Another chapter in the leadership of the Spokane Valley City Council reached its conclusion Tuesday, as Mayor Tom Towey and Deputy Mayor Gary Schimmels said their goodbyes.
Towey, elected four years ago among a group of “Positive Change” affiliated candidates, opted to not run for re-election this year and is eyeing a run for the 4th District representative seat being vacated by the retiring Larry Crouse.
Schimmels – who has served on the council since the city incorporated in 2003 – was defeated in November by Ed Pace after a rift with some members identifying with the Positive Change brand of conservatism and pro-business ideology.
Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, the outgoing council members had an informal going-away party with city staff members and their council colleagues. At the meeting’s conclusion, both made brief statements.
“I always felt I had the council support and staff support,” Towey said, referencing the attitude shift in 2010 from some of the policies of the previous council. “I really feel that the staff got behind this council.”
Towey then thanked several specific staff members, including City Manager Mike Jackson.
“You made me a better councilman and a better person,” Towey said.
Schimmels was to the point in his remarks.
“I will say goodbye, good evening and ask for adjournment,” he said.
Before that, however, there was some business that needed attending to. Towey, with unanimous council approval, appointed two new members to the Planning Commission.
Chris Sneider, an engineer who has lived in Spokane Valley for the past year and a half, will join Joseph, a design manager for Baker Construction, on the Planning Commission in January. Stoy is a 30-year Valley resident.
The mayor also reappointed Herman Meier and Jeff Fiman to the city’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.
The council also unanimously moved to renew its street sweeping contract with AAA Sweeping and street/strormwater-maintenance contract with Poe Asphalt Inc., which also includes snow removal.
Since Tuesday’s meeting was the last of 2013 – there will be no official gatherings on Dec. 24 and 31 due to the holidays – newly elected Council Member Bill Bates, who will be taking over Towey’s position, along with the returning Chuck Hafner and Rod Higgins will be sworn in Dec. 30. The ceremony, which is not an official meeting, will be held at City Hall at 4:30 p.m.
Ed Pace, who will not be present at the Dec. 30 event, will be sworn in prior to the Jan. 7 council meeting at 5:45 p.m. Also at that meeting, the council will select a new mayor and deputy mayor from its ranks.