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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington Voices

Romney to fill vacant council seat in Liberty Lake

Engineer chosen from eight residents

Liberty Lake resident Ryan Romney was selected to fill the Liberty Lake City Council seat left vacant with the resignation of Brian Sayrs. The council held a special meeting Tuesday to interview candidates and select a new member to the council.

Eight residents had submitted their names for the open position, but one had been a Liberty Lake resident for less than a year and didn’t meet the residency requirement. Each applicant was interviewed separately before the council and asked the same series of questions.

The council discussed each person’s qualifications in an executive session that stretched nearly 90 minutes, said community development director Doug Smith. The meeting wrapped up near 10 p.m. after council members Neal Olander, Susan Schuler, Patrick Jenkins and Dave Crump voted to appoint Romney.

Romney, a senior design engineer at Gennum Corp., said he had been thinking about running for City Council for several weeks. “I decided that I would run the next time there were elections,” he said. “I just thought it would be a good opportunity to contribute to the community.”

His current residency in Liberty Lake spans three years, but he previously lived in the city for two years before spending four years working in Salt Lake City. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Eastern Washington University and a master’s in electrical engineering from the University of Utah.

Romney, 35, said he wanted a seat on the council so he could have a voice in decisions and because he wanted to make a difference. At times he hasn’t agreed with the direction the council chose, most notably the attempt to spend $10 million on a library/community center. “I disagreed with that idea in its entirety,” he said. He wanted a more economical approach and he thought many residents agreed with him. “It just kept moving through.”

He’s satisfied with the council’s “Plan B,” however, and has visited the city’s new library and police station. “I think it was a better alternative,” he said.

Romney said he doesn’t really have an agenda for his time on the council. “I really don’t have a strong agenda of things I’m trying to push through or trying to block,” he said.

Romney and his wife, Jessica, have been married 12 years and have five children ranging in age from 6 months to 10 years. He said he plans to run for election in November, when the interim term expires.

Others who submitted their names for consideration include Frank Raney, retired from Carlisle Tire and Wheel; Cristella Kaminskas, a senior program manager at Key Tronic EMS; Jason Adelmann, data management systems report analyst at Washington Trust Bank; Ruthanna Robbins, who owns and operates Real Sports Media; Dan Dunne, an employee of Advanced Input Systems and current member of the Liberty Lake Planning Commission; and Wadie Elaimy, retired from the Idaho Health Facilities Authority.

Nina Culver can be reached at (509) 927-2158 or via email at ninac@spokesman.com.
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