Mager Back on Ballot for County Commissioner

By Steve Jackson

There is a familiar name in the race for Spokane County Commissioner, District 3. Former commissioner Bonnie Mager will try to win back the seat she lost to Al French four years ago. This time Mager has decided to run as an independent, rather than a Democrat. She says she would like to make the position non-partisan, but she's weighing in with some progressive opinions. 

She says the makeup of the present council, three Republicans, has been pro-development to the point that their polices are inviting urban sprawl in the county. She cites the commission's recent increase in the amount of land added to the Urban Growth Area, or UGA, something she says was not needed.

She says she sided with the city council in trying to stop infrastructure developments in the UGA that were being challenged by the state’s growth management hearing board.

Mager: It’s a loophole being taken advantage to expand the urban growth boundaries of by developers who then come back and vest the property so when it gets overturned, they still have the ability to develop the property even though they shouldn’t be able to.”
 
Mager also disagrees with the current councils stance on opposing the proposed casino project by the Spokane tribe in airway heights. She says they have spent $300,000 dollars on an outside law firm to lobby against the casino.
 
Mager: "They traveled back to D.C., have lobbied the governor, and have made an all out effort at  taxpayer's expense to stop economic growth on the West Plains. They say they are doing it at the beset of Fairchild Air Force Base, but the base doesn’t feel threatened. I would say follow the money and take another look.”

Mager says she was told personally by a former Fairchild commander the casino project does not threaten the base.
 
Another big issue for Mager is the call for a new county jail. She says "I would caution, until we implement programs to cut recidivism and stop crime, I don’t think it makes sense to build a jail if we don’t need one, or how big it should be.”
 
This race is already different than the previous battle between Mager and Al French, which she lost by a small margin, A new candidate, Mary Lou Johnson, has announced her intention to run as a Democrat.
We will have a profile on her candidacy coming soon.
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