City Council confirms new finance director

By a six to one vote, the City Council last night voted to confirm Lorenzo Hines as Lynnwood’s new finance director.

Hines, who currently serves as finance director for the city of Edmonds, was Mayor Don Gough’s top choice for the job.

“I am excited to work with Mr. Hines.  Lynnwood is fortunate to get such a qualified finance director,” City Councilman Jim Smith said.

Hines is moving on from a controversial situation in Edmonds, where there was ongoing tension between him and two city councilmembers. According to My Edmonds News, Hines complained in November that e-mails and personal interactions between himself and Councilmembers Diane Buckshnis and Michael Plunkett “have grown more and more hostile.”

The city hired an attorney to investigate the complaint as possible discrimination. The report concluded that “certain of the communications and comments at issue may be construed as rude or uncivil,” but it found that discrimination did not occur.

In an interview with My Edmonds News, Hines said that he respects the conclusion of the investigator that the councilmembers’ conduct didn’t violate state or federal law. “But I also appreciate the fact that there was an acknowledgment that there were certain rude or uncivil behaviors. And that if the council was bound by the same code of conduct that city employees are, there would be an issue. I think this was a lesson for us all because I had no idea – even in a city this small and with us working so closely together – that we’re really not playing under the same rules.”

Our e-mail seeking comment from Hines has not yet been returned.

Hines will take over for interim finance director Pat Dugan.

  1. Interesting about the “code of conduct” that supposedly binds city workers but not councilpersons.

    Sounds like a bunch of malarkey to me, a city worker could practically assault somebody physically at work and that would STILL not be grounds for termination. Nice to see it’s back to business as usual in Lynnwood. Let’s see who buts heads with the new guy first.

  2. I would have thought Mayor Gough’s recommendation of Hines would be the kiss of death for securing a confirmation from this City Council. During the 2/28 council meeting, the council and mayor went into a long executive session before Hines’ confirmation, so I have to wonder what sort of deal/concession was exacted from the mayor to get his guy in as Finance director.

    1. I wouldn’t read too much into that. Jim Smith is probably the mayor’s most stalwart enemy on council and he gave the guy his seal of approval. At the end of the day all of the candidates were likely just about as qualified to do this job (it’s a government slot after all, hence a cushy and undemanding free ride), so it was probably no skin off the mayor’s nose who got it. I will say it’s surprisig they didn’t try and stick it to the mayor just out of spite — that seems to be what this council does best.

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