Local news

Spokane Valley councilwoman will resign seat

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 19, 2011, 9:16 A.M.

Spokane Valley City councilwoman Rose Dempsey announced Wednesday morning that she is resigning her seat on the council effective Friday.

Her decision comes after a contentious council meeting Tuesday night where she was in the minority opposing a proposed emergency comprehensive plan amendment to remove the City Center zone from the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan. Four new council members who all ran on a platform opposing the plan were elected to the council in November 2009.

Dempsey said she will not take her seat next Tuesday when the amendment is up for the final vote. “I won’t be there when they vote that piece of crap in,” she said. “They have no intention of compromising on anything. They’re going to do what they’re going to do.”

Dempsey and Councilman Bill Gothmann were frequently on the losing side against the other five council members, who all ran together on the “Positive Change” platform. “I’m really sorry I’m leaving Bill Gothmann in the lurch,” she said. “Now he’ll be all alone.”

Mayor Tom Towey said he was sorry to see Dempsey’s resignation. “I certainly valued Rose as a very vital part of our council,” he said. “She was one of the council persons that really had a passion for her job and that’s what we need. We’re going to miss her a great deal.”

She is a diabetic and Dempsey said the recent stress that came along with her job had pushed up the amount of insulin she needed to take every day. She is the primary caregiver for her husband and her brother, who both have health problems, and she can’t afford to get sick, Dempsey said. “I know it was the stress. The job was really bad for my health. I didn’t see any point in hanging around.”

Dempsey, who was elected in November 2007, said she has been playing the organ and directing the choir at Trinity Lutheran Church in Coeur d’Alene and hopes to use that as a stepping stone into a full time position.

The last time the Spokane Valley council had a vacancy, the council accepted applications from people interesting in filling the unexpired term and conducted interviews before voting on a replacement. Dempsey’s term was set to expire in November.

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