Michael Ciaravino during a City Council meeting in Newburgh, New York, in 2018. (Kelly Marsh / Times Herald-Record)

Michael Ciaravino during a City Council meeting in Newburgh, New York, in 2018. (Kelly Marsh / Times Herald-Record)

Mill Creek signs contract with new city manager

The city is trying to move on after severing ties with Rebecca Polizzotto last fall.

MILL CREEK — After a year of turmoil and uncertainty, the Mill Creek City Council has found a new city manager.

Michael Ciaravino is set to start on May 6.

The council approved an employment contract with Ciaravino at its Tuesday meeting. He’s set to earn $175,000 per year, similar to his predecessor’s salary. His contract provides a vehicle allowance of up to $450 per month and an annual salary bonus of up to 5 percent, based on merit.

Councilmembers voted unanimously after an executive session. They said nothing about the long-awaited decision before or after the vote.

The council also extended interim city manager Bob Stowe’s contract through May 6. Stowe had been in that role since June. He had been working on a temporary basis after the council placed former city manager Rebecca Polizzotto on paid leave.

Polizzotto had been the subject of numerous staff complaints, including from the police chief and other high-ranking administrators. The city hired outside investigators to look into concerns about Polizzotto’s treatment of staff and questionable charges made on her city credit card. She left the job in October, after reaching a separation agreement with the city.

To find her replacement, the city contracted with a headhunting firm for a nationwide search.

After interviewing four finalists in March, council members had high praise for Ciaravino. They had expected to approve his contract as early as April 9, but waited two more weeks.

Ciaravino most recently held the same position in Newburgh, New York, from 2014 through 2018. He also worked in various leadership positions with the city of Maple Heights, Ohio, in the 1990s and early 2000s. An attorney, he practiced government law for more than two decades, according to Mill Creek city officials.

His contract is for three years, with the potential for yearly extensions.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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