April 27, 1998

Front Page

Sheriff's office offers interim chief to city of Carnation

  by Jane McClure
Contributing writer

   CARNATION--The King County Sheriff's Office has offered to loan Sgt. D.J. Nesel to the city to act as interim chief at no charge for up to six months, Mayor Pro Tem David Hunter noted at last week's council meeting. Councilmember Paula Turner reported that she and fellow councilmember Don Raybuck had a "very positive meeting" with Sgt. Nesel about the position the previous week. Sgt. Nesel introduced himself to the City Council and the audience, saying he had volunteered for the position when he heard about the possible opening. He recounted his past patrol experience in the rural communities of Skykomish, Woodinville, North Bend and Fall City, his outreach work with youth for the Woodinville School District and his professional experience in dealing with white-collar crime.
   Hunter announced the city was discussing contractual issues with the King County Sheriff, and thanked Cmdr. George Potts for his service as Acting Police Chief, which ends May 3 with Potts' return to the Redmond Police Department. Hunter said Nesel is available to begin May 4, if that is what the council decides.
   Finance director recommends improvements
   Council members also heard recommendations from Acting Finance Director Rich Gould and City Administrator Randy Suko on how to improve administration of the city's finance department. Gould reported that he had spent the last six weeks working on a financial accounting of the last half of 1997 and the first quarter of 1998. New financial reports included a breakdown of personnel costs into hours and benefits. Payroll warrants from January through March and claim warrants from January through April were presented to the council for approval.
   Gould estimated that closeout figures for 1997 and projected expenditures for 1998 would be ready for the council by May 1 and Mayor Pro Tem David Hunter suggested the council's May 12 workshop focus on finances. Suko recommended four specific measures to improve operations within the finance department. These include development of a policies and procedures manual, adoption of the Association of Washington Cities' personnel policies, development and maintenance of new financial reports and hiring of a full-time administrative support person-ombudsman to handle complaints and maintain records.
   Suko said development of permanent policies and reporting structures, along with implementation of other recommendations, would more clearly define areas of responsibility among city officials, improve the flow of information to council and citizens, enhance council's decision making and establish consistency and accessibility of financial records.
   City trying to speed opening of Pete's Club
   Suko informed the council that the city was expecting a negative response from the King County Health Department on establishment of a community drainfield that would allow Pete's Club to open for business. He said he is working on providing an easement that would allow the tavern to open, and will deal with King County on the issue of a community drainfield at a later time. He said the city is requesting King County Council Chair Louise Miller to convene a special meeting of the sewage board to resolve this and other issues that have impeded projects in Carnation over the past year.
   Suko also said bids for constructing public restrooms, erecting a central fountain and providing landscaping for the town center must be issued very soon in order for work to be completed by the July 4 celebration. He suggested that UDAG funds by used to pay for the restrooms, and that council replenish these funds to ensure a continuing source of revenue to support local economic development projects.
   In other updates, Suko reported that plans have been made to install maps, information boards and historical photographs in the council chambers. He said a draft of the Shoreline Master Plan would be completed and ready for review by April 24.