Archive for May, 2012
Retaining jobs is the first priority of any community. Retaining approximately 5,700 jobs should be the priority of all communities benefitting from those jobs.
Fairchild Air Force Base employs about 5,700 people, and whether those jobs are around for many more years is up to the community. That’s why it’s important that all communities – Spokane County and the cities of Spokane, Airway Heights and Medical Lake – implement land-use regulations that help protect and preserve the base.
The Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) – funded by the Department of Defense to the tune of nearly a quarter million dollars – was developed to guide that protection. It gathered input from Fairchild and its surrounding municipalities. It prohibits certain developments that could encroach upon the base and restrict the base’s flying and training missions by limiting air space.
Both the Spokane County Commissioners and the Spokane City Council voted unanimously to implement the JLUS.
So why is this land-use agreement important? Simply put, it could go a long way in securing the base for many years to come, and assist its effort to attract new missions.
The TV show “Cheers” had us singing, “Where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.” The song reminds us of those local small businesses where you are known and matter, and it’s those businesses we give “cheers” to during National Small Business Month, which is this month, if you hadn’t heard.
What do these small businesses do? If you don’t own or work for a small business, chances are you benefit from them. Businesses that employ fewer than 50 employees represent 96 percent of the businesses in the state of Washington and Spokane County, and employ 41 percent of our workforce (and statistics can’t calculate the investment they make to their local communities).
With more than 1,000 GSI members classified as small businesses, it’s time to celebrate the BIG impact this sector has on our region, our state and our national economy.
Another year, another advocacy trip to Washington D.C. is in the books. Our regional delegation met with government officials, elected officials, Air Force officials, presented a Key to the City to retiring Representative Norm Dicks, talked about tankers, transportation, graduate medical education, and a lot more.
Here’s what we took away from the trip: