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Ken Armstrong's Blog

Looking Ahead

The City of Mill Creek celebrated its 30th birthday this year and while much has changed over those thirty years, the city’s character has not.

Next week marks my eleventh month as Mill Creek’s City Manager.  As I reflect on those eleven months, I am struck by how much I have learned about the community and the things that are most important to its residents, businesses and visitors.  The past month or so has made me realize just how passionate people are about this community.  Mill Creek is unique and its residents are justly proud of their community. 

From The Mill Creek City Manager’s Desk: The City Has No Plan to Displace Businesses

Ken Armstrong, Mill Creek City Manager, responds to a September 2013 article in the Mill Creek View that "significantly misled Mill Creek residents and the tenant businesses located in Maple Leaf Square."

The most recent edition of the Mill Creek View (Volume XVI, Issue 19) contained an article entitled “Plan for a new $20 million civic campus for Mill Creek,” which purports to describe the City’s intentions regarding new public facilities and economic development.  I appreciate the View helping to start the conversation about economic development and long-term planning in Mill Creek.

Unfortunately, the article has significantly misled Mill Creek residents and the tenant businesses located in Maple Leaf Square.  I take this opportunity to address the facts associated with this subject.

From The Mill Creek City Manager’s Desk: The City of Mill Creek’s 2012 Strategic Plan, part two

Preserving the community’s character is a foundational goal.  What makes Mill Creek unique is its aesthetically appealing nature along with a well deserved sense of safety and security.

By Ken Armstrong, Mill Creek City Manager

This is second in a series of columns relating to the City of Mill Creek’s 2012 Strategic Plan.

Preserving the community’s character is a foundational goal.  What makes Mill Creek unique is its aesthetically appealing nature along with a well deserved sense of safety and security.  It is therefore important that future economic development, annexation and public facility construction strategies be aligned with and true to this goal.

“From The Mill Creek City Manager’s Desk” - The City of Mill Creek’s 2012 Strategic Plan

It is not true that Mill Creek’s Strategic Plan is a tax instrument and that by approving the Strategic Plan, City Councilmembers were “indicating their support of the utility tax by including it in the Strategic Plan.”

By Ken Armstrong, Mill Creek City Manager.

As I mentioned in a previous column, a lot has been written about the City’s Strategic Plan.  Unfortunately, much of what was written portrays the Strategic Plan as being a tax instrument and that by approving the Strategic Plan, City Councilmembers were “indicating their support of the utility tax by including it in the Strategic Plan.” Actually, that is not the case.

From the City Manager: The Civic Center Concept and Economic/Community Development

A City-funded Civic Center is one way to reinvest in the Mill Creek community, create a sense of place and be a catalyst for economic development.

By Ken Armstrong, Mill Creek City Manager.

In the last edition of this magazine (Mill Creek Current – Summer 2013), I wrote about some economic and community development ideas here in Mill Creek.  Included in that discussion was a description of one City-funded possibility, which was first presented to the Mill Creek City Council in April 2013.  This scenario was and still is in its very early stages and the process of taking this idea from the conceptual phase to reality will take years.  Additionally, the idea we presented was just a way to start the conversation and was not meant to be the only way forward for how the City might reinvest in the community, create a sense of place and be a catalyst for economic development.

The City Manager's Desk: Strategic Planning

Ken Armstrong, Mill Creek City Manager, discusses Mill Creek’s strategic planning process. This article is being reproduced at no charge as a public service.

In the last issue of the Mill Creek View, I indicated that subsequent columns would deal with topical and relevant issues.  The subject of the first article is “strategic planning.” 

There has already been a lot written in the Mill Creek View about the City’s Strategic Plan.  Despite that, many people still do not know what strategic planning is, or why it is important for the City to undergo a strategic planning process. 

Mill Creek City Manager takes steps to implement the city’s strategic plan

Ken Armstrong, Mill Creek City Manager, has taken steps to implement the City of Mill Creek’s Strategic Plan.

In the spring edition of the City of Mill Creek’s newsletter (The City of Mill Creek Current • Spring 2013), I mentioned that I saw exciting opportunities for the community of Mill Creek – opportunities to reinvest in itself and in its future.

In early April, the Mill Creek City Council met with senior City staff in an all-day retreat to talk about some of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in the next 20 years. Much of the day’s conversation focused on the pros and cons of annexation as well as long-term economic and community development.

While no action was taken during the retreat, the City Council indicated its desire to initiate ongoing discussions relating to economic development. The Council asked City staff to continue to explore economic development opportunities and to engage Mill Creek businesses and property owners in that process.