Democrat Pat O'Neill points out that Whitman County receives more money from the state and federal government than any other county in Washington. O'Neill voted in favor of the Hawkins Development because he believes it's a way to get the county back on its own feet.
"We're talking a pretty sizable development and the amount of revenue that could come into the county and to the surrounding area is going to be enormous," said O'Neill.
O'Neill said that the investment in the Hawkins development is worthwhile because the county will collect increased sales and property taxes. He also believes a new shopping center will attract more residents to the county since the retail options in the area are currently very limited. O'Neill also supports the idea of investing in more wind energy development to make the county less dependent on Avista.