While it’s certainly not positive there will be a change, those who ran four years ago advocating “positive change” will all be challenged in the late-summer and fall elections for the Spokane Valley City Council.
The only exception is Mayor Tom Towey, who is not seeking re-election to his Position 7 seat. However, half-brother Bill Bates, who currently is a member of the Planning Commission, is running for that position, along with Fred Beaulac, who previously served on that volunteer board.
Towey – along with Dean Grafos, Gary Schimmels, Brenda Grassel and Bob McCaslin – all won council seats in 2009 as part of the Positive Change movement, spearheaded by former educator Chuck Hafner. The candidates pooled resources when campaigning, met regularly over coffee and all shared a disdain for the since-dismantled Sprague-Appleway Revitalization Plan.
Hafner was appointed to McCaslin’s Position 5 seat after he passed away in 2011. And Lew Higgins was appointed to Grassel’s Position 1 post last year when she resigned due to moving out of the city.
Higgins will be challenged by Linda Thompson, director of the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council, whom he famously edged in a coin toss earlier this year when council members were split on which would replace Grassel.
Meanwhile, in Position 4, Schimmels – who has served on the council for a decade – is will face two challengers in the August primary: DeeDee Loberg, director of the Washington State PTA, and Ed Pace, pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Spokane Valley.
Don Morgan Jr., 28, will challenge Hafner in the November general election.
In local school board races, two candidates who filed last week – Gina McAuley for Director 5 in the Central Valley School District and Roger Trainor, incumbent Director 5 in the East Valley School District – withdrew their candidacy on Monday.
Here’s a breakdown of who filed for elections of local interest:
Fairfield mayor: KayDee Gilkey
Fairfield Town Council: Position 1 – Emily Thomas, Harry Gibbons; Position 2 – Arlene Feigenhauer, John Jesseph
Latah mayor: Charisma (Chari) Conklin, Douglas Arnold
Latah Town Council: Position 1 – Patricia Neumann, Melanie Meagher; Position 2 – Teresa Galvin, Larry LaBolle, Dan Keller; Position 3 – Yvonne Warren, Gary Greenwalt; Position 4 – Steven (Steve) Leitz
Liberty Lake City Council: Position 1 Lori Olander, Debbi Haskins; Position 2 Jeff Sitton, Hugh Severs; Position 4 – Odin Langford, Mike Tedesco; Position 6 – Keith Kopelson
Millwood mayor: Kevin Freeman, Dennis Hamlin
Millwood City Council: Position 1 – Richard Schoen; Position 2 – Daniel (Dan) Sander
Rockford mayor – Micki Harnois, Steve Meyer
Rockford City Council – Position 1 – David Thompson, Steve Lyle Christman; Position 2 – Carrie Roecks; Position 5 – Larry Van Every, Chuck Collison and Robert Tollefson
Spokane Valley City Council: Position 1 – Rod Higgins, Linda Thompson; Position 4 – Gary Schimmels, Ed Pace, DeeDee Loberg; Position 5 – Chuck Hafner, Donald Morgan Jr.; Position 7 – Bill Bates, Fred Beaulac
Central Valley School District: Director 2 – Tom Dingus; Director 5 – Amy Mason, Gina McCauley (withdrew candidacy on Monday)
East Valley School District: Director 3 – Justin Voelker, Heidi Gillingham, Marvin T. Moore; Director 2 – Fred Helms, Kerri Lunstroth; Director 5 – Deanna L. Ervin, Mike Novakovich, Stormy Frederickson, Roger Trainor (incumbent, withdrew candidacy on Monday).
Freeman School District: Position 2 – Edward Cashmere; Position 4 – Neil Fuchs Jr.
Orchard Prairie School District: Director 1 – Steve Finn; Director 2 – Suzanne Savall
West Valley School District: Director 1 – Jim Williams; Director 2 – Robert Dompier; Director 4 – Adam Mortenson; Director 5 – Pam McLeod
Spokane Valley Fire Department: Position 1 – Kolby Hanson; Position 2 – Michael DeVleming, Ronald (Ron) Schmidt; Position 3 – Mike Pearson
Fire District 8: Position 1 – Dennis Ross
Fire District 9: Position 3 – John Bjork, Jim Bennett, Judith (Judy) Personett
Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District: Position 1 – Steve Skipworth; Position 2 – Kottayam Natarajan Jr.