The agenda was short, the message concise.
“We’re ready to go to work,” said Gary Schimmels, Spokane Valley City Council member, at last week’s swearing-in ceremony for himself and three newcomers.
The Dec. 23 ceremony was a standing-room-only affair at Spokane Valley City Hall, as friends, colleagues, supporters and more than a few civic leaders were in attendance to support the candidates who promised “Positive Change” during the past election season.
It also featured a rare appearance by Sally Jackson, orchestrator of the various disincorporation movements, in the council chambers.
Dean Grafos -- the Sprague Avenue businessman who joined the council at the end of December to replace Ian Robertson, who, in turn, was appointed to replace Steve Taylor last summer – swore in Schimmels along with Tom Towey and Bob McCaslin. Brenda Grassel was sworn in by Schimmels.
Grassel and McCaslin will replace Richard Munson and Diana Wilhite, respectively, on the council.
Towey, who had been a member of the city Planning Commission, said that, over the election season, he was told by many to not run on the “Positive Change” slate with McCaslin, Grassel, Grafos and Schimmels.
“I’ll be honored to serve with them,” Towey said, adding that he is impressed with the group’s character. “Issues may come and issues may go.”
County Commissioner Bonnie Mager – who was in attendance along with Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and District Court Judges Gregory Tripp and Richard White – said that she “really looked forward to working with the new group of council members.”
Mary Pollard, a Greenacres neighborhood activist who has often been critical of the council, praised the group as a “wonderful team.”
The council will meet next Tuesday, Jan. 5, at 6 p.m. One of the first items of business will be the choosing of a new mayor from among the council members.
The meeting will take place at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Ave.