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Hafner will run for Spokane Valley City Council

Thu., Feb. 24, 2011

Ex-educator says budget, business are key

Retired educator Chuck Hafner has filed paperwork with the Public Disclosure Commission to run for Spokane Valley City Council in November, but he has not yet indicated which seat he is running for.

“I won’t do that at this stage,” Hafner said. He is holding off partly because he is still considering whether to apply for the council seat vacated by the resignation of former Councilwoman Rose Dempsey, he said. Whoever is appointed to the seat will have to run for re-election in November.

“Even if I apply for it and get it, I still have to run in the fall,” he said. “If I don’t take that choice there is going to be three openings. I’m really not sure yet. That’s going to be a tough choice for me.”

Hafner, 79, retired as the assistant superintendent of secondary schools from the Central Valley School District in 1991. Earlier in his career he was principal of Central Valley High School, University High School and Mead High School.

His most recent work was as vice-president and general manager of Appleway Equipment Leasing Inc. from 1996 to 1998. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University and took graduate classes at Gonzaga University and the University of Washington.

Hafner was the chairman of the Positive Change Committee, which helped elect four new council members in 2009 and re-elect Gary Schimmels. “A bunch of us were just sitting at Yoke’s having coffee and talking about some concerns we had,” he said. He suggested forming a group to do something about it.

But despite his tight links to the Positive Change members currently on the council, Hafner said he isn’t running as a Positive Change candidate. “I’m running as Chuck Hafner, candidate,” he said. “I can be a dimension on that council they don’t have now.”

Hafner said he believes the council needs to focus on the budget and making things easier for small businesses.

“We really need to look at our priorities, see where we are financially,” he said. “They continue to pop into the reserves to balance the budget. There will be a time when we don’t have those reserves.”

His campaign is already drawing support from both sides of the political aisle. The co-chairs of his election committee are former longtime Republican senator and current Spokane Valley Councilman Bob McCaslin and Democratic Party activist Sally Jackson.

He has lived in the community for 50 years and would like to extend his community involvement into the government side, Hafner said. “I don’t have any hidden agenda here,” he said.

“I’ve always been one where I could work with people and get things done. Maybe I can just be a positive force for our government.”

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