skip to Main Content
Photo (l-r): Bob Bates, Steve Balzarini, Heather Lustig, Cindy Alred, and Suzanne Schmick

Board Meeting Minutes

The WCL Board of Trustees is composed of five members of the community who are appointed by the county commissioners to serve five-year terms. A board member may serve two consecutive terms. Each member serves without compensation. They are:

Steve Balzarini, – Chair, position 3
Colfax, WA 99111
1nd term 1/2013 – 12/31/2017, 2nd term 1/2018-12/31/2022

In many ways, Steve Balzarini’s life has been a journey from one library to the next. His first library memory is of an outing to the Great Falls Public Library with his mother when he was five. She was a voracious reader and passed the love of books and reading to her son. Steve foolishly thought he was destined to be a mechanical engineer, but after his first year at Montana State University he came to realize that books were more important than his slide rule. After graduating from MSU he came to the Palouse as a graduate student in history. His quest for a PhD led him to Holland Library, first as a student, and after he finished his degree, as the assistant WSU archivist. His years at Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections were an historians dream come true–acres of documents and books with unlimited access. But in 1978 Gonzaga University called and he replaced one very large graduate research library for that of a modest undergraduate teaching library. Crosby (now Foley) Library proved to be ideal for his needs, and he helped develop the modern European history collection. His almost daily drive to Spokane for the past thirty-five years has been made bearable by the wonderful collection of books on tape at the Colfax branch of the Whitman County Libraries.

Heather Lustig – Vice-Chair, position 1
Endicott WA, 99125
1st term 1/2017 – 12/31/2021

Heather Lustig moved to Whitman County in 2002. She grew up on a small farm outside of Moses Lake, Washington. Heather and her husband are raising 4 boys near Dusty and their children attend school in Colfax. She has been a stay at home mom until recently when she took a position with the Colfax School District as a Special Education Para-Professional. Heather is active in the Colfax PTO, teaches Sunday school and is the 4H horse leader for the Mockonema 4H club. Heather is excited to serve on the Whitman County Library Board of Trustees. The library has provided valuable programs and resources for her family and they’ve enjoyed participating in the Summer Reading programs, Third Thursday after-school programs, Storytime, teen activities, adult fitness classes, and various other activities.

Heather feels serving on the board is a great way to give back to the library for all it has given to her family.

Bob Bates – Secretary, position 4
Colton, WA 99113
1st term 1/2011 – 12/31/2015, 2nd term 1/2016-12/31/20

Bob Bates has operated an insurance office in Colton for more than 25 years. A graduate of WSU with a bachelor and master’s degrees and a veteran of the Vietnam War, Bates was a teacher and coach at Tekoa for seven years and then moved to Colton where he led the Wildcats to a state title win at the Kingdome in 1977. He started his insurance business part-time in 1979 and became a full time agent in 1984. He now offers life insurance, investment and retirement plan services at his office in the former bank building in Colton.

Cindy Alred, position 2
Palouse, WA 99161
1st term 1/2019 – 12/31/2023

Cindy has been a lifelong supporter of libraries. When her youngest son started kindergarten and with her oldest son entering the third grade she began volunteering in their school library. Cindy spent eight years as an elementary school library clerk during her 27 years with Bethel Public Schools before accepting a position with WSU and moving to Palouse in 2012 to be near her two granddaughters.

Cindy has been married to Steve for 43 years. They have two sons who have blessed them with two wonderful daughters-in-law.  Steve is retired from the trucking industry where he worked as dispatcher and truck driver.  Cindy still has a couple more years before she will retire.  They enjoy time with family and friends and being involved in their community.  Steve is co-organizer of the Palouse Days car show and Cindy assists at the registration table.

In her spare time Cindy enjoys reading, crocheting and spending time with her granddaughters.  She recently enjoyed being a “Mystery Reader” for her oldest granddaughters classroom.  You can find her at her local library participating in the various activities or checking out her next great read.

She looks forward to serving on the Board and sees this as another way of giving back to her community.  Cindy welcomes the opportunity to represent the many community libraries and share their wide ranging services and benefits with the public.

Suzanne Schmick, position 5
Endicott, WA 99125
1st term 1/2015 – 12/31/2019, 2nd term 1/2020-12/31/2024

Suzanne Schmick is a lifetime resident of Whitman County. She grew up on a wheat farm between Farmington and Tekoa (Seltice). Following high school graduation, Suzanne attended the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington for two years, and then transferred to Washington State University to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Home Economics Education. In 1983 Suzanne married Steve Schmick of Endicott and moved to his third generation family farm where they have raised two children, Dylan and Aja.

In 1983 following her move to Endicott, Suzanne began working and continues to work for Endicott School District. During her time with the district, she has worked in the business office, teaching in the elementary and middle schools and has served as the building principal. In 1990 Suzanne completed her masters degree in Administration and Curriculum Development from Gonzaga University.

Board Duties

The five-member board of trustees is responsible for governance of Whitman County Rural Library District, which is all of Whitman County except within the Pullman City limits. The district is composed of 14 branch libraries and nearly 30 employees, most being part-time. Board members work actively to learn about the library, oversee operations and help guide its future.

Library board members are appointed by the Whitman County Commissioners to serve a term* of 5 years. They must live within the library district and are not paid, although a travel reimbursement is available. Currently the board meets the 3rd Monday of each month at 4 p.m. in Colfax or occasionally in other branch locations. These meetings are open to the public but please contact the library to confirm the meeting location.

Library contacts by phone at 509-397-4366 or 877-733-3375:
Kristie Kirkpatrick, Library Director
Sheri Miller, Associate Director
Shirley Cornelius, Board Executive Secretary

Most recent previous board members:

Andrea Miller 2015-2018
Chuck Petras 2012-2016
Rebecca Dickerson 2002-2014
Rich Chittenden 2014
Teresa Myott 2006-2014
Jon Kehne 2003-2012
John Aune 1998-2011
Leslee Miller 2001-2010
Linda Fletcher 2001-2005
Ronald B. Webster 1997–2002
Anna-Maria Shannon 1999-2002
Dennis Ulrey 1998-2001
Mary Sue Thompson 1990-2000
Bob Wallace 1998-2000
Marilyn Bafus 1988-1998
Dorothy Smith 1991-1998

*A trustee can serve a maximum of 2 terms of 5 years each. Filling any part of an un-expired term does not count as a term and can be in addition to the two full terms of service.


Back To Top