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October 22, 2009     Cheney Free Press
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October 22, 2009
 

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Thursday, October 22, 2009 Free Press Page 9 Final ncil By RYAN LANCASTER S ffRe er Four Airway Heights City Coun- cil positions will be decided Nov. 3, although just two of those are contested races. Mayor Matthew Pederson de- fends Position 1 against Patrick Rushing" who has served in Position 2 for the last six years of his 10onthe council. Pederson has been with the council since 2002, serving the last four years as mayor. Pederson said he's proud of some major programs he's helped impliment over the last few years, including the new wastewater treat- ment facility which will soon enter Phase 2 of construction and should be ready to go by 2011. The plant received roughly $30 million of the $42 million in state stimulus funds dedicated to public works projects this year, which Pederson attrib- uted to the project being "shovel ready." The mayor also pointed out his role in negotiations with the city of Spokane and Spokane County about annexing portions of the West Plains, and said an interlocal agree- ment is poised to move forward as of last week. Pederson said he strives to bal- ance development in order to meet both citizen and commercial inter- ests. To do this he wants to continue creating new parks while recruit- nag a wider variety of businesses. "When businesses are looking to place projects they look to Airway Heights," he said. "We're one of the few communities doing well in a down economy because we have the right attitudes and policies. We don't stand in the way." Managing growth and identify- ing new water sources will be major challenges in the coming years, but Pederson said he's the best person for the job. "My record is very solid, I have the support of the entire coun- cil and every candidate except for my opponent," he said. Matthew Pederson Patrick Rushing Rushing said the city has done nesses in order to stop people from well in the last few years, butitcould driving into Spokane to shop. "If be doing even better. "We have the you bring business you bring work, ability to blow the West Plains wide and if you bring work you bring open," he said. "We're near an Air residents," he said. Force base, near a rail line, there' s a Another item high on Rushing/ s major highway running through, to-do list would be to reverse pay This city should have been three raises for the mayor and council times this size 20 years ago." members, which were approved Rushing said he would do more after much debate in late May. Fob to attract both large arid smaU busi- lowing the election, the mayor's monthly compensation willincrease Williamson said Airway HeightS from $500 to $2,000, the deputy has a lot going for it, including its mayor from $300 to $750 and other location and friendliness to busi- council members from $300 to $500, ness, but"if we don't espouse a solid which Rushing termed "ridiculous" growth plan now, in the near future in a slumping economy, we are going to be forced to react." Rushing said the life experiences Lawrence, husband of Position 3 and leadership abilities he's derived Councilwoman Charlotte LawrerK e, from a long military career, work was unavailable for comment this as a postal supervisor and 10 years week, but has previously said he on council would help him work would keep pace with the progres- through the city-'s upcoming c.hal- sive direction the city is headed. lenges. A big test will be to discover Non-contested seats on the bal- how more business can be brought lot include Tanya Dashiell, nmning in without dogging up Highway 2, unopposed for Position 4, and Kevin he said, although "the only thing Richey, unopposed for Position 5 to that's going to stop us is us." complete a two-year term. Barren Williamson and Steven Current Position 6 Councilman Lawrence are vying for Position 2. Larry Haskell took his name off WiUiamson said his experience in the ballot.in June in order to be project management and his tenure considered for a municipal judge- on the city's planning commission ship position, but was later allowed would help him work toward to return to his seat after the city "establishing a solid growth plan appointed Jennifer Fassbender as for the city while maintaining the judge. small town security that we're ac- Ryan Lancaster can be reached at customed to." ryan@chena~epress.com. Building 1 Red Rockers vs. Building Blue Bombers- AMX employees compete for a cause By BECKY THOMAS 1 are taking on the Blue Bombers systems manufacturer located with it," she said. At last count munity see that the company of people aren't aware that we're Staff Reporter in Building 2 to see which team at 2416 Cheney-Spangle Road, Valentine said they had collected cares about local people, even over here. We just want pea- The employees at AMX in can donate the most food to the helped organize the drive. 1,249 items for the food bank.. After the locally owned Auto- ple to know that we're here and Cheney are engaged in a littleCheney Food Bank. She said someone suggested She said she hoped the food Patch was sold to AMX in 2006, we care about the community." friendly competition. Beth Valentine, a production a food drive to support needy would not only help people in Valentine said the community Becky Thomas can be reached at The Red Rockers in Building supervisor at the audio and video families, and "we took it and ran need, but would make the cam- forgot about the business. "A lot becku@cheneufreevress.corfl. continued from page 1 Roughly 1,600 prison beds and 235 juvenile facility beds would also be cut elsewhere in the state. Meanwhile, Lakeland will be consolidated over eight years from its current 238 beds to 26 beds for the most severely disabled clients if recommendations are accepted. The state's Fircrest and Yakima Valley Residential Habilitation Centers would undergo similar reductions to become "skilled nursing facilities" while Francis Haddon Morgan Center and Rainier School would be phased out over the next several years. , Lakeland s intermediat6 c~~;~'~ clients would be moved to small state-operated group hordes or for-profit supported-living cen- ters. The report also says, "a viable intensive community supported living program is critical" for the many clients requiring a higher level of care. Washington Federa- tion of State Employees director of public affairs Tim Welch argues such an infrastructure doesn't yet exist and the study doesn't include the cost of creating one. OFM spokesperson Kate Lykens Brown said a final report ncil continued from page 1 and what research went into the county contract. She called the county proposal a "five year contract with a sta- tistic driven agency," that would cost approximately $650,000 and asked why a roughly $560,000 proposal with Airway Heights was ignored. The Airway Heights plan would include seven local officers Lakeland employee and WFSE steward Will Ash strators Monday outside of the governor's Eastern at 1611 W. Indiana Ave. in Spokane. Photo by Ryan Lancaster joins other demon- Washington offices to be complete by Nov. 2 will include further details. "It's very preliminary data so far," she said. "A final draft will be given to the governor and the legislature to use while building their budgets for the coming fiscal year." Welch said in the interim the union has issued a "full court press" to get the recommenda- tions tossed out. Dozens of WFSE Local 573 members, supporters and non-union staff gathered Monday in front of Gov. Chris Gregoire's Spokane offices to demonstrate their opposition. "It's really sad to see folks who are least able to defend or speak for themselves reduced to a fiscal quotient," said WFSE senior field representative Electra Jubon of RHC clients. "Some of these folks have been out there most of their lives and they'll never receive the care or interaction at a private fa- cility that they get at Lakeland." Jubon said with its nearly hundred-year history, Lakeland is well equipped and staffed with workers "who know how to care for the developmentally disabled, especially severely disabled cli- ents who often have nowhere else to go. "The state is going to pay one way or another and private practice is about making a profit," Jubon said. "We already have the facility here, why dump it just to pay somebody else?" The report says one reason is that while RHCs like Lakeland "are responsive and provide a quality service to families in need of out-of-home planned respite, they are not cost effective nor conveniently accessible." WFSE union steward Rich on 10-hour shifts, use of a full-time detective and the continuation of a mutual aid agreement with the Spokane County police. "How come you're consider- ing contracting with an agency that appears to be in a budget crisis? Does anyone here know that Spokane County is laying off big numbers?" She went on to say that the county told Medical Lake police officers to have a "contin- gency plan" after January. "You don't have to sign this con- tract," she told council members. "We have worked with a crew of five police officers for the last two years. Slow down and think about it before the final decision is made." Councilman John Paikuli re- sponded to Keith during his member report. "If most of you were doing what we're doing and looking at the numbers that we're looking at and dealing with the issues that we're dealing with... I think most of you would have ar- rived at much the same decisions we're arriving at for the same reasons we are." Following the meeting, Air- way Heights City Manager Albert Tripp confirmed that he had pre- sented a proposal for law enforce- ment services on Jan. 4, 2008 and July 16, 2009 to which he received no response. Ryan Lancaster can be reached at ryan@cheneyfreepress.org. Paige, who has worked at Lake- land for 20 years, said RHCs may not be cost effective, but they are what is best for the clients. "The state has sort of an agenda to do away with the RHCs because they do cost money and there's no de- nying that," he said. "What we're saying is that for the amount of money that they spend they're getting quality services" Lakeland has numerous pro- grams that allow clients to stay busy while learning skills, which is vital to their quality of life, said Paige. "We don't want our clients to have learned helplessness...if they doendup 9" , ties that s eventually What Will happen. Here, you" re like everyone else in the world, actively doing some- thing, but out in the community it's easy to become invisible." Paige and other staff said Lakeland's own "invisibility" outside of Medical Lake itself has contributed to funding shortfalls. "There's a misperception about what we do here," Paige said. "This isn't an institution like people may think it is, it's a com- munity where people are fully accepted, where they're not going to get the discrimination and all kinds of other things that come in the real world." _ Ry.g# Lancaster can be reached at ryan@cheneyfreepress.com lains Care Hours: 10-5 Monday-Friday Located 1 block east of Yoke's Call 747-2577 for more information visit: www.WestPlainsMinorUrgentCare.com We Take Most Insurances 9:00 City of God )E. Grace Street, Medical Lake 299-3139 (Located in the center of Medical Lake, across from lhe Post Office.) Fun for the whole famil' 8,000 Wafts of Light providing: Hundreds of People_And You...A Safe Community... 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