State Rep. Dennis Dellwo will resign to take a seat on a state board that settles disputes on how cities should grow.
Gov. Mike Lowry said Friday he was appointing Dellwo to the Eastern Washington Growth Management Hearings Board.
To accept the $76,000-a-year position, Dellwo will resign on July 1 from the state House of Representatives, where he has served for 13 years.
“It’s something I enjoyed immensely, but it’s time to move on,” Dellwo said Friday, adding that the demands of serving in the Legislature produce a type of natural term limit that convinces most members to leave eventually.
He said legislative service put a strain on his family, and eventually led to his divorce from his wife of 13-1/2 years, Jeanine.
The 50-year-old attorney previously sought a judicial appointment, and ran unsuccessfully last fall for a Spokane County Superior Court position.
The growth management board is similar to a judgeship, he said, because members are asked to apply the state’s management laws to disputes between local government agencies.
“It hears the appeals of people who feel the city or county has not complied with the Growth Management Act,” he said.
Dellwo helped write the Growth Management Act during his tenure in the House, Lowry said.
“He is committed to balanced growth management, a strong economy and healthy environment in Washington state,” Lowry said in a statement announcing the appointment Friday.
The state is divided into three regions - Western Washington, Central Puget Sound and Eastern Washington - each with its own hearings board. The Eastern Washington board is based in Yakima.
Dellwo will also resign from the Spokane law firm of Winston and Cashatt. Dellwo will replace Walla Walla attorney Tom Williams on the board.
Lowry’s announcement clears up questions about Dellwo’s political plans and leaves north Spokane’s 3rd District wide open. Dellwo would have have faced a re-election effort this fall, but had not announced a campaign. Fellow Democrat Lisa Brown, the junior House member, has announced she will challenge incumbent Republican John Moyer for the Senate seat.