September 12, 1996

Spokane County Commissioner

By The Spokesman-Review
 

If Spokane County commissioners Steve Hasson and John Roskelley appear impatient during Tuesday’s commission’s meeting, it probably has nothing to do with the agenda.

Both men will be waiting to learn whether they’ve survived that day’s primary election.

Hasson, who is completing his second term, faces two challengers in the Republican primary, Kate McCaslin and Don Manning. The winner will battle Democrat Ron Hormann in November’s general election.

Roskelley was elected last November to serve the final year of Skip Chilberg’s term. He faces Cliff Cameron in the Democratic primary, with Republican Lila Howe waiting to take on the winner.

None of the challengers in either race has run for office before. Neither Hasson nor Roskelley has ever lost an election.

McCaslin has worked as a volunteer or paid consultant on many campaigns for Republican candidates and for proposals like the Spokane arena and science center. She campaigned for controls on state spending, and controlling local spending would be her top priority.

A retired sheriff’s captain, Manning said public safety is his top concern. He calls for better care of county roads and buildings, and would lobby the Legislature to overturn the state’s Growth Management Act.

Hormann said his top priority would be dealing with the county’s population growth by working on a new comprehensive plan. State law requires the plan be updated no matter which candidate wins.

Cameron is a land surveyor and development consultant who promises to reduce regulations and cut taxes. He said he fears growth management laws will make homes too expensive unless local officials include large areas within the boundaries where urban growth is allowed.

Howe, too, is skeptical about growth management. She calls for “zero-based” budgeting and more control over staff at the Spokane Transit Authority and other regional agencies.

The character of the commission will change greatly if anyone but the incumbents wins.

On land-use issues, Hasson often acts as a moderator between Roskelley, an environmentalist, and Commissioner Phil Harris, a property rights advocate.

Hormann probably would side with Roskelley on most land-use issues. Harris probably will gain an ally if Howe, McCaslin, Manning or Cameron are elected.

Only residents in the southeastern third of the county (including portions of Spokane) vote in Hasson’s primary. Roskelley’s primary is for voters in the northeastern third of the county.

Voters from all parts of the county may cast ballots in the general election.

, DataTimes MEMO: See individual profiles by name of candidate.

This sidebar appeared with the story: THE JOB The three Spokane County commissioners set policy and oversee the budget and other county business. They are elected by voters both inside and outside city limits, serve four-year terms and earn $56,861 a year.

See individual profiles by name of candidate.

This sidebar appeared with the story: THE JOB The three Spokane County commissioners set policy and oversee the budget and other county business. They are elected by voters both inside and outside city limits, serve four-year terms and earn $56,861 a year.


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