Cheney Free Press -

A little Q & A with Medical Lake's City Council candidates

Position No. 2


November 2, 2017

(Editor’s Note: Some portions of responses may have been edited for space concerns.)

Medical Lake Council Position No. 2

John Merrick collected just shy of 46 percent of the votes in August over Elizabeth Rosenbeck’s 27 percent in a with three-way battle that included Monica Manza, now a write-in candidate for Position No. 1.

How do you feel about Medical Lake’s policing, contracting with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office:

Merrick: At the risk of sounding like a politician, I honestly stand in the middle with the issue of our current law enforcement. The city spends a lot of money on the Sheriff’s Office for two deputies that may or may not be in the city for response or simple patrols. My push will be to work on getting better coverage. I am also not going to throw out the possibility of bringing back our own department. 

Rosenbeck: I am in favor of maintaining the contract with the Sheriff. The officers are experienced and there is 24/7 coverage, regardless of vacations, sick time or turnover. Reinstating a local police force would be cost-prohibitive. Salaries and benefits alone would require most, if not all, of the current budget. Acquiring equipment and increased liability make it even more unreasonable. That being said, I am in favor of regularly reviewing the contract with the Sheriff and making adjustments as needed.

What about the challenge of growth?

Merrick: I would like to see Medical Lake grow with regards to business. We have a good area for small businesses to flourish. I really don’t want to see any more houses built and know that the city cannot support more houses at this time. 

Rosenbeck: I prefer keeping the population in the 5,000 range. I like the small-town community, and most of the citizens I spoke with feel the same. Anything that isn’t available in town can be found within a 10-15 minute drive in Airway Heights, Spokane, or Cheney. The STA bus service is expanding with the new transit center off I-90. Physically growing ML is a non-issue unless another water source is located at a reasonable price. I am in favor of more small businesses locating here, with many existing buildings that can be repurposed.

What about issues with water on the West Plains?

Merrick: It is going to be a continuing issue and hopefully we find solutions for both the short and long term.

Rosenbeck: Water is a precious resource and it is not a limitless supply. Currently, the city of Medical Lake only has 12 available water hookups. Any further development would need to negotiate with Spokane, which is an expensive proposition. I don’t want to see Medical Lake grow in population, so this is not really a concern for me.

Pick an issue:

Merrick: I would like to see Medical Lake really become more business friendly and help businesses navigate city, county and state requirements.

Rosenbeck: I want to make sure that the city continues to be fiscally responsible. There are a lot of great ideas out there to improve this and develop that, but it takes money to do it. We are a small town and have a limited budget. I would like to see the state pay for the services Medical Lake is providing to Lakeland Village and Eastern State Hospital. I don’t know how that will happen, as the mayor has been trying for years, but I support the new mayor in this ongoing pursuit.


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