Spokane Valley City Councilman Bill Gothmann, who announced his re-election campaign last month, said Monday that he no longer intends to run for another term in November.
Gothmann, 73, said that after five busy years on the council he is ready to spend more time with his wife.
He was first elected to the City Council in 2005 after serving on the city’s planning commission.
In the last year Gothmann frequently voted against the majority of the council, five members of which ran together on the “Positive Change” slate in November 2009. His opinions often sided with Councilwoman Rose Dempsey, who resigned in January. Gothmann said his position in the minority did not influence his decision not to run again.
“I see the council, frankly, working more closely together as a team,” he said.
The City Council is in the process of appointing a replacement for Dempsey. After that, the council will fill the seat left vacant by the recent death of councilman and former Sen. Bob McCaslin.
House approves megaload bill
BOISE – The Idaho Legislature is moving to block citizen lawsuits over megaloads on the state’s highways, with legislation clearing the House on Monday to require a big up-front cash bond from anyone filing such a lawsuit.
“I think it will stop frivolous lawsuits,” said state Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, who is sponsoring House Bill 193. The measure would require anyone suing over a transportation project on Idaho roads to first post a bond equal to 5 percent of the insured value of the load. Harwood said his bill was prompted by the controversial hauling of megaloads of oil equipment along scenic U.S. Highway 12, to which local residents and businesses along the route have objected.
Harwood said he included an emergency clause to block more lawsuits over upcoming megaloads; ConocoPhillips has hauled two giant truckloads across the twisting, two-lane highway, taking up both its lanes; ExxonMobil plans more than 200 over the next year.
The House voted 53-16 in favor of the bill, which now moves to the Senate.
Discovery of drugs leads to charges
A traffic stop by Spokane police led to the discovery of a large stash of drugs and money.
Scott E. McTighe, 48, of Spokane, was stopped Wednesday night for making an improper turn at Napa Street and Trent Avenue but is now in jail on drug charges.
A check with the Department of Licensing confirmed that McTighe was driving with a suspended license, so he was arrested on the misdemeanor charge.
A subsequent search of McTighe turned up a metal vial on his keychain that contained what officers discovered to be a Schedule IV narcotic, clonazepam, which is illegal to possess without a prescription.
Police then discovered a large amount of cash with McTighe, who was taken to jail early Thursday.
Officer Erick Specht later discovered three baggies of heroin left in the back of his patrol car, according to a Police Department press release.
During a search of McTighe’s car, a Lincoln Mark III, officers found more than 14 ounces of heroin, two baggies of methamphetamine, baggies of marijuana and cash.