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Cline operates home business, neighbor says


Candidate denies claim; reports only husband’s income on paperwork

A neighbor is alleging that Spokane Valley City Council candidate Marilyn Cline has been running a home business without declaring the income on required campaign disclosures.

Every candidate for public office is required to file a personal financial affairs statement with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission listing every source of their income as well as the candidate’s assets. Cline listed her husband’s salary as manager at A to Z Rentals and his Social Security income on her financial affairs statement. When interviewed earlier this year, Cline, 66, said she used to work as a hairdresser, but quit when her son was born.

A neighbor of Cline’s, D.J. Bird, said she has paid Cline to cut her and her husband’s hair for years. “I was one of her clients,” Bird said, noting her last hair appointment with Cline was six weeks ago.

Not long after that, Bird put a campaign sign for Cline’s opponent, Ben Wick, in her yard, she said. “I went for my (next) appointment and was told that since I had a sign up for Wick, I was no longer a friend,” Bird said.

Cline denies running a business out of her home and said she didn’t know what that would have to do with her campaign. She said she has cut family members’ hair, but not for money. “I’ve taken a piece of salmon for a haircut,” she said. “I’m running on public safety, not what my neighbors say about me.”

Cline said she wants her campaign to be about her volunteer work. “I know what I have done in this community,” she said. “I think I’ve displayed what I am.”

Bird said she believes that the City Council needs someone who is honest.

Said Cline, “I’m a licensed hairdresser. If I want to cut hair, I can cut hair.”

Washington state Department of Licensing records show that Cline was first granted a cosmetology operator license on June 27, 1969. It was renewed on Feb. 11, 2011 and expires in March 2013.

Such licenses are only required if someone has paying customers, said Department of Licensing employee Christine Anthony. “If she’s not charging a fee, then she does not have to have a license,” she said.

If Cline is charging for haircuts in her home she would also have to have a salon/shop license and a business license in addition to the license she does have, Anthony said. State records show that Cline doesn’t have either of those additional licenses.