Jon Lane, It’s “All About Jobs”

Posted on Aug 20, 2015


Jon Lane

"It's all about jobs," Moses Lake City Councilman Jon Lane says. His passion for jobs is why he was an educator, serves on the Grant County Economic Development Board of Directors, and served on the Moses Lake City Council. "Moses Lake is an amazing place," Lane says. "I wanted to focus on jobs so people can stay here and come here."

Lane, who turned 66 in August, has lived primarily in Grant County since his family moved here when he was five years old. His father was a blimp pilot in the Navy, stationed near San Francisco. Deciding to move to a small town to raise the kids, they were here in 1953 when the irrigation project opened. The family broke ground from sagebrush in Block 40.

After graduating from Moses Lake High School, Lane went to Big Bend Community College for two years, then went to the University of Washington for a year. He transferred to Central Washington University to finish his education degree. His first teaching job was in Pullman. He returned to Moses Lake in the early 1970s to teach at Big Bend for two years before he sold fertilizer at Simplot and worked for a crop duster. Not wanting to work long hours in the summer when his children were out of school, he decided to return to education. To facilitate that, he earned a Master's degree from Eastern Washington University.

"I like kids," Lane says. "Kids are important." He also enjoyed coaching. "In coaching you get to see kids in a special relationship." But coaching did mean long hours so he didn't spend as much time with his family as he would have liked. He taught physical education then got into administration. He taught other subjects to get a feel for them first. His initial administration job was in Warden where he became the principal of the then-new middle school. He ended up back in Moses Lake at Frontier Middle School as a vice-principal, and then went on to be the principal at St. Rose of Lima private school in Ephrata. He says the most "momentous" occasion in his education career was when he stopped a shooting at Frontier Middle School. "I was in the right place at the right time and able to do something good."

"Education was a good career for me," he says, adding, "It's always gratifying to see kids who went through school with me and I had an impact on their life to become responsible adults."

Currently Lane serves as a trustee of Big Bend Community College. Because of his personal and family history with BBCC, he wanted to "be involved and give back." He says BBCC is where "A lot of kids find their way." Many are the first in their families to go to college, he says, and can find success at a community college. "The things that Big Bend does are so important; it was just something I wanted to be involved in. The celebration of kids who overcome so much to become successes is so rewarding. I just want to be part of that celebration."

Lane's desire to help also led him to run for city council in Moses Lake. "The city's been good to me and I want to give back," he explains. "I didn't have an agenda other than to make Moses Lake a better place for my kids and grandkids." He adds that the city has been able to "do some good things to help the city grow in a positive direction." Lane's term ends this year and he's not running for re-election.

Lane has also been on the Grant County Economic Development Council Board of Directors for just over five years. He says he thought it was important that there be representation of the City of Moses Lake on the board. "They're trying to improve Grant County," Lane says, adding, "I just think Moses Lake and Grant County have always said, 'Good times are just around the corner.'" The EDC, Lane says, "Pulls together things that bring good times. The EDC is bringing things together to make good jobs happen and cause growth." He says that some companies wouldn't be here, and some established companies wouldn't have grown, without the EDC.

"I think they're 'future thinking.' They are looking down the road to see what needs to be done to bring business here and help companies grow." They also, Lane adds, provide information for companies that want to locate here.

"Terry Brewer set the stage," Lane says, "And Jonathan Smith, Emily Braunwart, and Allan Peterson are building on that foundation and helping us to grow in a positive direction."

Lane has been in Grant County long enough to see the "highs and the lows." He saw the Air Force base close and the sugar plant shut down. But he's also seen the growth of the industrial sector when companies such as Genie, SGL/BMW, and Takata came to Grant County. "I'm excited to see Mitsubishi come here," he adds.

Lane would like to see more retail development so residents can shop locally. He's worried about the over-crowding situation with the Moses Lake School District. "If we're going to bring good people in we need a good education system." He adds that's one of the challenges of growing.

Lane enjoys the "diverse" recreational activities available in Grant County. He likes the seasons and "It's a great place to raise a family." Lane also says Grant County has "good people. Good folk here with farming being the main industry in town."

In his free time, Lane enjoys golfing and travelling with his wife. "Get together with friends and families over the country. Our recreation is travelling and meeting people."