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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane County Public Facilities District accepting applications for board of directors seat vacancy

The Podium’s indoor track is seen taking shape in February during a media tour of the Spokane facility. Spokane County is seeking applicants for the Public Facilities District board, which oversees the Podium and other properties, such as the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.   (TYLER TJOMSLAND/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Spokane County is seeking applicants for the Spokane Public Facilities District board of directors.

The Washington state Legislature in 1989 allowed for the creation of the Spokane Public Facilities District. Legislators crafted the new state law so that Spokane could create a district that would construct, own and operate the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. There are now other public facilities districts elsewhere in Washington.

Today, the Spokane Public Facilities District manages and sets policy for the Arena, the Spokane Convention Center, the First Interstate Center for the Arts and the nearly completed Podium near Riverfront Park, which will be a massive sports and indoor track and field facility.

Mick McDowell, a real estate developer and former firefighter, has served on the five-member board for roughly 15 years, but he’s not seeking another term and will step down Sept. 12.

“There’s a certain point in time when fresh blood is needed or wanted or both,” McDowell said, noting that he thought it was a good time to walk away after the Podium is completed and before the district takes on new projects.

McDowell said he was glad to have an opportunity to give back to Spokane and use his construction knowledge for the city’s benefit while serving on the board.

“When you make your living doing construction in downtown Spokane – and I did a lot – you learn things,” McDowell said. “It’s fun to give back to the community what you’ve learned.”

Spokane County and the City of Spokane each appoint two representatives to the Public Facilities District board. The lodging industry suggests a member for appointment who must be confirmed by the four other board members. Board members serve four-year terms.

Larry Soehren, former president and CEO of Kiemle Hagood and one of Spokane’s representatives on the Public Facilities District, also will step down when his term expires Sept. 20.

Soehren has sat on the board for 17 years. He, like McDowell, said it will be good to have someone new take his seat.

The board meets at 12:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month. The meetings are held at the District Administration Offices at 720 W. Mallon Ave.

Anyone interested in applying to serve on the Public Facilities District Board for McDowell’s position can apply by emailing Ginna Vasquez, clerk of the Spokane County commissioners, at You can also call Vasquez at (509) 477-2268.