Mayor not running again
By Kelly Moore
1/5/2011 10:35:00 AM
Splash Staff Writer
Mayor Wendy Van Orman announced Tuesday evening she intends not to run for re-election, allowing her term to expire with the end of this year.
"I've been here 10 years," Van Orman said at Tuesday's City Council meeting. "It's time for me to spend some time with my family."
As her term winds down, she said her top priority for 2011 would be economic development, and that the year would also see an emphasis on resurfacing roads. Two other objectives she aims to pursue include bringing back a city administrator position and districting the City Council positions to ensure geographic balance in Liberty Lake's legislative body.
In her decade-long history with city government, Van Orman - an original City Council member who shifted to the mayor's seat in January 2008 - has represented the community as chair of the Spokane Transit Authority, the Steering Committee of Elected Officials and the North-East Mayors Association. She also serves on the 911 communications board, Spokane Regional Transportation Council and the Economic Development Advisory Council for Greater Spokane Incorporated.
"I have always been very active in the community and will continue to do so, such as organizing the Easter Egg Hunt since 1997 and setting up our local SCOPE station in 1999," Van Orman said.
Also at Tuesday's meeting, City Planner Doug Smith said the Valleyway sidewalk project's design phase should be completed in late February, construction bids should go out in late April and crews should break ground this summer.
After months of waiting for a developer to install a pathway along the curve at Valleyway Avenue and Lakeside Road, Liberty Lake city officials decided to improve the pedestrian safety of the roadway on their own by securing a $314,000 federal enhancement grant in November through the Spokane Regional Transportation Council. The grant is intended to help with street improvements and a pedestrian walkway on the narrow 900-foot section of Valleyway and Lakeside between Lindeblad and Timberfield lanes. Street improvements should include widening and resurfacing.
In other business:
• The Council reorganized its members' committee appointments for 2011. The Finance Committee will be made up of Josh Beckett, David Crump and Ryan Romney; the Public Safety Committee will be filled by Judi Owens, Odin Langford and Susan Schuler; and the Community Development Committee will be filled by Schuler, Langford and Cris Kaminskas.
• During citizen comment, a number of residents expressed support for moving forward with the city's arboretum project.
• Van Orman said the application period for the newly created parks and open space position was closed and interviews should take place this week.