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July 23, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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July 23, 2015
 

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I CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, July 23, 2015 NEWS continued from page 1 remaining term of former director Larry Haskell. refused to resign and has Mount asked the board had sanctions imposed on to consider the method him by the council, with which they should School Director Rick respond to Rushing's com- Mount caUed for the discnzs- ments, either by a press sion, saying the comments release, letter to the editor, not only have an impact on letter to parents or by other the students, parents and means. He also asked the staff at Airway Heights' board to consider asking Sunset Elementary School, for Rushing to withdraw but also on the district as his name from the Position a whole since Rushing is 3 ballot. running for a position on "It's very damaging the board, and I don't think we want Rushing is campaign- to be associated with that ing against current board kind of behavior, those member Henry C. Browne kind of words," Mount for school Director Position said. 3, which covers part of Air- Director Marcia Es- way Heights. Browne, who trellado noted it's up to emigrated from the West the public whether or not African nation of Liberia Rushing remains on the in 1999 and moved with his ballot, but added she didn't family to Airway Heights want the board to remain in 2005, was appointed to silent on the issue either. the board in January 2013 Director SUzanne Dolle, and was elected to fill the who's Position 2 also coy- Henry C. Browne Patrick Rushing ers a portion of Airway ing on the school districfs Heights, said remaining 2015-16 operating budget. silent gives license for that Several members, as well type of behavior to con- as citizens in attendance tinue, to testify, felt they couldn't "I don't think it's wise, make informed comments ff we feel strongly, to sit since their first look at the back and do nothing," she $49,772,263 in expenses said, her voice breaking and $49,861,109 in reve- with emotion at times, nues included in the over 1- The board called for inch thick document came the special session earlier upon sitting down at last in the meeting in order to Wednesday's meeting. continue a public hear- "I would want more time as a citizen," district a $500,000 appropriation resident Bill Johns said. to buy land for a new el- "I would hope the board ementary school, asking would want more time to the board if they knew look at it." where they intended to site Johns challenged fig- the future school. Mount ures the district presented said disclosing thelocation regarding student enroll- would put the district in a ment and staffing levels. "bad bargaining" position He noted a June 24 work since prospectiverealestate session document used agents could then drive up a full-time enrollment of the price of the land. 4,307 students, but the School district Superin- actual figures presented tendentDr. DebraClemens showed a 2015-16 projected said a lot of assumptions enrollment of 4,367. district staff made in prepa- FTE staffing levels for ration for the budget work the coming year totaled session made it into the 537.823 certificated and final document. Clemens classified employees. By said they were comfortable contrast, total FTE staffing with those assumptions in 2014-15 was 470.586 and numbers from the while enrollment was 4,191 state Office of Superinten- students, dent for Public Instruction, "Why the increase of but will "go wherever the almost 68 employees for board is ready to go." 176 more students?" Johns J o h n M c C a l - asked, lum can be reached at Johns also questioned jmac@chene freepress.com. continued from page 1 should resign, stating they had no confidence the Obamas to "mon- in his ability to lead the keys." city. They have also cit- Rushing apologized ed the negative national for his comments - and attention his actions even went around the have brought to Airway room apologizing to indi- Heights. viduals before the meet- "When you hold a ing. He has also deleted public office, you should his personal Facebook watch what you say," Rita page, calling it a "tool of Osborne, longtime resl- the devil." dent and former Planning "I've asked for forgive- Commission chair said. ness and I'll continue to ask "For Airway Heights to for forgiveness," Rushing move forward, you need said. "I will not step down to step down." but I will seek help to better Proponents of Rush- myself as a leader." ing's spoke about his During the meet- contributions to Airway ing, a variety of people Heights, being person- spoke for and against able to residents and his Rushing. Like the coun- willingness to help oth- cil, many residents who ers. They also mentioned took the podium found Rushing's right to free- the mayor's comments dom of speech. offensive and said he "He is the reason for the growth in this town," am in the business of for- resident Sandy Holland giving," Watkins said. said. "I doubt anyone The resolution also in this room has done requests staff to review or said anything they the mayor's use of city haven't regretted. To equipment to determine ask for his resignation is if he has improperly used wrong." it for personal use or non- The Rev. Happy Wat-city business. "I will continue to do my job as mayor. If people don't want me as mayor, they can recall me." Airway Heights Mayor Patrick Rushing kins, vice president of Sanctions the resolu- Spokane's NAACP chap- tion imposes include: ter, read part of a state- * Not allowing the ment from the NAACP mayor to make any writ- that asked for Rushing ten or oral statements to resign. He also invited regarding the city without Rushing to come to a receiving advanced ap- NAACP meeting, proval from the Commu- "Mr. Rushing has nityandEConomicDevel- apologized to me and I opment subcommittee. . Restricting the mayor from traveling outside of Spokane County to represent city interest without prior approval of council. Requesting the mayor forfeit his salary, which is $2,000 a month, for the remainder of his term. Rushing said he would, not. Before council vot- ed on the resolution, Deputy Mayor Kevin Richey presented a bind- er containing many of the negative comments the city has received from across the country - which are currently over 740 - regarding Rushing's actions. Vari- ous council members went around the table, once again asking the mayor to resign. "We have come a long way and Mayor Rushing has done a lot for this community," Richey said. "I do believe that he does love this city and he wants to continue promoting it in a posi- tive light. If he wants to continue doing that, he should step aside." Rushing thanked res- idents, staff and coun- cil members for their feedback but he reaf- firmed his stance on not resigning, which drew some applause from the audience. "I will continue to do my job as mayor," Rush- ing said. "If people don't want me as mayor, they can recall me." Al Stover can be reached at al@cheneyfreepress. com. Photo by Al Stover Button selected for Cheney Yard of the Month The Gardeners of Cheney and the Kiwanis Club selected the yard of Jane Button, of 113 Greenbriar Lane, as the July Yard of the Month. Button will receive a $25 gift certificate for gardening supplies from 3arms Hardware. From left to right: Jane Button, Shirlee Jenkins, Gardeners of Cheney and Pat Isbell, Cheney Kiwanis. The best chicken and fish in town/ Side Orders: Mashed Potatoes & Gravy Corn Green Beans Macaroni & Cheese Potato Wedges Tu~y's Coffee 116 W. I st, Cheney, WA 235-4222 EVER VISIT US Y DAY! ONLINE AT