Cheney Free Press -

By SHANNEN TALBOT
Staff Reporter 

Airway Heights seeks contract with lobbying firm

 

Last updated 9/20/2018 at 5:33pm



As city officials plan to invest more than $20 million in transportation projects over the next six years, the Airway Heights City Council approved a plan to employ a governmental affairs firm to lobby in partnership with the community for local priorities.

At its Sept. 17 meeting, council members discussed the benefits of using a lobbying firm to assist the city with fundraising, particularly with parks and recreation and transportation projects.

“Working with a firm like this could take fundraising to the next level,” City Manager Albert Trip said in the meeting.

According to council documents, “It is unlikely that such investments will come solely from the city without some form of voted debt or taxes.” The documents go on to state that due to the limited availability of local funds, the city must consider external ways of attracting and obtaining outside funding.

The city has never employed a lobbyist before, but the Spokane Public Facilities District and city of Cheney, both represented by city attorney Stan Schwartz, employ similar organizations.

“I’m all for it. It would help us maintain a voice and an influence in Olympia,” Mayor Kevin Richey said.

Council unanimously authorized city staff to pursue a contract with the governmental affairs firm Gordon Thomas Honeywell.

In other business, council unanimously awarded the pavement portion of the 14th Avenue restoration project between Market Street and King Street to Shamrock Paving. The Spokane-based company will receive $54,443 from the city in exchange for the work.

Council also unanimously approved the nomination of Art Bubb to the city Planning Commission. Public works director Kevin Anderson said the commission currently has two open seats, making it difficult to reach a quorum. Bubb has a long history of school board positions and his appointment will hopefully alleviate this issue, according to council documents.

Prior to adjournment, council unanimously approved a resolution proclaiming October 2018 “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” in Airway Heights. Documents provided to council state that Spokane County has close to 4,000 confirmed victims of domestic abuse every year, and approximately one in three women and one in 10 men are victims of domestic abuse.

Emergency service fields receive 14,500 calls related to domestic abuse every year, and abused women make up over 20 percent of all women seeking emergency help, costing upwards of $7 million in hospital charges annually, according to the documents. said

The resolution declares that “by speaking up through education, awareness and a firm stance against domestic abuse in our community we can bring an end to the high rate of family violence in the City of Airway Heights.”

The city encourages anyone who is in a domestic violence situation or who feels they are being stalked to contact local YWCA domestic violence legal advocates or the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Shannen Talbot can be reached at shannen@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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