By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
The Mill Creek City Council selected Councilmember Pam Pruitt to continue as mayor for the next two years by a vote of 6-0 at their first regular meeting of the year on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. She has been mayor since January of 2014.
Councilmember Brian Holtzclaw was selected to continue his role as mayor pro tem by unanimous vote. He was first selected to be mayor pro tem in 2016.
This is the third time Pruitt has been Mill Creek’s mayor. She previously served on the Mill Creek City Council from 1988 to 1995 and was selected as mayor by the city council in 1992. She is a retired certified public accountant and is now working as a legislative assistant for Snohomish County Councilmember Terry Ryan.
Holtzclaw was first elected to the Mill Creek City Council in 2014. He is a land-use attorney and has lived in Mill Creek for fourteen years.
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. Comparing city government to 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 such as the recent Veteran’s Day Ceremony. 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 run the city, to make sure laws and ordinances are executed, and to take action on city council decisions.