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The Spokane Valley News Herald
City of Spokane Valley, WA
Liberty Lake mayor challenged by Brickner


Managing Editor

Liberty Lake’s incumbent mayor, Steve Peterson, is challenged by Shane Brickner in November’s general election.

Shane Brickner
Age: 45

Family/How long living in Liberty Lake: I’ve lived in Liberty Lake for over 14 years. My family includes my wife, our three kids, and our dogs. We’re also excited to be expecting our first grandchild any day now!

Why did you want to file for candidacy? I’ve lived in Liberty Lake for 14 years. I love this city, and I believe in giving back to it by doing everything I can to keep it safe and prosperous. I’ve served on our city council for 8 years, including as mayor pro tem for the last four years. I have also served as a volunteer reserve officer with the Liberty Lake Police Department for over 12 years. I have extensive executive management experience overseeing multiple departments, multi-million dollar budgets, and both large and small scale contract negotiations. I won’t be frivolous with our city’s resources. I’ll continue to listen to the members of our community to help best represent our city’s interests.

What are your goals as Liberty Lake city mayor? My goals are to plan proactively for our future to make sure that our city’s needs are met in the most fiscally responsible way possible. My goals also include addressing our community priorities and the concerns of the citizens, particularly the ones I detail in the next question.

What, in your mind, is the biggest issue facing the city in the immediate future? When it comes to governing a city,
 it's never about a single issue; it's about the well-being of our city and community as a whole.
Community priorities include:

  • Continue to help keep us one of the safest cities in Washington.
  • Street lights and pedestrian crossings on thoroughfares to improve pedestrian safety.
  • Traffic lights in the necessary locations, like at Legacy Ridge and Country Vista.
  • Connect our residents in the River District to the rest of our city by building out the Mission area with sidewalks and bike lanes.
  • Cohesively work together with our neighboring cities, and DOT to complete the Harvard / Henry overpass projects.
  • Keep taxes low by making sure projects are done right the first time, avoiding costly do-overs.
  •  Attract new businesses to diversify the city’s tax revenue base to continue our quality city services into the future.

What surprising issues are people bringing up as you door-knock or meet folks at campaign stops? As an engaged public servant for years, I have already been spending a lot of time actively listening to the concerns of our community members, before I started knocking on doors. I spend most Saturdays at the city booth at the Liberty Lake Farmers’ Market, and I frequently meet with Liberty Lake residents for coffee to hear from them one-on-one. When it comes to knocking on doors, I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of people who have expressed their support and desire for a new mayor for our city.

My hope is that is an indication that I have proven myself as a dedicated leader in our community. I also think it’s an indication that people are ready to see term limits in place in our local government. 

What differences separate you from your opponents? This could be a very long list. If you compare the two of us and the way we approach things, even things as simple as candidate questionnaires, one of the things that is always striking to me is the way my opponent talks up his accomplishments, as if he’s solely responsible for the good things in our city. More and more often, I find myself thinking, “It’s supposed to be about what we have accomplished together, not about what I have done.” I believe being mayor is about engaging with the community to help steer our city toward a bright, safe, and financially secure future. In my eyes, it’s a solemn duty, it’s not about personal glory.

Some of the other things that come to mind include: We have different leadership styles. I believe in servant leadership, rather than power leadership. I believe in treating everyone, from local residents, city staff, and other city council members with respect, and I don’t lose my cool if I don’t agree with them. I have given back to our community by helping to keep our city safe as a volunteer police officer with the Liberty Lake Police Department.
I feel I am more engaged with our community, and more present and accessible with the public.

I have more experience with leadership training, financial planning, and negotiating large contracts effectively. 
I am interested in improving our working relationships with the Spokane Valley City Council to benefit both of our cities.

I have a young daughter who still goes to school here in Liberty Lake, so I relate better to families and local parents when it comes to the issues they face.

Website? bricknerformayor.com

Steve Peterson
Age: 69
Family/How long living in Liberty Lake: Charmaine and I built our house in Liberty Lake in 1998. We are fortunate to have two sons and a daughter gainfully employed and who make us very proud.

Why did you want to file for candidacy again? It has been my pleasure and honor to be the mayor and help guide this city to what it is today. Liberty Lake is a safe, clean, green, well-run and financially secure community that has the amenities we all seek. Parks, trails, schools, greenspace and great infrastructure in our roads. Liberty Lake is bicycle friendly, pedestrian conscious and loves the alternate transportation of golf carts. Liberty Lake has the perfect mix of diversified housing, our great business community consists of small and large retail, nice restaurants, entrepreneurial to corporate office space, with a mix of light industrial manufacturing all providing good paying jobs and stable sales tax revenue. Finally, we have a wonderful, diverse, highly educated population that works together to achieve a healthy and friendly community. Liberty Lake is my passion because I enjoy working for the people who live, work and play in Liberty Lake. It’s always about making a difference.

What are your goals as Liberty Lake mayor?
Make sure our roads are maintained and the aging ones replaced.
Finish the connection north and south of our city with the construction of the Henry Road overpass and new lane at Harvard.
Ensure we are following our Strategic plan to achieve a sustainable community in assets and financial well-being that we have come to enjoy.

Keep Liberty Lake Spokane County’s premier address!

What, in your mind, is the biggest issue facing the city in the immediate future? There are significant challenges in transportation and economic development ahead that will require skills that I have gained over the years. Retailing is changing, companies are going through change in size and scope and hit with increasing demands on their ability to transact business in the state. Those jobs that we enjoy today are changing. Maintaining the standard of living and the disposable income must be a priority as we seek new entrepreneurs and grow, retain or recruit companies for our current business cluster.

What surprising issues are people bringing up as you door-knock or meet folks at campaign stops? The new residents are telling me how wonderful this community is and the reason for their living here is all about family. They really never bring up taxes! They just want us to continue what we are doing so the community doesn’t give up its character.

What differences separate you from your opponent. I lead from the front and seek out opportunities to improve our community. As mayor, I am always looking to invest in our community. Today, the city has over $15 million in real estate assets and carries around $16 million in cash locked up in various accounts. Our long term debt is just $80,720 at the end of this year. That’s leadership working for you!

I look for new ideas that can make us more efficient in delivering services. I am always looking for a way to grow our business sector and I am working to develop partnerships with our surrounding jurisdictions, schools, legislators and communities to support our projects or make our region better. You cannot have consensus until you have a leader that is willing to set the course.

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