Bothell reels in Kenmore’s city manager Bothell reels in Kenmore’s city manager

Kenmore City Manager Steve Anderson will be leaving his post Aug. 11 to serve as Bothell’s new deputy manager.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2008 1:00pm
  • News

(Editor’s note: This story was revised July 24)

Kenmore City Manager Steve Anderson will be leaving his post Aug. 11 to serve as Bothell’s new deputy manager.

The city of Bothell actively pursued the 25-year government-affairs veteran during a head-hunting process that followed the retirement of its former assistant city manager, Manny Ocampo, last March.

“The more I learned about (the position), the more I saw it as an opportunity,” Anderson said.

“Bothell’s a great city with a lot of exciting things happening.”

Word of Anderson’s pending departure came around the same time that Kenmore City Engineer Rob English announced he, too, was leaving, in his case for a job with the city of Edmonds.

News of this two-person exodus prompted fears of municipal chaos from some locals.

Kenmore resident Carl Michelman commented to The Reporter that “the ship’s sinking,” and that the Kenmore Village mixed-use development appears to be “going south” from an outsider’s perspective.

He brought similar concerns to the City Council at its July 14 meeting.

Anderson claims there is nothing to worry about.

“I think the city’s in good shape,” he said. “There are good projects going on with good project managers. It’s a great staff that’s left, and I have a lot of confidence that what the council wants to get done will get done.”

Added Kenmore Assistant City Manager Nancy Ousley: “The city has always been very agile in making sure projects and initiatives keep moving forward, even when the actors change.

“There are very dedicated, experienced, capable people here. We’ll make sure things continue to move forward.”

City Council was scheduled to select a head-hunting firm July 21 that will recruit an interim city manager.

Ousley will assume the responsibilities of that position until the council finds a replacement.

“Staff is ramped up enough to take care of things until then,” Anderson said. “They know what’s going on with projects and the day-to-day business.”

The annual salary for Bothell’s deputy city manager ranges from $104,700 to $132,816, less than the $134,589 Anderson currently makes with Kenmore. Duties for the role include oversight of the community-development and public-works divisions, and working with the police and fire departments.

Anderson became Kenmore’s first city manager in 1998, following a citizen vote to incorporate from King County.

“When I started, we had nothing,” he said. “We started out of the trunks of our cars. Ten years later, a lot’s happened.”

Anderson oversaw Kenmore’s $52 million budget and was at the helm during its downtown and comprehensive planning processes. He also orchestrated a land-acquisition deal that gave the city 10 acres of property for the planned Kenmore Village by the Lake mixed-use development project.

Kenmore Councilmember John Hendrickson often accused Anderson of being forceful, manipulative and dishonest with City Council.

“Steve Anderson has a very aggressive executive style that has dominated the financial planning and policy making in our community for the last 10 years,” he said.

None of the other councilmembers have supported Hendrickson’s attacks.

“That’s John’s right to say what he thinks,” Anderson said. “Of course, I disagree with him.

“I think the council is independent of the city manager. I don’t think they look to me on how they’re going to vote. In fact, I credit the council for implementing policy direction. Any success we’ve had is due to them.”

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Gov. Jay Inslee is pictured March 28 at a field hospital set up at the CenturyLink Field Event Center to address non-COVID-19 medical needs. (Photo courtesy of Jay Inslee’s Twitter feed)
Gov. Inslee warns of stepped-up ‘stay home’ enforcement

“Thousands of calls” from residents concerned about businesses and people not following restrictions.

Property tax deadline extended to June

This only affects those who pay their property taxes themselves.

The 2020 census form will look very similar to this sample document. Image courtesy U.S. Census Bureau
Don’t forget to take the census

Due to the coronavirus, the deadline for responding to the census is Aug. 14, 2020.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows COVID-19, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
Latest numbers: Washington COVID-19 outbreak by county

With links to official information.

The Guest House co-owner Kevin Kearney in the kitchen. Photo courtesy of Shehab Hossain/Imaginoor Photography
The Guest House in Kenmore announces temporary closure

Before then, the restaurant had been diligently updating its protocols amid COVID-19 concerns.

Washington scrambles to boost supply of life-saving protective items for healthcare workers

State officials say they had to be “creative” to obtain protective equipment in global demand.

Gov. Jay Inslee discusses the COVID-19 pandemic and the state’s response during a press conference on Thursday, March 26. Screenshot
Inslee: Stay-at-home orders must continue to completely eliminate COVID-19

Slight decrease in rate of new coronavirus cases, but residents must continue to hunker down.

At St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw, a patient is taken from an ambulance through a small door marked “decontamination” on March 23. It was unclear whether the patient was suspected of being infected with COVID-19. (Photo by Ray Miller-Still/Sound Publishing)
King County releases breakdown data of COVID-19 cases, deaths

Washington’s virus-related death toll surpasses 129 as of Wednesday, March 25.

Most Read