Three races for City Council in Airway Heights have drawn a crowd of candidates.
In the race for Position 1, incumbent Dale Perry is facing retired Airway Heights employee John Holloway.
Former community center employee Elizabeth Brush is also listed on the ballot for Position 1, but she said last week she is withdrawing from the race. She would not say why.
County officials said Brush’s name, however, will appear on the primary ballot along with the other candidates.
Perry, an engineer for the state Department of Transportation, is finishing his first full term on the Airway Heights council and is seeking re-election.
Perry said he supports highway improvements, the casino proposal and growth planning. Maintaining the city’s infrastructure of sewer, water and streets is important, he said, especially in connection with planning for growth.
“I do what I think is best for the community,” Perry said.
His challenger, Holloway, served as the planning and public works director for 18 years. He also served in the Air Force and worked at Fairchild Air Force Base as a civilian employee.
He said council members need to listen to citizens.
“If you are on the council, you are up there to represent the people,” Holloway said.
He said there’s been too much infighting among council members and he would try to put an end to it if elected.
He supports the casino proposal and growth-management efforts in the city.
In the Position 2 race, incumbent Claude Hicks is facing Florence Booher, a homemaker, and Jery McCoury, a construction worker and volunteer firefighter.
Hicks, owner of Hicks Hardware in Airway Heights, said a lot of the longtime residents like the small-town atmosphere. He is seeking a third term.
But the growth that’s coming to Airway Heights is making it a better place to live, Hicks said. He pointed to the new Hayden Meadows residential development as an example of a well-planned subdivision that’s offering affordable housing.
“You’ve got to plan and follow the plan as close as you can,” Hicks said.
Booher, who has lived in Airway Heights for 15 years, has a different view.
“I want the people to take the town back,” she said.
Booher is rankled by Mayor Don Harmon’s style. “Mr. Harmon feels he can do anything he wants,” she said.
She ran in 1995 against Councilman Brian Grady as a write-in candidate and lost.
McCoury has spent eight years in Airway Heights and lived in the Spokane area for 32 years. He agrees with Booher that the council needs to listen.
“The people want to be heard a little bit more,” he said.
In Position 3, four candidates are running for an open seat. They are Patrick Carbaugh, Barbara Cochran, Gerry Gadberry and Rich Miller.
Carbaugh is a single father and a union bricklayer who also runs his own business. He’s lived in Airway Heights for six years and believes the city needs to improve its programs for young people.
“I don’t think the community as a whole is doing a good job for our youth,” he said. “There’s nothing for our kids to do.”
He coaches youth baseball and basketball.
One of his ideas is to start a local city cable news report and have students prepare the stories.
Airway Heights also needs a recycling program, he said.
Gadberry is the maintenance supervisor at the Airway Heights Corrections Center. He’s lived in the city four years and volunteers on the Toys for Tots campaign each year.
He said he wants to be part of a council team that will build the community into the next century.
“I really believe it could be one of the best cities,” he said.
The city’s water system needs improvement, he said. Pressure has dropped in some neighborhoods below safe fire standards, he said.
“That would be a No. 1 priority,” he said.
Cochran and Miller were unavailable for interviews.
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