Former Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey surprised a lot of people when he didn’t run for re-election in 2013.
Towey, who served alongside Council Member Arne Woodard, seemed to enjoy his work. But it turns out that, due to personal reasons – his wife was ill -- he had to walk away for a time. But he always kept up with what was happening at City Hall.
With his wife’s health improved, Towey is looking for a return to office. And he has set his sights on his former college Woodard, a local real-estate agent and broker.
Woodard is coming to the end of his first full term. He was initially appointed to the council to replace former Council Member Rose Dempsey.
Family/How long living in Spokane Valley:
I grew up in Trentwood and have lived in the Spokane Valley all my life. My wife and I raised two children who attended University High School. We are blessed with three granddaughters. I attended West Valley High School, Spokane Falls Community College, and Eastern University with a major in business. I was employed with Rosauers for 32 years. Over the span of those years I had the opportunity to manage four of their stores all but one located in the Valley. From 2010 and 2013 I was privileged to represent your city as mayor. As mayor I observed many citizens being involved in their local government. I would encourage every citizen to get involved and help make this a great city.
I have been involved in community service as a volunteer for the past 19 years. Some of my past volunteer activities included working at the Public Safety Building, coordinator for the Centennial Trail patrols and program coordinator for Community Emergency Response Training, as well as a member of the Regional Health District steering committee on fall prevention for senior citizens. I am currently a member of the SCOPE Incident Response Team and was a member of your Spokane Valley City Planning Commission.
Why did you want to file for candidacy?
While I was on the council as mayor we had to work together as a team to solve complicated problems. We had our disagreements but we always worked together in a team atmosphere. I don’t find that in our council today.
What are your goals for the Spokane Valley City Council?
We need to serve the people not the other way around.
We need responsible budgets, efficient and minimal government with a lower cost contract city.
We need to focus on property rights for all our citizens.
We need to be good regional partners to solve regional problems.
And most important we need to encourage and support citizens to be involved in everything we do.
What, in your mind, is the biggest issue facing the city in the immediate future? To support public safety and support one of the best sheriff contracts of any contract city in Washington. Support infrastructure through a comprehensible street preservation and maintenance program. We must maintain being a pay-as-you-go, lower cost contract city for the benefit of our citizens.
What differences separate you from your opponent? In 2009 our present mayor, Mayor Grafos, drafted some principles which were critical for us to move forward in a positive way. I stand by and support those principals today. Here are a few things we accomplished with those principles working with citizens and staff:
We were the first to advocate and initiate televised council meetings.
Through the leadership of Mike Jackson and his team we negotiated a new and better law-enforcement contract.
We negotiated the present City Hall contract with a reduced rate.
We negotiated a union contract that was a win – win for the city and its employees.
We enacted a panhandling ordinance that was enforceable and defensible.
We revisited our sign ordinance to make it more business friendly so they would not be burdened with over-regulations.
With the leadership of Mike Jackson we completely overhauled the permit center to be more efficient and user friendly.
We were the first council to fund and initiate a street preservation program that not only gives us safe streets but saves our taxpayers thousands of dollars in the future.
We encouraged and supported our pay- as-you-go philosophy.
I am very proud to have been a small part of what we accomplished and look forward to keeping our community moving forward with responsible budgets, more jobs and common-sense leadership.
As you know, any candidate can say anything in a campaign. And they usually do – for votes. I do stand by my record as an experienced proven leader. My decisions, as a council member, will be based on sustaining the quality of the city of Spokane Valley with integrity, honesty and experience.
Web site: votetomtowey.com.
Family/How long living in Spokane Valley: Native, raised and children with wife Charmagne of 25 years.
Why did you want to file for candidacy? To continue the work of road preservation, public safety issues and holding to a tight budget.
What are your goals for the Spokane Valley City Council? Continue the process of the comprehensive plan, so as to give continued long-term director and stability to our citizens, along with the budget issues on contracting for services.
What, in your mind, is the biggest issue facing the city in the immediate future? Are we going to go in the same direction as we started six years ago or are we going to revert back to the old failed policies and practices of government.
What surprising issues are people bring up as you door-knock or meet folks at campaign stops? Sidewalks and bike lanes. They want more of the first and don’t waste your money on the second.
What differences separate you from your opponent? Taxes and the purpose of staff and their supportive role to council instead of their controlling and direction-leading role.
Web site: democracy.com/ArneWoodard.