APRIL 21, 1997

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Local News

Interim city manager appointed

Councilmember questions search costs

interim city manager by Andrew Walgamott, staff reporter
WOODINVILLE--Following an executive session of the Woodinville City Council on April 14, Roy Rainey was named Woodinville's interim city manager. A retired city administrator, Rainey will fill in during the search for a permanent city manager. He begins work Wednesday.
   Rainey takes over from Phil Kushlan, who served as the temporary interim city manager between the close of business hours last Friday, when ex-city manager Joe Meneghini's resignation took effect, and the arrival of Rainey. Kushlan, city manager of Bellevue from 1985 to 1995, has also been retained to supervise Rainey while a permanent city manager is sought.
   Rainey, who currently lives on Anderson Island near Tacoma and is in his mid-60s, has considerable experience in the management field, said Mayor Bob Miller. He last served as the Sun Valley, Idaho, city administrator from 1990 to 1996. Before that, he was the city manager for Brookings, Oregon, from 1987 to 1989, city administrator for Soda Springs, Idaho, from 1984 to 1987, and city manager of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, from 1973 to 1976.
   Rainey is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a BS in geology, and has completed nine hours in public administration at Arizona State University in its graduate program. His name was forwarded through Phillip K. Kushlan and Associates, a management consulting and executive recruitment firm the City of Woodinville has been using since November 1995.
   "Roy is a person we had apply for a position we had open last year. I was sufficiently impressed that we maintained contact through that period. He also expressed interest in doing interim work after retirement," said Kushlan, president of the firm.
   Miller said the council had discussed several candidates and had found Rainey the best qualified. Rainey couldn't be reached for comment, as he was at a family celebration in Oklahoma over the weekend, according to John Starbard, an associate with Phillip K. Kushlan and Associates.
   Regarding Kushlan's retention to oversee Rainey, Councilmember Lucy DeYoung said Kushlan had been working with the City Council and had helped with the city manager evaluation process. "We felt he would be a good person to continue in this process as we go through these changes, to provide some continuity," said DeYoung.
   Kushlan will supervise Rainey while the interim city manager becomes familiar with the laws of the state and community. According to Kushlan, Rainey will be paid $5,950 a month to serve as interim city manager. Kushlan will be paid up to $2,000 a month to act as overseer until a permanent city manager is found, said City Clerk Jim Katica.
   Councilmember Marsha Engel expressed concern over how much it is going to cost the city to pay Joe Meneghini's salary for the next six months, use firms to locate a permanent city manager, pay for the interviewing process, and pay the interim and the overseer for the next six months, as well.
   "I'm guessing it's going to cost at least $100,000 or more," Engel said. She cited records from the search for Meneghini four years ago and said Waldron & Company's fee had been $15,697. Other costs, including calls and reproduction of paperwork, rang up $9,089, bringing the total to $24,786.
   Engel said it is possible that this time around the city might also have to pay for transportation, meals, moving expenses, and room rentals for interviews of the permanent choice, and possibly house payments for the interim, as well. "It's paradoxical that at a time when we are trying to finance the purchase of city hall and a community center that we should be expending this amount of money," said Engel.
   "I want to make sure the new city manager would continue the conservative policy the previous one developed, from an accountant's point of view and from a conservative citizen's point of view," added Councilmember Art Saulness, who is a CPA.
   Four firms, including Phillip K. Kushlan and Associates, Waldron & Company, The Washington Firm, and the Oldani Group, Inc., have been sent letters asking for proposals in the recruitment of a new city manager. Miller estimates it will take six months to find one.