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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Spokane County City of SPOKANE Council District 2 Position 1

The City Council is the legislative body for the City. The Council adopts local laws (ordinances) to secure the safety and assist the well-being of the city residents, the city's physical environment and amenities, and the city economy. The Council is responsible for approving financial expenditures and adopting the city budget as well as establishing policies and regulations in order to guide the city's future. The elected mayor serves as chief administrative officer for the city.

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  • Candidate picture

    Tony Kiepe

  • Candidate picture

    Lori Kinnear

Biographical Information

What experiences have you had that qualify you for this position?

How would you describe your vision for your city?

What are the obstacles in the path of achieving your vision?

What do you think is your city/town’s role in dealing with issues surrounding the environment?

What are the issues surrounding your city/town's infrastructure?

How do you think your city/town could best respond to homelessness?

How do you think your city/town should approach legal and illegal immigration issues?

How would you propose the council communicate with the citizens of your city or town?

Phone (509) 443-7192 509-934-7455
Town where you live Spokane
Experience (300 characters max) Professional Experience Small business owner with 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry building a regional sales force and working with managed health care, Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Defense. Community Service Active volunteer for Boy Scouts of America: Past Nominati
I've been active in the Republican party and State Committeeman, District Leader and PCO. I worked for the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and was involved with the Government Actions committee and Transportation committee. I worked with businesses in helping them be more involved in the community and grow their business. I've been a business owner and understand how to grow a business and make payroll. I've managed a national sales force with a multi-million dollar budget. I've been involved with scouting and also appointed to the Spokane County Water Conservancy Board. I'm a good listener and want to implement what the people want.
I want to manage our growth by working with the county commissioners and make sure that we have the housing needed for the expected growth. I want to see Spokane more involved with the high tech sector over minimum wage jobs. I want Spokane to bring in higher paying skilled jobs. Currently, we have 1 1/2 months inventory with homes. We need to build more affordable houses to bring this to 6 months worth of inventory. We need more affordable houses that citizens can buy and as they build equity they can buy a larger home. 42% of our housing is rental housing. I want to see more home ownership. I want to help release our heavy regulations that prevent developers from developing housing projects. I want citizens to feel safe when they go downtown.
I feel the hands are tied with our police officers. They can't enforce our laws and property crime is going up and you see more crime in downtown Spokane. I want to make sure we enforce our current laws. The city council has failed to over an acceptable contract with our police since 2017. This will be a priority when elected. Public safety is the number one responsibility from government. Everything else is extra. I will fund the police and what they need before approving funds for anything else.
It is not the city's role to mandate to our citizens how to live in our community. We want to encourage and educated citizens how to improve the environment. My wife and I chose to add solar panels to our home. This small step is equivalent in planting 300 trees over the past year. The city is responsible for keeping our parks beautiful and our river clean. The first time I flew into Spokane, all I could think about is how blue our sky is and that we do not have the pollution that I see in other cities in the south.
We have over 60 miles of streets in Spokane that are not paved. I believe the city has failed citizens in not providing basic infrastructure. I want to make sure all streets are in our comprehensive plan and are paved. We have business areas that have streets that are not paved. How can we sell Spokane and encourage businesses to move to Spokane when we are not offering basic infrastructure. Our streets in general are a mess and we need to invest in higher cost material that last longer. I don't want to see us paving the same streets every 10 or so years because the road did not last.
We are currently enabling many homeless by giving out handouts. I want to see the city provide more mental health services for those in need and have accountability that the person is seeking help. I want the city to provide more addiction programs to help those addicted and living on the streets get off drugs. I will not invest in more shelters and have an open door policy that we help anyone that comes to Spokane. I want hold the individuals accountable and the city accountable for reducing homelessness. We need to depend on our non profits like Union Gospel Mission that are helping thousands of individuals every year. I want to make sure that we are providing the job training needed so one can learn new skills and be more marketable. Not all homeless want help that this has become a way of life. We have to have tough love and cut services off those that do not want help.
The city should not be involved in Federal law. I believe we need to enforce our current laws. I want to see work permits for the undocumented so that they can get jobs and not working in the shadows. I believe we need to know who is here in Spokane. I'm all for legal immigration and will help those that moved to Spokane as a refugee and provide the skills needed to be productive members of Spokane. I was heartbroken to see my brothers community raided by Ice in Mississippi. The raids happened because citizens of Mississippi because the illegal immigrants were using stolen ID to get jobs at the plants. Citizens were not able to get the welfare checks because the government saw they were working. I have compassion for all but am not happy to find out citizens ID were stolen. This is why I want to city to provide working documents for undocumented immigrants.
I will be available to anyone that reaches out to me. I want to city to do a marketing campaign on the importance of not handing out money to Panhandlers. This just enables the panhandler but provide where they can get services. I want the city to market the need for a new county jail. Citizens need to realize that we need a larger jail to hold criminals. According to our Sheriff, we need a jail that holds 2500 inmates to the current 700 plus inmates now. If we communicate this to our citizens they are more willing to pay for a new jail. I want the council be more involved in the community than just going to neighborhood council meetings. We have to be visible and accessible to all citizens.
Phone (509) 768-4993
Town where you live Spokane
Experience (300 characters max) Current City Council Member, former small business owner and neighborhood council treasurer. I have degrees in journalism and horticulture. When moving here 20 years ago I worked for several non-profits dealing with low income individuals and victims of domestic violence.
I have served on Council for over 3 1/2 years and seven additional years prior to that as a legislative assistant. I know how to get legislation passed. I know how to engage constituents to achieve consensus and I know how to work with staff (which Council does not directly supervise per City Charter) to get work done. I have a track record of sponsoring legislation that directly benefits neighborhoods, businesses and our environment.
My vision includes additional housing choices located in our current Centers and Corridors with corresponding multi-modal transportation choices in all parts of the City, continued clean up and protection of our environment: the river, open spaces and our aquifer. I want to continue to advocate to drive crime down. It is currently 14% lower than it was a year ago. I want to advocate for Smart Justice reforms so those who have mental health or addiction issues get help instead of jail. I want to partner with our neighboring cities to create housing and support for homeless individuals. We are on a path to do all the above so continuing the work we started is important to me.
Obstacles include funding primarily. We know how to team up with partners, however, resources from a diminishing pot of federal and state dollars is challenging.
As a City we have led on environmental issues including our CSO tanks that resulted in a cleaner river, our recycling efforts are toward the top statewide, we now have a Sustainability Action Plan passed by Council that directs a citizen committee to find additional ways we can mitigate climate change and environmental damage. As the second largest city in the state it is our responsibility to lead by example.
The City infrastructure includes streets, sidewalks, water/sewer/wastewater pipes and mechanisms and all amenities relating to the aforementioned. We have a six-year and 20-year street plan that is reviewed yearly. The street department is on a fast track to repairing, rebuilding and maintaining streets. Potholes are filled when reported and our water/sewer and wastewater systems are being upgraded continually. Grant dollars that were plentiful four years ago are harder to come by. The challenge again is a diminished pot of federal money that the City can access.
Homelessness is a symptom of a larger national problem. To define our terms, people who are experiencing homelessness are: DV victims, vets with PTSD, foster kids ageing out of foster care, runaway kids, individual with mental health and substance abuse issues, and people priced out of our housing market. In the last two years we have housed over 3000 formerly homeless individuals. We are on a fast track to building a mental health diversion facility and going forward we need to incent building supportive housing with onsite services and security away from the downtown core.
Currently we are not a sanctuary city. Our police have a policy of not asking immigration or citizenship status. I believe we should continue that policy.
As a council member I attend neighborhood council meetings and give regular reports. I maintain a Facebook page specifically for council activity. I send out an e-newsletter. The Council webpage is updated with our voting record and news items of interest to citizens. I am out in the community regularly speaking with citizens about their concerns.