Tim Benn is a candidate for Spokane City Council in district 1.
Benn is the Chair of the Minnehaha Neighborhood council. He is the former owner and operator of Benn's Automotive and currently co-owns Little Precious Ones Childcare.
Benn holds three associate's degree from Spokane Community College. He triple majored in marketing, management and general business.
Benn answered the following four questions for 4 News Now.
What is the biggest issue currently facing Spokane?
Since we have several major issues that citizens would like addressed, I have to say improvements in public safety will cover the largest breadth of issues we are facing as these issues overlap. Property crime, drug addiction, drug trafficking, homelessness, illegal camping, violent crime and domestic violence are the public safety issues people tell me they want addressed most. However street replacement, maintenance and asphalt preservation is in a close second and is also one of my priorities.
How should the city approach the homeless crisis?
This is a complex issue that cannot be addressed and approached simply. I hear the talking points about the homeless population being a mixture of addiction, mental illness and those who can't afford housing. Unfortunately it's not that easy. I've talked with a number of law-enforcement officers service providers, healthcare providers and volunteers of nonprofits helping the homeless and I see and hear that our approach has to completely change. I am told and I can see that crisis management of the issue and warming centers are just a Band-Aid that keeps coming off and we need long term solutions and a regional approach. This issue cannot be solely Spokane‘s responsibility it's too complex and the homeless populations cannot be centralized any longer as we work towards better outcomes.
What are potential opportunities of Spokane's growth and what challenges do we need to address?
There are numerous opportunities in Spokane's growth! We are seeing more job opportunities, higher wages, and more prosperity for the residents and small businesses in Northeast Spokane. This growth will also provide the city more resources to make investments in public safety and improve our streets without raising taxes. The challenges we need to address to accommodate this growth goes back to improving public safety and our streets. Spokane has a lack of housing that must be addressed. Our city has significant barriers that need to be addressed to adequately accommodate growth and opportunities. We need to make it easier and more affordable for property owners and small contractors to build what big developers call onesies and twosies or infill. There are vacant lots throughout this city where homes and buildings were demolished or have never been developed that need to have homes and businesses built in those locations.
What personal accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my family. My wife Shannon and I have been together for more than 20 years. We've raised our three children in the home across the street from the elementary school, that she picked out because she wanted to serve children. Together we've operated and maintained a childcare business on our property serving hundreds of children and families over the past two decades. We've been blessed to see the children grow and now see some of them starting families of their own in our community.