November 9, 2005 in City

Mead school incumbent wins; Millwood voters pick Mork

Christopher Rodkey Staff writer
 

Voters in the Mead School District chose a longtime school volunteer for a school board position over a man who once wrote that he resented paying taxes for schools.

Maureen O’Connor, a mother of four children who attended Mead schools, was winning nearly 90 percent of the vote Tuesday evening.

With a vote of 7,413 to 828, she defeated Athanasios Bitsas, who wrote in an April 16 letter to The Spokesman-Review that he resented paying taxes for “the heterosexual war machine” and “the school system I will never use.”

Another contested race for a Mead school board seat was too close to call Tuesday night, with incumbent Tom Hunt just 1 percentage point ahead of challenger Carmen Green.

Meanwhile, in a mayoral race that drew widespread attention, voters were decisive in choosing Daniel N. Mork as Millwood’s next leader.

Mork was winning with 76 percent of the vote against citizen activist Robert Mankin, who Millwood city officials said had become confrontational and required the installation of security glass at the town’s service window last November.

Mankin received 80 votes, but Mork garnered 350.

In Liberty Lake, the local sewer commissioner will stay the same, as incumbent Tom Agnew defeated John Korondy with 73 percent of the vote.

In a campaign that often delved into personal issues, Korondy, receiving 446 votes to Agnew’s 1,224, would have been the first Liberty Lake resident to be on the board, which is made up of three commissioners living outside the city limits.

Agnew, who has served six years, said he hoped to keep sewer and water rates low, and require developers to pay for hookup fees.

In a mayoral race on the other side of the county, Cheney voters ousted incumbent Mayor Amy Jo Sooy, choosing Eastern Washington University graduate Allen Gainer to lead the city. Gainer captured 58 percent of the vote Tuesday night to Sooy’s 42 percent.

Gainer, a Cheney bookstore owner and Navy veteran, said earlier he would work to increase university and city cooperation.

Voters in Medical Lake also ousted their mayor. Interim Mayor D.C. “Terry” Harland captured just 38 percent of the vote to challenger John Higgins’ 62 percent.

Harland was appointed to the interim mayor position by outgoing Mayor Jim Hill last year. A third-generation Medical Lake resident, Higgins said he wanted to bring new ideas to City Hall and improve the business climate in town. Higgins received 497 votes, while 299 voters chose Harland.

Of two races in the East Valley School District, one was still too close to call Tuesday night.

Incumbent June T. Sine beat Guy Gifford with 60 percent of the vote for District 3, while the race in District 5 between Wayne Stewart and Roger Trainor was separated by only 164 votes. Trainor’s had 1,717 to Stewart’s 1,553 Tuesday night.

Voters in Deer Park appeared to choose 15-year City Council member Robert D. Whisman as their new mayor, defeating Larry Barden by a vote of 374 to 281.

Whisman said earlier that the city’s biggest challenge will be dealing with new growth.

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