Candidates Michael Cannon and Candace Mumm Vie For Open City Council Seat

By Steve Jackson

Ballots have been mailed out, and Spokane voters are deciding who will replace outgoing city councilmember Nancy McLaughlin. The political philosophies of the two candidates, Candace Mumm, and Michael Cannon, are different. Cannon believes making his political viewpoint clear is an important factor.

Cannon: “I've been a little bit, I think, more honest in the sense that I’m up front in the fact that I am fiscally conservative and I’m a Republican. even though this is a non political office, that's important for voters to know my opponent is on the opposite side of that political spectrum. Although she claims to be in the middle, if you look at her record of who she's supported and who supports her, that's not the case.”
 
Candace Mumm believes the city council seat should not be aligned with a specific political party, and that her support has come from a wide array of the spectrum.

Mumm: "And so I’ve worked very hard since this campaign began to make sure I’ve had support from every corner in the community. I’ve had more than 600 donors, they are republicans, they are democrats, they are independents, working people, veterans, and young couples just starting out. I've been to neighborhood after neighborhood gaining that support.”
 
Recently an attack ad has been airing in the Spokane TV market that targets Mumm for the type of groups that have supported her campaign, which are define din the ad as “special interest groups from outside the Spokane area” Cannon says he did not pay for them, but rather they were sponsored by a Political Action Committee.
 
Cannon: “There's is no dispute about what's in the ads being true. While the tone is not what I would use and that's not how I would say it, it's something that voters should be aware of."
 
Cannon says some of the members of that PAC have contributed to his campaign. Candace Mumm defends her support as coming mostly from the community, and says the tone of the ads is something that may turn off voters and backfire on those who paid for the ads.

Mumm: “When you look at it at the federal level, look what happens with the partisan mud slinging, and the attacking that happens. When you continue to that, we ended up with a stalemate, a complete federal shutdown and collapse of our government."

The two candidates also have different ideas when it comes to the city’s budget issues. In an effort to bolster city finances, Spokane Mayor David Condon has proposed a 2 percent increase in property taxes. The mayor says that will help to hire more police officers and help reopen a south hill fire station.
 
Candidate Candice Mumm says she think the present council may sign off on that idea, although she is not a fan of increasing property taxes. She says if she is elected she would like to weigh ion on another idea the mayor is floating, that off paying off another older street bond.
 
Mumm: ”And that’s to free up some cash, but in order to that, we have to dip into reserves. I’m a former financial planner, so I’m very concerned we always have enough reserves for the city.”
 
Candidate Michael Cannon is also hesitant to ask for a property tax increase, in fact he wonders if more revenue is actually needed:
 
Cannon: "Before we look at asking citizens for more money, we are doing the best job we can at using current resources. So I would stop short of saying that we need additional revenue. And this budget, in part, is a good example because see areas where we are gaining efficiencies and further alignment in the budget that makes better use of our current resources.”
 
One hot issue this election cycle is the police guild contract, and whether it will allow the Police Ombudsman to have independent oversight of the department, as city voters demanded earlier this year. Michael Cannon says even if that provision is not in the new contract, there may be a way the council can ensure those powers will be granted.
 
Cannon: “I don’t know if in that environment is the place where we have to have the ombudsman authority or if there is another way that the council can pass an ordinance. What’s disheartening is the guild is so opposed to something the citizens are very clear about.”
 
Candace Mumm is a bit more adamant that the investigate powers need to be part of the police contract.

Mumm: “It’s not up for negations, we've already voted. We all across the city are saying, 'yes', we need that independent investigative authority for the ombudsman, and when you put it in the hopper as part of the negotiation, it can get negotiated out.”
 
Another issue that many citizens are concerned about is a possible dramatic increase in the number of coal trains passing through Spokane, if proposed shipping terminals on the west coast are approved.
Michael Cannon says he’s not sure if the traffic and environmental threats posed to the community are a big a threat as some have claimed.
 
Cannon: “There seems to be a default 'this is bad' opinion. I think maybe if we have a little bit more open mind to maybe there is opportunity in this situation. Maybe if we are good enough at mitigating the risks, and addressing any concerns around traffic congestion or the environmental, that perhaps there is something to be gained on the other side.”
 
Candace Mumm wants to make sure the impact on the Spokane area is thoroughly studied by state officials, and says the downside of the increased train traffic will be felt here.

Mumm: "We're hearing potentially double or triple the amount that we currently are having coming through this area. And the information about the economic pluses is not fleshed out either, because we're talking about new jobs but I've heard a low of two, and a high of twelve.
 
The ballots for the city elections are already in the hands of voters, they need to be mailed back by November 5th.
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