Northwest NEWS

August 31, 1998

Local News

Search for new city manager continues

   by Andrew Walgamott
   Staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--He says it's hard to put a face to the person that embodies what Woodinville wants in a new city manager, but Gary Hulbert has pinned down the characteristics the City Council is looking for.
   They boil down to three main qualities. Hulbert, president of a Snohomish firm seeking a city manager for Woodinville, says the candidate must be an "effective communicator," an "effective leader" and a "facilitator."
   The short list comes from discussions during council meetings as well as one-on-one meetings with each member, Hulbert said.
   "It's difficult to pick anyone that gives an image of what the City Council is looking for," he said. "It's a blend of three or four people we're looking for here. We're not looking to exclude or emphasize the three main characteristics. We're looking for a balance."
   "We found in our discussions a great deal of consistency in what the City Council wants to see," he said. "They definitely want a manager, a leader who can transform their vision collectively for the city to reality."
   The candidate not only must have good communication skills in the day-to-day operations of the city, he said, but with the council, the community and local businesses as well.
   He said the city manager must also be someone who has a track record of getting things done.
   "Cities don't have extra money barrels to dip into, so they have to be more resourceful," he said.
   While Councilman Randy Ransom described the characteristics as "broad terms," he agreed that "those are qualities we certainly need to have."
   So far, Hulbert says over three dozen resumes have poured into his office from places like the Eastern seaboard and the Sun Belt states, as well as Germany, Panama and Thailand.
   "We're quite pleased with the quality of the candidates," he noted.
   Resumes will continue to be accepted until 5 p.m. Sept. 11. Afterwards, Hulbert says he will go through the applications with the council and make some recommendations then proceed with telephone interviews.
   He said the job would take a "great deal of energy on the part of the candidate," Woodinville being a young city in a region where competition for dollars is stiff.
   It's possible a new city manager will be in place by mid-October at the earliest, Hulbert said.
   The city began the process of finding a new top administrator after Roy Rainey was forced out by the council in June.