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Bothell changes management structure, former Kenmore City Manager to retire
The realignment of State Route 522 and multiple large-scale redevelopments make for a sense of controlled chaos and an immediate building toward Bothell’s future.
But they are not the only changes taking place in Bothell. The city is reorganizing its management structure following the announced retirement earlier this year of Deputy City Manager Steve Anderson and the recent resignation of Assistant City Manager/Economic Manager Terrie Battuello.
“We had planned for the elimination of the deputy city manager position in the new budget,” said Bothell City Manager Bob Stowe. “We are responding to the current needs of the city.”
The new management structure will see all of the duties of the current city manager, deputy manager and assistant city manager split into the two positions of city manager and assistant city manager. This will be the first reorganization in the last eight years to accommodate a lower number of positions based upon available resources.
The biggest change for Stowe is that he will go back to having the Police and Fire departments under his direction, along with finance, legal and the executive office. The new assistant city manager will oversee the departments of Public Works, community development, human resources and information services.
Stowe’s project focus will continue to be the downtown redevelopment, economic development, council and the city’s strategic big picture, while the assistant city manager will oversee tourism, courts, human services, E-gov, A Regional Coalition for Housing and will help with economic development assistance.
This will be the third reorganization that Stowe has overseen as city manager; the last happened in 2008 when Anderson was hired. At that time, Anderson took much of the day-to-day administrative operations duties from Stowe so he could focus on planning. Stowe will take back a lot of those duties with the adjustment and he does not foresee the new arrangement changing in the near future.
“Our revenue is not the same as in the past decade,” said Stowe. “I don’t see bringing in a third individual.”
But he stresses that nothing will change with the redevelopment of downtown and that it is “right on track.”
The Council approved the management reorganization during its regular meeting on Sept. 3. The new assistant city manager’s salary will range from $122,424 and $155,652 per year. The current assistant city manager range is $113,676 and $144,540. The savings will come in the elimination of the deputy city manager’s salary, which ranged from $131,832 and $167,616.
The city has hired Prothman, an executive recruitment company, to conduct the national search for a new assistant city manager. This is not the first time the city has used Prothman.
“They will seek out the best individual that fits the profile of what we want in Bothell,” said Stowe.
The city manager said he expects Prothman to select a pool of 15 or so applicants and then narrow it down to five to eight for city staff to choose from. The Council will not have a say in the process beyond the Sept. 3 vote as they would in a search for a city manager.
The earliest a new assistant city manager could be selected is November, said Stowe.
“We are not planning for it until January of 2014,” he said.
The new assistant city manager will join the city as the Council and staff continue to discuss City Hall redevelopment.
“We will bring it back to council later this year,” said Stowe. “But not until we have the funding.”
The land slated for the new City Hall is already cleared north and east of the current building. But Stowe said that downtown redevelopment is going well.
“We want to complete the Crossroads (realignment of SR 522) project before we start that,” Stowe said. “But it is on budget.”
Stowe said that the project should go relatively fast once the public sees the construction as most of the time-consuming work has been completed.
“Ground has been broken on $94 million of the $115 million worth of redevelopment projects in the downtown,” said Stowe. “It is gratifying with all the hard work that everyone in the community has put in.”
Anderson was Kenmore’s first city manager
Anderson’s retirement from public life is news for the entire Northshore area. He served as Kenmore’s first city manager from incorporation in 1998 until 2008.
“[It is] a feeling of honor to have been selected by the Council and entrusted with implementing their policy direction,” said Anderson via email about his time in Kenmore. “A feeling of accomplishment in helping the community and Council make progress toward fulfilling their vision. A feeling of satisfaction knowing that, when I left, the organization was in good financial shape, had a high quality, professional staff in place and the community was well represented with consistent, predictable political leadership.”
Putting together a city from the start was not easy and there were many bumps along the way. But Anderson looks back with fondness.
“We accomplished a great deal in 10 years. [We] put together the foundation for a local government to provide quality municipal services to the community, built the Swamp Creek Flood Reduction project, built the SR-522 and Burke-Gilman Trail improvements and entered into the development agreement for the Kenmore by the Lake project,” said Anderson. “These and more accomplishments were the direct result of the community, Council and staff operating as a team. The Council also became involved on a regional basis, which provided the opportunity for Kenmore’s priorities to be represented on regional boards and commissions. Kenmore citizens, the council members and Kenmore staff will always be a special memory for me.”
Anderson left Kenmore in 2008 to take his current position with Bothell.
“The past five years have flown by,” said Anderson. “I appreciate the confidence that City Manager Bob Stowe placed in me to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. As it always seems to happen for me, I got to work with great people both from inside and outside the organization. The city’s future is very bright. The downtown revitalization projects are moving forward and the city’s capital projects are being built. The community’s vision is being realized. There is still more to do and, given the political and organizational leadership that exists, it will get done.”
Stowe is also appreciative of Anderson’s contribution and knowledge.
“Steve has been a very good partner to me and has given a lot to the local municipalities,” said Stowe.
Anderson said he will miss the people he has worked with the most.
“I am most proud of the people with whom I’ve served, both on council and on staff,” said Anderson. “They are talented people who believe in public service and have the best interests of the community at heart. I am also proud of the positive relationships I was able to develop with members of both communities.”
Anderson’s last day will be on Dec. 31 and he is looking forward to more time with his family.
“My wife Gayle, who will retire in two weeks, and I plan to travel the first six months,” said Anderson. “Then settle into a routine of doting on our three grandchildren who live in West Seattle, and play a lot more golf together than we’ve been able to do in the past.”