Step taken toward changing Lynnwood's form of government

Voters could decide if Lynnwood should switch to a council-city manager form of government. Under the current council-strong mayor form of government, the mayor is elected and can hire or fire department heads (although the City Council removed that power in August.)

Last night, Councilman Jim Smith made a motion to direct the city attorney to draft an ordinance for the Council to review then place on the ballot, as well as the Council President to schedule it for discussion on or before Dec. 6.

“With all of the financial disasters that have been facing the taxpayers of Lynnwood, we should at least let them decide on what form of government they want,” Smith told Lynnwood Today. “For me, I think it is time that maintain a local elected government for policy and hire professionals with the skill sets to manage this complicated city.”

Smith and others blame Mayor Don Gough for the city’s $21 million budget shortfall.

A citizen’s group has also been pushing for a city manager form of government for several months. “People for a Better Lynnwood” is made up of current and former city employees, and ordinary citizens, who say Lynnwood lacks proper leadership.

“While other cities with strong professional leaders have appropriately developed long-term comprehensive/strategic plans for their cities that outline growth and development backed by well thought out fiscal management plans, our leadership has never had the skills to even start such a plan let alone implement it,” the group’s website says.

Under a city manager form of government, an administrative manager is appointed by the City Council.

  1. While there are former and present employees of the City of Lynnwood on the committee for reforming the government, there are also many ordinary citizens who are upset about the condition of the city, that have stepped forward to try to make a change for the better. To elect a Mayor we have 33.000 people to choose from to find a qualified , well educated and experienced City Manager we have the entire United States to search for one. This is a no-brainer!

    1. “To elect a Mayor we have 33.000 people to choose from to find a qualified , well educated and experienced City Manager we have the entire United States to search for one. ”

      That’s very true (in fact, it’s the case that we have a hell of a lot less than 33,000 people to choose from because many of them are not old enough, or are here illegally, or are otherwise employed, or are completely uninterested in pursuing the position.

      That said, however, if we forego the strong mayor form of government, it is almost a foregone conclusion that all we will get is a nonthinking, dronelike yes-man who will obediently do whatever the council tells him. Executive decisions will be made depending on whichever way the political winds are blowing at that particular moment, because if the hired-hand “executive” makes decisions that are politically inconvenient for the council, they will fire him and replace him with somebody more pliable.

      This is politics, after all. It is naive to think that a city manager will be anything other than a sock puppet animated by the collective arm of the city council jammed up its ass. Look at the extraordiary lengths they went to in order to hobble and obstruct the mayor, for crying out loud — and I remind you that the mayor was popularly elected — twice!

      How else do you think they’d treat a city manager? Of course they’re drooling all over themselves at the prospect of such an arrangement.

      In Don Gough, the city of Lynnwood has had for the first time in recent memory a mayor with the qualifications, experience, eduction and demeanor to act the part of a real executive and leader — and look what happened. City employees went batshit crazy because he had an agenda and pursued it without regard to their preferences and tried every two-bit frame-up job in the book and then some to compromise him, and council went merrily along for the ride, aiding and abbetting them and using taxpayer funds to do so.

      I don’t care if Cletus the Slackjawed Yokel is the only person available to run for mayor of this burg. Until the civil service and council are reigned in, we need a strong mayor to give them a good bitchslap, which apparently they need a lot more of than they’re getting. To that end I hope like hell Gough runs again.

  2. “People for a Better Lynnwood” is made up of current and former city employees” does not include me, Douglas Kerley, Steering Committee Member. I am a former candidate for City Council, however. I ran against Councilman Mark “Mister Attendance” Smith who has a long history of poor attendance and now as Council President is His Honor, The Mayor, Don Gough’s chief supporter on the council.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.