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Contrasting Al vs His Opponent

Issues I Stand Against: Contrasting Al Merkel vs. Arne Woodard


In the race for Spokane Valley City Council Position 3, it's crucial to understand where the candidates stand on key issues affecting our community. Here, we provide a clear contrast between Al Merkel and his opponent, Arne Woodard, so you can make an informed decision about who best represents your vision for Spokane Valley.


1. Property Taxes:

   - Al Merkel: Committed to responsible fiscal policies, Al opposes property tax hikes during price bubbles.

   - Arne Woodard: Voted to raise property taxes last year during a price bubble.


2. Senior Center Relocation:

   - Al Merkel: Believes in listening to our seniors and opposes any costly relocation without community support.

   - Arne Woodard: Supports moving the Senior Center, potentially costing taxpayers millions, despite seniors' happiness with their current         location.


3. Valleyfest Funding:

   - Al Merkel: Supports the events that bring our community together, such as Valleyfest.

   - Arne Woodard: Voted to defund Valleyfest, removing economic development funds impacting our community's cherished traditions.               Voted to redistribute economic development funds to the Valley Chess Club.


4. Unplanned Development:

   - Al Merkel: Advocates for responsible, planned development to preserve neighborhood integrity.

   - Arne Woodard: Supports unplanned development, potentially threatening the character of Spokane Valley.


6. Sheriffs Contract:

   - Al Merkel: Committed to ensuring responsible and accountable use of resources in the Sheriffs Contract.

   - Arne Woodard: Arne Woodard's stance on the sheriff's contract has shown a concerning level of inconsistency over the years. He has           veered from calling for an outright replacement of the contract to suggesting that we should consider replacing it soon. This vacillation           raises questions about the clarity and reliability of his stance on a critical issue like public safety funding. Voters deserve a candidate             with a consistent and well-thought-out position, especially when it comes to the safety and security of our community.


7. Homelessness:

   - Al Merkel: Willing to address the rising challenge of homelessness in Spokane Valley working with regional partners to leverage our               dollars to deliver value for money on a regional problem.

   - Arne Woodard: Arne Woodard has held the role of Spokane Valley's primary representative on homelessness for over a decade, serving       on regional boards like the Continuum of Care and various others. However, during his lengthy tenure, we've witnessed a significant and       alarming increase in homelessness within our community. What's even more concerning is Arne's consistent efforts to undermine                   regional approaches in favor of isolating Spokane Valley from the larger region.

     Instead of recognizing the importance of working collaboratively with neighboring areas to address homelessness, Arne has repeatedly         pushed for the severance of ties with the region. This approach threatens to isolate us and strip away the synergies and economies of           scale that come with regional cooperation. It's time for a new direction—a leader who understands the value of collaboration and has a         fresh perspective on tackling this pressing issue in our community.


8. Taxes:

   - Al Merkel: Advocates for a fair and balanced approach to taxes, considering the needs of our community.

   - Arne Woodard: Over the past decade, Arne Woodard's stance on taxes has shown a troubling pattern of wavering and inconsistency. He       originally ran on platforms promising 'no new taxes,' but in recent years, we've witnessed a significant departure from that commitment.

     Arne has supported illogical tax proposals, such as taxing utilities to fund road services, a move that raises questions about the                     practicality and fairness of his tax policy. Additionally, during a property value bubble, he voted in favor of increasing property taxes, a           decision that seemed out of touch with the economic realities facing our community.

     Perhaps most concerning is Arne's support for a stormwater tax increase that exceeds what was actually needed for infrastructure                 improvements. This kind of fiscal mismanagement is a critical issue, and it's essential that we have leadership with a clear and                       consistent approach to taxation. Spokane Valley deserves a candidate who will uphold their promises and make informed, responsible         decisions when it comes to managing our finances.

     These are critical issues that will shape the future of Spokane Valley. It's essential to consider where each candidate stands and how             their positions align with your values and priorities. Al Merkel is dedicated to preserving the unique character of our neighborhoods,               ensuring fiscal responsibility, and promoting community well-being.


9. Contractual and Operational Management (the Sinking City Hall):

   - Al Merkel: Advocates for reviewing and revising city processes for contracting, procurement, and hiring to deliver the best value for               taxpayers. Currently, the city posts all solicitations for purchase and contracting to only 1 location (the Valley Herald), leading to                     potentially overpriced contracts and poor workmanship.

   - Arne Woodard: During Arne Woodard's tenure, the city's contracting and procurement process has been marred by inefficiency and              waste. One glaring example is the mishandling of the city hall construction project, which has resulted in a shocking cost overrun of over      4 million dollars. This staggering waste of taxpayer funds is unacceptable, especially considering the city hall is sinking into the sand,            and the contract failed to clearly specify responsibility for construction defects.

    Even more concerning is Arne's decision to bypass an already paid-for contract to conduct a transparent hiring process for the city                manager. By essentially sole-sourcing the position, he disregarded standard procedures that ensure fairness, accountability, and the best      interests of the community. Such actions undermine the principles of transparency and responsible governance that Spokane Valley              residents deserve.

    It's clear that we need a fresh and responsible approach to contracting, procurement, and decision-making in our city. The status quo,          under Arne's leadership, has proven costly and lacking in transparency, making it essential that we seek new leadership that prioritizes          fiscal responsibility and accountability.


We encourage you to get involved, ask questions, and make an informed choice that best represents the future you envision for Spokane Valley. Your voice matters, and your vote can make a difference.


Stay tuned for more updates and information about Al Merkel's campaign and vision for Spokane Valley. Together, we can build a stronger, more vibrant community.

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