April 22, 2011 in City

Eight apply for open seat on Spokane Valley City Council

By The Spokesman-Review
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The Spokane Valley City Council will review applications for its vacant seat in executive session April 26, then vote publicly on which candidates to interview.

Eight people have applied to fill the Spokane Valley City Council seat vacated by the death of Councilman Bob McCaslin.

Five of them are familiar faces, having applied for the previous council vacancy recently filled by Arne Woodard.

One of the three new applicants previously applied to a planning commission seat, and another is in attendance at nearly every council meeting.

John Baldwin, 74, is a longtime SCOPE volunteer. He was selected to interview for Rose Dempsey’s seat – which went to Woodard – but he couldn’t attend the interview because of a family emergency. He previously ran for City Council in 2002.

Michael Godek, 31, is the director of Seniors Helpers Home Care. On his council application he wrote that the city’s highest priorities are replacing the finance director, maintaining roads and developing more green space. He suggested soliciting donations from wealthy residents and getting grants to pay for new parks. “We need to do more, but also keep below budget,” Godek wrote.

Charles “Chuck” Hafner, 79, retired from the Central Valley School District in 1991 as an assistant superintendent. He also was a principal at schools in Central Valley, Mead and East Valley. He is one of the architects of the Positive Change group that successfully elected five Spokane Valley City Council members in 2009; he still attends nearly every council meeting and event. He wrote in his council application that he would like to see Sprague Avenue become a “business boulevard” with “nice-looking streets and sidewalks” that encourage people to shop and eat.

• DeeDee Loberg , 47, is a homemaker and community activist who previously applied for Dempsey’s seat. She is a frequent attendee of council meetings and often speaks out in favor of keeping the City Center zone in the University City area.

Steven Neill, 47, is a distribution specialist with OfficeMax. He applied for a planning commission seat in 2010 and was one of the candidates interviewed for Dempsey’s seat. He has often spoken out against the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan at council meetings.

Ben Wick, 28, is an information technology systems administrator for Goodrich Corp. He ran for council in 2002, applied for a vacant seat in 2009 and was one of the candidates interviewed for Dempsey’s seat.

• Jennie Willardson , 49, works as a customer service representative for West Corp. She previously ran for a council seat in 2005, applied for a planning commission seat in 2008 and was one of the candidates interviewed for Dempsey’s seat.

• Samuel Wood , 64, is a self-employed real estate appraiser and applied for a planning commission seat in 2009. On his council application he wrote that he favors turning Sprague back into a two-way street and reducing city expenses. “Limited government is good government,” he wrote.

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