Mill Creek’s four-month search for a new City Manager is finished. Ken Armstrong has accepted the City’s offer and will begin his new job the first week of December according to Acting City Manager, Tom Gathmann.
“Ken’s first official day is Monday, December 3rd,” said Gathmann. “But, if I get a chance to speak to him personally, I’ll encourage him to bring his family to the City on Saturday, December 1st to participate in the Santa parade and other special events in the Town Center.”
The Mill Creek City Council made the decision to hire Armstrong in the open public session of a special City Council meeting on Monday evening, November 12th. During the closed executive session the City Council heard feedback from senior City staff regarding one-on-one interviews they had with the two City Manager finalists.
Here is what a number of the City Council said about their decision:
- Councilmember Mark Bond said, “Ken brings some stability. He is a known commodity… We got some feedback from staff that they connect, they see leadership there that they can relate to. That they find favorably. This weighs heavily in the balance as to what is best for the City… We need a guy to step in and just continue to take us to the next level and build on the good foundation we already have. So, with that line of thinking I am leaning toward Mr. Armstrong as the best candidate for our City Manager.”
- Councilmember Donna Michelson said, “I also think that Ken Armstrong will do a really good job at the leadership of the City… We have a stable work force. I think that Ken very much respected the fact that the staff is long term staff. And from what they said, he is easy to talk with and listens well… I think that Chris would be a little bit more of a risk. I just want stability for the City and I think that Ken would profess that.”
- Mayor Pro-Tem Kathy Nielsen said, “This has been an interesting process… I have gone back and forth with the candidates… My expectation of leadership, I want someone who is the focal point of our City. I want a city manager who goes out in the City and is recognized. Leadership to me is very, very important. I want us to be led in a way that we feel confident at the end of the day with the policies and decisions we make. And that is my job to make sure I am well informed so that I can make the best decisions for our City… I loved the energy and excitement that Chis brought, but I don’t think he has enough life experience… For that I move to Ken as my candidate.“
- Councilmember Bart Masterson said, “We have a vision for the City which is outlined by the Strategic Plan… We need a City Manager that is going to help this City Council and future City Councils hew to that vision. And modify the time frame when the time frame needs to be modified and follow it when it is in the proper sequence and achievable. We have a staff that is capable of augmenting that effort, but they need a strong point towards Council to keep us on the straight and narrow just as the City Manager will need a strong Council to keep the City Manager on point. I think there is only one of these candidates, of the many candidates that were brought to us, and the six that we interviewed, there is only one that could do that reasonable and soundly and with steadiness and experience, and that is Ken Armstrong.”