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Pizza Restaurant Owner Vies for Spokane Council Seat

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

“I am the American Dream," said Spokane city council candidate Matthew Howes. "I came here from Vietnam in 1969. I’ve lived in Spokane for the last 42 years.”

That’s Matthew Howes, speaking during a recent debate at KSPS Public Television. Now Howes is a finalist for a Spokane City Council seat in the Northwest district. He owns Adelo’s Pizza in the Indian Trail neighborhood.

In his campaign literature, Howes says he feels underrepresented by the current city council. He thinks that body is tipped too far in favor of progressives. But he likes David Condon, the man occupying the mayor’s office.

“I think that he’s done a fantastic job," Howes said. "I want to make sure that what we’ve tried to do is, with a city council that’s a little more balanced, so that he can get more of the jobs he’s looking to do to get done.”

During this year’s campaign, critics have made an issue of the amount of energy the council is expending on issues they view as out of the council’s purview, such as resolutions that deal with climate change. Howes agrees with them.

“If I’m elected, if I’m hired by the people, I want to make sure that they have a voice, that they are the ones making, help making the decisions, such as the Monroe Street project. I’m hearing over and over again what a waste of money it is, what a waste of time it is,” Howes said.

Howes doesn’t fully agree that it’s a waste of time.
“Monroe Street definitely needs some attention. I’m not disputing that. No one does," he said. "We definitely need to beautify it and make it safer.”

But narrowing the street significantly doesn’t do it, he says.

“(Councilmember) Mike Fagan brought up a great resolution to, instead of going from five lanes to three lanes, a four-lane option is something that needs to be looked into, rather than the city council just telling him that, nope, we’re not interested in that, and just moving on to do a three-lane road,” Howes said.

With the city’s expected growth over the next several years, he says, the city council should not be lessening Monroe’s ability to handle more traffic. He says business owners along the arterial who are threatening legal action should be taken seriously.

When asked about his top priority, Howes says it is to put more cops on the streets.

“People have spoken for the last four years and are tired of police officers not having the resources that they need," he said.

And streets are the second priority.

“We’re heading into our winter season again," Howes said. "People are very concerned about that and most of the roads still are not being repaired. So people want to know what can we look forward to next year.”

As for Proposition 2, the rail-car initiative aimed at stopping the transportation of uncovered coal and some oil trains through Spokane, Howes opposes it. Like other council candidates, he believes it would be challenged in court.

“The federal government owns this land and the railroads. I think that we need to be better for our citizens here in Spokane and concentrate on things that are far more important, such as road repair, police officers, things like that right now we don’t have the time to be wasting on this Prop 2,” Howes said.

Matthew Howes is challenging Candace Mumm for her seat on the Spokane City Council in the Northwest district.