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This article will address the form of government in
In Washington there are 3 classes of cities (by population):
towns are under 1500; 2nd class cities (1500-10,000) and
first class cities (above 10,000). Chewelah is a second class
city with a strong mayor form of government. That means
that although we have a City Administrator who directs the
daily operation of the City, it is the Mayor who is ultimately
responsible for the administrative affairs of the City.
In the U.S. there are 3 branches of government: Executive
(President, Governor, Mayor); Legislative (Congress, State
Legislature, City Council); and Judicial (Court system). This is
known as the Separation of Powers doctrine. Each of the three
branches exercises defined powers, free from unreasonable
interference by the other branches; yet, all branches interact
with and upon each other as a part of a check and balance
Chewelah has a 7-member city council with rotating
terms. They are responsible to pass the laws (ordinances
and resolutions) which govern the city. We also have a
Planning Commission, which meets monthly and deals with
all issues involving zoning, annexation, variances, etc. This
Commission cannot make laws, but holds public hearings and
forwards recommendations to the City Council for action. The
Civil Service Commission also meets monthly and deals with
issues involving the Police Dept.
Second class cities operate mainly under RCW 35.23,
although other statutes regulate such things as utilities,
civil service, etc. It is important to note that the city is an
incorporated agency of the State and we can only exercise
powers delegated to us by the constitution and laws of the
State. The State Auditor's office has been given the power to
prescribe the manner in which cities operate, account for and
report their financial affairs.
I am always happy to answer questions for the public. In
my next article I will address some of the concerns voiced in
the community survey responses.
By Mayor Dorothy Knauss, City of Chewelah

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The Stevens County
Veterans Information and
Referral Line is available
Mondays,Wednesdays, and
Fridays (except holidays)
from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call
509-685-AVET (2838) for
availability of Veterans
Service Officers and for other
for information pertaining
to veterans and veteran's
A representative from
the VA Homeless Programs
office will be at the Stevens
County Board of County
Commissioners Office,
230 East Birch, Colville
on Wednesday, September
3, 2014 and Wednesday,
September 17, 2014 from
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.—no
appointments are necessary.
For information, call Andy
Rogers at 509-462-2500,
Extension 4020.
An American Legion VA
Accredited Service Officer
will be at the Colville Center
of the Spokane Community
College, 985 S Elm St,
Colville on Wednesday,
September 10, 2014 to help
veterans apply for VA benefits.
For appointments, call Bob
Gumm, Vet Corps Rep at 509-
685-2120 Extension 6740 or
A Veterans of Foreign
Wars VA Accredited Service
Officer will be at VFW
Post 6963, 125 Hwy 20
East, Colville on Thursday,
September 11, 2014 to help
veterans apply for VA benefits.
For appointments, call Lance
Gromme at 509-684-6448.
The Tri County Veterans
Stand Down will be at
the Northeast Washington
Fairgrounds in Colville on
Saturday, September 20,
2014 and Sunday, September
21, 2014. For additional
information, call Suzie Brown
at 509-675-3000.



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