Gary Schimmels has been a proven survivor on the Spokane Valley City Council.
As the current deputy mayor, Schimmels has been on the council for the past 10 years. He was elected out of a field of over 50 candidates when Spokane Valley first incorporated. However, when he disagreed with the majority of the council on implementing the controversial Sprague-Appleway Revitalization Plan, he joined a slate of challengers running under the Positive Change banner.
This time around, however, it is challenger Ed Pace – who made a try for the council in 2009 -- who is being endorsed by the Positive Change candidates.
DeeDee Loberg, a former council candidate, is the third name looking for the Position 4 seat.
The top-two voter getters in the Aug. 6 primary will go on to the November general election.
Family/How long living in Spokane Valley: Married for 21 years w/ two sons. Lived in the Valley for 30 years.
Why did you want to file for candidacy? I want to build a community that provides for good paying jobs; safe and clean neighborhoods and streets, with plenty of opportunities for leisure.
My skill sets include; balancing large budgets with efficiency, consensus building, strategic planning and effective listening. I am approachable, consistent and thorough and I will work hard to ensure we have the best possible community to live in.
What are your goals for the Spokane Valley City Council? If elected to office my goals are to re-focus our efforts on building our city, ensuring sound fiscal management and providing effective, forward thinking leadership. I believe our city’s success requires a clear vision and a collaborative approach.
What, in your mind, is the biggest issue facing the city in the immediate future? Sullivan Bridge project and identifying resources for street preservation.
What surprising issues are people bringing up as you door-knock or meet folks at campaign stops? Questions regarding one-way or two-way on Sprague, the Spokane County wetland project, hotel/motel tax ruling by the Legislature, coal trains, complete streets.
Website? No Web site yet, but please advertise email@example.com as contact.
Family/how long living in Spokane Valley: My family and I moved to Spokane Valley in 1981 when Hewlett-Packard transferred me here as a production supervisor. Three of our four children graduated from University High School, and one was homeschooled for his senior year. He went on to earn a Certificate in Audio Technology from Spokane Falls Community College and is now in the army training to be an explosive ordinance disposal technician. He is our youngest. Our next oldest was a valedictorian at University High and went on to earn a B.S. in math from Washington State University and a massage degree from Whatcom Community College. Next is our daughter, who studied dance at Ballet Arts Academy in Spokane and went on to a professional dance career. Our oldest graduated from Spokane Community College with an AA in liberal arts and is the mom of two adopted kids, one of whom is special-needs. My wife and I have been married for 40 years and have five grandchildren.
Goals for Spokane Valley City Council: I want to help continue the good work started by the Positive Change council members in 2009, keeping our city growing with a smaller, contract-based government, common-sense priority-based budgeting, and recruiting job-producing businesses to our city. Specifically, I would like to help the City Council allocate cash for the Sullivan Street bridge; make decisions on waste management that benefit our residents and businesses; ensure that our sheriff-contracted police department is funded to meet the challenges of population growth and increasing threats of property crimes, robberies, and gang infiltration; ensure that property owners within our city limits get answers to their concerns about the Spokane County's Saltese Flats wetlands restoration, flood-plain changes, and effluent dumping projects; and avoid raising taxes except as a last resort after spending cuts are made.
Biggest issue facing city in immediate future: I believe the biggest issue, although not the most urgent, is making decisions in 2014 and 2015 about garbage pickup and disposal for the city. I want to help make those decisions using these criteria: benefit residents and businesses while keeping fees the same or less; continue giving residents and businesses the freedom to opt out of curbside pickup; support the goal of continuing to be a lower-cost, contract city; and it would be great if fees paid by residents and businesses stayed within the city.
What surprising issues are people bringing up during door-belling and campaign events: No one wants to pay more taxes, in fact some angrily say our taxes are too high. Hardly anyone says they want a city hall or a city center or a "city identity." People love living here and many don't pay attention to city government.
Web site: electedpace.com
Family/How long living in Spokane Valley: Married 52 years to Myrna and have five children, all who were educated and now work and live in the Spokane Valley/Spokane area. City council member since the city began. Board member of Consolidated Irrigation 19 for 32-plus years. Locksmith for nine-plus years. Real estate for five years. Employed in construction trade for 35-plus years. Work involved sewer, water and asphalt as superintendent and foreman. U.S. Army for two years – drafted and served overseas for one year. Gonzaga Prep graduate. Active member of St. Joseph’s Parish for the past 50 years. I was born and raised in the Spokane Valley. My grandparents were pioneers of the Valley with blacksmith shop, grocery store and raising a large family.
Why did you want to file for candidacy? The Valley has been home all my life, and it is with this in mind that I seek re-election as I have a special love for this city. I want to see it retain its beauty but include the growth that is needed for future generations to thrive in the Valley. We are a debt-free city because of good choices made by prior city councils and staff. My goal is to continue to keep the Spokane Valley a viable, debt-free, citizen-friendly place to raise families.
What are your goals for the Spokane Valley City Council?
I am a man of integrity and honesty. I will continue to work hard to bring a win-win outcome to the issues that I deal with as a councilman. I am not always right, but I do listen and have the good of the citizens of Spokane Valley in mind as I make decisions that affect all of our futures. Holding a National Night Out Against Crime on Aug. 6 at 3015 N. Joel Road from 6 to 8 p.m.