidates Dean Grafos, Chuck Hafner, Arne Woodard and Marilyn Cline held the event on July 7 on vacant commercial property owned by businessman Jack Pring across from University City. A to Z Rental provided a tent and chairs and food was purchased for a barbecue, but until Wednesday only Cline had reported her share of the tent rental as an in-kind donation on required Public Disclosure Commission forms. No one else reported the cost of the tent and none of the four listed the donation of food. Read more

Council weighing putting $6.4 million Sprague-Appleway bond on ballot

The city of Spokane Valley is discussing putting a $6.4 million bond on the November ballot to pay for the conversion of Sprague and Appleway to two-way between Argonne and University roads. A city engineer, however, says Spokane Valley has access to $4.2 million in grant money that could be used for the same project. The $6.4 million bond includes $1.6 million for the road conversion, $1.8 million for repaving and stormwater work and $3 million for extensive landscaping and a trail. Read more

Grafos’ campaign chest largest so far

The candidates for Spokane Valley City Council seats are settling into two camps – those who are supported by the council’s Positive Change members and campaign donors, and those who are not. Whether elected or appointed, the council incumbents have amassed the most cash and the incumbents share several major campaign donors. Councilman Chuck Hafner, who was appointed to his council seat this year, quickly raised $5,350 but hasn’t collected any donations since the filing week in June showed that he is running unopposed. His top contributors include real estate agent Gordon Curry ($500) and former Senator Bob McCaslin, who donated $500 before he died earlier this year. Read more

Anonymous input on permits sought

It is not unusual for elected officials to ask their constituents their opinion on certain issues that are being discussed in the halls of government. Last year when the city of Spokane Valley wanted suggestions on how to improve the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan, business owners were invited to a series of public meetings to provide input. But more recently Spokane Valley City Councilwoman Brenda Grassel has picked a different way to get opinions from local builders that doesn’t include that kind of public process. Read more

Unfunded future road projects discussed

A review of the city of Spokane Valley’s six-year Transportation Improvement Program with the City Council evolved into a discussion on whether the city should even be considering building new roads in light of the need for $4 million annually to pay for street preservation projects. “Why would we want to continue to add streets when we can’t keep up the ones we have?” said Councilwoman Brenda Grassel. If street preservation plan is a priority then it should be funded in the TIP. Read more

SARP gets ax from council

The death of the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan was a long, slow one that has been anticipated for some time. The final blow came Tuesday night when the majority of the Spokane Valley City Council voted to eliminate the plan against the recommendation of the city’s Planning Commission. Only Councilman Bill Gothmann voted to keep the plan. The plan took effect in October 2009. In November 2009, SARP was essentially put on life support when five people who campaigned against SARP won seats on the City Council. Since then the council has made whatever changes it could before a comprehensive plan amendment could get rid of the plan once and for all. Read more

Grafos to run for re-election

Spokane Valley City Councilman Dean Grafos announced his intention to run for re-election this fall after recently filing candidate registration paperwork with the Public Disclosure Commission. Grafos, a licensed real estate broker and owner of a mini-storage business, was elected in November 2009 to a seat that was vacated by Steve Taylor and initially filled by the appointment of Ian Robertson. Read more

Grafos offers projects

Spokane Valley City Councilman Dean Grafos, who has led the fiscal responsibility charge, advocated during Tuesday’s council meeting spending $50,000 on a city entry and flashing school zone crossing signs. In September, Grafos suggested having nonunion employees give up their annual cost of living raise in 2011 in order to save money. His suggestion passed, saving the city approximately $40,000. Read more

Mayor’s relative chosen for commission seat

Two candidates for empty planning commission seats, including the half-brother of Mayor Tom Towey, were approved by a majority of the Spokane Valley City Council Tuesday during a contentious meeting. The recommendation for new planning commission members is usually made by the mayor, but he asked Deputy Mayor Gary Schimmels to do it. “I asked each council person to give me two names,” said Schimmels. “The people who got the majority of votes in that group got the nomination.” Read more