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Mill Creek City Council elects Pam Pruitt as Mayor and Mark Harmsworth as Mayor Pro Tem

A 5-2 majority of the Mill Creek City Council elected Pam Pruitt as Mayor and Mark Harmsworth as Mayor Pro Tem on January 7, 2014. Their terms of office are two years.
Mayor Pam Pruitt and Mayor Pro Tem Mark Harmsworth being sworn in by City Clerk Kelly Chelin. Photo credit: Anonymous.

A 5-2 majority of the Mill Creek City Council elected Pam Pruitt as Mayor and Mark Harmsworth as Mayor Pro Tem on January 7, 2014. Their terms of office are two years.

Former mayor Mike Todd was also nominated for each position, but both votes went against him. City Councilmembers Sean Kelly, Brian Holtzclaw, Mark Bond, Mark Harmsworth, and Pam Pruitt were in the majority; and Councilmembers Donna Michelson, and Mike Todd were in the minority.

Pruitt thanked Councilmember Mike Todd for his service as mayor, “I would like to thank former mayor Todd for the job he did as mayor in the difficult past years that we’ve had. It wasn’t an easy job and I appreciate his efforts.”

This is the second time Pruitt has been Mill Creek’s mayor. She previously served on the Mill Creek City Council from 1988 to 1995 and was elected mayor by the City Council in 1992. She is a retired Certified Public Accountant and is now working as a reporter for the Mill Creek View and a legislative assistant for Snohomish County Councilmember Terry Ryan.

Harmsworth has been a Mill Creek City Councilmember since 2008. He recently announced his intention to run for Washington State Representative and currently works at Amazon.com as a program manager.

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. In 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 long-term objectives such as 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 take action on city council decisions.

Ken Armstrong, Mill Creek City Manager, is planning two legislative retreats in the coming months to bring the new city council up to speed on issues so that they can make policy and budget decisions that will guide the city for the next two years.

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