June 7, 2011 in City

School board draws hopefuls

Filing week also sees Spokane Mayor Verner seeking re-election
By The Spokesman-Review
 

In the first day candidates could file for office, the most interest was generated by a seat on the Spokane School Board.

Four people joined the race for the board’s Position 5. The most who filed for any other office was two.

The seat is currently held by Garrett Daggett, who recently announced that he would not seek re-election.

“It was just time for me to focus on home again,” said Daggett, who has held the seat since 2005.

Deana Brower, who has run previously for a board spot, is one of the candidates.

“I have an opportunity through my volunteer work to engage with people in the community about the schools, and I’m looking forward to bringing that dialogue back to the school board,” she said.

The school board candidates said they are worried about the district’s financial outlook.

“My question is: How do we successfully educate our students given the budget difficulties that we can expect for the foreseeable future?” said board candidate Bob Griffing, an auxiliary clergyman at Fairchild Air Force Base.

Rod Roduner, a retired Spokesman-Review employee who filed to run for the position, criticized the district’s budgeting priorities.

“I’m concerned about being administration top-heavy,” Roduner said. “I think cuts can be better absorbed in other areas besides teachers and support staff.”

Paul E. Lecoq, a community college and Gonzaga University teacher, said he was motivated to file for the office after working with the districts’ graduates.

“They’re not being prepared for life in high school, and I’d like to find out why,” Lecoq said.

In a race representing Spokane city government, candidates emerged for all the positions except the council seat representing the city’s northwest district.

Spokane Mayor Mary Verner filled out the paperwork and paid her $1,693.58 filing fee.

Handing the check to Spokane County Voter Services Supervisor Kit Anderson, Verner said: “It’s an investment in my grandchildren’s future.” 

Monday afternoon Verner got her first opponent: Mike Noder, who also ran for mayor in 2007.

Noder, 53, is the co-owner of MoMike, a demolition and salvage company. In 2007 one of his major campaign focuses was his criticism of the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System, which he believes wastes money and charges too much.

He said he’s running again to reign in city government.

“The ongoing cost of government is too high,” Noder said. “We’re going to continue to drive businesses away.”

In 2007, Noder came in fourth out of five candidates in the primary and captured 3.4 percent of the vote.

The city currently employs about 2,100 people. Noder said he would work to reduce the work force by 200 to 400 over four to eight years, and that if he could “start all over” he would create a city government with only 1,000 to 1,200 workers.

He said he isn’t ready to say which parts of government he would cut, though privatization could be one way to reduce city employees.

Noder said he will not raise money for his campaign.


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