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Editorial: Advance Mumm, Burrow in council race

After an unsuccessful run for county commissioner, Candace Mumm is defending her District 3, Position 2 Spokane City Council seat against two opponents seeking a more business-friendly climate.

When Mumm’s family moved to Five Mile Prairie, she worked with neighbors to land a community park. She served as president of the Plan Commission as the city developed its comprehensive plan. She authored the city’s first crosswalk ordinance and has worked to make the city safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.

As a council member, she worked on the green bond issue that combines sewer and street improvements and diverts pollution from the Spokane River. As a private citizen, she helped pass a bond for Mead schools.

She has demonstrated a grasp of the how the interconnected parts of government can be leveraged to achieve goals. She is excited about the planned STA transit center near Spokane Falls Community College and how it will be integrated into a plan to bring sidewalks, crosswalks, traffic signals and retail services to the neighborhood.

She was a co-leader on the city’s Gender and Racial Equity Task Force, which produced a report showing a disparity in hiring and promotion practices within City Hall.

The race is shaping up much like her first one, with her opponents painting her as a lockstep partisan on a left-leaning council.

Brian Burrow is running for office for the first time, though he has worked on campaigns for Mayor David Condon, Spokane County Commissioner Shelly O’Quinn and former state Rep. Kevin Parker. He’s also worked on issues such as finance, education and biofuels for various legislative committees.

Burrow is a project manager with a tech services company that has contracted with Avista Corp. He also has experience in workforce education. He believes the council wastes time on issues such as circus elephant hooks and oil and coal trains. Because rail transit is under federal jurisdiction, he believes the council’s involvement is setting the city up for expensive litigation.

He wants the council to focus on core responsibilities: streets and public safety. He says better oversight and communication are needed on street maintenance and snow removal. He supports the Riverfront Park upgrade, saying it benefits tourism and economic development. But he says that project could also use better communication. He is a staunch supporter of law enforcement, but like all of the council candidates says it will be a challenge to pay for more police officers.

Better leadership, he says, could’ve headed off the North Monroe road-diet controversy. The business community, he says, is concerned with policies and proposals that seek to emulate Seattle and Portland.

Burrow says poor planning has caused traffic and safety problems in the Indian Trail area, and he implicates Mumm. He’s been endorsed by former council members Michael Allen, Steve Corker and Nancy McLaughlin.

Matthew Howes is also undertaking his first run for office. He is the co-owner of Adelo’s Pizza, Pasta and Pints in the Indian Trail neighborhood. He echoes many of Burrow’s complaints about a council that makes life difficult for businesses. The city should do more to support small businesses, he says.

Howes spotlights the spread of marijuana advertising and wants to restrict it to shield children. Like all candidates in this race, he is against a sugar tax to pay for more police officers. He also believes the city can do a better job on road maintenance.

His supporters include Councilman Mike Fagan, Spokane County Treasurer Rob Chase and Spokane County Commissioner Josh Kerns.

In this race, Mumm has unmatched civic experience and accomplishments, but we’re also impressed with Burrow’s pragmatism and economic development focus. He also appears to be more moderate than Howes.

We recommend voters advance Mumm and Burrow to the general election.

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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.