With summer over and fall fully entrenched, thoughts are turning to the upcoming general election Nov. 5. Three council races are up for election in Liberty Lake, including Position 1, where current office-holder Lori Orlander is fending off a challenge by paralegal Debbi Haskins.
Occupation: Retired naval officer/nurse anesthetist at the Spokane Eye Surgery Center.
Have you held any other public offices? Currently appointed to City Council Position 1. I have held other positions, both elected and appointed, on my state and national professional organizations as well.
Why did you want to file for candidacy? Being part of the conversation about how this city will grow is exciting. Liberty Lake has been very well run and we have an amazingly good staff within the police force, city administration and maintenance departments. Our finances are stable and we are poised to grow at a rapid rate over the next 10 to 15 years. I want to be part of maintaining the personality of this city as we grow.
What are your goals for the Liberty Lake City Council? I am committed to a city government that lives within its means and is responsive to the wishes of the residents. I will continue to speak out for a decrease in the utility tax as a means to improve economic growth. Cutting gas and electricity rates from 3 percent to 1.5 percent will bring us down to a level matching Spokane Valley.
What, in your mind, is the biggest issue facing the city in the immediate future? As currently planned, most of the growth in Liberty Lake will take place in the River District north of the freeway. Decisions need to be made now that will affect the city’s ability to provide the same level of service as our population nearly doubles. We need to be committed to maintaining the streets, safety, open space, trails and parks. We need to foster economic growth in the commercial district to broaden the sales tax base, which will fund projects like a swimming pool, town center or community center in the future.
Family/How long living in Liberty Lake: Raised in Spokane Valley, bought condo and became resident of Liberty Lake just over three years ago.
Why did you want to file for candidacy? I believe in the city of Liberty Lake and its future and want to be a part of the positive growing environment which has been set out by the mayor and council members. My slogan, “investing in the future,” is what I feel is important to the city. However, thoughtful growth is important as is not taking on too many projects at one time. I would like to see the city grow in the same manner as Spokane County, on an equal and even basis with not a lot of peaks and valleys. I feel this establishes a healthy and stable economy.
What are your goals for the Liberty Lake City Council? I do not have a large agenda. I feel that until elected it is difficult to make promises to the voters on issues that I may not be fully informed on. Being educated and listening to what our citizens want is key to a vital, healthy city and to good decision-making.
What, in your mind, is the biggest issue facing the city in the immediate future? Right now I feel the utility tax seems to be the number-one concern of citizens. It is up to the mayor and council to educate the citizens on what the utility tax is being used for. Currently, the 3-percent utility tax is being dedicated to street maintenance and repair. This is important so that our wonderful community does not end up with streets in disrepair like the city of Spokane’s streets. Liberty Lake’s 3-percent utility tax is low compared to the utility tax in surrounding areas:
- Spokane -- 20 percent
- Spokane Valley – 6 percent
- Millwood – 6 percent
- Airway Heights – Water, 19.8 percent, sewer, 15 percent
What surprising issues are people bringing up as you door-knock or meet folks at campaign stops? There has not been a "surprising issue" -- the citizens have asked about the utility tax, which I have addressed in a previous question. Everyone I have come in contact with has been very nice and said thank you for stopping by and speaking to them. The city of Liberty Lake is a friendly community and by meeting citizens that I do not know and having them be friendly and say thank you is supportive to what our city is: open and friendly.