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Candidates tackle Liberty Lake issues

SATURDAY, OCT. 17, 2009

There’s a full slate of candidates for Liberty Lake City Council on ballots mailed out this week for the November election. Cristella Kaminskas and Josh Beckett, both three-year residents of Liberty Lake, are running for the Position 2 seat that is being vacated by Neal Olander, who declined to run for re-election.

Incumbent Odin Langford faces a challenge from Jason Adelmann for the council seat he has held since 2007. Recently appointed Councilman Ryan Romney is running unopposed for re-election. He took his seat in May following the resignation of Councilman Bryan Sayrs. Both Kaminskas and Adelmann also had applied for Sayrs’ vacant seat but lost out to Romney.

Recently the council has been forced to postpone projects, such as an arboretum, to make up for declining sales tax and property tax revenue. The city is in the final stages of approving a Specific Area Plan for the River District north of the freeway and south of the river. When fully developed the district will double the city’s population, making growth one of the top issues facing the city.

The candidates were asked to submit a 200-word statement outlining what they think the issues facing Liberty Lake are and why residents should vote for them.

Cristella Kaminskas

Personal: Kaminskas, 40, is a senior program manager at Key Tronic. She and her husband, Scott, have been married 13 years and have one child. She and her husband volunteer with East Side Little League.

Statement: I am a wife, mom, and a businesswoman.

Goal: To make Liberty Lake a place where our kids will be proud to raise their families someday.

Commitment: I’ve attended every council meeting since filing for candidacy in early June. I’m up-to-date on the issues and can hit the ground running when I take office.

My business life: I manage teams of people from different departments to accomplish a common goal and manage over $25 million in revenue. I will bring this experience to the City Council in order to give you, the taxpayer, the biggest “bang for your buck.” One of the Council’s jobs is to ensure your money is spent wisely so our community can prosper. We need to make the right decisions and plans now for long-term success. We must maintain a delicate balance of residential, commercial and industrial growth – none can survive on its own.

My home life: I’m responsible for keeping my family safe and happy. Liberty Lake is a great town to raise a family, but there are many opportunities to improve on that including parks, the environment and public safety. I look forward to the chance to be a part of that.

Josh Beckett

Personal: Beckett, 31, grew up in Rathdrum and works as a business implementation manager for Premera Blue Cross. He and his wife, Jamie, have been married for nine years and have two children.

Statement: I am running for City Council to leverage the richness of my background, and the opportunity to use my experience to enhance the community.

I am a deeply passionate person and always willing to engage in conversation to better understand various perspectives. I have been very vocal with my position to balance the growth of our city, while still maintaining our distinct values that make Liberty Lake a great place to call home.

I want to be clear that I am not opposed to growth; however, I feel that it needs to be done in ways that support police and fire department resources, ensuring that we preserve green space, and not over-utilize our existing roads and schools.

The growth projections put Liberty Lake on track to double in size in the next 20 years; however, there are no funded projects to add another I-90 on-ramp, or plans to improve traffic congestion on Appleway. The elementary school in Liberty Lake is at capacity, and kids who live within the city limits are being bused to neighboring schools. This cannot be as good as it gets. Please support me in November to help shape the future of our city.

Jason Adelmann

Personal: Adelmann, 35, works as a data management systems report analyst at Washington Trust Bank. He and his wife, Jessica, have been married for four years. He volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Partners for Pets.

Statement: Liberty Lake has been my home for two years and will be for years to come. This is where my heart is, thus I am eager to take an active role in caring for the community that we live in.

I bring fresh perspective, insight and ideals to the Council. My objective is to understand what the citizens of Liberty Lake value most about their community so I can be their voice on the Council and make decisions in their best interest.

Protecting our citizens and community, maximizing the use of our tax dollars, ensuring that our children get the highest education and preserving green space are some of the important issues facing Liberty Lake today.

I think it is important for government to be transparent so the citizens can understand what is going on in their city; and feel that it is vital that we get our citizens more involved in the community and local government.

I believe that well-planned commercial development is the key to supporting and shaping the community now and for future generations.

Odin Langford

Personal: Langford, 56, works for a federal security contractor and previously had a 25-year career in law enforcement. He and his wife, Jill, have been married 12 years. He has served on the council since 2007.

Statement: Growth, dwindling revenues, commercial vitality and preservation of our envied quality of life are issues facing our community.

It is interesting, as our nation tries to spend its way out of economic hardship, I and other leaders are cutting expenses, limiting programs and ensuring that essential services continue. Simultaneously, we are preparing for future revenue growth in residential and commercial tax bases, while preserving today’s quality of life for tomorrow’s resident.

Just like our homes, the community you enjoy and have pride in do not just happen. It takes sensible planning, unselfish collaboration and conservative oversight of finances. And just like your home, city government requires your participation!

Because of the nature of council duties, council members need a certain depth and breadth to their experience that is hard to define, yet when possessed, you easily recognized those qualities.

I have a proven record of service in law enforcement, volunteer experience in child social services, elder rights, as well as many community service organizations and city government. All of these social services demand high levels of confidentiality, trustworthiness and responsiveness.

It is truly all about our families, our city, our future. Please vote Odin Langford, Councilman, Position 4.

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