Northwest NEWS

November 16, 1998

Front Page

Council waits on more information before naming city manager

   by Andrew Walgamott
   Staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--A city official says it's likely that Woodinville's electeds will choose a new city manager tonight, Nov. 16, after six hours of deliberations and three closed-door meetings.
   But that name may not be known for days, depending on what the council does this week.
   A decision was put off last week because the Woodinville City Council asked consultant Gary Hulbert for more information on the four candidates, according to Mayor Don Brocha. The council met twice in Executive Session Nov. 9 on the issue.
   Brocha said Hulbert has been asked to check references to confirm or negate broad personality traits a psychological screening of the candidates indicated.
   "It's a monumental decision and nobody wants to make a mistake," added Councilwoman Marsha Engel.
   Four men are vying for the city manager's post: Ken Carter, Prosser city manager, Pete Rose, Medical Lake city manager, Rick Kirkwood, Bothell's former city manager and Allyn Waggle, associate director of a southern California association of governments.
   All were brought to Woodinville two weeks ago where they met city staff, community members and were then interviewed by the City Council. A fifth, William Trippett, Sultan city administrator/attorney, withdrew his name from consideration.
   Collectively, the finalists have 80 years experience in government and city management, and have been city managers or administrators in nine different towns across the West and Midwestern United States.
   There's no question any one of them could do the job; the catch is whose personality and style will best fit Woodinville and the council.
   Asked why he was a city manager, Carter replied, "In towns of under 20,000, there's a real opportunity to see the good you can do."
   Carter is a former professor at Fort Hays State University, Kansas, where he was also city manager.
   He said the trademark of a Carter-run city is "integrity, openness, planning for the future and working the plan."
   Of his top accomplishments, Carter said Hays was suffering an economic crisis. To remedy it, a business park was developed and an interchange from an interstate to the park was built.
   Like Woodinville, Prosser is in wine country, and has cramped quarters at an aging City Hall building.
   No stranger to controversy, Carter said a community member has erected a sign reading, "Czar Ken and the seven councilmembers don't need another castle." Carter, 51, is divorced with two daughters and two grandchildren. He also administered Great Bend, Kansas.
   Like Carter, Rose points out that managing a city is a "chance to achieve great things."
   Terming himself a collaborator, Rose says a city manager has to be a builder by nature and adds the most frustrating thing is people who tear down work.
   He speaks of the 'Medical Lake miracle,' "We've done a tremendous amount of things working on grants."
   Three downtown streets were rebuilt with grants, and grants erased half the burden on the city's bill for a sewer plant, he said.
   Rose, 46, is married and has a daughter and son. He was also Quincy, Washington's city administrator.
   Kirkwood, 50, was Bothell's city manager from 1995 to 1998. He's proud of work on the UW-CCC campus which is now under construction, creating connections with the business community and that Bothell voters finally approved building a new police station under his administration.
   Before managing Woodinville's more populous neighbor, Kirkwood headed up Pismo Beach, California for 6.5 years, and Roy, Utah for 11 years before that. At 29-years-old, he was Utah's youngest city manager.
   Kirkwood is a retired U.S Air Force pilot with 29 years service. Recently he took out a business license to run Kirkwood Executive Services, a consulting company. He is married with two sons.
   Waggle is associate director of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments east of Los Angeles. Involved in city government for 24 years, Waggle calls it as close to representative government as it gets. He managed Indio, CA.
   Waggle, 51, said his trademark is predictability and common sense government. Married with a son and a daughter, Waggle was in the U.S. Army Special Forces in Vietnam where he was involved in reconnaissance missions.
   After bringing the candidates to town the first week of November, the council interviewed all four Nov. 7.
   Last week, the council had two executive sessions on the subject: one for an hour and 15 minutes before their regular Nov. 9 meeting, and another for almost two hours after the meeting. Tonight, they are scheduled to meet for three more hours behind closed doors.
   "I think by the end of [tonight] we'll have it down to one person," Brocha said.
   But it is unclear when exactly an announcement on interim City Manager Jim Katica's replacement will be made. Brocha said it could come after a councilmember or two make a visit to the finalist's city, but before contract negotiations begin in earnest.
   Engel said Hulbert's statement to theWeekly that choosing one of his candidates would be the most difficult decision the council would face all year was "probably correct."
   She said that the council was looking for someone to work well within the community, guide the council without taking over their job and unite city staff.
   On how long the process is taking, Brocha said, "It indicates we have good candidates and a hard choice."
   There has also been praise for the job Hulbert has done in assembling the four candidates.
   This latest search for a manager was sparked last June when the council ousted Roy Rainey, who they had chosen after bringing five city manager candidates to town last fall. Rainey was filling in on an interim basis at the time.