Curless resigns as Dover mayor - Coeur d'Alene Press: Political

Curless resigns as Dover mayor

Cites City Council strife, gridlock as reasons for leaving

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Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2014 12:00 am

DOVER - Longtime Mayor Paul "Randy" Curless resigned on Wednesday.

The resignation was effective immediately and comes amid ongoing strife and gridlock on the City Council.

Curless released a statement saying he prided himself during his 18-year tenure on promoting calm deliberation and reasoned judgment to the administration of city affairs.

"However, a municipal administration, harassed by the impacts of relentless disruption and micro-managing, cannot function effectively. The open animosities and agendas that have emerged in the current council render it impossible for me to discharge my duties and meet my responsibilities," Dover said in the statement.

Curless adds that he can no longer passively watch positive steps by the city be undermined by "disruptive influences."

"The welfare of this community transcends in importance the petty conniving, personal grievances, and animosities of self-seeking individuals," Curless said in the statement.

Curless declined on Wednesday to elaborate, although his resignation follows the departure of longtime Councilwoman Peggy Burge, the ouster of City Clerk Kym Holbert and struggles over the appointment of a city attorney, water rates and other issues.

Divisions on the council have roughly fallen along lines of recently elected and long-standing members, and those with roots in modest parts of Dover and in its more well-heeled sections.

"The city needs to be able to work together on things," he said. "Maybe if I'm not there they can move on ahead."

Curless, 69, was appointed in 1995 and counts periodic upgrades to the city's water and sewer infrastructure and replacement of the U.S. Highway 2 bridge as some of his prime accomplishments while in office. The council was one of the loudest voices calling for a new bridge and members were known to take chunks of the aged and traffic-damaged span to the Idaho Transportation Board to underscore their point.

"That was a lot of city work," Curless said.

Curless appeared on a History Channel program on sagging infrastructure and believes a new Dover Bridge would have languished in the design phase if not for the national publicity.

He's also proud of the establishment of the Selkirks-Pend Oreille Transit system and emergency-only passage over the railroad tracks on the west side of town.

"I will miss the interaction of the citizens and the employees - a very good bunch," said Curless, adding that he won't miss marathon council meetings in which little is accomplished.

Curless said he will focus on rebuilding a barn that was recently destroyed by fire, raising and training border collies, and casting fly-fishing lines in Panhandle creeks.

"I bought a new fishing reel and I'm going to use it," he said.

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