At the April 24th City Council meeting, the Mill Creek City Council voted unanimously to pass a complex set of resolutions which results in the replacement of the current City Manager, Tim Burns, with the current Public Works Director, Tom Gathmann, as interim City Manager.
Burns has been given 30-days notice of his termination and is now on paid administrative leave per his contract.
Gathmann will serve as interim City Manager until the City Council can recruit and hire a new City Manager.
A number of city councilmembers made it clear that this decision was very difficult because Burns had performed well in administering City business in his four years as City Manager.
According to Mayor Mike Todd, Mill Creek needs not only good administration at the top, but also a higher level of leadership to implement the difficult goals of the recently adopted strategic plan.
The City Council’s Personnel Committee headed by councilmember Bart Masterson recently evaluated City Manager Burns’ performance.
“This is the most difficult time I have had on council and I expect it is the most difficult time I shall ever have on council,” said Masterson. “Tim is a dedicated employee, he is a good friend of mine, I care a great deal for him and this is the hardest thing I have had to do to lead this committee to the process that leads to this decision.”
At this point of the City Council meeting Masterson turned to Burns and said, “Tim, the overwhelming gratification of you as a person for what you have given to the City is greatly respected, greatly appreciated, greatly admired and there will not be a person who hears of this decision that will not wish it otherwise.”
Mayor Mike Todd also expressed his appreciation for Tim Burns’ work for the City, “Tim I think you are an absolutely phenomenal administrator and four years ago we asked you to step up when we as a city council had a need for somebody who could help us through a tough time when we had to let the previous city manager go. I appreciate that you stepped up and did that, and that it may have taken you out of your comfort zone. We didn’t go through a full process, but at the time it was exactly the right thing to do for the City. I do thank you for helping us through a time that was very important. I think we felt like you are out of your comfort zone. I feel badly that it hasn’t worked out, but that happens to all of us. There are things that just aren’t in our bones. I hope you look at it this way. You have had a good career in the Navy. You have had a good career here as public works director, I think you have had a good career here as an administrator for our city, but at this point in time we are looking for more leadership to move forward the strategic plan and I think we need to move on and step up to a new level. So I thank you for your service.”
Councilmember Donna Michelson also thanked Burns for his service, “I want to thank you too Tim, very much. I remember standing in your office four years ago and asking you to help us through a difficult time, and you did help us through a difficult time.”