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Concerned about city council conduct

Submitted by on

What started as a community concern about the City Manager’s absence since mid April, has become a concern about the official conduct of this Council.

We are confused.  We have been told repeatedly, that the City Manager is ill.  Taking sick leave, and now vacation pay 

But, you’ve also said, although she is ill, she is working.  In fact, she is conducting city business.  So, in lieu of appointing an acting city manager, which would be most appropriate, you have chosen to allow her to ‘work from home, for what appears to be an indeterminate length of time.

More confusion.  Since she is working from home, the  Mayor is getting her work to her and bringing it back to the office.  Why?  Why is the Mayor involved in this at all.  She is not part of the admin team. She has NO authority to run the city.

RCW 35.18.010 – City manager is chief exec office and Shall be responsible for the proper administration of all affairs…..

RCW 35.18.060 prt 7  -  the authority of the City Manager to keep the council fully advised on the financial condition of the city….

First quarter financial reports have not been presented to Council.  Because the City manager is indisposed, and unable to approve them.  Why?   She is working from home, why has she not approved them and appointed the Finance Manager, who prepared them, to present them to council and the public.??  

RCW 35.18.14 – council may designate a qualified ADMIN officer to perform the duties of the manager.  (3) during the absence, of manager. It has been common practice in Mill Creek that when a city Manager had to be out even for a few days, an acting manager was always appointed. Why not now?

Please note – that is a qualified ADMIN officer.  Not a city council member.

More confusion.

RCW 35.18.110  councilmembers shall “deal with the admin service solely thru the manager and neither council or its members, shall give orders to any subordinate of the city manager, either publicly or privately.  

So, please tell me why  staff members are being told that they will now be getting directions from the Mayor?   Really?  Since when?   

RCW 35A.13.030 clearly states ”The mayor shall be recognized as the head of the city for ceremonial purposes, and  have no regular administrative duties, “  like running paperwork back and forth.

1st - The Mayor has no authority to act in an administrative fashion.  She is not part of the staff.  Why is she the contact with the city manager?

2nd - Kristina Baylor of the State Auditor’s office said that the Exit Conference contact is Mayor Pruitt.  Why?  She is an elected City councilmember, not an administrator and she has no authority over employees.   So, who is allowing the Mayor to assert herself in this way?

3rd - Wouldn’t that be considered usurping the authority of your city manager?  You know, the one is working diligently from home?  

This would  be solved very rapidly, if you would do what every other council has done, by naming an acting city manager, until Ms. Pollizotto can return to the city having regained her health.

In the meantime, we can only question you, and your motives, and agenda..public and private.

Mary Kay Voss
Former Mill Creek City Councilmember

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