It took a couple of voting rounds, but the Spokane Valley City Council finally managed to get back to a full seven-member contingent Tuesday night.
Michael Munch, a self-employed general contractor who’s applied to be a council member twice, received the four votes necessary to secure the post vacated by Bill Bates earlier this year. Bates retired due to a lingering illness.
After being sworn in and welcomed by the rest of the council members, Munch joined the other six at the dais.
Proceedings were initially stalled when Munch received three votes in the first round of nominations while David Starr, a retired firefighter , received a pair of votes and Michelle Rasmussen, a former city employee, received one. Under city rules, an appointed council member must have a clear majority vote.
In the second go-around of voting, Munch got the nod. He – along with other newcomers Jonathan “Caleb” Collier and Pamela Haley – will be up for election in the fall of 2017 if they wish to retain those seats. Collier and Haley were appointed to replace Dean Grafos and Chuck Hafner, who resigned earlier this year.
In other news, the council approved the first reading to extend the existing mining moratorium for another six months. The moratorium was put in place so city planners could work through proposed amendments to the existing comprehensive plan, including mining uses in industrial zones.
Final approval is expected at the Aug. 9 meeting.
The council will next hold a meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 9. Next Tuesday’s meeting, Aug. 2, has been canceled in observance of the National Night Out.