April 27, 1998

Front Page

Duvall City Engineer calls it quits

  by Barbara Sullivan
Contributing writer

   DUVALL--Ken McDowell, who has worked as City Engineer for the last four years, told the City Council last week that he had resigned as of April 13. Although he declined to tell council members why he was leaving, a letter he had sent to Mayor Glen Kuntz on that day indicated he (McDowell) felt his decisions were being undermined and second-guessed by the mayor. "I feel that I can no longer serve the city of Duvall under the present circumstances," the letter read."I have been placed in a position where I do not receive any support from yourself and am constantly being second-guessed on any decision I make."
   McDowell also told the mayor in the letter that he felt that "engineering type decisions are being made by yourself, that I do not agree with, that I would end up being responsible for." McDowell, who has been hired as a Senior Engineer with the city of Bothell, reviewed for the council some of the projects that the Public Works Department has accomplished in the last four years. He said he had worked on 35 separate subdivisions in Duvall in one phase of development or another, and worked with 10 different council persons (the City Council has five positions).
   Highlights from McDowell's tenure included:
   * Construction of the sludge press facility at the wastewater treatment plant;
   * Managed design and construction of M10, M11 and M2, Lower Bruett road water mains;
   * Compiled and adapted Comp plans for the water, sewer and storm drain systems;
   * Wrote the development design standards for the streets, sewer and storm drain systems;
   * Installation of the first signalized street light;
   * Upgrade the waste water treatment plant disinfection system to high intensity UV lighting;
   * Design and construction of the 2.2 M6 resevoir, transmission line, telemetry system and booster pump system for the water system;
   * Pedestrian walkway along Bruett Road;
   * Remodel of the Public Works/Building Department office;
   * Purchase of new equipment for the city.
   He also listed other projects in various states of completion, including sewer systems studies, a regional compost facility and survey of existing streets, among others.
   He commended the people he had worked with in the Public Works Department and Building Inspection, particularly John Light, Mike Fisher, Gloria Judd and Lavina Streeter. "Be good to these people, without the hardworking Public Works Department, the infrastructure of the city would fall apart," he told the council.
   Both Streeter and Light expressed their admiration for McDowell and commented how much they had appreciated his "hard work and professionalism." Kuntz, who made no comments about McDowell's departure, left the council meeting early on business.