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Washington Voices


Sat., June 18, 2011

St. John Vianny School vandalism despicable

I live near St. John Vianney Catholic Church in the Spokane Valley. My neighbors are very upset about a proposed housing project for seniors on St. John Vianney land. They have placed signs all over suggesting that St. John Vianney is purposefully trying to destroy the neighborhood and that the church is not following Christ’s commandment to love thy neighbor.

St. John Vianney School has two very nice signs that sit at Broadway and Walnut and Sprague and Walnut that alert passersby to the school’s presence. A few weeks ago, those signs disappeared. I called both the parish office and the school and those signs are presumed stolen.

This is despicable behavior. It is not enough that my neighbors have littered the neighborhood with angry signs implying that St. John Vianney has nefarious intentions but now it is likely that one of my neighbors has taken property that belongs to the school.

To whoever took those signs, you are giving everyone who lives in the area a bad name. I ask that you return them to their rightful owner, St. John Vianney School, and you refrain from anymore unlawful acts.

Rebecca Taylor

Spokane Valley

Present council interested in community’s views

It’s nice to see the Spokane Valley actually interested in what our community thinks. The past City Council seemed more right wing, in that their view was the only right view, take it or leave it.

This City Council may actually let the people vote on a big expenditure like the Sprague one-ways. Listen to the people, what a novel idea. Maybe small government is a good idea as long as they don’t declare war on Otis Orchards.

Gary Foster

Spokane Valley

Dempsey didn’t disclose her connection to candidate

As the official chairperson for the re-election campaign of Dean Grafos, city of Spokane Valley City Council Position 2, I would like to respond to the article (Valley Voice, June 16) written by recently resigned Councilperson Rose Dempsey. Ms. Dempsey, for some reason, failed to identify herself as the official chairperson (Washington Public Disclosure Commission) for the campaign of Mr. John Carroll, Mr. Grafos’ opponent.

It is unfortunate that Ms. Dempsey has chosen to bring forth mention of Hitler’s Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in her calculated, targeted diatribe. It certainly does a disservice to her candidate, Mr. Carroll. However, we can only control our own discussions and our discussions will be on the issues. As most people come to know, the desperate use of the politics of personal destruction is usually just a mask for a bankruptcy of ideas. Thank you.

Elizabeth Grafos

Chairperson for the Committee to Re-Elect Dean Grafos, City Council Pos. 2

Current sign ordinance harms business owners

In response to former councilmember Rose Dempsey (Valley Voice, June 16) I’d like to clarify a few points. As an elected official I believe my primary role is to work for the citizens of  Spokane Valley.  I do not work for the staff and they do not report to me. If I receive a complaint from a citizen, I take that directly to the City Manager.

 Ms. Dempsey is apparently unaware that  Mr. Grafos, Mayor Towey the city manager and myself, have  met with members of the   Homebuilders Association to determine roadblocks to doing business with our city. The email I sent was a follow-up to those discussions.

I’ve recently called for a review of our sign and landscape ordinance, which staff is preparing for council, because of complaints regarding our code and my own personal experience. As one business owner noted, the former council allowed panhandling to go rampant in front of their business, but they were banned from putting out a sandwich board advertising their daily special. After coming into office I took these comments very seriously. Along with the new council, legal staff and law enforcement, we were able to resolve the panhandling issue by instituting a solicitation ordinance that a number of cities had in place across the state long before us, so the former council is without excuse.  Now we’ll tackle signs and landscaping ordinances, put into place with the help of former Councilwoman Dempsey, that do little to improve the city but cause great harm to business owners.

Brenda Grassel

Spokane Valley council member

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