Tension at ML council meeting
Former director brings lack of Founder’s Day support to forefront
The Medical Lake City Council was described as having done nothing to enhance the city or the community at its Tuesday, Feb. 19 meeting.
Medical Lake resident and food bank president Bob Kibling spoke at length regarding a lack of support for the annual Founder’s Day celebration in the city. Kibling ended his two-year run of organizing the festival last year. Since then, few people have been interested in volunteering and organizing the event, leaving it to the city’s parks and recreation coordinator, Ashlee King, to take up the heavy part of the work until a lead person can be found.
The city has lakes, history and other attractions that could be used for the betterment of the community, Kibling said, but there aren’t any mementos for visitors to truly remember their time spent in Medical Lake.
“Founder’s Day is the one day a year we have to showcase the city and the history that’s within it,” he said.
Part of Kibling’s duties included speaking with other communities for financial support of Founder’s Day, including those in the West Plains. But, few were to be found both in and outside of Medical Lake. He even found it difficult to get support from Fairchild Air Force Base, with the previous commanders only taking part one year and a regular parade entry from the survival school.
“Merchants in Airway Heights and Cheney, I’ve talked to them for the last three years for donations and I get the same answer: no. You’re from Medical Lake, your City Council doesn’t believe in businesses. No, I’m not going to donate,” he said.
Kibling spoke to a deeper matter regarding the level of community in the city. He said people aren’t going to be involved if they aren’t aware of what’s happening in their town.
“Do you know the people that live in your neighborhood? Not the Smiths live here and the Joneses live here, but do you know them? Have you had conversations with people in your neighborhood? Have you asked them what they like and dislike about Medical Lake?” he asked.
Kibling hoped the City Council would become active with organizing Founder’s Day, in order to make it more of a community event.
“I don’t see why some of the City Council members can’t help out a little bit with this,” he said. “The City Council, as I see it, have done nothing to enhance the city or the community.”
Also at the meeting, the City Council agreed to allow its moratorium on marijuana retail applications to expire. City Attorney Cynthia McMullen said the city implemented the moratorium because it wasn’t sure how fast the state’s Liquor Control Board would act on the initiative passed by voters last November.
City Administrator Doug Ross said the city would appoint Jason Mayfield as the interim fire chief March 1, following Fire Chief Jeff Estes’ resignation coming at the end of this month. A search for a new fire chief is currently underway.
The City Council also rejected a proposed memorandum of understanding with Spokane County regarding the Joint Land Use Study. Details in next week’s edition of the Cheney Free Press.
James Eik can be reached at email@example.com.