Peterson seeks mayor post

SATURDAY, FEB. 26, 2011

First mayor of Liberty Lake says he can provide leadership

The general election isn’t until November, but Liberty Lake’s former mayor has put himself into the race for Wendy Van Orman’s seat.

Steve Peterson, the city’s first mayor, who was defeated by Van Orman in 2007, has registered to run for mayor. Van Orman has already announced she will not run.

“I saw some changes in the government that I didn’t like,” Peterson said of his decision to run.

He said the current economic environment prompted him to get involved again. “Cities are under assault with their change in finances,” he said.

During last year’s budget process, Peterson started coming back to meetings. He was upset with the council’s decision to cut funds for the library and Trailhead Golf Course.

“Last year’s budget process was like pulling teeth without Novocain,” he said.

He said he wants to take what he calls a “holistic” view of the budget, making sure everyone knows what moneys are used from each fund and why. He wants to make sure everyone is on the same page.

He also wants to take a look at revenue opportunities for the city, such as car tab licensing fees and finding real estate developer investment possibilities.

“I can provide leadership,” he said of the coming years. “I’ve had a lot of experience.”

So far, Peterson is unopposed. The deadline for candidates to file is June 10. Seats on the City Council up for election this year include position 1, currently filled by Susan Schuler; position 3, currently filled by David Crump; position 5, filled by Judi Owens; and position 7 , filled by Cris Kaminskas. No candidates have filed for the City Council seats.

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