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.