Voters will decide if Lynnwood should have a city manager

Voters will decide this fall if Lynnwood should change its form of government.

Monday night the City Council passed a resolution to place a measure on the Nov. 8 ballot that would ask voters if they want to change from a council-mayor to a council-city manager form of government.

Under the current council-mayor form of government, the mayor is elected and can hire or fire department heads. Under a city manager model, an administrative manager is hired by the City Council.

“I think ultimately this resolution will boil down to one question: ‘do we want the most qualified individual running the city?’.  The city manager approach should provide the most credentialed and experienced individual to run the city,” said Councilmember Ed dos Remedios.

Some councilmembers have blamed Mayor Don Gough for the city’s massive budget shortfall. Last year they voted six-to-one to ask him to resign after claims that he created a hostile workplace.

“I do believe that regardless of the form of government, all elected and administrative officials should demonstrate professional competence, sound character and credibility at all times. I’m sad to say that too often that has not been the case.” said Councilmember Loren Simmonds.

Council President Mark Smith questioned whether there was widespread support for putting this issue on the ballot.

“This is a very big deal. And for the council to vote to put this on the ballot without having more support from the citizens and residents of Lynnwood; I find the whole process very, very troubling,” he said.

Without approval from the Council, the only other way for the measure to get on the ballot would be a petition with at least 750 valid signatures. Mark Smith favored that option. He and Councilmember Ted Hikel were the only two who voted against the resolution.

Councilmembers decided to put this question on the ballot in November rather than February so they could share the election costs with other entities.

  1. It’s a pity, IMHO, that even if the issue is approved by the voters and Lynnwood goes to the council/manager form of government, then Gough gets to serve out his term.

    BTW, resolutions are usually signed by the mayor. Did Gough sign the resolution, effectively ending his reign as mayoy? The irony would be delicious.

  2. And who would hire the City Manager? The same City Council who approved a 500% tax hike on business without a thought of the impact on small business owners? I’m not comforted by that thought.

    1. Exactly.

      I am not a fan of Ghough, however I do see this as just another way for the counsel to consolidate power. Notice how one of the biggest supporters of the city manager issue was never even elected to his counsel seat?

      Besides all the tax increases why should we trust the counsel that helped steer this fiscal train wreck to even have the ability to set aside their politicking long enough to hire the, “most credentialed and experienced individual”? I for one, do not.

  3. valentines day – i stood up for citizen comment and the mayor shut me down after about 3 words — because he ‘thought’ he knew what i was going to say. lawyer said that the ruling that the mayor requested 10 days before and not sent to the council suggested i could not say anything!!! at the end of the meeting she said she mis-spoke it was not a ruling but an e-mail… citizen comment time is not a time for free speech in lynnwood under donnie’s rule – at 70 years old i could not believe the way i was treated – i never got more than a couple of words out and donnie shut me down cuz he thought he knew what i was going to say… free speech? not so much in lynnwood – and we have a whole 3 minutes to say what we feel – i feel no voice and no choice…hope people vote for city manager

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