The November 2011 ballot is already getting crowded. Newly appointed Spokane Valley City Councilman Arne Woodard has filed his paperwork with the Public Disclosure Commission announcing his intention to run for election in the fall.
Woodard is the president and owner of Woodard Properties and Investment. He said he had been planning to run for council for quite some time but was waiting to see if he was successful in winning the council seat vacated by Rose Dempsey. “I think the public has a right to know that I’m going to be a candidate,” he said. “They’ll have time at least in the next couple of months to get a view of where I am on a couple of critical issues.”
During his tenure on the Spokane Valley Planning Commission since January 2010 Woodard made no secret of the fact that he favors minimal zoning, only enough to protect health and safety. “As minimal as we can get,” he said.
As a council member he said he would like to review every city code and regulation. “If it doesn’t apply to public safety and infrastructure, then why do we have it?” he said.
Some people believe that means he is against city parks, Woodard said, but that isn’t true. “Parks would definitely be a third level,” he said. “I’m not against parks. I remember when all we had in the Valley was Sullivan Park, and it wasn’t much of a park. It was basically a couple of picnic tables and trash barrel.”
In the end being on the council isn’t about him, Woodard said. “I’m not a politician,” he said. “It’s not about me. It’s about the citizens. Everything we do as a city should be for the citizens.”
Woodard’s seat is one of four up for election this year. Councilman Dean Grafos is up for re-election and Councilman Bill Gothmann has announced that he will not run for re-election, opening his seat up to a newcomer. Whoever is appointed by the council to fill Bob McCaslin’s position must also run for election in November to keep the seat. McCaslin died March 13.