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Black Diamond Mayor Dave Gordon seeks confirmation of new city administrator
One of Dave Gordon's first acts as mayor of Black Diamond was to replace City Administrator Mark Hoppen Jan. 2.
"He wasn't fired, he was dismissed," Gordon said in a phone interview Monday. "He's a wonderful administrator and as new mayors come in, it's common practice that they replace key management department heads. As I reviewed the staff I decided to replace only the administrator."
In addition, Gordon appointed former Maple Valley city attorney Christy Todd as interim city administrator and Gordon is seeking council confirmation of naming Todd as the next city administrator.
Todd was originally considered for the position of interim city attorney as the city's legal contract expired at the end of 2013.
"I met with her and was very impressed with her and thought she would be best deployed as a city administrator," Gordon said. "I anticipate getting confirmation relatively quickly. They (council members) are reviewing her credentials and qualifications. We have a council meeting within a week and I anticipate she'll be confirmed at that point."
A special meeting was announced Monday evening for Thursday night to discuss confirming the appointment of Todd.
Previously serving as the city's legal advisor was the firm Kenyon Disend, which Gordon said is continuing on a month-to-month basis.
In the 2014 budget the city administrator position, which was previously part time, was made a full time position as of Jan. 1.
"I was at the meeting while it (increasing the position) was being discussed," Gordon said. "The work has increased, they're starting construction and clearing of the MPD site for the village and as incoming mayor I work a job during the day, so, the council thought it was prudent to have somebody here Monday through Friday."
Councilwoman Carol Benson said in a phone interview Monday that council members were not aware Gordon was going to replace Hoppen.
"I was a little bit surprised, but I understand his motive for it because he wanted his own — somebody he could trust — so I understood it," Benson said.
Council members declined to confirm Todd's appointment at the Jan. 2 council meeting.
"This council has, in the last — well since I have been on the council since last March, we have made it a practice that we do not act on any resolutions, or ordinances for that matter, that our placed on our desk on the evening of the meetings without prior consultation with any of the council members," Councilwoman Janie Edelman said during the Jan. 2 council meeting.
Other council members also voiced their desire to be able to vet Todd and to have an interview and work study where they could learn about her and ask questions. A motion was made and council members unanimously voted to postpone confirmation.
"The person that he wants to hire just has to be affirmed by the city council and we weren't prepared to do it at our last council meeting because we didn't know about it, but we probably will affirm it," Benson said by phone.
Gordon said that he is looking forward to confirmation of Todd's appointment.
"We're very lucky to have Christy Todd, she has represented Maple Valley and has quite a reputation in the community," Gordon said.