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Washington Voices

Incorporation Activist Wants Voters To Wake Up

I’m very glad to read that Robert Henry is the new chairman of the Valley Chamber of Commerce (Valley Voice, Oct. 16).

I’m also glad that Mr. Henry thinks the Spokane Valley may need a change in government.

The Valley is probably the richest, most populous unincorporated area in the state, if not the entire country.

Forward-thinking citizens of the Valley have long been telling the chamber that we should incorporate. They have proven that we have the funding and the intelligence to successfully govern ourselves.

Our chamber has operated in the past as the Spokane Chamber East, an extension of the downtown group. Now that many of the businessmen actually live in the Valley, the chamber is awakening to the fact that it is imperative that we have our own city.

The Valley in the past has donated over 75 percent of the sales tax revenues raised in the entire unincorporated county. Just imagine the tax money that is being sucked out of our area now that the Valley Mall and the Sullivan Road corridor are coming into full swing. This is in addition to “Automobile Row” along East Sprague.

I have been accused of saying Valley voters are stupid for continuously voting down incorporation. I have never before said this. Publicly, that is.

For decades, downtown Spokane, through its newspaper, has told us we must not have our own city. A stupid person might believe this. Businesses in the Valley have semingly implied that we don’t have the collective intelligence to govern ourselves. A stupid person might believe this.

Some of our own citizens have told us we don’t have the revenue to fund our city. A stupid person might believe this.

Newcomers to the Valley “want to keep things as they are.” A stupid person might believe this.

Maybe Valley voters are not stupid, but to constantly keep one’s eyes and ears closed and “Just Vote No” is not an indication of superior intelligence.