City: Spokane, WA
Occupation: Spokane County commissioner
Education: Earned bachelor’s degree in architecture with a minor in business finance from the University of Idaho in 1977.
Political experience: Spokane County Commissioner since 2011. Currently sits on 40 boards, commissions, councils from the local to regional and state levels. Served on the Spokane City Council from 2002 to 2009. Recipient of “Outstanding Board Member of the Year” in 2008 from the American Public Transportation Association. Nevada-Lidgerwood Neighborhood Council president, 1995 to 2001; Northeast Community Center Association, board president; Spokane Transit Authority board chair.
Work experience: Architect, 1977 to present. Real estate broker and developer. Principal and owner of Al French Architects, PLLC. Licensed in Washington, Idaho and Montana. Former real estate agent and broker in Washington and Idaho. U.S. Marine veteran, 1969 to 1972, sergeant.
Family: Wife Rosalie French. Has daughter and one grandson.
Candidate Al French says he was just trying to be helpful when he wrote letters to the editor for his supporters to sign and send. “I have several written and you can have your pick,” French told Robin Sparrow on Friday on his personal Facebook page. “I have others (supporters) that are submitting, too. Or you can write your own if you like.”
As the only Democrat and the only woman, Bonnie Mager stands out among the candidates for her Spokane County commissioner position. Standing apart could help her survive next month’s primary election if Republicans split their votes among Steve Salvatori, Al French, Jeff Holy and David Elton. But in Washington’s top-two primary system, being the only Democrat no longer guarantees a ticket to the Nov. 2 general election.
The Spokane Ethics Committee has cleared City Councilman Al French in accusations that he violated ethics rules when he supported maintaining bus bench advertising. French asked the committee in August to take up the case after he was criticized for leading an effort to maintain bus bench ads. Late last year, the committee received two complaints alleging that French’s successful effort to change city law to allow bench ads was aimed at helping a business client who is a part-owner in an advertising company.
Spokane leaders last week climbed out of a $7 million budget hole and approved the city’s 2010 budget with no layoffs and no dramatic loss of city services. The approval allows officials to concentrate on a bigger financial challenge: a predicted deficit of more than $10 million in 2011.
A review of city Councilman Al French’s work on bus bench advertising rules was delayed again Wednesday. For the second meeting in a row, the Spokane Ethics Committee did not reach a quorum.