By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek, November 26, 2021.
Former City Manager Michael Ciaravino’s abrupt November 16th resignation left the City of Mill Creek without a lead administrator.
At their November 23rd meeting City Councilmember Vince Cavaleri said, “When the resignation came about I think it took all of us by surprise.”
He went on to say that he believed that by letting Ciaravino hire a deputy city manager it created a de facto succession plan “if something like this should occur.”
Cavaleri then made a motion that Yamamoto be “elevated to the interim city manager position.”
Councilmember John Steckler said the city council needed to have further discussions to set selection criteria before making a decision. He said he didn’t support Yamamoto for the position at this time because other options hadn’t been adequately considered.
It was pointed out during the subsequent discussion that by law only the appointed interim city manager or city manager actually reports to the city council and can be directed by them.
City Attorney Grant Degginger confirmed that it is the city council’s responsibility to appoint someone to fulfill the administrative duties of manger.
Councilmember Mark Bond said he shares Steckler’s concerns, but feels that this is a temporary assignment.
He stated, “I want someone who can ride us through the next couple of weeks. Keep the staff focused, assist them as needed in getting their tasks done. Grant their time off if they need a little extra time and get us through this.”
Yamamoto said he had spoken to Mayor Brian Holtzclaw about the situation on November 22nd and understands Steckler’s concerns.
He said, “My thought yesterday (November 22nd) was for these next two months at least I just can help out and fill that role.”
He went on to say he is open to taking the position, but is willing to go along with whatever the city council decides.
With six yes votes, zero no votes, and one abstention, the Mill Creek City Council chose to have Yamamoto to take on additional responsibilities as interim city manager on a temporary basis until such time that another manager is selected and appointed.
Steckler abstained from the vote.