Cheri Rodgers has been on the outside for so long that she needs binoculars. But this week the Indian Trail resident and mother of four teenagers was appointed by the City Council to serve on the Spokane Plan Commission.
“I had applied but I considered it a long shot,” said Rodgers, 46, an Indian Trail resident for nine years.
The commission decides zoning and land-use issues for the city. With state growth management laws, it will be busy updating city development regulations, policies for critical areas and comprehensive plans.
For three years Rodgers has served on a committee of neighborhood residents and developers overseeing the drafting of a plan for Indian Trail that sits north of Francis along Indian Trail Road.
Throughout that process, Rodgers has developed a network of neighborhood activists who share information about land-use planning, growth and politics. One of her goals is to use that network to keep people better informed about what’s going on with the plan commission.
“Most people feel powerless to do anything,” said Rodgers. “But you shouldn’t feel powerless, you should get involved.”
Mayor Jack Geraghty said it’s that pragmatic quality he most admires about Rodgers and why he nominated her to replace Betty Hennessey.
“She’s interested in working with neighborhood groups, but there’s also a practical sense about her,” said Geraghty.
The appointment Monday night means that Rodgers will have to decline voting on the Indian Trail plan when it comes before the commission.
“It would be a conflict of interest,” she said. “It’s kind of like having a baby and having someone else raise it.”