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Valley councilmen seeking re-election to work on projects

 (The Spokesman-Review)
Gothmann (The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane Valley Councilmen Bill Gothmann and Steve Taylor have begun campaigning for re-election, saying they want to continue working on a number of big projects taken up by the City Council.

All three council positions on the ballot this November are uncontested so far, but the two incumbents’ decision to run – as well as an earlier announcement by Councilman Mike DeVleming that he will not seek re-election – give potential challengers a clearer picture of what the race will look like in the months ahead.

A retired electrical engineer and college professor, Gothmann was elected in 2005 to the council seat previously held by Mike Flanigan.

“I’ve just thoroughly enjoyed the work,” Gothmann said.

Gothmann said he was encouraged by several people to run again and wants to stay on the council because “there’s still a lot of unfinished business that needs to get done.”

Continued work on the region’s 911 system and a community center for the Edgecliff neighborhood are among the things Gothmann said he would like to see accomplished.

The city is in the process of laying out an extensive redevelopment plan for Sprague Avenue that includes a city center both Gothmann and Taylor said they want to make a reality.

Taylor has served on the seven-member City Council since the Valley’s incorporation, and he was re-elected in 2005.

“I think we’ve accomplished a lot of good things since the inception of the city, and we have some big projects still in the works,” he said.

In addition to the city center, Taylor points to an extensive inventory and maintenance plan for city streets, as well as new parkland development he’d like to oversee as a councilman in years to come.

“I’m committed to seeing these projects through,” he said.

At 31, Taylor is the youngest member of the council and said he’s in a position to represent the views of Spokane Valley families with children.

He and his wife are expecting their first child this summer.

After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Taylor earned a degree in finance and economics at Eastern Washington University before going on to work for then-Rep. George Nethercutt and as investor relations director for HuntMountain Resources.

He is now the government affairs director of the Spokane Homebuilders Association.

On the council, Taylor serves as deputy mayor and presides over the meetings when the mayor is absent.

Gothmann, 69, joined the council after serving 2 1/2 years on the city’s Planning Commission and working on a roads committee during Valley incorporation.

On the council, Gothmann said he comes to the table with a mindset that decisions should come from the most logical interpretation of the information at hand, even if the results are less than popular.

His professional accomplishments include authorship of four electronics textbooks and master’s degrees in business administration and teaching. He also served 10 years in the Air National Guard.

Gothmann is married and has three adult children.