By PAUL DELANEY
Staff Reporter 

Familiar names for open seat

Three Medical Lake citizens vie for City Council position left vacant by resignation

 


The names that were submitted to fill the Medical Lake City Council seat left vacant by the resignation of John Merrick will have a familiar, and perhaps an ironic, ring.

Three people, Don Kennedy, Monica Manza and Elizabeth Rosenbeck, applied for the opening by the May 25 deadline. They were recent candidates in both the 2017 primary and general elections.

Each will be under consideration and selected by current members of the council in a process that begins at the Tuesday, June 19 meeting. The group hopes to have a decision soon so that a number of back-burner issues can have the attention of the full council.

The eventual council appointee will hold the seat until the November 2019 general election, and then could run for a full-term.

Kennedy ran in the closest race of the bunch, losing to Tony Harbolt for Position 2 by a mere 15 votes, 480–465 in the general. The results went back and forth in the counting process, first with Kennedy leading then Harbolt rallying to edge past his opponent with a recount tossed in.


“Having been involved in the closest council contest in the November 2017 election, I am making myself available for the current Medical Lake City Council vacancy,” Kennedy wrote in an email when asked to provide thoughts on reentering the political arena.

Kennedy has worked for 39 years and was self-employed for 19 of those.  “I listen to all sides of an issue and then carefully analyze the situation before making a decision,” he said. 

Manza took a pair of shots at a council seat last year. The first was in the summer with the primary in August where she lost in a three-way race involving Merrick and Rosenbeck. Merrick outpolled Rosenbeck, the incumbent in Position No. 2, by a 350–209 margin with Manza ousted after garnering 201 votes.

Manza later reentered the race in the general election as a write-in candidate facing John Paikuli but was soundly defeated in the long shot race, 733–110.

Manza wants to concentrate on the basics, and “Keep Medical Lake clean and grow small businesses,” she wrote in an email. She wants to review the city’s contract with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and make sure it works for Medical Lake. She would also like to figure out a way to pay for a full-time fire chief.

Rosenbeck served on the council for 18 months, replacing the late Howard Jorgenson. Merrick defeated her in the general election by a 528–408 margin.

“I learned much from the various committees I was assigned to, as well as the complicated inner workings of keeping Medical Lake functioning well and safe and within budget,” she wrote in an email.

Rosenbeck wants to continue that learning opportunity, finding what works and doesn’t work when it comes to taking care of Medical Lake.

Following election, Merrick found himself absent from early council meetings in 2018 due to the demands of a new job. He resigned April 14.

Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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