EDITOR’S NOTE: Previous endorsements can be found here.
Spokane Valley voters have a decision to make about what kind of council it wants. It can be ideologically driven, or it can stick to the basics of the job while considering regional solutions.
If voters prefer the latter, they will select Linda Thompson and Brandi Peetz. We think bringing a nonpartisan, collaborative approach to the council would be wise.
As we said in Wednesday’s endorsement of Ben Wick over Ed Pace, regardless of the outcome “the city will be run by fiscal conservatives who will maintain large reserves and probably forgo tax increases. It’s been that way from the beginning; it’s what residents expect.”
The key difference is that current council members Pace, Caleb Collier and Mike Munch believe it is their duty to push back when they believe other government officials are out of line. So they support the idea of a nonbinding “parental rights” resolution to assuage parents who want to send their unvaccinated children to public schools during disease outbreaks. The proposal also spotlights school matters, such as sex education. Parents with these concerns can lobby the Spokane Regional Health District, state legislators and school boards.
Thompson is running against Munch for the Position 7 seat. Four years ago, she lost a coin toss to Rod Higgins for an appointed council position. She later lost a close race to him. She’s been executive director of the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council for more than 20 years. She ended her career as a banker and took on public service when her 3-year-old son was killed by a drunken driver with many prior arrests. She has worked with Sen. Mike Padden to strengthen felony DUI laws. Thompson is smart, well-connected and informed on the issues.
Munch was appointed to replace Bill Gothmann. Munch is president of Able Construction LLC and former treasurer of the Stevens County Republican Party. He said he’s proud of what the council has accomplished, including adopting a new comprehensive plan and lowering transportation costs.
Brandi Peetz is trying to unseat Caleb Collier for Position 2. Collier was one of the appointees when Dean Grafos and Chuck Hafner resigned in protest. Peetz said it was the way the council handled the dismissal of City Manager Mike Jackson that drew her to the race. She has a criminal justice-sociology degree from Gonzaga University and has served on the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Sheriff’s Office, volunteered with Sheriff’s Community Oriented Policing Effort and was a 911 operator.
Peetz said public safety is her top priority, and she has the endorsement of Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich (as does Thompson). Several former council members have endorsed Peetz and Thompson, because they want a return to the days when it was a less partisan body.
Collier served in the Marines for four years, was an EMT for six years and is now a postal worker. He said he’s a proud member of the Constitution Party and is a precinct committee officer for the Republican Party. Last year, he floated the idea of Spokane Valley declaring itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary City when he feared the Legislature might take up a ban on the sale of semi-automatic rifles. Collier’s proposal demonstrates the urge to go beyond the boundaries of his position.
If Valley voters want to balance the council with leaders who will stick to city business and aren’t fearful of “regional entanglements,” they will vote for Thompson and Peetz.
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