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The city of Spokane Valley’s new snowplow is parked next to one of the original plows at the Public Works Facility in the Industrial Park. The old snowplows, purchased from the WSDOT, averaged 2,500 miles each during last year’s snowy winter. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak
Here we are again on another lovely Monday morning, which means it is time to look at the Saturday Valley Voice highlights. The city of Spokane Valley is working on breaking in its first brand new snow plow, which was ordered last year but didn't arrive until April. It will be the only white plow truck you see out on the road.
Reporter Lisa Leinberger highlighted the high number of absences at the Liberty Lake City Council, which was brought into focus last week when the council meeting didn't have a quorum for nearly an hour. The Mayor is considering a chance to the council's absentee rule.
The state Public Disclosure Commission has decided not to persue a camplaint filed against former Spokane Valley City Council candidate Marilyn Cline. The complaint was filed in October. Spokane County has wrapped up sewer construction work in the Valley for the season, but residents in the Green Haven neighborhood can expect to see crews back in the spring. Large boulders and old concrete irrigation system conduits slowed work so much that the project wasn't completed in time.
The Spokane County Elections Office just released another vote total, putting Ben Wick in the lead against challenger Marilyn Cline in the race for Spokane Valley City Council Position 6 by 360 votes. The County has 1,000 ballots left to count and about 400 of those are from Spokane Valley residents. It is statistically unlikely that Cline could collect enough of those votes to win the seat. Another vote count is scheduled to be released tomorrow at 5 p.m.
As the vote counting continues and Ben Wick keeps increasing his lead over fellow Spokane Valley City Council candidant Marilyn Cline, it now seems safe to say that Wick will replace retiring councilman Bill Gothmann. In the most recent vote count released Monday night, Wick now holds a 354 vote lead over Cline, who campaigned with the Positive Change candidates. On election night Wick's lead was only 20 votes and it has grown steadily since. Wick's election means he will be the only non-Positive Change council member for the city.
In the other city council races, the Postive Change candidates have maintained their election night leads. Dean Grafos, Arne Woodard and Chuck Hafner won new terms on the council. The closest race there was between Woodard and Dee Dee Loberg, who collected 47 percent of the vote.
Another ballot tally is scheduled to be released tonight at 5 p.m. Only 5,000 Spokane County ballots remain to be counted.
A race for Spokane City Council inched closer to an automatic recount on Monday in the fourth day of ballot counting from the Nov. 8 election. Former Councilman Mike Allen’s lead over incumbent Richard Rush for a seat representing south Spokane fell by 17 votes to 135.
There are about 1,143 votes left to count in the contest, and if it tightens to within a half percentage point, an automatic computer recount will occur. Allen currently has 50.33 percent to Rush’s 49.67 percent.
Spokane Proposition 1, the Community Bill of Rights, appears to be headed to defeat after the fourth day of counting. It lost ground and is trailing by 1,013 votes with 2,777 left to count.
In Spokane Valley, Ben Wick’s lead over Marilyn Cline for City Council position 6 grew to 354 votes. There are 1,120 votes left count.
Adams Elementary media specialist Julie Custer reads “Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum” to second-graders Oct. 5. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak
There are a lot of stories to highlight from today's Valley Voice, so let's get started. We hae city council candidate Q&A stories from Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake. Today we are highlighting Dean Grafos and John Carroll in Spokane Valley and Shane Brickner and Keith Kopelson in Liberty Lake. The rest of the candidates will be featured in Saturday's Valley Voice.
A complaint has been filed with the PDC against Spokane Valley City Council candidate Marilyn Cline alleging that she is running a hairdressing business out of her home without declaring in on her financial affairs statement. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on how a grant fromTarget allowed Adams Elementary to buy books for its library and volunteers also showed up to redecorate.
The city of Spokane Valley and Spokane County are in the early stages of discussions about turning the old Milwaukee Railroad right-of-way into a mixed use trail. At one point the city wanted to use the land, which is still owned by the County, to extend Appleway Blvd. to the east.
Liberty Lake Mayor Wendy Van Orman presented her proposed 2012 budget to the city council this week. It calls for reducing the city's new utility tax to three percent while purchasing a new police car, getting a new records management system for the police department and completing phase two of the city's arboretum.
A team of students gather around a picnic table and bench they built during their East Valley High School construction class on Friday in Spokane Valley. SR. photo/Dan Pelle
We've got a bunch of news coming your way in today's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger checked in with East Valley High School students who are building picnic tables and benches as part of a competition.
Neighbors have come forward to say that Spokane Valley City Council candidate Marilyn Cline has been running a haircutting business in her home without reporting the income on the state financial affairs statement as required. I also checked the state and local records and found out that Cline doesn't have all the necessary licenses to operate a business in her home.
The city of Spokane Valley is working to apply for a $10 million grant to complete the funding package to replace the Sullivan Road bridge that carries southbound traffic, which is failing. The City Council candidates gathered last week for their first debate, which had a few sparks. It looks like one more debate is coming up next week. I'll have more details on that later.
Most people have probably heard about the election results by now, but here's a look at today's story if you missed it. Voters in Spokane Valley had only one thing on the ballot - narrowing the field of candidates for Bill Gothmann's council seat from four to two. It's shaping up as a contest between the old council supporters and the new council supporters. Marilyn Cline, who has the support of the Mayor and most council members, got the most votes at 3,702 (41%). Ben Wick, who was endorsed by Gothmann and others who favored the previous council, came in a respectable second at 2,288 votes (25%).
Longtime SCOPE volunteer John Baldwin came in third with 1,507 votes (17%) despite not actively campaigning or raising any money. Retired mining executive Lewis Higgins, a relative newcomer to the Valley compared to the other candidates, picked up 1,392 votes (15%). The elections office also counted 113 write in ballots, but there's no way of telling who people were writing in. It's probably a safe bet that a few jokers wrote in Mickey Mouse.
There's still a few thousand votes to count, so the results aren't official yet. I wouldn't expect any large change in the percentage results, though.