Clay Larkin: One loose end still remains

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When it rains, it burns.

Alison Larkin McArthur was busy preparing Kootenai County Fire & Rescue facilities for Saturday’s celebration of her father’s life when she got word that her home had caught fire and burned. Among the many losses was the family’s dog.

Yet like her father — the late, great Clay Larkin — always did, Alison forged ahead. The house was insured, she said. In time a new pet could be adopted. What mattered most on Saturday was that her dad’s friends and many admirers could spend an hour or two laughing, mingling and remembering a fine man and devoted public servant.

And what matters most now is that the memory of Clay Larkin, the longest-serving mayor in Post Falls history, is honored permanently.

Larkin was instrumental in Post Falls growing in so many ways: medical facilities and capabilities, manufacturing with the likes of Buck Knives uprooting from California, Cabela’s bringing one of its prized stores to the community, a land swap that created a home for the Boys & Girls Club, and much of the behind-the-scenes intensive labor that will finally bear fruit this year when a Veterans Home breaks ground in Post Falls.

But quietly, inauspiciously, as he so often operated, Larkin was also heavily involved in facilitating a massive project that required years of diligent, tireless work.

We go back to a Press editorial published April 17, 2016, headlined “Opportunity to honor a leader.”

“While Larkin would be the first to recognize the efforts of others,” the editorial reads, “it is our view and the view of many insiders that the Greensferry Overpass, which has significantly improved safety and standard traffic flow in the community, would never have happened without Clay Larkin’s patience and persistence. After two decades of debate, discussion and plenty of hand-wringing, under Larkin’s leadership, the $15 million structure was finished last fall and dedicated on Nov. 11.”

The editorial went on to humbly suggest that the city lend the big bridge Larkin’s name in some form or fashion.

And now, after Larkin passed away Jan. 20 at the age of 83, we still can think of no better tribute.

Clay Larkin Overpass sounds pretty close to perfect for Post Falls.

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