May 29, 2010 in Washington Voices

Vocal Point: Positive Change doing just as was promised

Chuck Hafner Special to The Spokesman-Review
 

After reading many articles in the last few months relating to the Spokane Valley City Council, I felt it was necessary to clear the air!

Here are the facts:

In early 2009 a group of community members, who had been meeting for coffee and conversation, were discussing the actions of the Spokane Valley City Council and the effects these actions were having on our city. The dialogue during these coffee sittings was different on most days due to the fact that the participants changed from day to day. The conversations went in many directions, as you would expect. SARP, city center, effect on businesses, signage, salaries, and of course, budgetary concerns were just a few of the concerns. And the question arose, “What should we or could we do?”

Most of this group had been in involved in our city for a great many years and it was decided to survey our community contacts in order to determine whether or not our concerns were on the right track. After listening to the community concerns, we formed the Positive Change Committee.

I want to emphasize that the first meeting and subsequent meetings were held at Yoke’s. From these meetings came the naïve notion of hidden agendas. Community members against “positive change” and threatened by the movement named us the “secret gang of five.” We were never part of any action group that was working toward a change of government. Our main goal was to change the face of the City Council. Period! We accomplished what we set out to do. If any present council member(s) feel our committee has broken any PDC regulations, perhaps they should provide the evidence. I would most heartedly welcome it.

Within 12 months the members of the committee were able to provide the electorate with five very good candidates. These were people that reflected what we, the community, felt was appropriate and necessary.

Now that you have some sense on how the committee was formed, and what our purpose was, we now need to spend our time and energy in making our city what we have always wanted. Spokane Valley should be a city where we have law and order, a city where our schools are the very best, a city where people want to come and live, a city where businesses can prosper with a healthy working atmosphere and a city that stays within its budgetary limitations.

This is possible, but only if the council begins working together. Our city council needs to make changes if the decisions made in the past do not meet the needs of the present time or do not support the future needs for our city. What we don’t need are the constant negative remarks and poor behavioral attitudes that are not supportive of positive change. Five of the present council members were part of the group. They won the election. As the past chairperson of the Positive Change Committee, I find it most disappointing that a minority of the members of the present City Council are not able to adjust to the changes that are needed for our city to become relevant and viable. Council members must analyze, evaluate and determine how their vote will affect this community. Relying on past decisions, under the present circumstances, does not lend itself to what this community needs.

The Positive Change Committee made a promise to the people of this city. We promised that we would make the necessary changes that would be most beneficial to all of us that live and work in the city of Spokane Valley. These elected members of the council are doing exactly what they said they would do and many of us will hold them to their promise.


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