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September 15, 1997

Local News

City manager search narrowing down

  by Andrew Walgamott
   WOODINVILLE--Mayor Bob Miller is impressed with the field of city manager candidates assembled for Woodinville. "Any one of them could do a good job," Miller said.
   On the city council's desks are the applications and resumes of five acting and former city managers from across the west and upper midwest. Some have experience managing city's with larger budgets, more staff and greater population than Woodinville. With such a fine field, Miller said the final choice will be "just a matter of style and fit with the city council."
   This week, the city council, city staff and community will meet the candidates.
   Here's a sneak preview.
   Robert Stockwell, 50, was until recently the city manager of Alamogordo, New Mexico, a town of 30,000. Before that he served as the interim chief administrative officer for Contra Costa County Municipal Risk management Authority in Walnut Creek, California, and city manager of Sparks, Nevada, Great Falls, Montana, Eureka, California and West Jordan, Utah.
   Asked what mark he left with each community, Stockwell said, "a period of good, solid organizational growth and improvement of facilities." Stockwell is a former police chief and U.S. Army sergeant who served in Vietnam.
   Richard Leahy, 39, is the current city administrator for Mukilteo, Washington, having begun employment there in July, 1995.
   Mukilteo is a city of 16,000 with a $15 million yearly budget and 81 full time employees, according to Leahy's resume. By comparison, Woodinville has 9,980 residents, a city staff of 31
   and budget of $12 million.
   Though Leahy reserved comments, his resume indicates he rapidly rose through the City of Paramount, California, going from an entry-level administrative assistant in March, 1982 to deputy city manager in October, 1986.
   Dorothy Tryk, 49, said she would bring experience in governing a young city, her last city manager's post being that of 14-year-old, Keizer, Oregon. During her slightly over four years in Keizer, Tryk said she made a difference by promoting a public-private partnership that saw the emergence of a 4,500 seat minor-league baseball stadium built on 148 underdeveloped acres in the town.
   Tryk holds a MBA from Portland State University. She has been an assistant city manager and the finance director for Grants Pass, Oregon. Tryk currently runs her own municipal management consultation business.
   Mark Fitzgerald, 40, said he is most known for "long-term financial growth along with controlled community growth." He has been the city administrator of Burlington, Wisconsin, a town of 10,000 with a regional service area that includes 45,000 residents, for nearly the past four years. He said Burlington was oriented to Milwaukee, like Woodinville is to Seattle.
   Fitzgerald finished second in the search for a city manager for Newcastle, Washington and could've accepted the executive's post in Snohomish recently. He has a MPA from Northern Illinois University, MA in urban land use planning and a BA in urban geography from the University of Wisconsin.
   Kenneth Hartung, like Leahy, was a fast riser in city government. From serving as an administrative intern in Woodbury, Minnesota in 1985, he became the assistant city administrator two years later, going on to become Bayport, Minnesota's city administrator since 1992. Bayport is a city of 3,200 with a large industrial base.
   One of his duties in Woodbury was the oversight of new city hall construction.
   Hartung has an MA in urban and regional studies, a BS and a BA in psychology and Industrial Studies, all from Mankato State University.
   Woodinville's city council will hold interviews with the candidates over the weekend. A new city manager is expected to be selected by mid-October.
   The current search came about after the resignation of Joe Meneghini in April. Roy Rainey has been at the city's helm in the interim.