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Letters for Oct. 22, 2023

Where’s the money?

In the past five years, my Spokane property taxes have increased by 57%. I believe the request for funding new jail space is reasonable. The voters of Spokane are now asked to allow increased sales tax. Can we have some accounting of the funds received by our increased property taxes before a decision on Measure 1? I have heard no discussion of this by any of the candidates.

Ted Vogelman


Spokane Good Government Alliance

Sponsored by the Spokane GOOD Government Alliance, the “Lord of the Flies” political ad I recently received in my USPS mailbox endorsing Mayor Woodward, was a horror movie poster that depicted Lisa Brown in distorted black and white images. But I see that no candidate authorized this ad. So, the mayor is once again not responsible!

Fredricka Jenkins


CV incumbents working for us

Educators support Cindy McMullen, Debra Long and Keith Clark for school board positions.

The focus of the Central Valley Education Association is always to put students first. Our goals have not wavered:

• We must recruit and retain the best educators for our students.

• We must work together to ensure our students have a robust educational experience with opportunities for student involvement.

Levies are critical to ensuring we have the funds necessary to equip our schools, our teachers and prioritize the needs of our students.

Our incumbent directors have passed several levies and bonds benefiting students. At least one opponent disagrees.

In a recent article in The Spokesman-Review, one challenger stated that should the race not go his way there would be, “a constant fight between board members that don’t have the same values that I do.”

Critical here is “I.”

Central Valley students need directors who are focused on the “we” of education. No single ideology will serve the diverse population in our schools.

Our incumbent board directors – Long, McMullen and Clark – understand the “we.”

They know our district, our schools and our students.

These three candidates are united. They have experience. Their priorities align with ours. We put students first and meet the needs of every student in the Central Valley School District.

Why change what works?

Central Valley Education Association proudly endorses Cindy McMullen, Debra Long and Keith Clark. These committed school board directors have a proven track record.

Wally Watson

Central Valley Education Association president


Central Valley School Board elections

After comparing the endorsements and the donations of the various candidates for Central Valley School Board, I am writing to express my support for the incumbents, Keith Clark, Debra Long and Cindy McMullen. They are endorsed by trusted names from Spokane County, including Ozzie Knezovich, Mary Kuney, Sheriff John Nowels and, finally, Mike Pearson and Wally Stanley (former CVSD superintendents). These endorsements are made by people who understand what it takes to govern an organization in a responsible manner.

The opposition candidates are endorsed by two groups that I find worrisome. The first group is the Family Policy Institute of Washington. While the name sounds innocuous, this group hosted a conference last March at On Fire Ministries where Matt Shea serves as pastor. The flyer advertising the event lists both Matt Shea and Semi Bird as speakers. Semi Bird was successfully recalled from his position on the Richland School Board in August.

The second group is Citizens for CVSD Transparency. This group was founded by Rob Linebarger, who filed a recall petition against CVSD that a judge deemed “factually insufficient, politically motivated, and frivolous.” Defending against that lawsuit has cost CVSD nearly $175,000. PDC records reveal that Linebarger has donated money to Jeff Brooks, Anniece Barker and Stephanie Jerdon. In addition, Citizens for CVSD Transparency donated $250 each to Brooks and Jerdon. It has also sent out multiple emails endorsing their candidacy and soliciting donations that will be used to support them.

Clark, Long and McMullen are the only qualified, reliable candidates on the ballot.

Perry Ross


Hesse for Fire District 8

I am encouraging voters within Spokane County Fire District 8 to vote for Commissioner Greg Hesse. We have worked together for many years and Greg has always been committed to putting the community and their needs first. He is fiscally conservative, while maintaining high-quality equipment and training for our firefighters.

I decided to write this letter after noticing that a large number of Greg’s signs have been stolen or destroyed. In fairness to the campaign for Greg Hesse, I felt the need to let voters know how much he has done for the district over his tenure as a commissioner. Your current board of commissioners strive to work together, in the best interest of our community and Greg is an integral part of that board. He has experience with a lifetime commitment to the fire service, including as a fire marshal for the Spokane Fire Department and now as a commissioner for Spokane County Fire District 8. Please vote for Greg Hesse.

Lee Boling


Do due diligence on Medical Lake candidates

In Medical Lake, the ballot will include positions for the school board. I recommend that each voter take time for “due diligence” on each candidate. It is imperative that board members adhere to federal, state, county and local policies and procedures. These compliances ensure funding from each entity. Funding is vital for preparing all students for a productive, successful future.

Personally, I am supporting Ron Cooper, Alexis Alexander and Laura Elliott-Parsons. All are long-time members of the community, and the men are Medical Lake High School alumni.

Ron continues to be a dedicated school board member; a position he has held for several terms. He not only attends board meetings but is a noticeable presence at many of the events in which students participate. He doesn’t just have a sign that says, “Every Student, Every Day,” he lives it!

Alexis has been filling a vacated position on the board. His young children are now attending Medical Lake Elementary. Moving forward this new vested interest, parent and elected board member, will assure high-level curricula and accomplishments for all students.

Laura is an active board member. Her love for our community is evident with her prior service on City Council and her board presence now.

The board must be doing things right. We had a 92% four-year graduation rate! (Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction; 2021-22)

John Higgins

School board member

Medical Lake

Re-elect Tim Hattenburg

If there is an easier decision than re-electing Tim Hattenburg for the Spokane Valley City Council, we don’t know what it could be.

When he was elected four years ago, his vote ended the council’s foot-dragging on acquiring the 47-acre Flora Road Park that the council recently voted to include a world-class cross-country course that will greatly enhance our community. And he has continued to lead the way on increasing the green space within our city limits.

He strongly supports keeping the Spokane Sheriff’s Department as our law enforcement, saving us the expense of creating our own police department. The Valley’s department is fully staffed with the next budget to include more officers.

The Valley opened a beautiful new library this year and Hattenburg was a driving force behind that. He was chairman of the library board before his council election and proudly points out the new library was built without an increase in taxes.

He is also our council representative on the STA board and helped secure a state grant so anyone under 20 can ride free all year, not just in the summer. And he is proud to add the bus passes are available at the library.

Tim’s opponent says truth matters; but what that is is unknown because he avoids public comment, other than acknowledging he is for making Eastern Washington the 51st state. Vote for the person that does something as opposed to the one who says nothing.

Dave and Lori Trimmer

Spokane Valley

Kitty Klitzke, an obvious choice

For years I’ve watched Kitty Klitzke shouldering responsibility while others, (including me) just shrug and hope everything turns out all right.

I am a resident and business owner in West Central Spokane. Kitty really understands what’s important in my community. She has earned the reputation of being knowledgeable and experienced in advocating for good planning for the future of our neighborhoods and beyond.

For more than 15 years, Kitty has been working collaboratively and earning the respect of others for her judgment and tenacity; which is why she has support from unions, local tribes and educators – from both Republicans and Democrats and from business owners like me. I applaud Kitty’s position on filling the more than 60 vacant police positions, re-establishing neighborhood resource officers and traffic patrols, and making sure we fully fund all our public safety needs.

I’m sure her opponent means well, but Kitty is prepared. She’s not guessing, she knows. And when she doesn’t have an answer, she’ll study until she does. She’s honest, capable and the best choice for City Council in District 3.

Lorna St. John


VA ignored in health care section

Once again The Spokesman-Review supplement spotlighting health care in the Northwest has completely neglected mention of Spokane’s Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center, which serves a wide swath including Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Western Montana. Providing comprehensive care between the main Spokane campus, a variety of regional clinics (community-based outpatient clinics), and in partnership with local providers, the VA employs nurses, physicians, surgeons, CRNAs, PAs, ARNPs, medical support assistants, social workers, behavioral health practitioners, respiratory/occupational/physical therapists, audiologists, dental professionals, optometry/ophthalmology professionals, audiology professionals, recreational therapists, radiology/nuclear med/cardiology professionals, and pharmacy professionals. A huge staff of building maintenance, supply, environmental management and food service workers keep things running, and a program of generous volunteers from all walks of life fill gaps and provide personal support for many programs.

Too often, the only mention of VA in this newspaper focuses on problems or shortcomings. It would be nice to see the occasional positive spotlight, and inclusion of VA with other local health care providers, considering the large population of local veterans served by these dedicated health care professionals.

Lisa Lasswell


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