Linda Thompson, as director of the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council, has been a civic advocate in the Spokane Valley area for years. She has also thrown her hat in the ring to be a City Council Member in the past.
Munch is a council-appointee who was chosen to fill the vacant Position 7 last year. Recently, it was revealed that Munch – who owns his own construction company – has four criminal convictions as a juvenile, including second-degree theft, trespassing, residential burglary and attempted first-degree robbery.
Now, voters will have to decide who gets to serve for the next four years on the council.
Family/How long living in Spokane Valley: 2.5 years.
Why did you want to file for candidacy at this time? I was appointed a little over a year ago and I am now running to retain my seat. I believe in citizen involvement and I have the time and experience necessary to serve the community. I am proud of what we have accomplished and hope to continue to guide this city in being the beacon for fiscal responsibility, and minimal government intervention.
What are your goals for the Spokane Valley City Council in the next four years? To continue pushing for economic development. I believe there are two ways to fund government. One is through taxes and the other is through economic growth. I believe we can keep city taxes flat if we are able to attract business and families to move here. We have done a good job of that so far and as word continues to spread we will bring in more. My second goal is making sure the city is ready for more people and business. By investing in our infrastructure we are able to avoid the problems plaguing other cities. We are directing staff to look five years in advance so that we can identify problems and keep ahead of the curve as much as possible. Securing property rights is another big goal of mine. It seems at times developers are at odds with individual property owners and trying to find common ground that allows for new development while not changing the feel of neighborhoods is important and tough to do. While I am proud of our new comprehensive plan I do think more can be done to bridge these two areas, as a builder, and property owner I bring understanding to this complicated issue.
What, in your mind, is the biggest issue facing the city in the immediate future? Continuing to fund our roads and growth. You only ask for one but I believe both are connected. We have great roads in the valley and I want to keep them that way. We have a fund that pays for this that is under performing. While we have a strong economy we are able to fund them with our surplus. This will not always be the case and we are working with staff to determine what road quality we need to keep and how much that will cost. I am pretty confident that with only minor adjustments we will keep our smooth streets. Growth ties in with this in that we are adding more cars every day to Valley roads. In addition to extra wear and tear we are also getting more congested. So while the influx brings in much needed revenue we also need to be working on relieving the new congestion that comes with it and not just maintaining the current roads.
What surprising issues are people bringing up as you door-knock or meet folks at campaign stops? Lack of information about what we are doing, or wrong information. We need to improve on getting information out of City Hall. We recently added Twitter and I think that will help, but we need to do more than that. Currently, we have a website, email, and a quarterly newsletter, and now Twitter. I am trying to work in more social media in other platforms since more and more people are turning to that for news. The problem we have is keeping of records, and I am trying to facilitate a way that we can post on more social media and stay within the record keeping
requirements of the state.
What differences separate you from your opponent? I am a conservative Republican and I understand my opponent to be a Democrat. In much of our interaction I have not found many differences in her positions. I think one may be I try to stand with individual rights more and she, I think, stays more with the majority.
Linda (Hatcher) Thompson
Age: 64 -- Proud Member of the Central Valley High School Class of 1971
Family/How long living in Spokane Valley? In the spring of 1968 our family moved from the north side of Spokane “clear out to the Valley.” I remember my great grandma wondering if we would be back for the holidays! Building our new home at Broadway and Flora was a dream come true for my parents. They wanted to raise my two brothers and me in wide open spaces with fun and adventure. That first winter we met a lot of folks who came to our door for help in the record snowfall. Dad’s zest to be a “farmer” provided opportunities to meet our neighbors when our garden produced bushels of tomatoes and dozens upon dozens of corn and the boys sold it for 50 cents a dozen. Yes, Greenacres was the place to be!
Except for time away for college and eight years in the Vancouver, Wash., area, I have lived here almost all of my adult life. I am so blessed with a wonderful family including my husband Richard of 31 years, daughter Katee and son-in-law Jack Claros with my darling grandgirls Jaylee and Aubree and son and daughter-in-law Nate and Laura Thompson. My parents Ron and Hazel Hatcher live a mile from me with my brother Lyle and his wife Maria in Liberty Lake. Sadly, we lost our younger brother Steve two years ago but my sister-in-law Mindy lives close. All of eight of our families’ kids and four of their spouses are U-High and CV graduates!
Why did you want to file for candidacy at this time? Since I was Girl Scout in elementary school I have always enjoyed serving in a leadership position in my school or organization. With extensive experience in public policy work through my lifework in substance abuse and violence prevention, I believe strongly in our democratic system. Four years ago I lost the coin toss to Rod Higgins for a seat on the City Council and then lost the election for that seat by a small margin of votes. I believe that it is important to have candidates challenge appointed council members so that the citizens -- not just five or six council members – choose who represents us on our City Council. My opponent was appointed in 2016 so I am running for Position 7 to give the voters a choice. I will listen, work hard to understand my constituents’ issues and lead with integrity.
What are your goals for the Spokane Valley City Council? My goals for Spokane Valley City Council is to increase the opportunity for citizen engagement, provide open and transparent communication, and provide the services and operations of our city with fiscal responsibility and exemplary management of our assets.
I would like to start up a Citizens Academy with a series of weekly workshops to increase the public’s knowledge of how our city works, what each department does, and how our partners work with us to make Spokane Valley the wonderful city it is. Citizens would get to hear presentations from the excellent City staff we have, partners like Spokane Valley Fire and the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and social service agencies. I would like to encourage young citizens to become engaged early on in our government so we can grow young leaders to move into leadership positions.
What, in your mind, is the biggest issue facing the city in the immediate future? I believe the biggest issue facing our city in the immediate future is the lack of citizen engagement in our local government. I would like to see the City Council chambers filled with citizens involved in finding solutions to problems/issues in our community. From giving input to how to reduce crime to helping to showcase Spokane Valley for economic development to being a united voice in the state legislature, citizens are critical to our city’s success. I will work very hard to increase citizen participation through opportunities to be involved. As well, I will do my best to be out and about -- open and approachable.
What surprising issues are people bringing up as you door-knock or meet folks at campaign stops? It has been a wonderful experience as I have been so welcomed by folks that I meet on the campaign. Most folks are just happy to have someone ask them what they think. Disgruntlement with the widespread development of large apartment complexes in neighborhoods is brought up quite often. Inquiries about the future plans for the library is also a regular question. But mostly the citizens I meet just want to know who I am, why I am I running for office “in such tumultuous times” and will I listen to them about issues. I assure them that I will have an ‘open door’ policy for all citizens. We may not always agree but we can be cordial to one another as we work together on ideas and solutions.
What differences separate you from your opponent? First, I would like to acknowledge how much I respect citizens who step up to serve in an elected position of leadership. Committing the time and energy it takes to be informed, engage with our citizens, and work through decision making processes with the best outcomes for our community takes hard work.
What makes me different from my opponent has been my commitment to public policy work and community engagement in Spokane Valley since 1983. Starting as a volunteer in Central Valley schools for over 20 years and Boy Scouts for 14 years, I connected with my neighbors, other parents, and community leaders working together for children and families. My lifework of substance abuse and violence prevention began in 1986 when my 3-year-old son was killed by a several-time repeat-impaired driver as he sat on a pony cart next to his grandfather on their way to be in a community parade.
Believing in the power of a mother’s voice to change systems from the depth of tragedy, I successfully worked on (and still do) legislation to reduce the impact of impaired driving, increase treatment and support recovery, and advocate for prevention. For the past 25 years I have served as the executive director of the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council where I have the privilege of making a positive difference for our youth and community. Believing strongly in the greatness of our community, I will be honored to have your vote for Spokane Valley City Council Position 7.