Affirming climate change goals; Chief Garry Park Neighborhood Plan: 7.11.17 and 7.17.17 Council Recap

After Council took a brief break to celebrate the July 4th holiday, we were back on Monday, July 11th for a short legislative agenda. The highlight was the adoption on a 7-0 vote of the Chief Garry Park Neighborhood Action Plan. I want to congratulate Colleen Gardner, the stakeholder chair, and all the business and neighbor leaders who participated over 2 years to produce a a very readable, focused plan which very doable actions to improve the neighborhood. For example, creating a signed walking loop through the neighborhood, supporting growth in the Napa/Mission and Greene/Mission business areas. Well done! Now we have to get to work implementing!

Prior to the Council meeting, we heard a presentation from Parks staff, Board and consultants involved in the Design work for the Pavilion area of the Park. There are many concerns about how this area gets redeveloped as a gathering place and how to create covered events, yet retain views of the River. I look forward to seeing more designs come forward after Council and citizens provide more input!

Council held a July 17th City Council meeting to consider several legislative items, including adopting the City’s 2009 Sustainability Action Plan and goals by City Ordinance. Council voted 6-1 in favor (Fagan opposed).
I was very pleased to support this ordinance because it recommits the City to the Sustainability Action Plan and the goals that the City set back in 2009 to reduce carbon emissions. I believe strongly that we should continue to play a leadership role in the region and in the nation at the City of Spokane in reducing carbon emissions, using alternative energy sources, reducing our energy use (and reducing our costs to the citizens), as well as helping the alternative energy market grow in our area.

Being sustainable financially and environmentally makes sense for our City and ensures we are resilient in the face of climate change and other global and economic impacts to our region.

I look forward to using the framework and goals we adopted to work with our citizens, business and other governments and agencies to identify strategies we can all use in this community to reduce the impacts we our actions have on climate change. I am also committed to working at a State and National level to ensure our strategies support greater national and global efforts.

Council also took a monumental step forward by voting 7-0 to establish a West Plains Public Development Authority with both the County and the Airport. This is the first time in our County we have established a PDA with three partners and I am thrilled that, after 3+ years, we have come to an agreement to share revenue and reinvest it in this area (a large swatch of land next to and adjoining Airport property). The goal will be to establish a Board that will direct the investment of tax funds that are collected already back into the area mostly in infrastructure improvements so we can attract good-paying aerospace and manufacturing jobs to our area. A very exciting step for our community!