With Mayor Tom Towey opting not to seek a second term, two newcomers – retired Rosauers executive Bill Bates and Fred Beaulac, operations manager/safety director for Hatfield Enterprises – stepped to the fore.
Age? 75 years old.
Family/How long living in Spokane Valley: My wife Kathy and I have raised five children, all of which attended Valley schools. We’ve lived and worked in the Spokane Valley for 48 years.
Why did you want to file for candidacy? I’m running for the Spokane Valley City Council Position 7 because this is my home and I want to help see that our city continues to grow and prosper.
I’ve been attending council meetings for the past four years and I realize that we have many critical issues facing our city over the next few years. I’ve heard the discussions, attended budget meetings and seen the challenges that face us. I’m currently a member of the Spokane Valley Planning Commission and have participated in many recommendations to the city council on a number of issues. With my leadership abilities and experience in city government, I know I can be a part of solving the challenges facing our city.
What are your goals for the Spokane Valley City Council? My primary goal on the city council would be to help continue to balance our city budget and live within our means as the present council has done for the last four years. Our present council has cut the city budget every year while still providing all of the basic services to our citizens. If elected, I intend to continue this fiscal responsibility by prioritizing needs from wants.
Another goal I have is to strengthen our cities law enforcement team by adding additional sheriff deputies. We have the same number of deputies responding to “calls for assistance” from the public that we had when our city was incorporated in 2003. We’ve fallen behind in public safety to our citizens and now must play catch-up in this critical area. We can do this without additional taxes.
My third goal is to work with other council members and our city staff to help develop an in-house Economic Development team. We have far too many empty buildings and offices that need tenants to employ Valley people and ultimately generate revenues for our city. We can do this.
What, in your mind, is the biggest issue facing the city in the immediate future? As I mentioned above, the biggest issue facing our city in the immediate future is finding the funding for additional sheriff deputies to assure all our citizens will be safe. Public safety is a primary goal that all citizens have a right to expect out of their government. Revenues to support public safety is a difficult challenge for most cities and ours is no different. Our city is currently in a strong financial position and funding public safety is a matter of basic services that must be funded.
What surprising issues are people bringing up as you door-knock or meet folks at campaign stops? The people I’ve talked to are bringing up good basic city government issues that are not a surprise to me. Most say, “No new taxes.
Listen to what people are telling you and then act.”
Keep up the good work on road preservation, the roads are great.”
Continue to spend taxpayers dollars wisely.”
Separate needs from wants.”
Use good common sense in decision making.”
Preserve our Valley culture.”
Web site: None
Family/How long living in Spokane Valley: My wife Jayne and I have been married for 36 years and have lived in Spokane Valley since 1991. We have one son Jeff who is 28 and he is currently going to school in Olympia.
Why did you want to file for candidacy? My primary reason for running for council is to bring diversity to council. The present council make up does not have the dynamic that represents working families. Both my wife work and I realize that working families in this economy face a constantly changing set of financial obstacles to maintain their lifestyle. These challenges range from funding education, the current medical mandate, secure employment that provides a living wage, funding retirement, and many other individual financial hurdles. I feel I can bring the voice of working families to council in a way that is not currently being represented.
I also have a great sense of pride in Spokane Valley and what has been accomplished in the past 10 years. I know that I could continue that tradition and preserve the Spokane Valley way of life.
What are your goals for the Spokane Valley City Council? I have focused my campaign on maintaining our infrastructure and making sure Spokane Valley remains a safe environment to raise a family.
We must continue to identify what roads are in disrepair and fix them before they are completely beyond repair. The method of identifying roads and repairing them using the overlay process is extremely cost-effective. Funding to support this type of infrastructure improvement is always a concern, but Spokane Valley has done a great job in accomplishing this and I will do whatever possible to continue this practice.
To ensure that the citizens of Spokane Valley feel safe it is going to take a joint effort from Spokane Valley and the sheriff’s department to make sure this happens. Property crimes can be devastating to anyone or any business in Spokane Valley and working with the sheriff’s department to prevent them is imperative. I would like Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich’s input on a possible program that would help in prevention of these crimes. The use of additional personal would be a solution I would support and I would work diligently to find the funding to support that personal.
What, in your mind, is the biggest issue facing the city in the immediate future? As with any government entity in this day and age funding is always a major issue that cities face. Funding drives almost all aspects and responsibilities that cities are required to maintain. In Spokane Valley we are doing quite well financially but it is impossible to predict the future so we must remain prepared. We need to continue to plan out funding and manage to balance our city budget. I do not believe in increasing taxes to balance a budget. The best way for a city to increase revenues and provide services is to provide an infrastructure that is favorable to the private sector. New jobs and businesses can make up for any potential tax increases.
What surprising issues are people bringing up as you door-knock or meet folks at campaign stops? As I talk to fellow citizens one of the most surprising things I have found is the lasting effects of this recession. I find more and more families that are still struggling financially due to any number of reasons. Families that have suffered a prolonged loss of employment no longer even show up as statistical evidence of this recession. As I walk through neighborhoods I can see either bank owned or abandoned properties throughout all of Spokane Valley. Just going through the paper it is impossible to ignore the personal bankruptcies that are listed daily. It is a misconception that we are over this recession. The more living-wage jobs we can bring to Spokane Valley the better chance we have of alleviating the effects of this current financial crisis.
On the bright side I am always amazed at the pride people have in Spokane Valley. It is refreshing to hear what a great city we live in and I hope the citizens of Spokane Valley have the faith in me to make sure this remains a great place to live and raise their families.
Web site: votebeaulac.com.