Mukilteo drops city administrator position

MUKILTEO — Mayor Jennifer Gregerson is shedding Mukilteo’s city administrator position as part of an ongoing overhaul of city government.

The position is expected to be eliminated as the city hires a new management services director.

The management services director will have slightly different duties, and a smaller salary, the mayor said. The position will involve overseeing operations. The mayor’s office would play a bigger role in budgeting and long-term planning.

Gregerson made clear in her campaign last fall that she didn’t think Mukilteo needed a full-time city administrator. A non-elected city administrator typically handles day-to-day management issues alongside an elected mayor. About half of Snohomish County cities have a city administrator or city manager.

Mukilteo’s former city administrator Joe Hannan was let go in early January.

Hannan was given four months pay — about $40,000 — as part of his departure, public records show. Hannan also agreed not to seek legal claims against the city.

His salary was $118,000. The management services director’s salary will be negotiated, but will be about $30,000 less, the mayor said.

During the transition, Police Chief Rex Caldwell has been serving as interim city administrator, and Cmdr. Chuck Macklin has been acting as interim police chief.

The City Council on Monday night voted to extend that arrangement for three months, while the new director is hired.

Caldwell is expected to return to the police department after the position is filled, Gregerson said. He has been police chief since 2011, after a long career with the Kirkland Police Department.

“Rex has great management experience,” Gregerson said. “He’s been in policing for over 30 years. I knew that he was really great with people and knows the city well.”

The city plans to hire a consultant to conduct the search for a management services director.

She is looking for a candidate with experience in management and employee relations, and someone who is innovative.

The city also is hiring a new finance director and creating a full-time human resources manager position.

The new finance director, Scott Morgan, is a retired consultant who previously worked for the city of Rancho Mirage, California, for about 20 years.

The City Council is expected to confirm his hiring this week.

Former finance director Scott James took a job with the city of Edmonds.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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