By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
The January 7, 2020, Mill Creek City Council meeting was mostly dedicated to administrative tasks. Three newly reelected councilmembers took their oath of office, mayor and mayor pro tem were selected, and councilmember committee assignments were made.
Interim City Clerk Naomi Fay gave the oath of office to Councilmembers Vince Cavaleri, Mark Bond, and Mike Todd.
The mayor and mayor pro tem elections are held every two years.
Two councilmembers were nominated for the mayor position, Pam Pruitt and Mike Todd.
Pruitt won her fourth term as mayor by a vote of four to two. She previously served on the Mill Creek City Council from 1988 to 1995 and was first elected as mayor by the city council in 1992. She was again elected to the city council in 2014 and has been Mill Creek’s mayor since that time.
The city council elected Councilmember Brian Holtzclaw Mayor Pro Tem unanimously and there were no other nominees. He was elected to the city council in 2014 and has served as mayor pro tem ever since.
Fay gave Pruitt her oath of office, but Holtzclaw was not present at the meeting. Most likely he will be sworn in at the January 14th city council meeting.
Mill Creek has a council-manager form of municipal government where the city council is responsible for policy decisions and strategic vision, and the city manager is responsible for day-to-day city operations. Comparing city government to the corporate world, the city council is like a board of directors and the city manager is like the chief executive officer.
In small cities like Mill Creek, this so-called “weak mayor” form of government is very cost effective because the full-time city manager can focus on delivering services while the part-time mayor focuses on forming strategic objectives with the city council based on citizen views.
Mill Creek’s mayor presides over city council meetings and acts as the city’s representative at public functions such as the recent Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. The mayor pro tem fulfills these functions when the mayor is not available.
The Mill Creek City Council is responsible for setting the budget and tax rates, and forming policy objectives such as documented in the Comprehensive Plan, the Strategic Plan, and the Capital Improvement Plan.
The city manager is the city council’s chief advisor and is counted on to provide objective information on which policy decisions can be made.
It is the city manager’s responsibility to run the city, to make sure laws and ordinances are executed, and to take action on city council decisions.
Councilmember Vince Cavaleri taking oath of office. Photo credit: Michael Ciaravino.
Councilmember Mark Bond taking oath of office. Photo credit: Michael Ciaravino.
Councilmember Mike Todd taking oath of office. Photo credit: Michael Ciaravino.