By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
By unanimous vote, the Mill Creek City Council elected Councilmember Brian Holtzclaw as mayor and Councilmember Stephanie Vignal as mayor pro tem at their September 1, 2020, regular meeting. The selection process was triggered by Mayor Pam Pruitt's surprise resignation on August 24th.
Councilmember Brian Holtzclaw had been serving as Mill Creek's mayor pro tem since January 2015. He was first elected to the city council in November 2013 and won reelection in 2017.
Appointed to the city council in February 2019, Vignal moved to Mill Creek five years ago with her husband and young daughter. She subsequently ran unopposed for her council seat in November 2019.
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. In 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. 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 Facilities 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 take action on city council decisions.
Mayor Pro Tem Stephanie Vignal taking oath of office. Image captured from virtual city council meeting.