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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Current commissioner hopes to keep role in Whitworth Water District race

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 14, 2021

Whitworth Water District Commissioner Leroy (Lee) Legnon looks to another term this election, facing Stevan Veselinovic, who has a background in information technology.

Legnon and Veselinovic are on the ballot for the water district’s position No. 3. The board of commissioners leads the water district, which supplies water to parts of northern Spokane County. The board often looks at rates, conservation and sustainability of water.

Veselinovic did not respond to The Spokesman-Review’s multiple requests for comment.

Legnon was appointed to the commission in February. When he was told he would need to be elected to keep the seat, “it wasn’t even a thought, and I jumped at the opportunity,” Legnon wrote in an email.

He said over the past few months, he’s learned the importance of the position.

Legnon said he’s learned so much more about conservation and sustainability being part of the commission, specifically how customers use their water and what the aquifer looks like now and in the future. He said he also already knows about the developing projects within the district that involve water use requirements, such as water main extensions.

“If re-elected I won’t have to spend months getting up to speed on policies and procedures, learning about facilities, meeting people and understanding their roles within the district,” he wrote in an email. “There wouldn’t be any ramp time.”

Legnon said he wants to continue ensuring customers have safe and adequate water supplies. He also wants the district to keep thinking about dealing with future growth as more people move to the greater Spokane area and making sure the district’s infrastructure can keep up with the demands.

Legnon said his background in cybersecurity is a bonus to the district because critical infrastructure has been targeted by hackers recently. He pointed to a time in his current term when he was asked to do a review of the district’s yearly security audit. He did so and found the original company that did the audit possibly left the district exposed. He asked the company to come back and do a thorough audit.

“As a result the district has much better cyberhygiene and our customers should not experience outages as a result,” he said.

In his voter’s guide statement, Veselinovic recounts his first memory of drinking unclean water “out of the hands of my grandmother as we fled war torn Croatia.”

“I know first hand the importance of clean, affordable water,” he wrote.

He added he is grateful to live and work in Whitworth and pledges to “work together to keep it thriving.”

Laurel Demkovich's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.

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