Posted by Charles Rehberg on Oct 16, 2017
North Notes
Spokane North Rotary Club Bulletin
October 16, 2017
Briefly:  The club’s officers and directors meet Wednesday, at 4 p.m. on Oct. 18 at the Mountain West Bank branch on North Division.
Speed date 2: South and NW Council Candidates
          In the club’s second week of three “speed date” sessions, City Council candidates from the South Side and Northwest Area discussed the issues on the Nov. 7 ballot.  As usual, each candidate had 4-minute introductory comments, then 4 minutes each at four different tables.
          City Council candidates Candace Mumm and Matthew Howes represent Northwest Spokane and Breean Beggs and Andy Dunau represent the South district.
          Howes, 48, a first-time candidate, owns Adelo’s Pizza, Pasta and Pints restaurant in the Indian Trail area.
          Howes, a Shadle Park High and EWU grad, stresses fiscal responsibility and “believes the City Council cannot be happy with the spending at City Hall.”  He wants to recruit and help out small business.
          Mumm, 56, seeks re-election to the Council.  Also a Shadle Park grad, she has degrees from Pacific Lutheran and GU.  She was president of the Spokane Plan Commission, worked as a reporter and managing editor for KXLY-TV, and owns Smartland Real Estate and Investments.
          Mumm said she worked at a Taco Time restaurant since 1969, learning business practices at an early age.  Her first reporting assignment was covering the Kevin Coe rape trial case.  She also helped found the North by Northwest production company.  Mumm said she has worked with five Spokane mayors and has served 10 area neighborhoods.
          Beggs, 54, moved to Spokane in 1981 to attend Whitworth. After returning from western Washington, he was appointed to the Council last year to replace Jon Snyder, who left for a state position.  He is former director of the Spokane Center for Justice.
          Beggs said his passions include working with students and working to help low-income residents, noting Spokane “has the lowest average median area in the state.”  He also works for the disabled and worked on the Otto Zehm case.  He said “too often people are killed in issues of substance abuse and disabilities,
but I have tried to work with the police on helping” the underlying situations.  He said of his unsuccessful prosecuting attorney’s race, Beggs said, “I didn’t expect to win, but now the city and the county are working together.
          Dunau, 57, has lived in South Spokane 28 years.  He operates a communications consulting firm and is executive director of the Spokane River Forum to improve water resources.  Dunau served since 2011 on the Spokane Parks Board, including some time as chair of the Riverfront Park Committee,
during the park’sexpansion plans.
          Dunau said he wants a collaborative effort “to work all of the stake-holders since Coeur d’Alene to Spokane.”  He opposes Prop 2, the city measure which would fine shippers of oil and coal trains passing through Spokane.  Beggs helped craft the measure.  “We need safety initiatives, but not rule by litigation,” Dunau said.
          At one of the four tables, Mumm said that while “downtown is booming, I worried about NorthTown,” where retailers are leaving and nearby neighborhoods are declining.  “We need to bring in world-class analysts” to help, she said.  Mumm said the area from Holy Family to NorthTown could be improved, perhaps using along the lines of the University of Washington Plaza area in north Seattle.   She suggests updating that residence area, perhaps adding up to five-story housing sites, especially attracting to older people.
          Mumm also wants to update the Shadle Center area, now located by many rental houses  and another spot to provide housing for senior residents.
          Dunau worries that when the current “up cycle” of business “the next down cycle will not be sustainable.”  He said that “we need to get a pipeline of works” for future growth.  “We need another (Riverpoint) U-district and others,” he said.  Dunau noted that Spokane needs to “focus on firms with five or less
people, not the big dog, and not including Amazon (looking for a 50,000-employer to locate a second firm).”  
          Responding to asking why “we can’t find (enough journeymen) people” to hire, he agreed that “not everyone needs to go the college.”  He suggests expanded apprentice roles and more help for the Community Colleges, “who do well, but can’t pick up them all.”  He lamented the lack of many school shop classes and added that “counselors are now professional schedulers, not true counselors” who direct job pathways.
          Beggs said that while in Spokane “on one hand the economy is better than years here, our challenge is to avoid out-pricing the residents.  We are poor as a community.”
          One solution, he said, is to recycle housing, much in what he calls “Zombie housing,” which could be re-used older homes and put people to work as well.
          Howes said the city’s fiscal resources have been drained on issues like the expensive basalt rock project placed to dislocate transients – “a terrible choice” – and to the $20 million or so to improve the East Sprague corridor.
          He opposes the $5 million expected to change North Monroe street changes, including “bike lanes and planters,” suggesting with a member comment that “flashing lights on Monroe” might provide enough safety for pedestrians.
          Howes said that his own small 10-person business has already had to pay $1.50 more an hour on the state minimum (to $11 an hour), plus add to sick pay, a daunting challenge for small businesses.   
The bulletin producers:
          Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink
          Photos: Eric Johnson
          Program coordinator: Brad Stark