Councilman leaving to take post in Connell

By John Craig, The Spokesman-Review June 19, 2009 

Spokane Valley City Councilman Steve Taylor has announced that he will resign June 30 to become city administrator of Connell.

Taylor, 33, has been on the council since Spokane Valley became a city in 2003.

His announcement brought a chorus of praise and good wishes from other council members, some of whom promised to roast him later.

"You're a brilliant young man, and I think you have a great future," Councilman Bill Gothmann said.

Councilwoman Diana Wilhite appreciated Taylor's "articulation of his viewpoints," which she said has helped sharpen her positions even when they have disagreed.

Mayor Rich Munson got choked up when he recalled having known Taylor "since he arrived in Spokane as a young three-striper (senior airman) in the United States Air Force."

Taylor earned a bachelor's degree in finance and economics in 2000 while working as a field representative for U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt and went on to earn a master's degree in public administration in 2007 -- both from Eastern Washington University.

After six years with Nethercutt, Taylor became director of investor relations for HuntMountain Resources, a Liberty Lake precious metals exploration company.

He was hired as government affairs director for the Spokane Home Builders Association in 2006 and returned to HuntMountain last June as vice president of corporate development.

Taylor said his new HuntMountain job became "a victim of the economy" last month.

He was among 38 applicants and four finalists for the $74,000-a-year city administrator's position in Connell, a position he accepted Monday.

Connell, population 3,190, is home of the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center.

Under the city's strong-mayor form of government, Taylor will answer to Mayor Gary Walton.

Taylor said his 61/2 years on the Spokane Valley City Council "have been among life's most memorable."

"God bless you all, and keep moving our city forward," he said, reading from his resignation letter.

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