City: Spokane Valley , WA
Occupation: Deputy Mayor
Gary Schimmels, 75, owned and operated a local locksmith business from 1998 to 2007. He attended Eastern Washington University prior to serving two years in the Army, and was a construction industry employee/owner/operator from 1964 to 1994. He has served on the City Council since Spokane Valley incorporated in 2003. In the 2009 election Schimmels ran on the “Positive Change” slate with four challengers who unseated the incumbents. He has been selected by his fellow council members to serve as Deputy Mayor. Schimmels has argued against spending down the city’s reserves, but is willing to do so to pay for the Sullivan Bridge replacement and funding two new police officers. He doesn’t favor any tax increases now, but “in future years saying ‘no’ or ‘never’ may not apply or be an option.”
Gary Schimmels, described by many as one of Spokane Valley’s founding fathers, died unexpectedly Wednesday at his home. A longtime construction worker and locksmith who in later years immersed himself in utility issues, Schimmels was among the city’s first seven council members and would become one of its biggest boosters despite the fact that he’d initially opposed incorporation. He served as deputy mayor until last month following his November re-election defeat.
Former Spokane Valley Deputy Mayor Gary Schimmels, who lost his council seat in November to an intra-Republican feud, died this morning at his home. He was 75.
Washington voters – or at least the relative few that cast ballots in the summer primary – seemed willing to stick with the familiar Tuesday. Turnout was light in most areas, but incumbents seeking to extend their terms in office survived primaries for the Spokane City Council, Spokane Valley City Council and the 7th District state Senate race.