Meet the 5 finalists for Lake Stevens administrator job

LAKE STEVENS — Five finalists have been selected as possible city administrators for Lake Stevens.

People have a chance to meet them Wednesday during a reception at the Lake Stevens Community Center, 1808 Main St. The event is scheduled for 5 p.m.

The job is expected to pay between $146,042 and $160,000 a year. The administrator is charged with overseeing city operations and projects under the direction of the mayor and City Council.

The city received 31 applications, interim city administrator Mary Swenson said. A private company interviewed the candidates, then met with Mayor John Spencer and Council President Sam Low to narrow the list to five finalists.

An ideal candidate for the job should be experienced in financial planning and complex processes, and should understand the challenges faced by medium-sized cities, according to a job description that was issued during the search. The new city administrator should be “approachable” and communicate well, the description said.

The finalists include three candidates who have worked in other Snohomish County cities. The other two are from North Dakota and Michigan.

The local candidates are Kenneth Armstrong, Gene Brazel and Erin Leonhart.

Armstrong was the city manager in Mill Creek from 2012 to 2015. He resigned in January 2015. An explanation was not given by the council. Mill Creek has a history of ousting managers. Armstrong also worked with Seattle Public Utilities for more than 12 years and served in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Brazel has been the city administrator in Monroe since 2010. He previously led Monroe’s public works department and has served in multiple management positions within the city. He’s worked in Monroe for 31 years.

Leonhart started as Bothell’s public works director in 2010. Before that, she worked for the city of Kirkland in the public works department, facilities and environmental programs, and intergovernmental relations.

Casey Bradley and Michael Hart are coming from out of state in hopes of landing the Lake Stevens job.

Bradley has been the chief operating officer in Stutsman County, North Dakota, since 2011. He also worked in finance and accounting for governments in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He previously served in the U.S. Air Force.

Hart is the city manager in Davison, Michigan. He’s been there since 2010 and before that was city manager in Watervliet, Michigan. He also has worked as a real estate executive and owned a consulting firm.

Lake Stevens’ previous city administrator, Jan Berg, resigned in November 2015 after 18 years with the city. Swenson, a former Marysville city administrator, has been filling the position temporarily.

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