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Roskelley wants his old job back

Thu., Jan. 12, 2012, 10:24 a.m.

Former Spokane County Commissioner John Roskelley said he’s ready to take his old job back.

Roskelley, a Democrat, announced on Wednesday that he is running for county commissioner in District 1, which covers the North Side of Spokane and northern parts of the county.

Roskelley served as commissioner from 1995 to 2004.

He is running for a job occupied by incumbent Commissioner Todd Mielke, a Republican.

Roskelley said he’s seen a decline in the county’s financial picture since he left office, and he wants to change that. He acknowledged that a slow economy has cut into the county’s budget, but savings that piled up during his tenure have helped the county work through its current budget problems.

“Granted, the economy was strong when I was in office, but what we did in terms of cutting spending and socking away a significant reserve was the key to keeping the current commission’s head above water these past few years,” he said in a press release.

He pointed out that during his years as commissioner, the county avoided property tax increases. Part of that came as a result of a strong economy, he said.

Roskelley said his accomplishments included development of a new comprehensive land-use plan, an ordinance to protect sensitive land and an ordinance regulating cell phone towers, among other issues.

“My campaign is about looking to the future, a broader vision,” he said.

Roskelley criticized Mielke for supporting ballot measures to raise taxes for public safety programs.

After leaving office, Roskelley served six years on the Growth Management Hearings Board for Eastern Washington.

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