Rathdrum Council To Honor Fallen Officer; Just Not With Street N - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Rathdrum Council To Honor Fallen Officer; Just Not With Street Name

From CdAPress.com - A Rathdrum, Idaho, street name won't be changed to honor a fallen city police officer, but the City Council vowed to name a public place or explore other options in the future.

The City Council on Tuesday night didn't vote on Jonathan Franco's father and sisters' request to change the name of Lauren Loop near Betty Kiefer Elementary to Jonny Franco Loop. The former Rathdrum officer died in September as a result of a motorcycle crash while off duty.

However, council members said other options, such as naming a future street or one of the new soccer fields or water park in Majestic Park, would be appropriate.

Natalie Wing, one of Jonathan's sisters, said on Wednesday the family is grateful the city will look at future options to remember Jonathan.

"I think it is an honor that Jonathan will be remembered in this way," she said. "I look forward to taking my children to the place that is named for their uncle. We talk about Jonathan every day and miss him very much."

After hearing public testimony both for and against the street name change request, the council did not vote because no motion in favor was made. Those opposed cited inconveniences of the address change such as notification to appropriate agencies and acquaintances.

"The big deciding factor for me was that it takes a lot of money to change everything from your driver's license to mortgage," council member Fred Meckel said, referring to the address change. "It would be a lot easier to name a new street than to change a lot of lives."

Meckel said he knew Jonathan professionally and, in speaking with Jonathan's friends, doesn't believe Jonathan would have wanted to inconvenience the people living there.

Meckel said, in some cases, the naming may ultimately be up to the developer of a new project and not the city.

John Franco, father of the fallen officer, was the original developer of the Genesis Gardens subdivision. The first three streets were named after his children - Lauren, Natalie and Jonathan. Jonathan and Lauren streets were later merged and re-named to Lauren Loop.

Jonathan built a duplex on Lauren Loop and lived there for more than five years. He was a positive influence in the neighborhood, the father said.

In other business, the council decided to table a proposed law banning minors from possessing e-cigarettes because the city already requested that the state consider such a measure.

The council will re-consider the law if action isn't taken by the Legislature.

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