September 23, 2019
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Alisha Benson named CEO at GSI

Alisha Benson has taken over as CEO of Greater Spokane Incorporated. Former CEO Todd Mielke resigned last Tuesday.

Mielke declined to comment on his future plans, other than he seeks to pursue “other professional opportunities,” The Spokesman-Review reports.

“I think there’s timing in everything you do in life,” Mielke said. “I was brought in to accomplish some very specific tasks, and I think I’m at a point where we’ve made significant headway on those and it’s time for me to look for the next professional opportunity.”

Benson was most recently GSI’s chief strategy and business development officer. She’s been at GSI for 12 years, and has also served as interim CEO, chief operating officer and vice president of education and talent.

Benson told the newspaper she’s preparing to lead the organization’s efforts in business retention and expansion, securing sustainable economic development funding for the region, and launching an economic development platform that serves “as the gateway of the community.”

GSI Board Chair Tom Johnson said Mielke’s resignation was unexpected, but the board supported Benson’s appointment unanimously.

“We’re rolling up our sleeves and beginning her transition,” he said. “Todd and Alisha will have a 30-day transition period where he will continue to serve as a resource to Alisha and GSI.”

Mielke highlighted several accomplishments in his resignation letter, the newspaper reported, including lobbying the U.S. Air Force to make Fairchild Air Force Base the largest tanker base in the world, rewriting GSI’s strategic plan, launching brand updates and creating a common economic development services agreement between GSI and local governments.

GSI has more than 1,200 members that employ about 100,000 people.



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Arguments Against a State Income Tax


An income tax is not in our best interest

By Washington Treasurer Duane Davidson

Today, we are at a point where Washington legislators need to reexamine their financial practices and consider the consequences of their actions that have led some to consider establishing a state income tax.

The historically unpopular notion of introducing an income tax is not exactly new to Washington, yet it has seen growing interest from income tax supporters in big city government and from certain state lawmakers who would pass income tax legislation if given the opportunity.

As Washington State Treasurer, four-term Benton County Treasurer, and licensed CPA for over 25 years, I have cultivated an automatic sense of duty to advocate for fiscal responsibility. When I see such disregard for taxpayers, my obligation is to stand up for what is right on their behalf.

Many of the legislature's self-induced financial woes have readily available remedies that do not involve raising taxes or adding an income tax, making it apparent to me that as a state we have some serious financial issues within our legislative practices we need to start addressing...

Taxing income would weaken Washington's thriving economy and reduce our capacity to compete for business. We need to agree on improving our habits and reigning in state debt before considering the addition of new taxes. An income tax is not in our best interest.

Read the full guest column in The Tri-City Herald