By Sam Jack
CHENEY – December’s Cheney City Council meeting will mark the end of an era: Mayor Linda Ball will preside one last time, before stepping down from the governing body she has served for nearly four decades, including the past decade as Cheney’s mayor.
“Whatever I can give back to Cheney, I want to do that,” Ball said. “I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. But it’s now time for somebody else’s turn.”
Cheney City Council meetings are not free from conflict, but even contentious issues are often settled with unanimous votes from council members. For that concord, Ball credits elected officials who work in good faith with “good city administrators,” and in partnership with other Cheney organizations.
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“I think it’s amazing how well the city works with the school,” she said. “The park down south couldn’t have been if we hadn’t both worked together, which helped both of us. The land belonged to the Recreation Commission, and they built a ballfield, and we built a ballfield. Eventually, a lot more will go down there, too.”
Another recent project Ball highlighted is the city’s new water meters, which are read electronically via a “mesh” network, and which allow the city to alert homeowners to possible leaks.
Ball initially ran for city council at the encouragement of Dwayne Viner.
“At that time I was working at Clip & Curl, and later bought it, but I had never thought about that, and he encouraged me,” she said. “He thought it’d be nice for somebody that worked in a business or had a business to be on council.”
Ball said she will miss helping with Government Day, when Cheney Middle School students come to City Hall and run a mock city council meeting.
“The kids all recognize me as ‘Ms. Mayor.’ I’ve enjoyed that a lot,” she said.
Ball took over as mayor after Tim Rosenhagen moved away about a decade ago. Council president Philip Mize was elected as Cheney’s next mayor on Nov. 5, after running unopposed.