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GSI Candidate Roundtable Interview – Part 5

One of our goals at GSI is to keep our members informed on public policy issues that could affect their business.  That is why we are hosting an online candidate forum for all state legislative candidates running in Spokane County this year.

Don’t know which district you live in?  Find out here! Don’t forget that the last day to register to vote in November’s election is October 6!  Register here!

Each week, we will be posting all of the answers to a different question in anticipation of our October Good Morning Greater Spokane event where we will host a forum between Senator Baumgartner and Rich Cowan.  Check out which candidates answered this week’s question “What kind of transportation package would you support?”

3rd District Representative Pos. 1

Marcus Riccelli (Incumbent)

“I strongly support the completion of the North Spokane Corridor (NSC). It will reduce travel time, help citizens save on gas, improve air quality and safety, help move freight, create construction jobs and generate economic development. It is critical that the voices of the impacted neighborhoods are included at every step of the project and not as an afterthought. I support a transportation revenue package to help address our maintenance backlog and connect the NSC to I-90. The only way to ensure we get our fair share ($750 million) to complete the NSC to I-90 is with local bi-partisan support.

I would consider compromising on a key issue – keeping sales tax revenue from transportation projects in the transportation budget – if it was phased in, had a sunset and was what it took to pass a package.”

Tim Benn

“I would a support a transportation package that finishes the North-South freeway. Accountability for dollars allocated for transportation must remain in the transportation budget to complete projects in a timely manner.”

3rd District Representative Pos. 2

Timm Ormsby (Incumbent)

“I would support a transportation package that was sufficient to fund our regional priorities without sacrificing the economic and social benefit of good wages, benefits and safety during construction. The package would include the NSC build-out to I-90 and other regional road and bridge projects. The comprehensive revenue package needs to have adequate transit, bicycle and pedestrian improvements as well as support for the operation and maintenance of local roads. I support the Legislature taking action on transportation funding before the next session after the elections are certified. I believe that will provide the best opportunity to get those projects underway during the next construction season.”

4th District Representative Pos. 1

Bob McCaslin

“One that does not include a gas tax! I know that a gas tax doesn’t address the real problem, and that’s how the transportation department spends taxpayer’s money. The Senate Coalition Caucus recommended 10 common sense reforms that address the needs that the transportation department has, and ways to correct them. None effect the environment adversely, and use common sense. The other element that has to be included would be the completion of the North/South Freeway with a guarantee to actually do that (we’ve been burned before).”

Diana Wilhite

“With the cost overruns and design flaws, the public has lost confidence in how transportation dollars are spent. Major reforms need to be made in the Department of Transportation before the public will be willing to support any tax increases for transportation.”

4th District Representative Pos. 2

Matt Shea (Incumbent)

“I would support a transportation package that does NOT include an increase in the ‘Gas Tax’, or an increase of any other tax or fee.”

Josh Arritola

“I would only support a package that fully funds the North Spokane Corridor. Finishing the North Spokane Corridor would position our community to be the largest American city connected to the oil boom in Canada. It would create 10,000 sustainable jobs and grow our economy by $400M/yr.”

6th District Senator

Michael Baumgartner (Incumbent)

“I have been very vocal about supporting a transportation package that significantly reforms how we spend transportation dollars to save our taxpayers money and that includes the full $750 million to finally complete the North South Freeway. We also have a plan to widen 904 and support other key local projects.  Instead of continuing to spend Spokane’s money to fund white elephant projects in Seattle like the Bertha tunnel debacle, we have a real plan to finally have Seattle fund our projects here.  Maintaining MCC majority control of the Senate is key.”

Rich Cowan

“Most important, a package that is funded and signed. We need a transportation package that creates jobs now, improves safety soon, and stimulates the economy of the Spokane area for decades to come.

The North/South corridor needs to become concrete, not continued conversation. Business and labor leaders alike have told me for decades that they have lobbied Olympia together only to be met with finger-pointing and “maybe next year’s.”

The Medical Lake and Geiger interchanges are prime examples of lost opportunity every day. I have watched freight trucks wait five minutes or more to access I-90 to get products moving. Time is money, and too much time and money has been wasted because of political posturing. My opponent and his colleagues have failed to even produce their own transportation bill. After nearly seven years of no transportation package, it is clearly time to try a new approach.”

6th District Representative Pos. 1

Kevin Parker (Incumbent)

“The fact of the matter is, if we enact the reforms, the money for transportation becomes clear. We can much more easily see what is needed and what is unneeded when we open the topic up for discussion. If we continue without reforms, we will struggle finding solutions to transportation issues. Reforms are the primary focus moving into any negotiations North Spokane Freeway. Without reforms, the North Spokane Freeway will likely never be completed because there is a perpetual budget shortfall.”

Donald Dover

“Unfortunately, I believe our state may be at a point of needing to fund our transportation infrastructure via increases in fuel taxes and other “pay-to-play” revenue sources. While no one wants to see farmers and manufactures paying more to move goods to market, this may need to be considered as an option for insuring that crops and goods are not stuck at the point of origin.”

6th District Representative Pos. 2

Ziggy Siegfried

“I would support any transportation package that includes plans to boost our economy, provide family wage jobs, and that will allow for the finishing of the the North/South Freeway.”

7th District Representative Pos. 1

James R. Apker

“I would support a transportation package that will equally repair, upgrade, maintain and build roads throughout the state. Sixty percent of roads throughout the state that are damaged, or in need of major repair are with in Spokane County. This must change. This must be addressed at the state level.”

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