Snohomish mayor: Look deeper into Kartak’s math

A friend of mine expressed concern recently that Snohomish Mayor John Kartak was being unfairly attacked, that he was being bullied.

However, another friend noted, Kartak is being held accountable for his poor leadership and his mayoral record. All of it.

As part of his record, Kartak’s campaign page indicates he has grown the general fund from $2.5 million to $4.1 million over his four-year term, a $1.6 million improvement in Snohomish’s financial position.

Kartak began his tenure by vindictively firing the city manager whose salary savings over four years would have totaled over $600,000. The city manager was not replaced. At the end of 2020 the city employee census, consistently at 70 or 71 for previous years, was 55, a reduction of 15 employees. Among employees who quit were three long-tenured professional women, who left for positions in nearby towns; also a newly minted assistant to the mayor, who couldn’t hack the job for longer than a few months. The average salary for a Snohomish employee is $75,000 annually for 15 employees would equal $1.125 million. Surprise! The improved financial position that Snohomish enjoys is due to staff quitting, and one talented high level manager being fired, not Kartak’s brilliant management acumen.

Many businesses are having a difficult time hiring staff during covid, so the fact Snohomish City government may as well, should be no surprise. But to claim the resulting reduction as executive skill is laughable. Good managers retain staff. Meanwhile, our city parks have no trash service.

Janice Lengenfelder


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