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Fond farewells

by DEVIN WEEKS
Staff Writer | January 4, 2024 1:08 AM

RATHDRUM — Outgoing Rathdrum Mayor Vic Holmes is preparing to hang up his mayoral hat after 16 years leading the city, following four years on the Rathdrum City Council.

He said he is definitely going to miss the camaraderie of Rathdrum city staff members, with whom he has grown quite close through the years.

“I come in every day, and we sit and laugh and joke and discuss different events,” Holmes said Wednesday evening. “I will absolutely miss that.”

Friends and city staff gathered at Rathdrum City Hall for a retirement party to wish Holmes a fond farewell as he closes this chapter in his life. His last day with the city is Wednesday.

“He’s always had the best interest of the public at heart, and that’s one of the things that I love about him,” said Rathdrum City Administrator Leon Duce, who has worked with Holmes for about 15 years through the city and his prior job at the Idaho Association of Cities, where Holmes was on the board of directors.

“He works well with the public. He wants to take time, he answers all of his own messages, he tries to communicate with the public whenever they ask him questions," Duce said. “I’m very thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to work with him."

Duce said 15 years doesn't go away that easily.

"He’ll still be at the house that’s on my way home when I go home from work," Duce said. "I know where he is and how to get ahold of him."

"I’ll still be around, and they all know that,” Holmes said.

The gathering included former Rathdrum Chamber of Commerce staff, Rathdrum Lions Club members and Holmes' old pal, Coeur d'Alene City Administrator Troy Tymesen, with whom he exchanged a good laugh when Tymesen presented him with a city of Coeur d'Alene mug.

Holmes shared a bit of advice for his successor, Mayor-elect Mike Hill.

“Be fair," Holmes said. “That’s the mayor’s role, to be fair about all the decisions that are made. There’s two sides to every story. All you can do is be fair.”

During his tenure, he said North Idaho’s mayors have all worked together.

"Our belief was what was good for Rathdrum was good for Coeur d’Alene, was good for Spirit Lake, and reverse, what’s good for Post Falls is good for Rathdrum, so we did have a lot of camaraderie," Holmes said. "We tried to row the boat the same direction.”

Holmes isn't leaving North Idaho for tropical climes anytime soon, although he and his wife, Sheri, might go for a vacation later this summer or fall.

However, he may have more political adventures ahead.

“I’ve been asked to run for county commissioner and I’m really debating that,” Holmes said. “I’m like 80/20, probably."

    Longtime Rathdrum Mayor Vic Holmes visits with friends Wednesday during his retirement party at Rathdrum City Hall.
 
 
    Outgoing Rathdrum Mayor Vic Holmes displays a handmade gift from Radiant Lake neighborhood resident Dan Boerner during Holmes' retirement party Wednesday.
 
 
    Former Rathdrum Chamber staffer Shanie Rountree gives Rathdrum Mayor Vic Holmes a hug during his retirement party Wednesday. Holmes did not seek re-election after 16 years as mayor and 20 with the city of Rathdrum. His last day is Wednesday.