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Bates files for council position that Towey is vacating

Spokane Valley planning commission chairman Bill Bates is running for the council seat being vacated by Mayor Tom Towey – his half-brother.

Bates is the first person to file paperwork with the Public Disclosure Commission.

Towey has already announced he will not seek re-election. Spokane Valley has a council-manager form of government. The role of mayor is largely ceremonial and a council member is elected by his fellow council members to the role, so running for Towey’s seat does not guarantee the role of mayor to whoever wins it.

Bates said he has been attending council meetings regularly for years. “I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on some of the priorities this council has been wrestling with,” he said. “My time on the planning commission has helped me considerably with land use and zoning and that kind of thing. I think I can do this city some good in the next few years.”

On his PDC paperwork Bates indicates that his campaign treasurer is Marilyn Cline, who was part of a four-person race in 2011. Ben Wick won that seat.

Bates was appointed to the planning commission by the City Council in December 2010. Towey recused himself from that vote and asked Deputy Mayor Gary Schimmels to review the candidates for the position. Bates is a longtime Spokane Valley resident who retired from Rosauers as vice president of retail operations in 1987.

As of Friday the only other council candidates to file with the PDC are incumbents Rod Higgins, Chuck Hafner and Schimmels. The official filing week through the Spokane County Elections Office starts Monday.

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