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OCTOBER 6, 1997

Local News

Council picks interim Rainey for permanent city manager

  by Andrew Walgamott
   WOODINVILLE--The city council went for continuity and performance when they chose a permanent city manager last week, picking interim executive Roy Rainey over five candidates assembled from across the United States. "There's no bringing him up to speed. He knows what's going on," Woodinville Mayor Bob Miller said. Rainey has been the interim city manager since last April when former City Manager Joe Meneghini resigned.
   Miller pointed to Rainey's familiarity in key city issues such as the Grace annexation proceedings, potential purchase of the C. O. Sorenson Complex, and traffic issues as some of the reasons he was hired instead of the five candidates who would've come in cold.
   Rainey, 67, has also drawn high praise from the council, city staff and community members in his five months as the acting city manager. "He's pointed out things that other people haven't been willing to face," Councilmember Art Saulness said. City department heads are also reportedly pleased with the choice of Rainey. "I think it will probably work out good for the city. We have some pretty big issues before the city," Finance Director Jim Katica said.
   Councilmember Marsha Engel said the choice between Rainey and the other five had been a unanimous one among the city's leaders. She said she admired Rainey for his "candor and frankness," as well as his sense of humor. Miller and Engel both said that Rainey was asked to become the permanent city manager when he arrived in town. "On the other hand, we had to go through the process [of recruitment]," Engel said.
   Last April, the city hired the Phillip K. Kushlan Company to find a new city manager.. After a summer of narrowing the field of candidates down, five finalists, including acting and former city managers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon and Mukilteo, Washington, were brought to town three weeks ago for council, staff and community interviews. Miller said there had been a wide disparity on the council regarding who to choose of the candidates.
   Though none were chosen obviously, estimated cost of the search will be between $20,000 and $22,000, according to Katica. With graduate work from Arizona State University in the Master of Public Administration Program, Rainey has served as city manager for Sun Valley, Idaho, Brookings, Oregon, and Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and acting city manager for Norman, Oklahoma. "We are fortunate to have a senior type manager who has decided to give us three more years of his seasoned municipal knowledge," Saulness said.
   Rainey was also a park ranger at Grand Canyon National Park and Canyon de Chelly National Monument. His first day as permanent manager was last Wednesday. The city council still must officially approve the selection by a vote which is expected October 6.
   Rainey will be paid $80,000 a year. The city's attorney is working on a contract that will keep the new executive here for three years. He said he would be happy to serve as city manager Woodinville as long as his health was good, and added longevity ran in his family.