A former local Republican party leader says elected officials need two characteristics for success: strength and leadership.
On Tuesday, Charlotte Karling whipped out a photograph of herself hanging upside down from a tightrope slung above a swamp, leading a group of junior high school students through an obstacle course.
The photo is proof she’s up to the task of serving on the Spokane City Council, Karling said with a smile.
“That just might be what a City Council member faces every day,” she said. “Each one must be swamped by a myriad of local issues, hanging on with all the strength they can muster and supposedly leading people onto higher ground.”
Karling plans to run for the seat currently held by Councilman Mike Brewer, who doesn’t plan to seek reelection. Judith Gilmore and Robert Schroeder also are vying for the post.
While at least 35 people looked on, Karling kicked off her campaign in the YWCA parking lot above the lower Spokane Falls.
“It’s not streets, not sewers, not power, not politics” that define a good City Council member, Karling said. “It’s people.”
As a mom, grandmother and Christian, she can relate to nearly everyone she meets, she said. “I bring to this race a person who understands what people are going through.”
Karling said her top three priorities are dealing with crime, fixing the streets and improving the downtown area - including getting a new bridge over the falls.
“I believe that we have to have a bridge,” she said, referring to the Lincoln Street bridge project. She added she thinks the city should negotiate a lower price for the Ronald property needed to build the bridge.
A jury last April said the land condemned by the city in 1995 was worth $2.184 million. The city has appealed the decision.
Karling, 54, is a graphic designer and writer who served as Spokane County Republican Central Committee chairman for two years, retiring in 1996.
Before starting her own design business, she worked as development coordinator for the Union Gospel Mission and Anna Ogden Hall.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
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