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Northwest District Councilwoman Seeks Second Term

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Candace Mumm is a former television journalist who later was chosen to serve on and lead the city Plan Commission. We met her at the Shadle library in the shadow of the big green water tower. It’s the hub of a neighborhood center surrounded by a library, a shopping center, Shadle Park, a city pool, a baseball field and a high school.

Mumm is walking along a dirt trail parallel to Belt Street across from the Shadle Shopping Center. Crosswalks are a big thing for her.

“You can see how fast cars go but there’s no designated area for walking across the street. Now pedestrians have the right of way, but they have to dodge the cars," Mumm said. "Now here we’re watching a mom with a stroller, coming to the edge of the shopping center and you kind of wonder how is she going to get here. So we hope to bring some new plans to create a more walkable environment between our busy park and our shopping center.”

Mumm says not only does her district need more crosswalks, it also needs better sidewalks in many neighborhoods. Council member Breean Beggs is exploring the possibility of a future ballot measure that would ask residents to allocate property tax money to sidewalks. Mumm isn’t ready to support that yet.

“My focus is on taking the dollars we already have and putting where we can get the best return on investment and really help those that need it the most," she said. "The place I’ve identified the most are schools. We’ve been working with the health department, identifying the gaps in walk-ability and sidewalks. We’ve been having meetings with the school district to help us identify some of these priority areas.”

In another area related to safety, Mumm endorses a proposal by Mayor David Condon to hire up to 10 new police officers next year.

“We’re hearing from the community that they’ll call and they’ll take too long for an officer to arrive," Mumm said. "But we also have not kept pace with our expansion of our population. We don’t have enough per capita officers and when we do that, we put a huge strain on our officers, our officers’ families, with all the overtime, the burnout that they experience. That is a very high cost, an expensive way to go for a community paying overtime.”

Mumm says this is the right time to hire new officers, given the city’s good economy.

“Our sales tax receipts are up. Our permitting is up. Our construction is up. And we have the funds available to hire more officers,” she said.

In another public safety issue, Mumm echoes many of the other candidates for city council on the issue on Proposition 2. That’s the city initiative that would fine rail car operators who send uncovered coal loads and certain types of oil through parts of the city. She says she questions its legality.

“My emphasis is see what the voters decide and, no matter what the decision is on that Proposition 2, we’re going to still…I anticipate, I know I will and others on the council, be working with our emergency responders to put a plan in place to protect our river and to protect our communities and especially our schools that are right along that rail line,” Mumm said.

Mumm says she’s proud of the way the current council works together, in contrast to the tension evident on past councils. She gives part of the credit to the fact that it’s a female-majority council.

“I think we bring a calming influence," she said. "And I think you’ve seen that: a more collaborative way about how we do business and how we treat each other and I’m hoping that that continues throughout the community because I think, even on a national level, people are tired of political divisiveness and we’re non-partisan at city council. We’re part of the community and how we treat each other really reflects who we are in Spokane and I’m very proud of what we do.”

Candace Mumm is running against small business owner Matthew Howes in the November election. We’ll hear from him next.