The man who has been the acting city manager since May has now got the gig for good.
On Tuesday night, the Spokane Valley City Council unanimously agreed to appoint Mark Calhoun, who has been doing the job since the dismissal of former City Manager Mike Jackson in February, to the city manager post.
Calhoun, who was always championed by council members to seek the post, beat out 41 other applicants. Council members held a closed-door session that lasted all day last Friday and deliberated again in private before Tuesday’s regular meeting.
The announcement got a round of applause and council members each took a turn shaking Calhoun’s hand before returning to the business of the evening.
“Mr. Calhoun is the right man for the job,” said Tony Lazanis, a Valley resident who has been attending council meetings since incorporation in 2003. “He’s smart, humble. You couldn’t find a better person.”
Calhoun has been the deputy city manager since 2014, a position that had been vacant for four years prior to that. Jackson had been the last person to hold the job, who was named city manager in 2010.
Calhoun, a graduate of the University of Montana, has had 27 years in municipal experience with 19 of those as a finance director, the job he held in Spokane Valley prior to being named deputy city manager.
The council was aided in their search by several community stakeholders.
“I want to thank the committee,” said Deputy Mayor Arne Woodard. “Let’s move the city forward.”
In other news, the council approved funding allocations to outside agencies that promote economic development and social services in the city. The city has $150,000 budgeted for this purpose.
The approved amounts are:
- Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, $17,143
- Spokane Valley Arts Council, $48,601
- Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, $3,495
- Valleyfest, $22,685
- Arts Academy of Spokane, $2,500
- Baskets for Babies, $784
- Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels, $21,821
- Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council, $4,143
- Spokane Valley Partners, $13,429
- Widows Might, $15,399.