The Medical Lake City Council faced criticism last week during its legislative session, much of which according to Mayor John Higgins, wasn’t warranted.
“It was a bit out of line,” he said.
City resident Bob Kibling told the City Council it wasn’t been invested in the growth of Medical Lake, nor had it strengthened the community. He said members of the council weren’t active in the community, which in turn has led to a somewhat stagnant business environment in the city.
City Administrator Doug Ross said the city had its own Medical Lake Chamber of Commerce, which has since disbanded. Instead, the city is a member of the West Plains Chamber of Commerce and Greater Spokane Incorporated. Those organizations, Higgins said, are there to serve the businesses in Medical Lake.
While the city doesn’t have hotels to house guests, Higgins said quite a bit of traffic comes into town as a result of five triathlons, the Bluewaters Bluegrass festival and Founder’s Day.
Ross said last week’s comments didn’t really fit Medical Lake.
“Nothing he said reflects on City Hall or the city,” he said.
Ross said the city handles the basics: making sure residents have access to businesses, roads, water, sewer and other utilities. From there, however, he said it’s up to residents.
“It’s up to businesses to get people to walk through the door,” he said.
The City Council, Higgins argued, is able to go out at their own leisure into the community.
Part of the comments last week included the hope that West Plains cities could interact with each other, particularly with festivals, supporting each other’s causes along the way. Kibling said each of the cities, comparably smaller to their large Spokane neighbor, needed to work together to grow.
“All three cities are different,” Higgins said. “We don’t really interact with Cheney. We don’t have anything in common with them.”
Kibling, who stepped down from the lead organizer role in Founder’s Day last year, had concerns regarding the lack of emphasis placed on finding a replacement.
Higgins said the only truth to Kibling’s comments was that the city was finding a person to lead the organization of Founder’s Day. However, that could be resolved in a short time.
James Eik can be reached at email@example.com.